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Mebane, NC, Train Show for 2022


Tony Galiani

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This show has been cancelled the past few years but I got an e-mail invite to be a vendor again for the 2022 show in March.  Interestingly, they ask for a completed application but don't want payment for the table until the day of the show - just in case they have to cancel again.

 

As a train show, it is okay - the club has a large O Scale three rail layout on display - the gift of a former member.  Outside of that it is mostly vendors with quite a bit of used items, mostly O Scale Tinplate.

 

I bring a small Japanese themed layout which takes up space on my table but it seems to be a nice attraction as it is different from everything else and people like seeing some trains running.  What surprised me was that several people immediately recognized it as Japanese in theme.  Some have been stationed in Japan or worked in Japan.  There is also a Japanese owned company in Mebane and some visitors from Japan also seemed to like seeing it.

This year, I am thinking I will do a small layout just for the show - 2'x2' (300mm x 300mm) - as I want to practice some landscaping skills and include a water scene.  I have plenty of spare track hanging around so a simple oval should be doable in the time I have.

 

I have done this a couple of times as it gives me an opportunity to sell excess items.  I usually price my stuff at giveaway prices as I am really trying to slim down my collections to help keep my focused on the projects I really like working on.  This has worked reasonably well and hoping I can move some of my European N Scale and HO Scale stuff this time.  And I am going just give away some magazines and catalogs I have accumulated:  Free to a Good Home!

 

One thing I like is that the show is one day and relatively brief - for 2022 it will be open from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM which is manageable with my short attention span.  Of course, the best feature is that it is not too far from a great independent bakery so, after I set up, my wife does a coffee and donut run.  And, even though I tell her to only get my one donut, I feel obligated to eat more when she buys more ....

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

 

 

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Tony,

 

sounds like a fun little swap meet. Nice of you to do a little Japanese layout, sure it’s a treat for folks, always nice to get a surprise like that. The bits of “wow japan!” and their attachment to japan we get from folks keeps us going. Kind of gets folks looking at the trains and layout a bit differently than all the other us layouts are shows and having hung out around lots of different layouts at shows listening to conversations we do usually have a slightly different mix. Often been thanked by folks for doing something different and/or surprising them.

 

nice to get good homes for the extra stuff. Always feels good.

 

But you can’t eat just one donut, that’s just not right! [insert Homer drool]

 

cheers,
 

jeff

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Tony Galiani
Posted (edited)

I am not even sure if the show will go on due to the recent Omicron spike but I am preparing anyway.  Inspired by the reactions I got to my previous layouts at the show and also by Mark Newton's photo plank, I am putting together a small demo layout / test track / photo plank / scenery test bed.  I originally had something more elaborate in mind but realized that less is more in this case so it is just an oval which will - hopefully - have some small scenic features.

 

I am planning to try Woodland Scenics Realistic Water and have some tree kits that I want to try as well as a static grass applier.  These are all things I have wanted to try for some time.  I am planning to keep buildings to a minimum with just the Tomytec inn and a small Sankei shrine. 

 

The track radius is tight so stock such as KiHa 40's don't look great on it but it will serve its purpose for now (and I am hoping to develop something more elaborate for home use at some point).

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

Mebane project 1.jpg

Edited by Tony Galiani
typo
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disturbman
4 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

The track radius is tight so stock such as KiHa 40's don't look great on it but it will serve its purpose for now (and I am hoping to develop something more elaborate for home use at some point).


You should look at the KiHa 100, KiHa 120 and the Railway Collection smaller private operators. All these are much smaller DMUs. The 40s are 21m long whereas the 100s and 120s are around 16.5m long.

 

edit: I rotated my phone and now can see you didn’t used a KiHa 40 but something smaller. Then forget my comment.

Edited by disturbman
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Tony Galiani

Thanks for the info on the 100s and 120s - I will see what might be available as I am going to treat myself to some new items soon.

 

The DMU on the layout is a Tomytec AN8800 which runs really well.

 

I tested the layout with a Kato 40 and it does work.  While it doesn't look all that good to me, I am willing to bet most visitors won't notice.  I have quite a few KiHa 40s in colorful liveries - so I will bring a few as I think they will be conversation starters.

I also have the same issue with the Koki 104s but will probably run a few with some of the colorful containers I have.

And I plan to run shorter four wheel freight wagons as well for a change of pace.

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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disturbman
17 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

I have quite a few KiHa 40s in colorful liveries - so I will bring a few as I think they will be conversation starters.

 

That's a great idea. Tomix and MAs made a lot of very colorful and painted 40s over the years; notably JR West Kitaro trains.

