Showing posts from 2014

Need a plan to use those Christmas Model Train Goodies?

We all hope to that the Christmas goodies coming this week will have some new model trains to go along with all those that have crept into the house during the past year.  What to do with all those items to either build that layout or renew the one already under construction becomes the post holiday question.  For some inspiration come to the January 10th JRD meeting where you can here well known MR author Paul Dolkos talk about his Baltimore Harbor Layout .  (Click on the link to see the track plan)  After you plan that layout you will want to make that locomotive look better so come and hear our own Mike Garber talk about "Developing a paint scheme for your free lanced railroad.......or when is a "dip" paint job not the best scheme."  Come and be inspired January 10th. Here is the link to the Meeting page to plan your trip

Paul Dolkos Coming to the JRD

Paul Dolkos is coming to the JRD on January 10th. Here is what Paul says about his clinic: A COUNTRY BOY MOVES TO THE BIG CITY Seven years ago Paul Dolkos took down his rural northern New England Boston & Maine themed HO railroad to build  something different. He began work on what he calls the Baltimore Harbor District, a series of railroad vignettes based on rail activities in 1955 in the Charm city region. Today the model railroad is totally operational and about 50% scenicked. Planning and construction techniques will be presented along with views of the finished modeling.

Bachman Announces Bluetooth Trains

Bachmann has announced that they will sell trains in 2015 that can be controlled by Bluetooth receivers and software made by BlueRail.  This is a new way of approaching the wireless control problem. Bachmann Blue Rail More comments are on my personal train blog . Philip Taylor JRD Superintendent

Contest Results from MER Hub City Conventions

Results are coming in from those who attended the 2014 MER Hub City Convention.  Gerard Fitzgerald from the JRD brought home to the JRD the following prizes: First Place Photo Contest Model: The Dolkos Bag Company First Place Photo Contest Prototype Other: Lynchburgh Viaduct Northbound Congratulations to Gerard for winning in both categories!

Railfan and Railroad is back

Today there was a new Railfan & Railroad in my mailbox. Congratulations to White River Productions for producing an excellent issue. We need R&R to balance the coverage of the industry in relation to Trains.  This is especially true as Trains has become more of an industry focused magazine.  It is good to have choice.

January 2015 Clinicians Set

It is with great pleasure that the JRD announces two high profile clinicians for the January 2015 meeting.  Paul Dolkos, nationally known author, modeler and photographer will discuss his Baltimore Harbor District.  Mike Garber, who resides in the JRD, is past editor of its Crossties publication and is known in the Southern RPM community for his Southern Railway models will give a clinic.  More details will follow.

New Crossties Editor

Effective October 1, 2014 Gerard Fitzgerald will assume the editorship of Crossties with his first issue being the January 2015 issue. Thank you to Peter Kerr for his work as editor.

Passing of Dale Edwards

Recently we seem to have had a number of passings of luminaries in the hobby and the recent passing of Lawrence "Dale" Edwards adds to the list.  He was the co-founder of Kadee and Micro-Trains with his brother.  This passing was announced by his son-in-law Alan Vezzani whose tribute is reproduced below with permission Lawrence “Dale” Edwards Sr. Co-founder of Kadee® February 1921 –September 2014 A True Pioneer in Model Railroading, Dale Edwards was the “D” in Kadee and his identical twin Keith was the “K”. The twins started Kadee in the mid 40’s and created the first knuckle couple that actually looked and worked like the real ones.  With several improvements on the original design, the Magne-matic® metal knuckle coupler became an instant hit.  Today, the knuckle coupler is the de-facto standard in Model Railroading. In, 1961 they designed and built the twin rail spiker that allowed modelers to lay their own track by driving miniature spikes o

Good Meet Today in Midlothian

There was a good meeting of the James River Division in Midlothian, VA.  Rick Lull gave an interesting talk on what he saw at NMRA National and on NMRA Net.  There ensued a discussion of its implications. Rick discussing NMRA National - Courtesy of Philip Taylor Bernie Kempinski talked about Model Railroads Go To War.  He took the audience from Crimea to the American Civil War and Colonial Wars.  These regional events were followed by WWI and WWII.  Bernie made the case that modeling the wartime traffic or the front could give the modeler new opportunities. Bernie making his case - Courtesy of Philip Taylor

