Monthly Archives: September 2008

The influence of ads…

Of all the ads in Model Railroader I’ve read over the years, these two from the October 1973 issue stand out as the most influential for spurring my creative imagination at the time in my life that the hobby was going from “playing with trains” to model railraoding.

This PFM ad just screams wall art…


I was surprised to see how little scenery was in this Cox ad, I thought there was much more but then again, ours is a hobby that relies on perception and illusion.


Luke 12:16-40

(16) And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

(17) And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

(18) And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

(19) And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

(20) But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

(21) So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

(22) And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

(23) The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

(24) Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

(25) And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?

(26) If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

(27) Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

(28) If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

(29) And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.

(30) For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

(31) But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(32) Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

(33) Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

(34) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

(35) Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

(36) And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

(37) Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

(38) And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

(39) And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

(40) Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Newcomer’s non-comprehensive HO scale coupler guide…

Horn/hook a.k.a. X2f or NMRA type, neither of which is correct. Comes standard equipment with most toy and low end trains. Without it, HO might not have gotten to where it is today so speak of it in hushed, reverential tones…


Knuckle type, magnetic or otherwise. Generally compatible with each other—if it has a plastic “whisker” on the side, toss it far, far away. Brought out in the early ’60s by Kadee, then duped in a myriad of ways when the patent ran out, it has been the standard of HO for many advanced modelers for a very long time. However, operations oriented modelers like to spend money on them, then clip the trip pin for a more realistic look and enhanced ops…go figure…


Since neither of the above shall meet, behold the Magic Mate coupler. It is designed to couple both knuckle and horn/hooks together, making for an effective transitional coupler. Some HO cars need serious modifications to change over from horn/hooks—an undesirable idea on a rare collectible—and so this makes a great way to put a train of both types together as well.


The European hook/loop types I’ll tackle another time as they are not too common stateside…