March 31, 2011 | Comments Off on Rail Furniture

Having a layout tucked away in your basement is all right but in order to express your model railroad mojo, you might want to look into Rail Yard Studios.

Robert Hendrick, who owns a railroad contracting company, and his dad Jim, started to use scrap rail items like ties, rails, spikes and brackets into household furniture.

I’m sure that the wine rack would be a great addition for your operating sessions !

March 23, 2011 | Comments Off on Schienenzeppelin: A propeller-driven train

The Propeller-driven train that never made it to production had a top speed of 120mph, on par with the streamlined steam locomotives of that era. This Wired post elaborates on the history of the Schienenzeppelin

[via Boing-Boing]

February 28, 2011 | Comments Off on 2011 Bachmann & Williams Catalog

The PDF vesion of the 2011 Bachmann & Williams catalog is available for download. It has the complete listing of Bachmanns Standard Line and Spectrum® locomotives, rolling stock, and accessories and also included the Williams by Bachmann product line.

February 23, 2011 | Comments Off on Where old subway cars go to die

Stephen Mallon’s stunning photographs captures the final journey of the NYC subway cars as they are dropped into the Atlantic to create underwater reefs.

His show “Next Stop Atlantic” will open at The Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on September 10th.

[via Mefi]

February 9, 2011 | Comments Off on Review: Clever Model’s Texture Collection

I had purchased Clever Model’s Texture Collections at the railroad show last week. As a cardstock scratch-builder, this disk offers me a large collection of various textures. These come in O, S, HO and N scales. As i use HO scale, this post will focus on the HO collection.

The textures are of a very high resolution. On the roof shingles you could see the shadow beneath each row of shingle. Any structure created with the rusted metal sheet would look stunning on your layout. I particularly liked their collection of windows and doors. Each door and window come with extra framing that you could cut out and layer up to create some depth.

To use them, we could either print it at home or go to your nearest Kinko’s. With this disk, you would have at your disposal an endless collection of textures for all your scratch-building needs.

There are 87 HO textures on this disk organized under the following categories. Each texture is in a PDF file. Click on each category to see what’s available on the disk:

Brick & stone
Building flats
Insulbrick & Fiberglass
Wood siding & wood

The Texture Collection is available for $29.95

I really wish if Clever Models could preview a small image of all their products on their website so we could know what we are getting. Reading that the disk contains “single brick storefront on a frame building with interior” means nothing to me if it does not have a picture. I know its some work trying to get all images from the PDF’s but there are tools out there that could do it quickly. I used a trial version of A-PDF to create the HO textures images. Hope Clever Models would use these to give us a preview of their products so we can better decide what we need.

February 7, 2011 | Comments Off on MBTA’s new shiny locomotive

MBTA’s new MP36 locomotive snapped up at South Station. They will be purchasing 20 of these fuel-efficient locomotives from the Utah Transit Authority to replace their older units by 2013.

[via Universal Hub]

February 1, 2011 | Comments Off on Layouts from the Railroad Hobby Show 2011

As promised, here are some of the layouts from the Railroad Hobby Show that took place in Springfield, MA on Jan 29-30th 2011

Technical Notes: Video taken with a Kodak Zi8 and i tried to steady it with a SteadePod. Not as good as using a tripod but in a crowd/show setting Steadepod did an okay job.

January 31, 2011 | Comments Off on A Report: Railroad Hobby Show 2011

The Railroad Hobby Show was a fun and informative train show held this past weekend in Springfield, MA. They dont call it the “Big One” for nothing. People, Vendors and layouts were everywhere. I spent 4 hours there and still have this feeling that i missed some part.

I stopped by the Clever Model’s booth and met Thom and David. As a cardstock modeler, their textures and kits are of an exceptional quality. Purists might scoff at “paper models” when compared to wood structures. However, these “paper models” could easily be placed in the background and no one will know the difference. They were offering their texture disk for $25 and the various kits-on-disk for $30. I did purchase their texture disk and will post a review in the coming days.

I also visited Evan Design’s Model Builder booth. For a paper/cardstock modeler, the options to create any structure in Model builder software and pairing it with Clever Model’s textures should give plenty of ideas.

A virtual simulator on a LCD monitor, showing the Connecticut Trolley Museum‘s route and streetcars caught my eye when i noticed that it was created in Trainz. The museum offers a 3 mile trip in restored streetcars. They will be opening in April for the season.

Though Trainz was not on tour at the show, the fact that the Trolley museum used it for their route display and Conrail Historical Society having a PC running theTrainz simulator for people to play with, proves that it is easy to use and create routes in.

I also stopped by the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum display. They have been doing a lot of restoration work on their rolling stock and structures.

There were a lot of layouts to savor in each of the buildings of the show. The Northeast N-Track had the biggest layout in the show. A few modules were encased/covered and they had made a night scene. This did give a unique perspective to the “always daylight” layouts. Wind power and solar farms in one module brought it to the our times.

The best layout, i felt should have been the CNY layout. I was mesmerized by the level of detail. Their layout drew you into the scenes and you felt you were part of the layout. I don’t know if I was tired or hungry when i was examining it but I could not get away from it. Details were plenty but not overly crowed. The use of foreground and background trees with photo backdrops placed you in the layout.

I did take videos but still have to process and edit them. I should be able to finish by the end of the week. Meanwhile, click on the picture for the show gallery:

January 27, 2011 | Comments Off on Acela: 0, Snow: 1

Casualty of today’s snowstorm. Photo by bijan

[via Universal Hub]

January 20, 2011 | Comments Off on Upcoming: Amherst Railroad Hobby Show

The Grand Daddy of all Train Shows (at least in these parts) , the Amherst Railroad Hobby Show will be on January 29th and 30th, 2011 in Springfield, MA

The list of vendors is huge and it will surely take up most of the day trying to seeing all the layouts and vendor’s products. Check out the free clinics and plan your visit accordingly. Frequent visitors to the show tell me that Sunday is a better day to attend as crowds are slightly less than on Saturdays.

I am planning to attend the show on Sunday and hopefully will be able to stay on till 2pm to catch the “Hear That Whistle Blow: America’s Fabled Railroad Years In Story & Song” by Katie Green and Bob Reiser.

Previously in the Loop: Guide to Attending Train Shows

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