Monthly Archives: May 2008

Bachmann HO scale Thomas and friends…

When I was a member of a club, I ran Thomas often at train shows and open houses, to the delight of children and their parents. I well remember the squeals of a little girl as she came into one of our open houses. When her eyes fell on Thomas across the layout, she called out, “Thomas, Thomas, look Mama…”, as she ran across the room. Just as she got up to him, Thomas’ eyes moved towards her and she squealed, “Mama, Mama, he looked at me, Thomas is real, he’s real!!” Moments like that made him worth every penny and there were plenty of those moments to cherish.

Then there was a meeting. Apparently one of the members had objected to Thomas running through their expensive and hard built scenery and so a vote had to be brought up. Though they were never named, it was clear from the agitated stance who it was, a modeler whose work I liked and looked to for inspiration. Not wanting a war to break out over something I thought trivial, I offered not to run the locomotive any longer. But, the die was cast, the issue had to be properly resolved and, by an overwhelming majority, Thomas was voted to stay.

Sadly, the friendship I had with the modeler involved, did not survive the debate. They chose to carry the resentment on, even though I never ran Thomas again. When I heard news of his death a few months later, I was deeply saddened at the thought of carrying such a chip on one’s shoulder into eternity over something so utterly pointless. Now more than ever I remember that this is just a hobby, a mindless platform that God has blessed me with and to use to reach others. One day it will all burn, a thousand years from now it will be a distant, fading memory of a temporal life, as we live forever in His presence—or apart from it. Never forget that.


AHM/Rivarossi HO scale 4-8-8-4 Union Pacific “Big Boy”…

…my “Rod of Correction”. You would think that, with less than $60 invested in the previous two articulateds, that I would simply trust the Lord to bring one of these Big Boys along—if He so desired—and at a price comparable to what I’ve paid before. Nope. $125, a nasty banging around in the box it was shipped it, the revelation that it was parted together from several different models over the years and a year and a half of part hunting had me place the “Lord” back into the Lord Jesus once and for all in this hobby.

This is not to say that doling out $25 Big Boys is a demand we can place on God nor is it to say that fulfilling my hobby desires are at His beck and call. The verse goes…“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Yes, it turned out beautifully but, my goal is to be conformed to His Image…that He allows me to piddle with some of the toys of this world shouldn’t even move the needle on my priority meter.



…from the December ’66 Model Railroader magazine ad.

AHM/Rivarossi HO scale Southern Pacific 4-8-8-2 Cab-forward…

I purchased it at a swap meet for $25 because it “had a hitch in it” that the original owner couldn’t resolve. I brought it home to find that its boiler weight was warped from zinc pest. I broke the weight into 3 pieces, then glued them back straight with JB Weld. After some filing and fitting, I installed DCC and added weight over the drivers. It regularly pulls about 25 cars up a 1.75% grade very well.


Psalm 8

(1) (To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David.) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

(2) Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

(3) When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

(4) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

(5) For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

(6) Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

(7) All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

(8) The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

(9) O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Ambroid HO scale Russell Plow…

This was given to me by one of the sellers at a swap meet today. He seemed pleased that I appreciated his workmanship and old school models and was glad to know it was going to a home where it was going to be enjoyed.


UPDATE: Thanks to Larry at HO Seeker, my thought that this was an old Ambroid kit appears to be true. From a 1964 ad, the B&M original snowplow, third down on the right…


Lima HO scale bay window caboose…

The caboose in the previous shots was found in the dust and rubble of a large HO layout that was built in a shed. The original owner passed away 6 years previously, and friends and family helped his wife part out and sell down most of the layout. They left several boxes of buildings and old cars that had little value, where they remained as the shed fell down around them. I managed to pick this and two other cars out of the dust and spider webs, to reveal a unique weathering job placed there by time, rodents and rain—just like the real ones. I only added lettering for my road, blending it in with the weathering already present, then sealing it with clear flat.