Tag Archives: prototype

Prototype modeling vs. prototype-based freelancing

No. 45, the westbound KC Local, behind a USRA light Mikado, hustles into Metcalf, Ill., on Tony Koester’s HO tribute to the Nickel Plate Road’s St. Louis Division in 1954. The LCL boxcar behind the rider car looks like a blue-box kit, but its heritage is the last thing on the minds of the local’s crew as they plan their work in town and watch out for superior eastbound trains.

Tony Koester, editor of Kalmbach’s annual Model Railroad Planning and the Trains of Thought columnist and a contributing editor for Model Railroader, responded to an inquiry about his views of modeling a specific prototype vs. using one or more prototypes as the basis for a plausibly freelanced model railroad. Here’s Tony with more.

We keep trying to draw a line in the sand between prototype modeling and any form of freelancing. In my view, that’s both a waste of time and usually based upon faulty assumptions.

Let’s start with prototype modeling. As most of us who have done this to any extent have discovered, we are almost always faced with the choice of not getting much done, often owing to a lack of “complete” information, or the desire to make progress. “Analysis paralysis” is a very real aspect of prototype modeling. Many a grand plan has come to ruin on its shores.

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Layout Design with Nelson Moyer, part 5

Let There Be Light!

Nelson Moyer returns with another summary of his layout design and build. This time out, he presents some great info on layout lighting. Here’s Nelson with his update. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

Part of growing older is visual impairment, and at seventy-four “my eyes grow dim, I cannot see.” Even with my specs. Layout lighting is important to me because I need see in order to lay and wire track, add scenery, structures and details, and to be able to read car numbers if I’m going to operate. It would also be nice to see all the numerical data and chalk marks on my freight cars, since I went to great pains to put them there. The question was, how would I light the layout?

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Layout Design with Nelson Moyer, part 4

A Septuagenarian’s Approach to Layout Wiring

Nelson Moyer is back with an installment on wiring his layout. Click on any image here to review a larger size.

I’m getting old, I wear trifocals, and I have severe astigmatism that is only partially corrected. The most unpleasant thing about building a layout as far as I’m concerned is to have to work under it. I have sought to minimize the amount of wiring I have to do underneath the layout by doing as much as possible at the workbench.

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