Division Meeting Recap

August 29, 2015

We started with a great clinic by Riley Triggs about 3D printing. Riley has been experimenting with it for various parts and models.
Triggs Clinic
He brought a couple samples. The one on the left was printed by Shapeways.
Triggs Examples
You can see that the older attempt used thicker output, leading to a rough finish. Here's the locomotive he's trying to model:
Triggs Prototype
Riley is teaching classes at ACC on the software he uses to draw the items he gets printed, called Sketch-Up. For more information, go to the ACC website. If anyone would like a copy of Riley's presentation please email director@centexnmra.org.

We also talked about the TechShop in Round Rock (in La Frontera). They not only offer classes on things like 3D Printing but members get free licenses to AutoDesk Inventor (another software package that can be used to draw the 3D designs) and have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, drill presses, and so on.

After Phil Sharpnack presented another great DCC Minute, we moved to Show and Tell.

Charlie Abbott, who recently moved here from Las Vegas, shared some pictures of the layout he had to tear down:
Abbott Railroad 1
Abbott Railroad 2
The good news is that he's already at work on a new layout, which will include a model of the Williamson County Sun building (in Georgetown Square), pictured here under construction:
Williamson County Sun building

Next up, Chuck Ellis showed us this Minuteman Scale Models iCar Kit. Using the built-in mirror (which is unfortunately on the back side of the car in this photo), you can use you iPhone to record video of your railroad. Chuck uses places it in front of a locomotive and pushes it around the layout. Afterwards, he uses the FlipIt app to reverse the video (undoing the effects of the mirror).

Kim Saign shared another outstanding kitbash, these N-Scale Quonset huts:
Saign Quonset Huts

Dave Shannon needed a tunnel portal - but for a curve. The ones he could find weren't wide enough, so he got some wood from Hobby Lobby and made one, cutting the portal out:
Shannon Tunnel Portal

Chris Chany showed us his fantastic trestle track for a coal dock, which is a kitbased American Model Builders kit:
Chris Chany Coal Trestle
Chris Chany Coal Trestle

John Ames found this drill chuck from MicroMark and uses it with this power eraser. He's found it is better than a Dremel tool for some applications because it starts much slower without a lot of torque. He reports it works well for drilling small holes in plastic and thin wood.
Ames Eraser Drill

Steve Jackobs has completed his 112 tonner (see the May 2015 meeting update). It looks great (trust me! if it were in focus you'd agree!) and uses a Kato drive, Proto steps, and the AHC shells: Jackobs 112 Tonner

Sam Nicastro just returned from a trip to the Tweetsie Railroad near The Blowing Rock in North Carolina. While he was there he took this photograph, which he's entering in the National Narrow Gauge Convention contest:
Sam Nicastro's Photo

What do you do when a friend wants an S-Scale model of this 4-6-0 from the Crystal River and San Juan in Colorado:
Wilson 2-6-0
...but only has a (very nice) model of this 2-6-0?
Wilson 4-6-0
Why, the friend gives it to Jerry Wilson to kitbash! (Jerry wasn't nervous at all about destroying the expensive model. That's just how he rolls.) Here is our first update on how it's going (looking good!):
Wilson 4-6-0 Kitbash

Finally, Mike Barrett - who is building an layout using S-CAB with battery-powered, wireless DCC decoders - ran into a problem: How to automatically handle a reverse loop when there is no DCC signal in the rails? The answer: The Tortoise Buddy, by DCC Specialties. It can power momentary switch machines, so he put magnets on the bottom of his locomotives and reed switches under the track. The magnet triggers the switch which then uses the Tortoise Buddy as a relay to reverse the polarity. Fun with electronics!
Tortoise Buddy

After Show and Tell we talked a bit about the upcoming Division NMRA Meet and the delay for the Austin Model Railroad Jamboree. We also discussed the need for at least one more officer for the Division, a Secretary/Treasurer. We also could use a volunteer or two to help with the meetings as we move to a more frequent schedule next year. Some volunteers stepped forward, so stay tuned for more developments (including a vote for the Sec/Treas) at the next meeting.

We finished with Deals or Duds, and then headed out to Charles Etheredge's home to tour his layout.

Our next regular meeting will be in January 2016, the first of an every-two-month schedule. Stay tuned for details on the clinic(c) and layout tour.

Click here for photos from Charles Etheredge's Texas & New Orleans!