With fall well and truly under way, it must be time for BC’s biggest model train show. I spent most of Sunday at the “Craftsman’s Corner,” demonstrating that some of us still make models, despite the chequebook appearance of the hobby. This year, I had the opportunity to share the table with Mike Barone and Rob Kirkham, who are both excellent company, and made for a hugely enjoyable afternoon.
Now, habitually, not much actual craftsmanship gets done at the Craftsman’s Corner, and what little does happen often needs to get taken apart later due to inferiority. Even so, I optimistically filled a RubberMaid container full of tools and supplies, though not, as it happens, exactly the tools and supplies needed. 622 requires too many tools and supplies right now, and so I took the flat cars, which last appeared on my modelling desk around this time last year. It may be time to stop teasing John Green about bringing the same snowshed back year after year.
The aim for the day was to make a start on the brakes and other underframe details. Considering I had a curious audience for much of the shift, I did quite well. Starting from bare stringers, the three cars now have needle beams, bolsters and brake cylinders in place. I am trying a new idea for the air lines, making the train line out of brass, but the branch to the triple valve out of copper. The idea is to make it easy to form the bends in the branch, and I guess it worked; time will tell if it is sufficiently robust.
The number one question for the day? “How do you make a train?” The answer: “One piece at a time, just like eating an elephant.”