Newsletter 4/15

Newsletter Column Index

April 2015



APLogo_V17Have I mentioned I sometimes like to jump from project to project before finishing? Well, it seems like I’ve been waiting a long time for a few detail parts so I could finish my Cars Certificate. In the meantime, I received a kit I’ve been waiting on for a very long time. This kit will help with a couple other certificates so I decided to work on the main building. It felt good to get back working on a building. After a few days of really getting into it, guess what came in the mail? If you guessed those detail parts, you were right! I couldn’t believe it, after waiting so long and finally really switching gears, they showed up! Anyway I worked a couple more days on the building until I was at a somewhat decent spot for taking a break from it. Now, it was back to working on those cars.

I don’t mind jumping around a bit but sometimes when you are in a good groove you want to stay at it for awhile. Well, I know I’ll get back to that building soon but I have to finish up the last details on these cars. Four have to be scratch-built and they were mostly done. I was waiting on some trucks and the final detail parts for the brakes. I need eight for a different project (which I will describe here in a future article.) For now, though, I just need to finish those four, plus the dreaded passenger car requirement.

I didn’t ever think of it as a big issue but I guess some people don’t like passenger cars? Nearly every railroad had them so it makes sense to include it as part of the requirements. Besides, one of them main reasons for the Achievement Program is to help make us well-rounded modelers. If I don’t like passenger cars, it gives me a chance to expand my horizons and build at least one. Personally, I like passenger cars but had to figure how I was going to handle this requirement. I had nearly finished a scratch built Camp Car some time ago. Could I use that? The answer was no, not really. A Drover’s Caboose could be used but I didn’t already have one of those. Since I didn’t need another scratch built car I decided to check what kits I had already.

I found a couple of passenger car kits in my supply of un-built kits. Now came the decision of how to super-detail it to qualify for more than just putting together a “blue-box” kit. The easiest answer is to detail the interior. I looked for pictures on the Internet as well as recalling my experiences riding old-time coaches. I found a set of unpainted figures that came with benches. Painted right, the benches could work for seats inside the car. How about adding lighting to the inside so one could see the work I’ve done? I’d have to update the wheels, which I do anyway to all my kits, so I could have electrical pickup. All of that, plus adding glazing to the windows (It was such a simple kit it didn’t even include window glass!) gave me plenty of work to enhance the kit to be a fine piece of rolling stock.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! As I am wrapping up finishing my cars, the one major thing left is the paperwork. Well, I’ve taken photos along the way and that helps me remember some of the details to include when filling out the paperwork. It really isn’t that big of a deal but I think people get bogged down in the fact that they have to do it. It’s really just one more step to do that isn’t even as hard as building a model. I think part of the problem is that people would rather be building a model than filling out paperwork and that’s the real issue.

Speaking of paperwork, I’d like to congratulate Jack for finally finishing his Golden Spike Award! I believe he, like so many of us do, get bogged down in the details a little too much. I’m sure if you ask him, he will say it wasn’t that hard. I know for a fact that he feels great to have it finally done! I know that feeling, Jack! It’s good to have smaller goals to help reach that big one. Hopefully I’ll have your certificate back from the Region in time for the next Division Event so I can present it to you. I know I’ll be watching for your name in the next issue of the NMRA Magazine. I know that with Jack, he for sure can say that we can enjoy the journey together!

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