Layout Tour at the ODC Model Railroad

The ODC Model Railroad is housed in the Richmond Railroad Museum.  The building was originally the Southern Railway Station for Richmond, VA and was sometimes called Hull St Station. Hull St Station - courtesy of Gerard Fitzgerald The model railroad occupies the near end of the station while the museum occupies the far end. ODC Club - Courtesy of Gerard Fitzgerald Museum - Courtesy of Gerard Fitzgerald

Layout Tour at Rick Lull's Richmond Terminal Today

We had two layout tours today after the morning meet. Rick Lull opened his Richmond Terminal Layout to us.  Rick keeps adding to the 2nd deck with the mainline making progress around the room.   Acca Yard on right lover level - Courtesy of Gerard Fitzgerald Rick's turnouts on the newer section of his layout feature turnouts made with FastTracks jigs.  The quality of the work seen in the photo below Curved Turnouts - Courtesy of Gerard Fitzgerald We look forward to seeing further progress on Rick's Layout

Mid Atlantic RPM Meet this Friday and Saturday

Just a quick reminder that this Friday and Saturday is the Mid Atlantic RPM meet in Fredericksburg.  Check out their website:  and if you find topics that interest you then bring a model and plan to attend.

Update on Carstens Book Division

White River Productions notes on their web page that included in the deal to acquire RMC and R&R is the book division.  This is good news.  Still remaining for a definitive answer are the On30 and HOn3 annuals.  Hopefully these are included in the book division.

Mid Atlantic RPM Meet this Friday and Saturday

The Mid Atlantic Railway Prototype Modelers Meet is this Friday and Saturday in Fredericksburg.  The website has details -   There are many interesting clinics both days along with displays of models.  Last year there were numerous outstanding models on display.

Midlothian Meet on the 20th starting at 930 AM

It is just over two weeks until our next meet in Midlothian. See the Meetings tab for location information, but it is at the same Church we meet at every year. Rick Lull will be showing shots from his trip to NMRA National and bring us up to speed on the goings on at National.  The other topic he is covering is the NMRA Net.  If you say "Whats That?" then you will get an overview of what is coming next to control your accessories so that they all talk to each other and make it easier for you to add things like signals to your DCC layout. Bernie Kempinski is ready to unleash the dogs of war or at least discuss them as they relate to model railroads.  Model Railroaders tend to miss a great opportunity to model a period with high traffic, large numbers of special moves and unusual loads.  This summer being the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI makes the topic highly relevant to the modeler as that is one of the most overlooked eras to model both at home and in the trench

RMC and R&R acquired by White River Productions

White River Productions has announce that they have aquired RMC and R&R while fulfilling all remaining subscriptions based on number of remaining issues.  No word on the On30 and HOn3 Annuals.

Thanks Uncle Russ!!

There is one more magazine that is worth mentioning as being another major loss to the hobby besides RMC.  A niche publication that started out as one publishing for the large scale market and eventually became Fine Scale Railroader.  This magazine eventually split into three different annuals as the number of issues were cut from six  to three a year.   The Narrow Gauge Annual, Modelers Annual, and the Logging, Mining & Industrial Annual were the three annuals.  Russ Reinberg is the driving force behind Westlake Publishing and the three magazines.  Russ is also known for his musical ability but that is another post.  Russ ended subscriptions to his magazines last year and announced that the Narrow Gauge Annual will end with recently released 2014 Annual.  When Russ ended the subscription I understood but it was with sadness that I read that he was quitting publishing the Narrow Gauge Annual.   The last issue (shown below) deals with branches of the DRGW 4th Division.   If you are

New Magazines

The passing of RMC has many of us mourning its passing but even in the time of despair there is hope.  There is a glimmer of hope that a new owner will re-invigorate both RMC and R&R.  Even so, we see growth in the new media which gives hope to new ideas and new modelers while increasing access to information to all.  There are a few new magazines in the last 5 years and a number that have been around even longer.  The real casualty in the market place is the general hobby print magazine.  We are now down to 2 of them MR and MRH.  Each of the other magazines are specialty magazines that cater to niches in the hobby. What new magazines?  (less than 10 years old) S Scale Resource (just getting ready to publish its first issue) O Scale Resource Model Railroad Hobbyist Trackside Model Railroading On30 Annual HOn3 Annual Older Magazines Still Publishing O Scale Trains Model Railroad News Great Model Railroads Model Railroad Planning S Ga