 

In this idea, Tomix had made the KiHa 100 POKEMON with YOU (98060), I'm not sure it's still available in shops but it's easy to find unused or good condition on the second hand market for not unreasonable prices. It would be fore sure a conversation starter. The KiHa 120s also had a few notable liveries, but nothing as striking the 40s and the POKEMON with YOU.

edit: RGR has the POKEMON with YOU in stock: https://rg-rokko.com/products/detail/564

 

17 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

The DMU on the layout is a Tomytec AN8800 which runs really well.


These are nice too, they have some nice liveries. A tad longer than the 100 and 120.

 

17 hours ago, Tony Galiani said:

I also have the same issue with the Koki 104s but will probably run a few with some of the colorful containers I have. And I plan to run shorter four wheel freight wagons as well for a change of pace.


There is quite a lot available. Kato is re-releasing its WaMu 80000 with a new mold, hopefully with functioning doors. There was also this very sort flat car that could transport two 12 foot containers. But I can't remember how it's called.

Edited by disturbman
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Tony Galiani

Keeping the momentum going, I started to test ballast options and ended up doing all the ballasting this weekend.  Normally, I would wait until I had the base coat of paint on there but once I started, I decided to keep going and it worked out reasonably well - though not great.  I had two types of ballast and decided to try both to see how they work out on the finished layout.  (I am going to do a separate post about that under the track systems thread.)

 

One thing I did learn - cheap markers and ballast adhesive don't mix!  I had marked out the track lines with a blue marker that I had handy.  Since I did not paint the base first, the blue ran and I now have bright blue ballast in a couple of spots.  Another oops!  Not a major problem as I will add more weathering to the track or cover some of the worst areas with greenery but a silly mistake nonetheless.  Live and learn I suppose.

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

Mebane project 2.jpg

Mebane project 3.jpg

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Tony Galiani

More work this weekend - painted a few areas in preparation for placing ground cover and worked on the water area with an additional coat of paint and touch up on the spots I had missed to make sure no white plaster was showing.

 

Jeff's advice about doing small test cards makes a lot of sense as the plaster cloth did not work as intended.  Though, in a sense this entire layout is a test of sorts so that's okay.  I thought the plaster sheets would be easy to use but that turned out not to be the case as these are pretty flimsy and need care to keep from getting balled up.  I am living in the past again - back in the day, I would take excess plaster bandages from the clinics I worked at (since opened packages were considered non-sterile and thrown away) and it was much thicker and easier to use.  I am sure with practice the Woodland Scenics would work okay but needs a bit more practice and skill to manipulate.

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

Mebane project 5.jpg

Mebane project 6.jpg

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Yeah I’ve never found plaster cloth all that satisfying. But scenery techniques are very personal and why I always try tests of any interesting ones I see come along. Third I find are great for me and better in some way than ones I was using, a third are “meh” other ones are just as good, and a third just don’t work well for me.

 

how about trying sculptamold? It’s basically cellulose with some powered glue. Mix it with water into sort of a clay/paste and trowel it on as needed. It’s light and flexible and has a nice rough, uneven surface texture when dry (not a fabric pattern of plaster cloth or smooth as plaster) and you can cut, sand, file or pick away areas easily. A whole lot easier and less messy to rework than plaster! Paint to firm up the surface. I added acrylic craft paint once mixing it up and worked fine to color throughout in case of a nick you won’t get a white patch. Tempra pigment would work as well to tint it in the mix.

 

https://smile.amazon.com/AMACO-AMO41821-SCULPTAMLD-Modeling-Multicolor/dp/B0016ZXY8I/ref=sr_1_2?crid=PCJJRBYNLPEF&keywords=Sculptamold&qid=1642461339&sprefix=sculptamold+%2Caps%2C56&sr=8-2

 

local craft store may have it. Michael’s is only showing like 50lb bags!

 

i remember seeing someone on a train forum mixing it with some white glue or matte medium to give extra strength/stiffness.

 

might check the clinic as a friend use to get the stuff from his hospital that was near expiration date they would toss it. New stuff now I think is some sort of acrylic base as it sets up much harder, but much lighter than old plaster cloth.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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railsquid
1 hour ago, Tony Galiani said:

Jeff's advice about doing small test cards makes a lot of sense as the plaster cloth did not work as intended.  Though, in a sense this entire layout is a test of sorts so that's okay.  I thought the plaster sheets would be easy to use but that turned out not to be the case as these are pretty flimsy and need care to keep from getting balled up.  I am living in the past again - back in the day, I would take excess plaster bandages from the clinics I worked at (since opened packages were considered non-sterile and thrown away) and it was much thicker and easier to use.  I am sure with practice the Woodland Scenics would work okay but needs a bit more practice and skill to manipulate.

