By Jeff Moorman
Important note regarding meeting arrangements. For the months of February, March, and April we will be meeting downstairs in the church Fellowship Hall, not upstairs where we have been. That space is being used to temporarily house a tax service. However, the church hosts community dinners in the Fellowship Hall on the evenings we meet. Those dinners end at 7:00, so their clean-up will overlap our set-up. Therefore, we may encounter some situations where we need to be flexible.
The next Seattle-North clinic is Thursday, April 6, 2017. We will continue to explore the subject of creating layout backgrounds. And, we will test the theory that only green and mars black paints are needed to create green background foliage.
The fallen flag mini-clinic concerned the Grand Trunk Railway (GT). It was the predecessor to the Canadian National (CN), but some of its US holdings are still in operation under the Grand Truck (actually Grand Trunk Western (GTW)) moniker. The Grand Trunk Pacific (GTP) was the western arm of the GT and was one of three Canadian transcontinental routes. Did you know the GTP had a pier on the Seattle waterfront to service its steamships on Puget Sound?
We began our discussion of backdrops. It seems there may be more ways of doing a backdrop than there are of ballasting track. So, like many aspects of model railroading, when asked about what’s the best way of doing a backdrop, the answer is, “It all depends.” You first need to set the context of your backdrop and determine what you are trying to accomplish with it. Only then can you start making the big decisions, like a painted versus a photographic backdrop (or perhaps some hybrid form). Or will the backdrop be flat or 3-D (or maybe some of each). Another thing to consider is what level of detail needs to be depicted in the backdrop. A backdrop which is much more detailed than the foreground may detract from the trains. But, it cannot be too simple either.
We viewed a YouTube video by Chris Lyon called “Painting Backdrops for Large Layouts, Part 1”. This demonstrated a slightly different approach to doing backdrops, as well as providing a common reference point for further discussion.
There were 3 contributors for show and tell.
- Dennis T brought 3 N scale buildings assembled from laser cut wood kits. One was a saloon, one a small station, and one a more generic structure he had first started in a make and take clinic some time ago.
- Bob K brought another newly acquired HO 4-6-6-4, although this time in brass. The Tenshodo box label says it is a Northern Pacific Z6. However, Bob seems to think that since it is an oil burner, it is likely of SP&S heritage. Either way it is a nice model.
- Thom K had several little vehicles he had found at a recent swap meet. But his big discovery was a copy of the book “Express, Mail & Merchandise Service” by Jeff Wilson (published by Kalmbach). Clinic regulars know of Thom’s affinity for REA operations in the Pacific Northwest and he says this book is much broader in scope than what he has previously presented to us.
Directions: We meet at the Ronald United Methodist Church, 17839 Aurora Avenue North, Shoreline, WA. That is on the west side of Aurora (State Route 99) between 175th and 185th Streets and more specifically, between the Cadillac dealer on the south and Deseret Industries to the north. Going southbound on Aurora, make a right-hand turn into the church driveway immediately after passing the Deseret location. The parking lot is at the rear of the church. From that lot go up the steps to the main entrance. Once inside, the room where we meet is up to your left. [Per the note above in February, March, and April you can follow these instructions, but go down the stairs once inside. Or you can enter the lower level door on the far left from the rear parking lot.]
Meetings are the first Thursday of each month, September to May. In June we often do something different, so there is no “regular” meeting. Doors open at 7:00 PM and the program will start at 7:30.
Remember the next regular evening meeting is April 6, 2017. The next clinic after that will be May 4. Hope to see you there or at least sometime on down the line.