An Excellent Good Bye to RMC

Our own Gerard Fitzgerald has written an excellent  Good Bye  to RMC on the Model Railroad Design blog about Railroad Model Craftsman including its history and context intertwined with personal reflections and reminisces including material about the V&O, the Editors Notebook by Tony Koester and an early visit to the offices of RMC in NJ.  Please take some time and read what is the best post I have read so far about the recent events involving RMC. Good-bye to All That: Railroad Model Craftsman (1933-2014)

Rick Lull to talk about NMRA National

Contest Model - Courtesy of Rick Lull In case you have not heard your Assistant Division Superintendent Rick Lull will be talking about the NMRA National Convention in July. There is plenty of news as in the contest models, the operations layout, tours of home and club layouts and new products.  In addition, there is the NMRA net which has nothing to do with the web.  Hope to see you at the September 20th meet in Midlothian.

RMC news is a sad day

News and rumor are circulating about Carstens being up for sale.  Let us hope that a buyer is found and that publication of both RMC and R&R continue in the near future.  These two magazines have been worthy alternatives to the MR and Trains respectively.  For the memories, support and inspiration given by the Carstens, Paul Mallory, Tony Koester, Bill Schaumburg, Jim Boyd and the host of others who worked at and written for Carstens over the years let me say for myself and others in the JRD a heartfelt: Thanks!! Link to Announcement on Carstens Facebook Page

Modeling the Civil War

Whether you are from North or South and wear Blue or Grey the Railroad was indispensable to both sides in the American Civil War. Modeling the ACW can be rewarding and dovetails nicely with the hobby of military miniatures for those who wish to have their hands in both fields.  Bernie Kempinski will touch on model railroading and the ACW at next months JRD meet.  Plan to be there and learn about something new to model.

The JRD goes to War

The JRD or at least our model railroads will be challenged to go to War on September 20th by Bernie Kempinski as the second talk.  The development of modern warfare and railroads have an intertwined history from very early in the history of the railroading.  Bernie has a well known American Civil War layout which I can personally attest to as worthy of a quality that brings Museum to mind as description for the level of detail, but this is a very smooth running layout.  The American Civil War as recorded in history could never have come to pass without the railroad.  Troops could not be moved so quickly or supplied in such numbers without railroads.  Please take a look at Bernie's blog to gain an appreciation of Bernie's modeling.  Below is the cover of Bernie's new book due from Kalmbach early next year.

Expanding our Horizons

  In our hobby there is ongoing discussion of the future of the hobby and how we can expand it.  Trevor Marshall who has written many articles for various magazines and writes a blog worthy of following on a regular basis.  His most resent post  (8/8/14) on expanding the hobby is worthy of time for some reflection.  He points out issues with explaining all the Model Railroad sub groups to those outside our hobby, the size of the plastic modeling world, and to that I could add the R/C plane folks and the various role playing games players.  We need to recruit not only among the parents with kids, but among those who already model but not just our way.   Trevor does not mention one way that we can pull the plastic folks into our fold and that is by talking to them and examining techniques and methods the various military and plastic modelers use for making their models.  Most modelers are willing to share and maybe as we apply their methods and materials to our own models.  Perhaps the

Shows this Weekend

There are three shows this weekend that will interests the members of the JRD. Rail Day  is this Saturday near Lynchburg.  Long an attraction to folks in the JRD it is annual outing for many of our members.  There are several modular layouts here each year and JRD area vendor TLC publishing usually has all there books available for those who need to fill in gaps in their library. The 2nd show this weekend is the joint Greenberg and N Scale East Show in Chantilly, VA.  This is not in the JRD bur if your are an N Scaler this is probably your show this weekend if you are not already there earlier for the N Scale only part of the show.  There are several layouts and some vendors that usually are not a Greenberg show such as Kato and Digitrax. The third show this weekend is the O Scale 2 Rail Meet  in Strasburg, PA.  This is a little far for most folks in the JRD but O Scale guys are used to having to go to great lengths to find what they need.  This is a morning only show so be awa

Did you miss lunch after the JRD meeting?

