Clinics

Below is a partial list of clinics being offered at the 41st NNGC September 1-4. This list will undoubtedly change as other clinics come in and presenters drop out. There are still slots available for clinicians. If you have an idea for a clinic not already listed here, go to the forms page and send us a pitch. You could be on this list too.  Exact clinic times and schedule will be in the timetable in your convention packet.

3D Printing for Modeling- Robert Thomas

Journey into the new world of 3D printing and explore what it might mean for you in your modeling.   Forms of 3D Printing, both home and print for hire will be discussed.  What it is, what it isn’t and if it is a viable option for you.  Various projects will be presented as examples, including new superstructures for existing rolling stock, and projects built entirely from the CAD drawing. 

Scenery Along the ROW- Lou Sassi

In this presentation Lou and his wife Cheryl will explain the materials and techniques they utilize to replicate rock formations, specific tree types, woodlands, grasses, and scenic features representative of those found on the prototype of his Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes model railroad, featured in Great Model Railroads 2020. Included will be a video of Lou preparing “Ground Goop”.

Train Time at South Strong- Lou & Cheryl Sassi

In this clinic Lou and Cheryl will explain, step by step, how they construct a 2’ by 3’ diorama replicating a prototype photo of the SR&RL that has appeared in various publications over the years. Both the prototype photo and the diorama depict the scenery, structures, and activity around South Strong depot during the abandonment of the Railroad.

Building a timber dynasty- Chuck Lind

T.L.L. Temple arrived in Texas in the 1880’s and became involved in the buying and selling of lumber.
In 1893 he purchased 7,000 acres and started his own sawmill. American Lumberman magazine heard of what he was doing and paid him a visit in 1903 to document in photos the sawmill and town he was building. The article was buried toward the back of the magazine and they just figured he was giving them a tall tale of what he planned to do in the next few years. Over the next few years, he built a second sawmill, planner mill and started the Texas Southeastern Railroad. American Lumberman returned in 1908 and most of that tall tale had come true. They were so impressed they dedicated most an issue of the magazine to T. L. L. Temple and his east Texas timber empire.
With the photos from the visit of American Lumberman along with the Temple Archives we will follow the growth of a dynasty that still exists in East Texas.

Riding the White Pass and Yukon Route- Wayne Wessner

A narrated pictorial of travel on the White Pass & Yukon Route from its early beginnings to the present day. This clinic will cover the early history of the railway, from initial construction, gold rush days, ore and passenger service, up to today’s tourism. It will show steam, diesel, freight, and passenger equipment from past and present. You will want to ride this historical railway and see its great scenery after this clinic.

The ABC's of small Gasoline Industrial Locomotives- Randy Hees

About 1901, industrial railroads, many narrow gauge, started to experiment with small gasoline locomotives. Within 10 years these small gasoline locomotives became common in mines and on other industrial railroads. By the 1920’s common carrier railroads, both standard and narrow gauge, were experimenting with internal combustion locomotives. Many of the builders chose to identify their various models by letter codes. This clinic will explore locomotives built by Plymouth, Milwaukee, Brookville, Whitcomb and other gasoline and diesel locomotive builders.

A Travelling Toolbox for the Craftsman Modeler- Ron Guttman

This clinic is an update to the toolbox article featured in the 2018 On30 Annual. It will feature a review of the construction of the original project along with about a dozen enhancements and accessories that makes this the ideal toolbox to take to train shows or hotel rooms while travelling on the road! The perfect way to take your model railroad hobby with you when you travel.

Easy Backdrop Painting- Pete Leach

This is a make-and-take clinic for up to 8 participants per session. The hands-on clinic will show an easy method of painting a backdrop featuring tree covered rolling hills, typical of the eastern US and parts of the Midwest. Great results are possible for anyone. No artistic talent required. The participant will walk away with their handiwork and the knowledge they can paint their own backdrop!

West Side Lumber Company Vehicles/Equipment(1935-1957) – The Plant- Joe Piazza

This clinic covers the evolution of the use of internal combustion vehicles and assorted equipment at the West Side sawmill at Tuolumne, CA. Equipment used in the entire workflow will be covered, from the unloading of logs to the final loading of lumber in boxcars and trucks. The time period covered is 1935 to 1957.

