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Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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Waiting for the Bus to School ~ Tuesday, August 26, 2014

We've been talking about this all summer; Nate is very excited!

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All Set for the Doctor Who Marathon ~ Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Last Issue of RMC ~

Looks like the issue of Rail Model Craftsman that I just picked up at the local hobby shop will be the last--I've just read that Carstens Publications is now out of business.

I liked the hobbyist-run-style of RMC much more than the "professional magazine publisher" vibe of contemporary MR.

If you're a trolley modeller and don't have a copy of the Traction Planbook yet, I suggest you should nab one at the first opportunity. Slim Gauge cars is nice, too.

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AirBART ~ Sunday, August 17, 2014

BART's new connection to the Oakland airport is opening this fall; we just saw a test train cross over us (riding the Capitol Corridor).

It's a kind of elevated horizontal funicular. Trust BART to find the most "technically interesting" solution to any problem!

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Saturday Morning Fun with LEGO ~ Saturday, August 16, 2014

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At least it's not Bluescreened! ~ Monday, August 11, 2014

Not much info up on this automated sign at the Mountain View VTA/CalTrain station right now!

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Biking and Railfanning in Fremont ~ Saturday, August 02, 2014

Nate and I took a bike ride through Quarry Lakes Park, in Fremont. The route went along creek levies, under several railway bridges, and led to an ice cream shop.

Nate had his camera along and took some pictures of Amtrak and BART trains.


Nate's picture!


By Nate

The Pacific Bus Museum was giving one of their busses a test drive, too (they will be having an open house in a few weeks, incidentally).

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Train Watching Buddy ~ Saturday, July 26, 2014

We ended up in Niles today. The NCRy isn't running today and the depot museum is closed, but Nate met a kid with shared interests.

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The Henry Ford Museum ~ Saturday, July 05, 2014

During down-time we visited the Henry Ford Museum, which has quite a bit more than just cars, and I also snapped a few pictures of a train through the gate of the adjacent (but separately-ticketed) Greenfield Village.

For a train and transit modeller, some of the highlights of the Ford Museum, besides lots and lots of cars that would make nice background pieces for a trolley layout, are a Ft Collins Birney, the first Bluebird schoolbus, an Ingersoll-Rand boxcab (the first successful Diesel-Electric locomotive type), and the bus on which Rosa Parks defied segregation. There are also large stationary steam engines, and steam tractors. And more cars. There is disassembled model T suspended on wires, like a full-size 3-dimensional exploded diagram, and I will be consulting pictures of it the next time I make a model of one. Also planes, clocks and a Wienermobile.

The Greenfield village is a reconstruction of a typical American small town as they once were, with a steam train you can ride around the perimeter.

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Dearborn Skating Trip ~ Friday, July 04, 2014

This year's Theater on Ice Nationals was in Dearborn. Once again, Wini and the rest of the team put on an amazing ice skating show, and as in years past I came along to help with props. One part of our entry to the competition was an ice-skating version of Starlight Express, so the team was made up with abstractly trainish costumes (illuminated with LED's), and our central prop was a blinking grade crossing sign.

Other teams put on a good show too, and I want to give a special shout-out to the St. Louis team who did Meet me in St. Louis, and used a rideable* trolley prop.

On the purely nerdy/technical side, one point of interest for me was recreating a lost battery cord for one of the costume lights using parts from a local Radio Shack, and doing some soldering in the hotel on top of some scrap lumber we found in the Zamboni room of the rink, so that we wouldn't get billed for burning the furniture.

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