Back From the Convention

I’m back from the 36th National Narrow Gauge Convention up in Augusta, Maine, and I had a blast — although I still managed to run out of time and not see everything — for instance, I completely ran out of time to see the models in the contest room. But I did get to meet, after all these decades, Bob Hayden and Dave Frary (who inspired my interest in Maine narrow gauge when I was a kid) and Bob Brown, who publishes the best magazine for narrow gauge modelers, The Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. I also helped out Kevin at his tables, and helped showed off the DelTang dead rail gear.

2016-09-08-15-45-56Other highlights of the convention were a visit to the WW&F Railway Museum — my third visit, and Kevin’s first. We road behind newly restored WW&F Forney #9, and poked around the new car shop and turntable pit, and once again wandered through the old shop and the museum store. The WW&F has got to be one of the best run and organized museum railroads anywhere. If your in downeast Maine, be sure to visit.

We also visited the Boothbay Railway Village, which features some really neat little Henschel tank engines pulling a variety of cars, and a couple of neat railcars, including a restored SR&RL rail bus. They’ve also got a fantastic collection of antique cars and outboard boat motors, along with numerous displays explaining the history of railroading in Maine. It was my first visit to Boothbay, and I found it well worth the price of admission.

I took in a number of clinics during the convention, all of which were very informative and generally well presented, and learned a lot about the industries along the 2-foot lines, about coastal shipping in and out of the Maine seaports, and gained some more insights into background painting.

Of course, being in Maine, we ate some great seafood (and some not-so-great pizza) and did some fun sight-seeing. In no particular order, here’s a slideshow of those pictures. Cheers!

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Convention Bound!

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go. I’m standing here … well, you know the song. You’re welcome for the ear-worm. You can holler at me about it in Maine tomorrow, if you’d like.

While, I won’t have a table of my own, I am taking a few items of stock with me, and I’ll be within a cellphone call of the Berrett Hill table in the dealer room. I should have enough product with me that I could sell up to four starter sets, two of which could be our new “Super Starters”. These will be the versions with 180mAh batteries, and with no wires on the receivers. And, they’ll be at special prices (for cash, exact change sales): $90 for the standard kit and $115 for the Super Starter. To see what’s in the kits, visit the shop. Remember, those prices are for exact change cash sales only.

I’ll see you at the show!

Kimberton 2016 Meet “Report”

I’ve just returned home from this year’s Mid-Atlantic Narrow Gauge Guild Module Meet (affectionately know as “Kimberton”), and thought some of you might want to know how the meet went. I enjoyed seeing many long-time friends, and shooting the breeze, both at the fairgrounds and on the porch at the French Creek Inn.

Attendance was down a little over last year, which was disappointing, and most dealers reported slow sales. As usual, since I go into a show with no expectations, I consider that I did quite well — I was able to go to the show and sell or barter off a number of items that I’ll never use, come home with a few items of higher value that I will use, and also bring home the same amount of cash I left with. Aces!

Wes White Spends Money!I didn’t take any pictures at the show — except for capturing this rare occurrence:

For those who are not sure what you’re looking at, I can understand. It’s something most people have never seen. It’s a rare sighting of Wes White spending money at a train show. Even I, The On30 Guy™, have only witnessed this three times in the past 16 years. Do notice, though, how tight a grip he still has on the cash!

2016-05-22 17.09.11In another news flash, the French Creek Inn has remodeled, and also increased the number of non-smoking rooms available in the process. The new decor borders on swank! They did, however, retain the strange, square toilets, and internet access there is still pretty bad.

I mentioned above that I picked up a couple of items at the show, both of which will find homes on the layout. First, I acquired another structure from the bench of Al Judy. This building will mostly finish out the collection of structures for a small town in a corner of the layout.


The arrangement features three structures built by Al — a “general store”, a re-purposed sawmill structure, and this new business (I’m not quite sure what it’s going to be just yet). With all the buildings built by Al here, I’m thinking this town may get the name “AJ’s Corner”. The town still needs a structure or two between the tracks and the wall. I’m thinking that they’ll be low-relief buildings, probably the backs of one or two residences (Al, are you reading this?), and I’ll need to add a loading dock or shed to the back of the general store building.

As part of the same deal with Al, I picked up an old Madruga Model Works kit for an SR&RL flanger. It’s designed to be an On2 kit, so it will require a little modification for On30. As with a number of the kits I’ve picked up recently, it’s anything but a “shake-the-box” kit. It’s not even a laser-cut kit.2016-05-22 17.49.09 “Box of sticks” is a more apt description. But, it will make a perfect companion to the much-more-recently-released Portland Locomotive Works snow plow on the MOW track in Corinna.

One thing I’m struggling with is what to do with a couple of high end HO-scale kits. These were expensive, Micro-Scale Models craftsman kits, that build into beautiful models. I’ve got them priced very fairly, and yet I’ve been dragging them around from show to shows for at least fifteen years now. I really can’t believe that no one wants them. I’ve snapped some pictures of the box labels, which you can see below. If any of these look interesting to you, contact me. The prices are what I’ve been asking (all are discounted, some significantly), and some may be a pain to ship, but I’m sure something can be worked out.

Mid-West Narrow Gauge Show Report

I arrived back from the Mid-West Narrow Gauge Show late last night (or was it early this morning?). Despite a few snafus, I had a great time catching up with old friends, and making new ones. I’m already looking forward to the next time I can attend this show — hopefully next year.

One new friend is On30 Guy customer Robert South. Robert had recently opened Rerailer Hobbies, and one of the services he provides is installation of DelTang receivers. If you’re looking for installation help, he’s your man. Here’s how to get in touch with him:

Rerailer Hobbies, LLC
Robert South
126 Garfield Road
Latrobe, PA 15650

(724) 610-4576

On Facebook

Another new friend is David Thompson, owner of Harber Belt Lines. David’s got a great line of products for detailing your railroad, among other things. Be sure to check out his web site, and visit him at shows — and buy some stuff!

Several of us took the opportunity to visit the Youngstown Model Railroad Club on Friday night after dinner. The club has a very active membership and two very large, very nice layouts in HO and O scale. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to make arrangements to stop by and see them. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera along with me, so I don’t have any pictures.

Pictures from 2011’s National Narrow Gauge Convention

Well, I know I promised you all these a couple of days ago, but I surprised myself with the number of pictures I took — just under 500! So, here are the best 90-or-so, in no particular order. Included are pictures of the MADmodules setup, as well as pictures from the contest room and the other awesome layouts on display (including the Muskrat Ramble!).

At some point, I’ll add a post with a few that my friend Steve Fisher set to me…