Category Archives: Distractions

Illinois Terminal Class B motor

AJ Chier sent a few images of his HO scale Illinois Terminal Class B motor. Here’s AJ with some details on this fine model.

I have been a traction fan, both 1:1 and modeling, since my first trip to the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California, in the early 1990s. Two years ago I was drawn back into the hobby, after a decade-long break, by the allure of DCC control and the advent of 3D printing. I learned a basic free web-based 3D design program called “TinkerCad” and began to design model kits.

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Grain bins on the NKP

Photo by Tony Koester.

There’s a slight breeze but the air is hazy with humidity on this August day in Metcalf, Illinois. A dull cicada chorus surges to drown out other noises as we await Nickel Plate timetable train 49 to pass. A B&O switcher has paused to obey the signal in anticipation. The grain bins will be full soon as another local harvest approaches on the calendar.

A distant whistle pierces the air as the westbound blows for a crossing east of town. It’s time to move down to the tracks with the new Leica and capture a Berk on the mainline.

This is Metcalf on Tony Koester’s HO scale Nickel Plate Road, Third Subdivision layout. Metcalf is a town on the east side of the state just north of U.S. Route 36 where NKP’s St Louis line and B&O’s Indy/Decatur line cross. In the northwest corner of the crossing were located dozens of standard size “Butler” grain bins. Tony’s modeling the scene using several of our grain bins. As of now the bins aren’t painted. They’re in the natural grey casting color. We have plenty of these bins in stock on our Scenery Stuff page.

Train Fest 2015 Report

The eastbound Santa Fe El Capitan rolls through Willow Springs. The train is by Bob Kosic. Photo by Bob Kosic.
The eastbound Santa Fe El Capitan rolls through Willow Springs. The train is by Bob Kosic. Photo by Bob Kosic.

Peter Hall attended Train Fest last month and has filed the following report with the Resin Car Works home office. Bob Kosic sent along additional photos and details on the Mod-U-Trak HO scale layout. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

The venue was the Milwaukee State Fair Park’s new indoor arena. The area is about a football field wide and three fields long – huge. The crowd was over 19,000 for the two-day event. I hadn’t been to a model railroad event this large in a long time!

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RPM Events


As we have entered October, we should remind readers of upcoming Railroad Prototype Modeler (RPM) events. The Naperville RPM conference is a couple weeks away on October 22 to October 24 in Lisle, IL. Check the website for more details on the presentation schedule, hotel, and other details.

This is the 22nd annual event in metro-Chicago, making it the longest running RPM meet in the country. This was originally started by my good friend, the late Martin Lofton of Sunshine Models. It is a tribute to Martin’s efforts that this RPM meet continues and that many other RPM meets have sprouted across the country.


If you are unable to attend the Naperville event, please consider one of these upcoming meets taking place in the next six months.
Garden State RPM in Scotch Plains, NJ – November 14 & 15
Prototype Rails in Cocoa Beach, FL – January 7 – 9, 2016
RPM-Valley Forge in Malvern, PA – March 18 – 20, 2016

Attending just one of these RPM events will energize your model building and understanding of the prototype.