Did you miss lunch after the JRD meet.  Local rail fan hangout Wild Wings next to the Amtrak station is known for its food, beer and closeness to the tracks.  A real treat for those who came was the export locomotives that rolled by during lunch. Courtesy of Philip Taylor

Working on the Buildings at the JRD HOW (Hands On Workshop) Event

The JRD held a clinic on Saturday July 12 to learn how to use both Vallejo and Dr Bragdon products to weather buildings.  Each method allows the modeler to improve the look of their building.  Bret Jones gave the clinic at the Rail Tales store in Charlottesville. The picture below shows some of the products used at the Hands On Workshop (HOW) Several JRD members brought buildings to have the chance to weather structures at the clinic and to ask questions while applying the products just demonstrated by Bret Jones of Rail Tales Langdon Works on adding mortar lines to his building Ken Montero wants to try a powder Wayland asks some questions after the meeting Chuck took home some new roofing material   Photos courtesy of Gerard Fitzgerald and Philip Taylor

Weathering Clinic Hands On Result

Below are two fine examples of details and roof lines brought out by the use of Dr Bragdon Weathering Powders Gerard Fitzgerald's line side buildings tar paper roof is markedly more defined by the powders applied at the clinic. This old Revell kit shows off its detail after receiving a powder treatment Photos Courtesy of Gerard Fitzgerald

Service Opportunity

Service Opportunity - From time to time we need to redistribute the load among the membership.  We currently are looking for the following: Club Car Captain - You are responsible for the coffee and donuts served before each meeting.  Costs are reimbursed by the treasurer. Librarian - This position keeps up with the exchange library for the chapter.  Bringing some items to each meet. Let Philip know if you are interested 

Meeting this Saturday - Bring and Weather your Models

The meeting this Saturday will start at 10 AM.  Directions to Rail Tales Directions to Rail Tales, 705C Dale Avenue, Charlottesville, Va 22903 Parking is in the rear of the building - follow the Directions From the South, West and East Take I-64 to Exit 120 and turn North on to 5th St/Ridge McIntire Rd From the East this is a right turn From the West and South this is a left turn Go approximately 2.6 miles and turn left on Preston Ave (This is the light just past the Staples and McDonalds on the left) Take a right on Forest (2nd Traffic light with Bodo’s Bagels on Right) Take next left on Dale Ave (Behind the Shell Station) Cross the Norfolk Southern Track Take immediate right on Albemarle St Take immediate left into parking lot Rail Tales is on the left about the mid-point of the building From the North Take US 29 South to US 250 in Charlottesville and go East (This is right near Best Buy and just past KFC) Go approximately 2 miles

July meet just over a week away

Just a reminder that the July meet is just over a week away.  Come and learn how to use some of the newer materials to weather a building.  Bring a building and try your hand at weathering it.  Look forward to seeing your there.  Doors will open at 10 AM (this is an update).

Richard Hendrickson Passes Away

There are modelers and then there are influential modelers who by their knowledge and there abilities change the direction of the hobby.  Richard Hendrickson was an influential modeler.  He contributed to many areas of the hobby with his area being freight cars.  The list of articles and books is over a hundred.  His expertise in things Santa Fe is documented in the articles and books. An early participant in the RPM movement.  He was instrumental in pushing the hobby to more prototype fidelity in freight cars.  We wish to say thanks to Richard and give our condolences to his wife Sandra. For a fuller remembrance of Richard Hendricksen see Tony Thompson's SP blog

Hands On Weathering Clinic July 12th in Charlottesville

Rail Tales in Charlottesville will be hosting the JRD for a presentation on weathering followed by an opportunity to use the same materials on your own building.  Your building should be painted and if plastic it should be sealed prior to coming to the clinic.  If you are coming to the Clinic only no reservation required, but if you are going to take part in the hands on portion then RSVP is required.  Weathering materials will be provided for JRD Members at no charge.  Non JRD members and guests will be asked to contribute $1 to cover materials. Reservation: Date: July 12th Place: Rail Tales in Charlottesville Time: 10 AM to 1 PM - Doors open at 930 AM Reservation Required if bringing a building

JRD Facebook Group

Yes folks we have a Facebook group. It came to be after much delay about a week ago.  There are already over a dozen members whom include many folks on our Yahoo Group.  Each of these are different avenues to the same end.  We wish to build community for Model Railroaders in the James River Division.  Many will participate in one or even both.  Hopefully the Facebook group will open us up to others who would not find us otherwise.  Come join us and explore Model Railroading.

