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 Montréal 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

Sep 5, 2018

The Martins Move House

(Big news from Workshop member Jim Martin...)


Moving the Layout

Jim's layout survived the move to a newer, brighter layout space. Now the fun begins afresh!
When I started building my CNR Port Dover Branch a dozen years ago I decided to construct it in sections of 4 to 6 feet long. I wanted to be able to work on sections away from the layout - and when the day came to move, I wanted to be able to disassemble it rather than destroy it.
That decision has paid off mightily. Some months back my wife Cheryl and I made a snap decision to move away from our lakeside home of 22 years and seek a smaller, easier to maintain property in Port Colborne, Ontario some five miles to the east. We loved the lake but the basement was an unpleasant place with low headroom. Our new home came with a fully finished basement featuring a large, carpeted family room.
The pictures show the progress so far. I still have to mount the backdrops, install track lighting, and fill the corners between the disjointed sections with track and scenery.
Also I really want the rejigged layout to be a part of a larger overall décor - one that is bright, colourful and cheerful - one that is also a pleasant place to sit and sip with my Workshop buddies. To that end I am actually willing to have a slightly shorter layout.
The new space includes a comfortable lounge adjacent to the layout. Let the sipping begin.
One of the keys to making the layout fit is the construction of a free-standing false wall that stands apart from the basement stairs. The offset location is key for reaching under-the-stairs storage as well as providing ample access to the rooms beyond. It also provides a sense of drama when entering the room, and makes a great display wall for Cheryl’s quilts. (Yes, it’s purple!)
As one descends the stairs to Jim's new basement, it's not even obvious that it's home to his exquisite S scale model railway. That's one of Cheryl's hand-made quilts on the "purple wall".
Just beyond the layout and lounge is a small (8' x 9') alcove, which has become a cosy little library.
To facilitate the move, I’m thankful to fellow Workshop member David Clubine for loaning me one of his surplus race car trailers:
Jim's layout slumbers in sections, in the trailer, dreaming of its new home.
This 24-footer easily swallowed the layout and other model railroad detritus along with the contents of the garage. We were then able to get that load to the new house and get most of the sections safely up off the floor ahead of the moving van.
In future instalments I’ll outline the actual changes to my layout's arrangement and describe my new - hidden - workshop space. But for now, it's back to work.
- Jim