Monday, September 12, 2016

New Technique for Scenery

After a great time of 2 foot narrow gauge in Maine last week at the 36th National Narrow Gauge Convention, I'm now motivated to start some scenery on the Jakes Creek branch. In the past, I have used several techniques for the webbing that supports the scenery. I've tried foam, chicken wire, screen wire and cardboard strips.  While all of these have their pros and cons, I thought I would try something new; drywall shims. They are already cut into strips, they are very easy to work with and readily available, plus I had a ton of these left over from house remodeling. A pack of these run around $10. Although I have always been able to get cardboard for free, it's time consuming cutting it into usable strips. I was concerned however that the shims might not hold up when they get wet.
I will mention that I do not use plaster cloth for my scenery. Years ago, a fellow modeler shared with me his technique for making scenery. Instead of using plaster cloth or paper towels, he uses dryer sheets, used ones of course. You only need two layers, because when the plaster infused dryer sheets dry they are really strong. You simply use them the same as using paper towels, plus they're free. So instead of throwing the used dryer sheets away when the laundry is finished, my wife saves them for me and has for years.
I have put on a few of the sheets in the photo and the drywall shims seem to be holding up. They really don't get that wet from dryer sheets as the sheets dry very fast. Plus there's no static cling...


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Caboose Hobbies

"All good things must come to an end..."
Caboose Hobbies in Denver was the largest model train store in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, but no longer. In July, the owners of the building decided to sell the property, probably due to Denver's booming real estate market. Instead of moving to a new location the owners (Duane and Joanna Miller) have decided to retire. I can honestly say that it has been a joy working for the Miller's. Joanna especially made every effort to treat everyone with kindness. She was sweetest boss I'll ever have.

After working at Caboose for 8 1/2 years, I will now have more time to spend on my layout. Not to mention spending more time on the upcoming 2017 National Narrow Gauge Convention that will be here next August!

There will be many things I'll miss about the store closing: employee discounts (the Caboose Hobbies salary re-cooperation plan), doughnuts or Duffy Rolls on Mondays, watching customers in the store on their very first visit with their eyes wide open (just imagine adults looking like little kids in the giant train toy store at Christmas) or talking with customers from all over the globe who have become friends over the years.

Mostly I will miss working with the wonderful people that were the Caboose Hobbies family.