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Tuesday
Aug312010

Pix of N Scale Warehouse

Sorry to keep you all waiting.  A while ago, in a comment, my brother mentioned that I was doing a build of our Warehouse in N Scale.  I was commenting that since I seldom work in N, that I found this a real challenge and that I really admired our customers that build our kits in N.  One of them replied that they would like to see what I had done.  Well, here it is.  Now I admire the work of the N Scale crowd EVEN MORE.  This was a REAL challenge.  I ended up honing some techniques that I hadn’t used before like giving up on even trying to use my fingers and relying on multiple pairs of tweezers.  My hats off to you guys that do this all the time.  This building is 2” square by 4-1/2” tall.

Dave

Saturday
Aug212010

Narrow Gauge Show Teaser

Just some of what you might see if you make it to our table (#315) at the 30th. Annual National Narrow Gauge Convention in St. Louis, September 1-4.  And YES, before you even ask, the side tanks and cab do fit the new BHC 0-4-0.

Tuesday
Aug172010

Upcoming Show Schedule

Currently we are hectically preparing for a trip to the 30th. Annual Narrow Gauge Convention in St. Louis from September 1st. to 4th.

We will be displaying our HOn30 Layout which has a nice selection of our structures on it and also has trains running on it that are all made from cardstock.  We will also be debuting a new DVD which will contain all the rolling stock kits that you will see running.  (And maybe some that will be a suprise.)

We will be located at table 315, on the far right side of the room, across the aisle from Precision Scale.  To see a map of the convention hall, goto http://www.30ngconvention.org/.  Click on the “Convention Updates” box and then “Manufacturers Floor Plan”.

We hope to have the opportunity to see many of our old friends and make many new ones.

Friday
Aug062010

Why do we build models? Why don’t we build models?

Two very good questions, I wonder if I can come up with good answers.

I’ve always believed that we are driven to create with our hands and to create in general.  Using our fingers and hand eye coordination must stimulate the pleasure center in our brains.  Certainly we are visually stimulated.  Like Roy in “Close Encounters”, building a model of Devils Tower so he can better hold an idea that haunts him. We create scenes, mostly imaginary or sometime as an attempt to recreate a scene that had an effect on us in life.  But there’s more to it then that, more levels.  Heck you can create a scene by opening a box of ready to go, assembled, pre-painted Chinese plastic or a bubble pack of perfect miniature trees assembled by some remote village in Central America.  Those items get made to milk the money from the impatient.  That’s a harsh statement.  Surely there are hobbyists out there who are driven to create but just don’t seem to have the time.  Of course they miss the point.  A hobby is a focused waste of time.  It’s time we need to step away from the everyday grind of survival.  We hope that opening a box is a first step along the path of creation and some day they will open a box where there is more to challenge them.  Challenge, there’s a good word.  Does this mean that we should all get a lath and start machining gears and drive wheels?  I think at some level we all wish we could.  We all find a place of comfort on the food chain and most of us push our selves as high as we can.  Why else would we spend 20, 40 or 60 years in a hobby?  In the last several years, I’ve noticed a lot of hobbyists making the leap to becoming manufacturers, us included.  Creativity, pushing individuals to see if they can make it better, if they can compete.  Certainly the unstable economy has had a hand in this as people try to expand their earning base, sometimes failing financially but succeeding creatively.  That’s another story for another time. Back to the basic thrust of this rant, Why build models?

The simple answer is “Challenge”.  We are driven to challenge ourselves.  My brother recently showed me what he’s working on.  One of our distributors is attending an N scale convention and wanted to know if we had some built samples she could use.  Well no, not being in N scale, we didn’t have much, but Dave saw a challenge and now he had the motivation (need) to try something so he jumped in and started building in N scale.  The results were pretty outstanding.  Not just the beautiful rendition of an amazingly small warehouse with miniscule wood steps, but the obvious rush of pride and satisfaction he felt from conquering the challenge.  He was beamingly proud when he unwrapped it to show me, and rightly so.  He did what he wasn’t sure could be done.  When I’m designing a new kit (right now I’m finishing up some “critters” for our new disk), I sometimes have to make a part that I just can’t imagine building.  I ask myself all the time, who would be crazy enough to build this?  Truth is, lots of people, just to see if they can.  So that’s really what our hobby is about.  Finding, facing and conquering a challenge.

Some folks need mountains.

It really doesn’t matter if the challenge is how you weather that wharf scene or how you open the bubble pack, some day you will be driven, you’ll be ready for a model made from card stock.

Why don’t we build models?  A much tougher and sadder question.  I’ll get to that later.