Division One Web Site Railroad Item of the Month View from the Cab From the Editor's Desk Upcoming Meeting Show & Tell Signal Box Classifieds
Vol #58
February 2020

LogoTrain Order

Train Order

Division One of the North Central Region of the National Model Railroad Assoc.
Our mission is to promote education and fellowship through the sharing of information and the promotion of the world's greatest hobby. - Model Railroading.

Railroad Item of the Month

Michigan Lines Railroad. Brook and Jay Qualman. HO-Scale. Picture taken by me during the 2019 NCR Convention.


Paul Marsden

View from the Cab


At the January meeting, I introduced an idea for a new activity for sharing our modeling experiences and expertise with one another. I don't know quite yet what to call it. "Workshops?" "Special interest groups?" "Home clinics?" The idea began with the realization that there are things some of us would like to learn more about, but not all of us. This is quite normal. We have diverse interests (or no interest in a particular subject), or we are at different places in our modeling careers. But at any given time, I think there may be several of us who would like to learn much more about a particular modeling skill, technology, or technique. So what would it take to pursue such an interest? First, we need proposed topics shared by a few members. Second, we need a "facilitator" willing to provide the time, place, and preparation to meet. He does not need to be an expert on the subject, just have some knowledge and be willing to lead discussion. Ideally, such a group would be a mixed balance of some who need info and others who have some info. In a smaller group setting like this, we have the potential to be more hands-on than in our regular Division One meetings. A group could meet once, a few times, or even become an ongoing special interest group. Some topics to consider include airbrushing, DCC, electronics, signaling, weathering, scratch-building, operations, 3D printing, computer graphics for modeling, trackwork, scenery building, and so on. Some of these could be broken down further into much more specific topics if the interest is there. In fact, a few folks might gather one time to learn about a member's specific modeling technique, like laying ballast, or applying decals, or making magnetic uncouplers. I believe this format has the potential to take off and lead to a sweeping new network of collaboration within Division One. I don't have all the answers, I'm just casting some vision here. I ask you to think about it, visualize what it could look like, and talk it up. Tell us what you want to know more about, or what you'd like to share with others. Suggest ways to make this work, because your ideas matter.

Last month in this column I told you I'd been working hard on structures for my layout and have completed six detailed buildings since Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to sharing with you what I learned at the February 28th meeting. I'll have all six on display, along with lots of pics onscreen, techniques, and parts recommendations. Got some very cool LED lighting tricks too, so come early (doors open at 6, gavel drops at 7), and remember to bring something to share for Show-n-Tell!

See ya on down the line,

Dave McMullian,

From the Editors Desk


I promised last month that I would have enough items for Show and Tell for the next couple of meetings. I guess I should not make such commitments until I actually have the items done. I was moving along well with what I wanted to show at the next meeting. That was until I dislocated my little finger on my left hand. I did not realize how important the little finger was until now. I can still type, within reason, and I was looking for something for the Train Order, so you can still see what I am working on.

I was really impressed with the show and tell last month, and now I hope someone stands up to takes my spot.

Paul Marsden,

Upcoming Meeting


Can you believe it's already the end of February? It's modeling season and time flies when you are having fun I guess.

At the February 28 meeting of the Black Swamp Division, Dave McMullian will present a clinic that will study six structures he has built over the past 12 weeks. Two are popular Atlas plastic kits and the other four are laser-cut wood kits from three manufacturers. We will look at some of the construction techniques Dave used and some new tricks he found. Two of the buildings are lighted by some excellent LED circuits he recently discovered, and Dave will show you how to produce sharp stained glass or painted windows for little cost. Other topics include roofing materials, porch details, interior scenes, window treatments, and figure painting.


Have an idea for a clinic? Please let us know! Did you know clinics presented at our meetings can earn you points toward your MMR? You do not have to be a perfect modeler to give a clinic. We learn from our mistakes and mistakes are good to share especially when you can show others how to overcome them.


We want feedback on what everyone would like to see in future clinics. Please drop us an e-mail or contact one us at the meeting.

Marshall Stull,
Assistant Superintendent

January 2020 Show and Tell

Your pictures could be here next month!!!
I appologize, the for some reason I did a really bad job of taking pictures last month. If you do not see your item, it is because of the picture I took, or lack of. It is always my intention to showcase what you bring in.

Paul Marsden

Ratio Plastic Goods Shed

Dave McMullian

Bar Mills kit modified into a Rexall drug store

Norris Hinds. Turnout device

Jim Wolsiffer's "ScaleTrains" SD40T that he acquired.

John Gardner. The first engine he built.

Marshall Stull. Trees from his clinic.

Randy Bosscher

SN3 cars he modified.

Signal Box

Last month you saw my goods building, and how I needed to light the building because of interior. My next project is a signal box, which I bought an extra details kit for the interior. Sometimes I wonder what I am thinking.

I put both models together (signal box still in progress) so you can get the idea of how much smaller the signal box is compared the the goods building. I also show you the goods building from underneath so you can see the LED light bar that I used in the building, and you can see the straw the wires go through in the corner.
Here are a few more pictures of the signal box. You can see through the windows some of the details inside.
With the top down view, you can see the details take up a lot of space. When I added the signalman, I realized I had to not add some of the details, it was just too tight, and I still wanted to light the interior. My issue, the lighting that I used with the goods building, and other LEDS I have, the lights are just too big, and how could I hide the wires. The straw method would just not work. Onto the internet I went. The picture on the right, their is a rectangle in front of the building, that is the roof trim. I added the bar into the middle, thinking I could attach the LED to it.

What I found was 402 LEDS. They are so small you cannot really see them, and the wires are so small compared to my other LEDS. I have painted the wires the same color as the backwall to try and hide them. If you look closely their is a hole in the floor, between the chair and the stove, and I am going to try and run the wires behind the stove chimney and attach the LED to the bar.

What do I have to do once I can hold things steady, and without pain. I have to finish the roof, and add the balcony that runs around 3 sides of the building. Then I will see what I can do with the mess of the stairs.


2019-2020 Schedule

13th September, 2019
25th October, 2019
22nd November, 2019
24th January, 2020
28th February, 2020
27th March, 2020
24th April, 2020
22nd May, 2020
All Meetings start at 7pm

Remember we are hosting the regional convention in 2020. We can never have too many volunteers. Let Dave McMullian know if you would like to help

Need to know where we meet? Click here for the address and a map
Division One is a 100% NMRA membership organization. For insurance purposes, you are required to be a member of NMRA. Membership in NMRA grants you membership in both the North Central Region and Division One.