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I’ve been researching for my upcoming clinic on the State of Proto:87, which I’ll be giving in Sacramento next week, and found a couple of Aussie sites that indicated that this site hasn’t been changing much. What the? If there’s one thing I try to do, it’s post here occasionally. It usually doesn’t appear on the home page because I never particularly considered the home page mine. So, yes the homepage didn’t change for years, but the blog has been updated at least every few months.

Speaking of blogs, if you’re actively building a layout right now in Proto:87, and are looking for a place to put a blog, I’d be happy to host it here. Now, I’ve never put much effort into making this Drupal installation much to write home about, and it’s a couple of versions old, but if you would like to blog here, drop me a note and I’ll get it set up for you.

Incidentally, I found some interesting sites while I was researching for my clinic. You can find them in the Links and Products sections of this site.

Proto:87 International Meet

The meet was a huge success! Many thanks to Dave Doe for putting it together, and to Rail 2009 for being such gracious hosts.

I’ve posted a few photos on flickr. I spent most of the weekend demonstrating scratchbuilding techniques in styrene, and delivered two clinics.

Here are the highlights:

  • There were 50 registrants from nine countries
  • 13 Proto:87 layouts were in attendance, including a Fremo setup of over 40 metres in length (about a third of their total length).
  • There were seven construction and demo tables

Overall, I think everyone learned something and had fun in the process.

Proto:87 International Meet

The details are still being ironed out, but Dave Doe is putting together another meet in the Netherlands (the last one was 10 years ago). Here is the website where you can find more official information: However, here is the preliminary lineup:

Confirmed Clinics:

  • John Wright: the reasoning, development and building of Federal street.
  • Ed McCamey: wheel and rail standards and their interaction.
  • Iain Rice: in search of realism
  • Rene Gourley: Measure Once, Cut Twice: Simple techniques improve your model-building while saving time.
  • Rene Gourley: Measure Never, Cut Twice: Use your computer to improve your model-building while saving time.
  • Others are in negotiation

Confirmed Layouts:

  • Fremo:87 Glottertalbahn
  • Rue de la glacière
  • ClubProto :Entre P.O et PLM
  • Obbekær
  • Quai 87 / Kaai 87
  • Bodesmeer
  • Lilleskog 1927
  • Special guest layout Pempoul (actually 7mm narrow gauge, but the one layout in MRJ of the past year I really wanted to see)

Confirmed Demos:

  • Rene Gourley: I’ll be demoing ideas from my clinics
  • Ed: building track
  • John Wright
  • Emmanuel NOUAILLIER: buildings
  • Edwin Hoender Lokwerkstatt: DRG (HO pur)

For Trade:

  • Protoscale ( Huet trains)
  • and others

CAoRM Victoria and Caboose Update

Last weekend (Victoria Day weekend) was the Canadian Association of Railway Modellers’ ( annual national convention. This year, Victoria played host on the University of Victoria campus. For a Canuck like me, and especially as a BCer, there was a lot to choose from in the program. I attended some excellent workshops on topics such as the Dolly Varden Mines Railway (an old fave), mining in the Boundary District of BC, Mines in general, PGE modelling and scratchbuilding locomotives in brass.  Overall, there was more going on than anyone could hope to take in; thank goodness I registered so late, all the tours were sold out.

I delivered two clinics: one on scratchbuilding and another on Proto:87. Each was attended by about 30 people. I had the most fun with the scratchbuilding clinic, which covered much of the material from my mini-series of articles in Railroad Model Craftsman (RMC). For this clinic, I prepared some basic powerpoint, but spent the bulk of the time demonstrating through a live video feed. It’s alway fun to see people start to understand my techniques, which revolve mostly around getting value out of each measurement you make.

The P87 clinic was about recent advances in Proto:87, and covered many of Andy Reichert’s excellent products (see This clinic was more straightforward, being mostly powerpoint and questions. How did we ever do clinics before Powerpoint?

For the show, I managed to do quite a bit of work on the caboose. Sadly, my camera is eating batteries too quickly these days, and so, for the sake of the environment, I have no pictures. Suffice it to say that the body is all but complete, as are the end railings. I had rushed the cupola so I could show it at my clinic, but I made a bit of a bodge of it, so I re-did it. Now it looks pretty good, or at least sufficiently good for me. I’m about to install the windows, then I’m down to detailing out the underframe and painting.

I’m working on buying a digital SLR with the proceeds from my articles in RMC, and once that’s in play, I’ll get some more pics up to share with you. I wonder how many of you there are, anyway?