 

With plastercloth (of the Kato/Woodlands scenic type) I find it easiest to put PVA on the target surface, apply the plastercloth "dry" and spray it with water once in place.

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Hugh never heard of that approach! Learn a new one every week! 
 

thanks,

 

jeff

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railsquid

I'm not sure how I hit on that, but it works. You probably wouldn't want to use that technique in a medical context though.

 

The other thing I like to do is paint the plastercloth with a slightly thick green-brown acrylic mix then scatter flock powder over it, the powder (mostly) sticks to the paint and covers the plastercloth quite nicely, very quick way of building up reasonably plausible ground cover.

 

51242168658_527b2420f7_z.jpg

front-scenic-element_2021-06-12_01 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

Edited by railsquid
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Tony Galiani

Thanks @railsquid!  This is a new technique for me.  It certainly makes a lot of sense as I find the Kato/Woodlands scenic cloth to be very flimsy.  I am going to try it tonight.

 

(I am doing a push on the layout this week as we are, in theory, traveling to Canada in a few days to visit family, so I am hoping to get a good amount of work done before we go.  Assuming our Covid tests are negative, the 5G rollout now in the news doesn't disrupt air travel, our flights are not cancelled for some other reason, the Canadian authorities let us into Canada and then let us back out and we can get back across the border to the US!  Who say says the Age of Adventure is over?)

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

 

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Tony Galiani

@cteno4 - Forgot to mention that I have a small supply of Sculptamold but I am hoarding it for my next project as it seems to be hard to come by these days.  I do have some stone clay which I used for the water feature and which I am going to try out further on this project.

 

Tony

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Claude_Dreyfus

I have had mixed results from modrock/plaster bandage. You do need a think layer of plaster to hide the holes where you are not adding flocking (and even then you may need more than one layer to hide the holes). Strips of paper towel or even news paper, with a PVA mixture can work, but it tends to leave a gloss finish, which needs to be painted over thoroughly (because you know the light will just hit the hillside in such a way to perfectly reflect that nanometer you missed with the glass cover...). I've had my best results with sculptamold (strong, easy to use and light when dried) , although I am looking at that spray foam (insulation foam) through wire as an alternative - particularly with wooded areas (I have seen very effective woodland created this way).

Edited by Claude_Dreyfus
Can't type!
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Amazon seems to have it at about what I remember the price being at the craft store. 3lb bag goes a long way. I like it as you can just mix up a little easily and it’s not super messy to work with.
 

Stuff seems to store well. Last time I bought it (big bag with a coupon) was maybe 8 or 9 years back and dip into it for little bits every so often and works fine. Sadly ac Moore was the go to place for this sort of stuff, Michael’s really is spotty on this sort of crafting stuff.
 

jeff

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Tony Galiani

I used Railsquid's suggested method last night and it was easy and worked pretty well.  One thing I noted was that, since the WS/Kato plaster cloth is so flimsy, it looks better if several pieces are overlapped, rather than just using one piece as a layer.

My hope was to get away from the "table top" appearance of the foamboard and this works well to achieve that.  I will try painting and adding ground cover next.

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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Tony Galiani

Back on track for this project now that I am back from Canada and my donut needs have been met.  I have painted the area outside the track and started adding some ground cover.  Waiting on the interior area until my pending order arrives - I have decided on a small temple with an inn, using one Tomytec inn I had and ordering a temple set.  In theory, that will arrive tomorrow and I can sort out placement and then start working on the ground cover and such.

 

I have started adding some ground cover and, as you can see in the picture, the coloring of the flock is not varied enough.  I am using whatever I have around - in future, I will get some more colors to add some variety.  The two trees are very old Woodland Scenics kits - metal armatures that need to be bent to shape, painted and then covered with flock.  After I complete the ground cover in the area, I will then add the flock and then seal the entire area with some hairspray.

 

Jeff has mentioned the idea of using small test areas to develop techniques and try things out and, in essence, this small layout is a test bed.  Learning by doing and improving my skills for my next project(s).  I am making a list of notes on what I find seems to work and what doesn't as well as a list of scenic items that will be useful in the future.

 

Next steps - more ground cover and I am going to try so static grass at the front of the layout.  I only have one color of static grass handy so not sure how well that will work but part of the learning process.

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

Mebane project 7.jpg

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BarracudaRCBoatsUSA

Thanks for posting this! I'm located not too far away in Gibsonville. Can't wait to see your layout!

