What is scratchbuilding and why it matters

When I entered my passenger car in the contest at the 2011 NMRA national convention in Sacramento, I confess I was aiming to stir things up a bit. I knew the rules wouldn’t know what to make of my model, which I had designed in SketchUp and printed via Shapeways. The model earned a decent […]


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Burnstown Road Farm

For several years, one of my background tasks has been to look for inspiration for the scene beyond the roundhouse. I took a whole lot of pictures on our cross-Canada tour in 2018, but never found exactly what I was looking for, which is a pasture with a hill. These are important to tell the […]

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Project Garage

You’ve gotta love foam core and hot glue. This combination is so quick and forgiving that you can test almost any idea with a ruler, a sharp knife and a few minutes of spare time. And so, when I found myself burying the modelling desk once again with pieces of 622, I decided to try […]

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Boiler details installed

I left most of the details off the boiler until after it was painted. This enabled me to paint the boiler blue to represent planished iron, rather than black. It’s possible that by 1905, 622 was painted black, but I confess I like the blue look. Installing the details was a delicate operation because most […]

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Testing a new toy

My brother likes to get gifts that he would like to play with himself. So, when he learned that there is such a thing as static grass, well guess what I received for Christmas. I painted up a square of Styrofoam that has been lurking in a corner of the garage for half a decade […]

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St Lawrence Division Clinic

I’m deeply flattered that Malcolm Vant asked me to perform at the St Lawrence Division clinic day next Saturday. I’m also deeply shocked that it starts at six in the morning! It looks like it’s open to members of the SLD only, but the meet page lists instructions for joining if you live in that […]

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Passenger car ideas

My first passenger car was 3D printed by accident. It started with the bullnose roof, which would have been difficult to craft. When I finally had the roof drawn, I started wondering how difficult it would be to draw the rest of the car, and then I wondered how much it would cost at Shapeways, […]

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Boiler bands

Baldwin made 622’s boiler bands out of “iron,” according the erecting card. This could mean they were “planished iron,” like the rest of the boiler. I’ve interpreted it as ordinary iron, which would have been painted. As with #10, 622 sports boiler bands made from adhesive tape, painted with the same Steam Power Black as […]

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Strange paint effect

The parts for 622 received a coat of old Polly Scale steam power black, and despite the love-hate relationship I maintain with my old Pasche, it went mostly okay. The one part that came out strangely is the tender tank. This turned out with something akin to a salt stain. My best guess is it […]

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