Potomac Division Mini-Con

The Potomac Division will a mini-con next month in Annandale.  There is a meeting fee but it looks to have several good speakers and interesting topics. See the website for more details.

Meeting Goals for the next 2 years

   Starting in July 2014 and going through June 2016 I hope to have 5 meetings in the July 2014 - June 2015 year and the same in the July 2015 - June 2016 year of the JRD.  These will be distributed geographically with 2 in Richmond, 1 in Charlottesville/Lake Monticello, 1 in Lynchburg and 1 in Fredericksburg/North of Richmond.  These should allow us to roughly mirror the geographic distribution of the JRD with a goal of raising participation in each area.  I will try to schedule around other events that tap into our active membership with a stated goal of the 2nd Saturday for a meeting day.      If you have thoughts or ideas about where we should meet including particular dates in particular locations, facilities, topics, clinics and contests please let me know soon. Philip Taylor

Tidewater Meeting Invitation to JRD Members

The Tidewater Division is holding their June 21st meeting at the Army Transportation Museum on Fort  Eustis  again this year.  The meeting will start at 10 AM.  We would like to invite the members of your Division to join us.  The clinic will be presented by one of our members, and as before we are arranging a tour of the museum and the train yard there.  We hope you folks can join us. Sincerely, Gary Brown Superintendent

Meeting in Lynchburg

The JRD had a small but interested crowd in Lynchburg for a meeting.  Landon gave a clinic on how to add water quickly and very inexpensively to a layout for use with a moveable barge. After the Clinic elections were held for the July 2014 to June 2016 term with the following elected to serve: Superintendent - Philip Taylor Asst Superintendent - Rick Lull Clerk - Don Wells Paymaster - Jerry Ritter Next scheduled meeting is September 20th

3rd Layout Tour

Bob Burke's Sandy Creek & Southern will be our 3rd layout tour at the April 5th meeting of the JRD.  Bob's layout actually has 2 railroads on it with one being the Sandy Creek (freelanced) and the Southern.  This 1000 plus sq ft layout is fully signaled with CTC and operates with 2 Dispatchers when a full crew is available. As always times and directions will be available at the meeing

The AP&W by Luis May - Layout Tour #2

Luis describes his AP&W layout as following The AP&W is a modern-era layout set in the fictitious southwestern Pennsylvania town of Hillsdale. The layout is a modified oval, with a split yard in front and the town in back. Since there are no industries, the action is mostly in the yard, with passing trains rolling through. It's not an "operating" layout, but a "photo-op" layout! Look for to seeing it and taking some photos

Layout Tour #1 - Chris Wiley

Courtesty of Chris Wiley Chesapeake and Ohio Railway’s James River Subdivision in N Scale Researching, searching, and researching this section of the C&O is a big part of what the hobby is all about for me.  Simply put, I am attempting to model parts of the C&O Railway’s James River Subdivision…its scenery, industry, freight traffic, etceteras. The Setting is August 1957 on C&O Railway’s James River Subdivision.  The island style layout is being constructed in a 25 x 26 foot room.  The track plan is based on the prototype – single track mainline with scattered passing sidings, yards, industrial spurs, and a branch line.  And yes, the rails were pretty much laid on top of the canal towpath, aqueducts and culverts built by the canal company in the 1830’s (many of which are still in use by CSX Transportation). The Trains – Prototype operations are the ultimate goal.  The main function of this lin

