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Train Order

Vol #68 March 2021
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

My High Street Coming Along


Paul Marsden

View from the Cab

cab As we prepare for our March meeting, I hope all of you are staying healthy and finding some optimism that we may soon be through these trying times. I don't have any idea yet when we may start meeting live again, but I sense that things are moving in the right direction. I hope you are enjoying the Zoom meetings and I want you to know that we are working hard to find new tricks and make improvements. You will find info from Marshall Stull elsewhere in this Train Order regarding this month's program.

We do have one piece of new business that only comes around every couple of years, and that's leadership changeover. Per our by-laws, our leaders serve two-year terms beginning in May. This year, the nominating committee has prepared the following slate:

  • Superintendent - Marshall Stull
  • Asst. Supt. - Bryan Burr
  • Secretary - Richard Marquardt
  • Treasurer - John Gardner
  • Trainmaster for Services - Steve Glass
  • Director - Randy Bosscher
  • Director - Dave McMullian

Marshall has done a terrific job these past two years overseeing our programming, organizing our Zoom meetings, doing Marketing for the convention, and a myriad of other tasks. His experience and skill set have prepared him well to take the helm. Bryan and Randy are new additions and will contribute fresh ideas. Richard, John, and Steve are nominated to continue the rolls they have been playing, and I am appointed by the by-laws, whereas the previous superintendent serves as a Director. At this point, there are no contested positions but it is not too late if someone else would like to run. If so, please contact me or Marshall ASAP, as we will be voting at the April meeting.

Please start thinking about what you can share at the March Show-n-Tell. Your modeling efforts, ideas, and photos are interesting and useful for all of us, and we want all we can get. As usual, you can connect a half hour before the meeting, which will officially start at 7 PM on March 26. I hope to see you there!

See ya on down the line,
Dave McMullian,

From the Editors Desk

My stock of pictures/articles is dry so you are going to see what I have been working on recently. I have been experimenting with polystyrene, card/paper kits, and if you look closely you might be able to mark out ground goop making its first apperance on my layout.

Paul Marsden,

Clinic Corner

My apologies to anyone who missed the last meeting due to connection issues!! Seems we had a mix-up on the link that was provided to everyone. We will make sure to test the published link for the correct meeting ID from now on!!

Next Zoom Meeting


Below is the invitation with links to join the March 26 meeting. Note: the "doors" (or in this case windows) open at 6:30PM so the customary getting acquainting time can occur. We will also be providing pointers on video, cameras, sound and miscellaneous issues. At 7:00PM we will begin the official meeting.
Topic: Black Swamp Division Zoom Meeting - March 26, 2021
Time: Mar 26, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/95114906608?pwd=RFJMdXZuYXhXQ3RqUzNrZUNwdmMvQT09
Meeting ID: 951 1490 6608
Passcode: 782119

One tap mobile
+16465588656,,95114906608#,,,,*782119# US (New York)
+13017158592,,95114906608#,,,,*782119# US (Washington DC)
Dial in +1 646 558 8656 US
Additional local numbers can be found at: https://zoom.us/u/abpiuWnA3O


We encourage everyone to bring something you are working on! With zoom, you can show us right on your layout. You can also share photos/video from your computer/device or just hold up the item in front of the webcam.

March Clinic

This month's clinic will be on Paper/Cardstock Models, presented by our guest Dave Miecznikowski. Dave is the owner of Clever Models, which has established a reputation for creating quality model kits that have changed people's ideas about modeling in card stock. Their collections of kits and textures are some of the best value you will find anywhere.

FUTURE CLINICS - We need feedback!!!

The April clinic is still a bit up in the air. We have a couple subjects on tap but are working with a prospective candidate to do a first-time clinic and preview for the upcoming Black Swamp Junction. Stay tuned for the next issue!!

If you have an idea for a clinic you would like to present, please get in touch with me via e-mail at mstull@marshallstull.com. Remember, doing presentations/clinics earns you points toward an Author and Volunteer Categories in the NMRA Achievement Program!

Clinic Survey


Remember, we cannot bring you the subjects you want if you do not tell us! Please click this link and make your wishes come true! FYI, you can vote for multiple subjects!

We cannot bring you the subjects you want if you do not tell us what you need! For the last few months, we have had a survey on-line for people to vote for and propose future clinic subjects. Our upcoming clinics are a result of that feedback! Please click this link and make your needs known! Remember, you can vote for multiple subjects!

Marshall Stull,
Assistant Superintendent


I decided my layout needed a station that was going to be on a curve, and I thought this was a good time to try and build my own platform. My first thought was to take some polystyrene and shape it, but then cover it with cardboard that I would paint, or some preprinted card.


As usual, I was enjoying what I was doing so much I was forgetting to take pictures. So my next set of pictures are after I have shaped the polystyrene, applied paint etc. I used a hot knife along the front, but I had an issue. I paused in the cutting and it melted more than expected. So cut some cardboard (I think a 12 pack contain of coke) to shape the platform front. I then filled the gap I created with plumbers putty. You can see the white patch in front of the building, on fig 3. After the hot knife experience, I cut the rest of the shape with a sharp knife. I initial painted the polystyrene black, so if the covering was not 100% the white it would not show through. Because I was wanting a black top finish, after the black was applied, I thought the uneven look, might look better than a smooth finish. I filled in some of the bigger holes in the surface, either been heavy with paint, or using more putty and glue. Figure 4 shows the surface after I dry brushed a few different grays into the surface


Once I was finished I went around the edge with printed brick/stone card stock, fig 5 & 6 show the platform in position, and I have started painting/covering the gound, and once I have finished that I can start puting the finishing details down, and work on the entrance to the station. If my wife has listened to me, I am hoping for some extra details for the platform for my birthday.


The station building is a kit made by Ratio.

by Paul Marsden

Cardboard Models

When I first decided to into building my own model railway, by dad bought me some card kits from a company called Metcalfe. Initially I was not thinking I was not going to use them, and just put them on a shelf. One day I decided to build one. The end result I was very disappointed in, as can be seen below, it I had gaps in the kits, and the white corners, roof edging did not impress me. So back on the shelf they went.


Now that I am on the upteemth redesign of my layout I was trying to work out what to put in a spot on the layout, I remembered my dad had bought me a brewery kit. I had read that using a marker pen, you could cover the white edges etc, so that is what was my new method. I think it looks a lot better, but my problem was the limited colors, and trying to match, and the bleed through, and the mistakes, pens are very unforgiving. In the next set of pictues of incosistent covering, and bleeding.


Next I read somewhere, that using cheap, walmart waterdown paint, espically on the edges works wonderfully. I found I could easier color match, and with the water the coverage was a lot better. I have even started adding details, the Duke of York has people in it, and i have lighting in it. I am trying to decide whether to add lighting to the building under construction.


After my initial experience, I have come to like metcalfe kits. They are inexpensive, easy to put together, with different options, like the brewery, you build each section, and put together in an combination. You get the printed sheets, and then cardboard for bracing. I feel confident handling the kits once built.


My next adventure is taking designs from on line, printing them myself, and making them.

by Paul Marsden