Edited by BarracudaRCBoatsUSA
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Tony Galiani

Great.  Though it is pretty small I am trying to make it interesting.

This reminds me I need to check the show's web site.  The organizers did not take table payments this year just in case they had to cancel again.  It is still on as of now - hoping nothing changes with that.

And if you need donuts to revive yourself after the drive from Gibsonville, I can highly recommend Distefano's Bakery which is nearby off Mebane Oaks Road.  Getting a donut (or several) is part of my tradition for the show.

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

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Even though I’ve met Tony in person, the image of him in my mind is slowly turning into Homer Simpson drooling over a donut…

 

I can relate though, I had a donut and a cup of coffee for breakfast for 5 years at grad school at Berkeley at the Nutron bakery. $1 (actually 75 cents and quarter in the tip jar). Belushi had it right—breakfast of champions!

 

jeff

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Tony Galiani

Donut and coffee for under $1!  You didn't look that old when we met!  That price is like just after the dinosuars!

 

Truth be told, I really do try to limit my donut consumption nowadays.  Now it tends to be special occasions - trips to Canada, the Mebane train show, a visit to Mr. Donut in Tokyo and, last but not least, the chocolate filled donuts at Hotel Angela on the island of Aegina!

 

Tony

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Well it was the mid 80s and Berkeley was famous for very inexpensive and nightly varied and good food. The bakery served coffee that would have been stronger than the expresso served in most of the rest of the country at the time. A tall latte or cappuccino was 85 cents (I sometimes splurged at breakfast) and about a triple shot Starbucks these days worth of caffeine. We calculated the average grad student in our department at the time blew about 20% of their food budge on lattes, we lived on them. 
 

Berkeley actually had a code businesses could not be open 24 hrs and kept shutting down ones that tried to sneak under the radar. Nutron never worried as it was where all the police could get coffee and a snack any time and they were never busted even when other businesses tried to say what about Nutron! Only in Berkeley would a bakery be called Nutron, it was allegedly the first owner’s attempt to be academic oriented being a half block off campus, but English was his second language (hey makes sense to me I didn’t realize it was misspelled for a few years until someone pointed it out to me) and sign was made and he didn’t want to pay for a new one so it stuck.

 

1 hour ago, Tony Galiani said:

last but not least, the chocolate filled donuts at Hotel Angela on the island of Aegina!

 

lol I read the last bit there with my dyslexic brain as Island of Angina, with it thinking what chocolate filled donut might eventually result in.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Tony Galiani

More progress this weekend.  Flock added to the trees - lesson learned:  it is probably better to assemble the trees off the layout than to try to add flock and details once they are planted.

Various bits of ground cover added as well.  It struck me that by adding several layers of grass somewhat randomly, you can get the appearance of slightly uneven ground which looks better than just a flat lawn like space.

I realized that there needed to be a way for people to visit the shrine so started on a crossing and also placed the base of the shrine and the inn in the central area to see how that worked visually.

My original plan was to do a bit more work yesterday but after using "unscented" hairspray to seal down the ground cover and the flock on the trees I ended up not doing too much more.  Lesson learned - "unscented" hairspray is not really unscented.  I had used it in the past but it had been long enough for me to forget that.  Fortunately, the scent does fade after a few hours.

My time frame is getting tight - I need to do the inner area which I think I will try to do a packed sand using texture paint (similar to how I remember some of the paths around Nikko) and static grass on the area near the water feature as well as add water, sort out figures and details and prep stock.  Should be easy enough though I have a heavy music schedule this week and (in theory) am traveling next week.  Hopefully I can finish everything by the weekend before the show.

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

Mebane project 8.jpg

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Tony Galiani

More work this weekend - a lot more ground cover, texture paint on the area for the shrine and inn and an attempt to make the drive look like a gravel road.  Not totally happy with the ground cover colors but I am using what I have.  I was watching some videos and thinking the ground cover should be a lot lighter so I am going to research other options besides the Woodland Scenics products I have been using.  There seems to be quite a lot of stray ground cover on the shrine area and the creek bed - more clean up needed there.

 

I hope to assemble the shrine this week and then finish up the scenic work when I get back from my pending trip.  (If we go - we have had a 40% success rate on our international trips the past two years.  Not bad for baseball but not that great otherwise.)

 

Not sure I am going to do everything I want before the show due to time constraints.  Still need to pour the "water" into the creek as well.  I was hoping to do some extra detail with figures and such but not sure if time will allow that.

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

 

Mebane project 9.jpg

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