Water is not Water and Paint is not Paint

JRD Meet Summary from February 5th This past Saturday was a very good JRD meet near Zion Crossroads, VA.  The two clinics cleared up the misconception that water is water and paint is paint. Gerard Fitzgerald cleared up the what most modelers assume in relation to what goes into the boiler of a steam locomotive is just water.  Gerard gave the history of how railroads and in particular the C&O began in the 1920s in studying and treating the water that was put in the tender.  With an average of 5 lbs of solids per 1000 gallons it would not take long for impurities to accumulate and impair the efficiency of steam locomotives.  The growth of the treatment plants was in the 1920s which could be as simple as a storage shed and as large as the storage tanks themselves.  Several photos of the different types of treatment plants for both the C&O and the N&W and Gerry gave modeling ideas which may be incorporated into a future how-to model the infrastructure clinic.  The audien

Meeting Reminder

Date: 8 February 2014 Place: Bybee's Road Baptist Church, 4989 Bybee's Church Road, Troy, VA 22974 Directions Take I64 to Zion Crossroads -Exit 136 Take US15 South to US 250 (0.4 miles) Go East (Left Turn) on US 250 Go 1.1 miles and turn right on Bybee Rd (SR 607) Go 1.1 miles and turn right on Bybee Church Rd (SR 613) Church is on the Right in 0.5 miles Enter in either side doors MAP LINK Time: 9 AM to 10 AM - Set up and Sign In 10 AM to Noon - Meeting Noon to 1230 PM - Clean Up Clinic 1: C&O Water in the Steam Era Clinic 2: Weathering with Valejo Paints Contest: Truck Tractor/Trailer with a detailed load Lunch: Bull Session at local restaurant Layout Tours: George Gaige & Len Bozza

Layout Tour 2

Our 2nd layout tour this Saturday will be courtesy of Len Bozza who has a fun Toy Train Layout.  The layout has made the local Fluvanna Review which has both a description and some photos.  We will see this Saturday.   The Meetings Page of the blog has directions and the agenda

George Gaige's Layout Tour

George Gaige is one of our open house participants this meeting.  George won awards at last years NRMA National for black & white photos of his layout.   George was recently in the January 2014 Model Railroader Trackside Photos (page 90).  The HO Scale layout occupies almost the entire basement.  George will be open from 1 to 3 for JRD members and guests.  Directions will be given at the meeting.

JRD April Meeting Announcement

The April Meeting of the JRD will take on the 5th at Fort Hill UMC in Lynchburg, VA.  Details to Follow

Reminder of the Feb 8th Meeting

It is just over two weeks to the next JRD meeting on February 8th.  We will be meeting near Zion Crossroads at the Bybee's Road Baptist Church.  Details and Directions are found on the Meetings page.  There will be at least one open house after the meeting.

Next RPM meet in Valley Forge

Next RPM is in Valley Forge The next RPM (Railway Prototype Modelers) meet in the MER is in Valley Forge, PA from March 28th to 30th.  This RPM rotates location so this time it is in eastern Pennsylvania.  For more information check out the RPM-Valley Forge site

Prototype Meets and what people bring

Two of the major buzzes in the hobby today are RPM (Railway Prototype Modeler) meets and OPs sessions.  In this post I will talk about the first and leave OPs till later. The two largest RPM Meets are Cocoa Beach and Naperville as they are commonly discussed among the modelers.  These meets are not just for the super modelers though they attract some of the best.  You may have wondered what sort of models show up at these events.  One of the participants at the last weekends Cocoa Beach event has published his photos.  Take a look and think about what you can do. Cocoa Beach Photos

Bring and Brag Table or more than the contest

There is more reasons to bring models than just the contest.  Not everyone does this sessions tractor trailer with a custom load as part of their modeling but we all do models.  This is why we have a "Bring, Show and Share" table.  The table is for you to bring a model, show the model and share what you have done. Pick something off the shelf and bring it.  If you don't think the model is particularly great but would like to improve it then bring as an improvement project and ask for suggestions.  We can all pick up new techniques and tips along with getting to know each other better through our models. 

Clinic 1 - C&O and Water


Earl Smallshaw Passes Away

Well known HO and HOn3 model railroader Earl Smallshaw passed away on January 3rd.  Earl was published in MR, RMC, LDSIG and NG&SLG and had given clinics at the 1993 NMRA national meet.  A short biography and a link to his layout site can be found here: Our Condolences to his family