January Meet Recap

Merchantville Station

As a new twist to our Division’s traditional joint meet with the New Jersey Division on January 13th, we met in a new venue, the Grace Episcopal Church’s auditorium in Merchantville, NJ. While the venue was different, our gracious hosts, as usual, provided refreshments, coffee, and donuts, as well as swap tables, a model contest, and more.

Starting us out, Jersey member Pete Suhmann offered his clinic titled, “Off Layout Car Float Staging.” Pete developed his ideas for a flexible staging of rolling stock that you may find usable on your model railroad. He explained how and why a small layout can benefit from the addition of a “car-float staging” feature to a yard. He showed examples of prototype operations as well as methods building car floats from construction lumber, and float bridge and apron. He demonstrated a method for storing the car floats and transporting them without accidently dropping the cars and damaging them. The floats actually are drawers used to store his rolling stock that provide a modeler with a creative way of staging.

During the intermission, announcements, and recognition, our Achievement Program Manager Dave Messer, MMR, presented certificates to Nick Brownsberger for Electrical and Scenery. Nick is yet another of our members working diligently toward earning his Master Model Railroader.
Our second clinician, a former Jersey and now Philly member, Bob Koury presented “Creating Focal Point Trees,” a clinic that described his various approaches to modeling trees. In designing the scenery, Bob explained how trees can make a scene on your model layout pop and help add realism to your pike. He described how he separates trees and other scenic vegetation into two categories, mass vegetation covering large areas of your layout and focal point vegetation. Bob models the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific in California. His talk focused on how to think about and create focal point trees with various kinds of foliage typically found along the right of ways of these two great railroads. His approach provided model railroaders with another way to think about building scenery into a model railroad.

The afternoon featured open house tours at some excellent layouts. In addition, Grace Church is also home to the Cherry Valley Model Railroad Club that was open to visitors. Incidentally, for those interested readers, the club will host an “All Scale Swap Meet and Open House!” on Saturday, May 19, 2018 that is open to all.

A gracious thanks to New Jersey Division Superintendent Bill Grosse, Jr., Director of Clinics John Gallagher, their crew, and all our friends at the NJ Division, for inviting us and hosting the January Meet. This coming April 7th we will meet at the Southampton Community Center in Southampton, PA for another round of interesting clinics, vendors, and displays. Any model you might have in any stage of construction or prototype that you want to display or share, please bring it with you! Should be fun and we’ll see you then!

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