Saturday, January 14, 2017

Organizing Tips 1 - Styrene Sheets

I cannot emphasize the pleasure of having my 'stuff' situated for ease of access. I, as perhaps many of you, have acquired many different styles and diverse sheets of styrene. In the earlier days I was experimenting scratch building everything from structures to rolling stock. I had used both wood and styrene to find what I prefer given the different advantages and challenges of each. Researching the different master modelers' ideas, often recommended was to have on hand a wide variety of materials to avoid time lost either traveling to the hobby shop or waiting for the mail from on-line purchases. Inevitably I would need something that I did not have on hand. My conundrum was how to organize the packages which were in a box and required a constant rifling through to find what I needed. Here is one solution that you may find useful. This is a left over large 3-ring binder from training materials for my work. Staples provided the plastic inserts and wallah! I had my organizer!
Seeing this as a viable way to hold and organize, also filed were all the various paper products from Miniature Plant. I was going to add their link here, however, it appears that they no longer exist as their name is up for sale! This is one most important reason that if you find something you like, PURCHASE EXTRAS! This company was fabulous because you could purchase a sheet, download the PDF and print as many sheets as needed.
However, the general idea of using a binder is something to consider as you look to become organized. Hope you find this helpful.

Organizing Tips 2 - Building Sheets and Scale Lumber

If you follow my blog you know that the majority of buildings are scratch built. This requires a variety of styrene as well as scale lumber materials. At the very least, if not organized, looking for what I or my crew need is cumbersome and an inefficient use of time. At worst it is very frustrating combing through boxes or piles of packages. Keeping building materials organized is key to expedite ease and efficiency. I had a common situation, as many model railroaders, limited storage and wall space, especially since the ceiling is cathedral-like and at an angle. Here is one idea I came up with to separate the building materials. It is a file box with eight sections, four on both sides.
On the left half or section of this filer I have inserted both styrene and paper walls, roof and flooring materials. They are organized in large zip locks.
As you can see, each zip lock is labeled. Others include Shingles and Roofing. This makes the 'search' effortless. On the right side or section I insert the variety of Northeastern, Midwest Scale Lumber and Evergreen Styrene Strip material. 
Above these packages of scale lumber and styrene strips I filed thick styrene sheets. The file box is thick plastic and easily attached to the wall. These can be purchased from Staples or other office supply houses.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Turnbale Discussions Episode 4, Part 1

July 2016 I had the great pleasure to be with Charlie Taylor at his Memphis and Charleston RR. Charlie has been working diligently in preparation for our American Civil War RR's 2016 meet in Memphis. He chose O scale acquiring equipment from SMR and BTS. Track is all hand laid by Charlie and turnouts were built using FastTracks templates. The line runs from Memphis and includes the towns of Huntsville, Corinth, and Chattanooga. Also featured is the "Lost Tunnel" recently located out side of Chattanooga by Charlie and Mark Brainard, an ACW RR historian. Three of the most outstanding features by Charlie are the scratch built trestles and bridges. The structures are of the most beautifully constructed by his friend CC (Charles Curro) who has evolved into a master builder in his own right. His head is slightly visible in the background. Charlie's nephew, Will Shirey, is the gifted artist who painted the backdrops. Will's art here was a key element of his portfolio that got him an acceptance into a premier art school in California. 
This is a brief 'interview' with Charlie Taylor in his layout room. Charlie, by the way, was a bit reluctant to do a more in-depth, formal interview so we took what we could get.You can see more photos of Charlie's layout. Go to "Labels" on right side of the blog. Click on Memphis and Charleston RR.