Dec 7, 2018

Letting our hair down in Belleville

Workshop member Jim Martin reports on the group's appearance at the 2018 Quinte Model Railroad Show, held December 1-2 in Bellville, Ontario...


(Jim switches cars on Paul's module while John looks on)
(Up Periscope! Jim created this viewer for the shorter set. It's popular with
the kids - and with parents, whose backs are grateful...)
The Quinte Model Railroad Show is becoming something of an annual tradition for our group: The show is a favourable location for our eastern Ontario members - and it's not too distant for those members in Toronto and the Niagara Region. This year, the Workshop crew on site included myself, Paul Raham, John Johnston, and Darby Marriott.

Being Christmastime, this is a show where we let our hair down a little. An elephant grazes in Paul’s pasture, my Stegosaurus and Bovasaurus Rex roam the layout, there are candy cargos in the hopper cars, and John ran a pirate train for his grandson Decker.

(A holstein/dinosaur cross confronts crossed bones)
Paul, John, Darby and I enjoyed hanging out with each other and roaming the exhibition halls for bargains and inspiration. Thanks also to Workshop friend Daniel McConnachie for helping out Saturday, and to honorary S-scaler Dennis Rowe for his ongoing encouragement.


Incidentally, this was Darby’s first chance to participate with a module.

(Darby with his module. The "C" on the wall is not for "Culverhouse"...)
My Culverhouse module now belongs to Darby and I can’t wait to see how he makes it his own. That process has already started in how he packages it for travel. He has imagineered a clever little arched toboggan under one end of the module which makes sliding it into his car a breeze: So simple and effective.


Currently we are not sure if we have nailed down our appearance at the next Copetown Train Show (February 24, 2019: 10am-3pm) but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime we hope you enjoy Darby’s photos from the weekend.

Happy holidays, everyone!

- Jim

Nov 24, 2018

Culverhouse on the move

Workshop member Jim Martin checks in with a progress report on his home layout - and a new owner for one of his modules...


Work progresses on fitting my Port Dover layout into its new home - although depending on when one visits, it can look like two steps back. Currently it’s in the “two steps back” stage as a number of layout sections have been pulled back off their “L” girders to facilitate a few necessary jobs.

Jim's layout in its new home. As he's reported earlier on this site, the new space is much more comfortable.

One job involved lifting the whole layout ever so slightly to better meet the bottom of the backdrop. Some three-quarter inch strapping on top of the girders took care of that.

With the sections out I pulled out an end mirror and took it to a glass shop to have a notch cut out of the corner. (I’ll talk more about that a little later.)

That's the mirror: the smoke comes later...

I am also fitting the last of three backdrop sections. Once these jobs are done and dusted I expect the sections to be permanently installed so I can get cracking on track and scenery.


Jim's Culverhouse module has been a popular feature on Workshop exhibition layouts.
With a new owner, it'll be back on the exhibition circuit.
A few months back I mentioned opting for a slightly smaller layout. Something had to give and it’s my Culverhouse module. Ironically, Culverhouse is the most scenically complete of anything I have done so far, but it had to go.

I’m happy to tell you its new owner is fellow Workshop member Darby Marriott.  Sadly I repurposed its portable legs and carry cradle when I thought it would be permanently retired to the basement, so Darby has to recreate those pieces.

Darby shows off his legs.
Darby’s already hard at it prepping his new module for the annual Quinte Model Railroad Show in Belleville, Ontario - December 1 & 2. I’ll be there, along with Darby, Andy, John and Paul. We all hope you'll drop in to say hello!

- Jim

See you in Belleville (Dec 1-2, 2018)

Yes, it's short notice...

But several members of the S Scale Workshop will be in Belleville next weekend (December 1-2, 2018) to exhibit at the Quinte Model Railroad Show.

The show runs 10am-4pm both days, and takes place at a new location this year:

Centennial Secondary School
160 Palmer Road
Belleville, Ontario
K8P 4E1

John entertains the crowd at the 2015 show in Belleville.
Want to know where you can meet up with us? Check our events page!

Oct 15, 2018

Too long

Every model railway has a practical limit to the size of train it can support. At Exporail this year, the S Scale Workshop discovered its limit when Simon Parent put his beautiful CNR 2-10-2 to the test:

"Extra 4205 West, meet yourself at... oh, never mind"

Still, everyone is darned impressed at how easily Simon's model hauls a train that long. It does the prototype justice!

Oct 8, 2018

2018 NASG Convention report (video)

Our friend Pieter Roos created a video overview of the 2018 NASG Convention, held in Massachusetts in July - and his coverage kicks off with some video of our Free-mo style modular layout. Pieter has given us permission to share the video here - enjoy if you watch!

(You may also view this directly on Youtube, where you may be able to enjoy it in larger formats)

Thanks Pieter!

Sep 15, 2018

Our musings - your inbox

I've added an option to allow readers to receive email notifications whenever we post something new on the S Scale Workshop blog.

Check the upper right corner of the home page: You'll find a box to enter your email address. A couple of clicks and you're done - and you'll never miss a post!

(Thanks to Workshop member Simon Parent for the suggestion.)

- Trevor

Showcasing S at Exporail 2018

"A Great Passion for Model Trains" is the annual model railway celebration held at Exporail - Canada's national railway museum, located in the MontrĂ©al area. This year's event took place August 18-19. Several members of the S Scale Workshop took part - including Brian Nicholson, who shares this report...


An overview of this year's S Scale Workshop exhibit at Exporail.
The Exporail venue is always a favourite for the Workshop and this year’s show was no exception. We were located this year on the second floor adjacent to the mezzanine - which provided a larger space and better lighting than last year.

Members Simon Parent, Andy Malette, John Johnston and myself set up the layout on Friday afternoon. Our American members Jamie Bothswell and Jeff English arrived on Sunday and helped to break down the layout that evening. Their participation was much appreciated and they enjoyed their first visit to the museum. I’m sure they’ll be back!

What better environment for a show than at one of the best railroad museums in the country! With a variety of steam and diesel locomotives on display - as well as many freight cars both indoors and out on the grounds - there is plenty of inspiration for all modellers. Andy was out measuring a CPR MLW RS-18, I checked out details on a CNR wood caboose and flat roof boxcar, and Jamie took in the passenger car inventory.

As usual, a large portion of the Workshop display was Simon’s home layout. He also provided the end loops and power supply. Both Andy and John contributed modules. John’s well executed farm scene and Andy’s switching modules added greatly to the layout. (Andy always enjoys switching the industries on his modules and he has mastered the Sergent coupler!)

Andy also debuted his recently completed CNR 2-6-0, a fine looking locomotive. It ran very well. Simon had his 2-10-2’s running as well. There was an amazing roster of S scale CNR steam on display. 

I got to run my 60’s era consist with Andy’s CNR MLW S-4.

Jeff brought along his award-winning CGW boxcar.

There were some other fine layouts on display in the same room, including two British 4mm layouts and a fine On2 layout.

And of course we all enjoyed socializing at a local restaurant after the long days of operating the layout. All in all, a great weekend - and we all look forward to the same event next year!

- Brian