Creating Interesting Model Railroad Landscapes- Kevin Spady

This clinic will cover techniques and materials for creating interesting and realistic model railroad landscapes using examples from Mr. Spady’s Pudding River Lumber Company On30 modular layout. The presentation provides both the beginner and advanced modeler with examples of how to develop an initial landscape concept and contextual frame of reference, terrain development, designing and fabricating water features, use of materials, and “how to” for modeling realistic trees and other plant materials. While this presentation will focus on modeling in On30, the techniques are applicable to almost all scales of model railroading.

Exploring On30 Modular Railroading- Kevin Spady

This clinic provides the modeler with a detailed exploration of modular railroading in On30. Mr. Spady displays his Pudding River Lumber Company modules extensively at train shows, charity and NMRA events around California, and will use these modules as examples of how to develop a modular concept. The clinic covers modular “how to” techniques including design standards, concept development, fabrication, structures and landscaping techniques, creating a flexible and movable format, and explores the social aspects of modular railroading. Great clinic for those with minimal space for a large layout.

Albion on the Narrow Gauge- Brian Bond

Albion, Maine was served by the two foot Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway until the line closed in 1933. This clinic will focus on how this terminal yard offers excellent modeling and operational opportunities, with engine facilities, a station, and several nearby industries served. We’ll look closely at the structures associated with the railroad, the industries served and railroad facilities. We’ll also discuss operations in Albion, including incoming and outgoing shipments. Bond will then describe how he modeled the yard in On2 and how he operates the module.

Dinkey's Over the Mountain: Two Obscure Appalachian Narrow Gauges- Brian Bond

Both the Cairo and Kanawha Railway in West Virginia and the Mountain Central Railroad in Kentucky used Climax locomotives to haul supplies for the oil industry, and were involved in both logging and mining operations. These two small common carrier lines were less than 17 miles long, had less than 25 cars each and operated in rugged mountain country. Both managed to operate up to the Great Depression. In this clinic we will take a close look at both railroads and discuss modeling opportunities in various common scales.

The Kennebec Central Railroad- the shortest of the Maine 2 Footers- Jeff Schumaker

The Kennebec Central was the shortest of the Maine two foot gauge railroads, at only five miles in length. It had only one customer, the National Soldiers’ Home at Togus, which it served successfully for almost 40 years. Rostering no more than two locomotives at any one time, it provided transportation of people, goods and coal with only five passenger cars and a dozen freight cars. Come and see why this little railroad endeared itself to the residents of southern Kennebec County, as well as the surrounding region.

Prototype Photos and Models that Followed- Sam Swanson

A single prototype photo can served as the basis for modeling structures, rolling stock, details, and occasionally, entire scenes. This clinic presents about twenty prototype photos and a variety of HO and O scale models that were built from them. In addition to mockup and construction techniques, painting and weathering approaches will be illustrated for a full account of how each model was completed.

The Gardner Tie & Timber Co.- David Whikehart

The Gardner Tie & Timber Company is an operating On30 layout built as a museum display. It portrays a fictitious logging railroad at the Gulf Coast during the 1930s. As background, a historical review of Gulf Coast logging railroads will be presented. The clinic will describe the layout’s construction which features swamp logging (including gators and snakes), sawmill operation, creosoting, turpentine still work and barrel construction. It will include a model logging town located at a river slough adjacent to the Gulf waters. Examples of the scratch built structures used will be on display.

Starting from Scratch- Don Railton

The clinic describes the scratch building of structures and rolling stock using simple materials, tools and techniques. Concept, weathering and detailing will be included in the discussion. Don will also cover some of his past builds and magazine articles as well as examples of the work of other modelers.

Update on the Narrow Gauge Preservation Foundation- Allen Pollock

A review of past projects, recently completed projects, and commitments for new projects from this organization, the Narrow Gauge Preservation Foundation- a group run by and supported by narrow gauge fans from around the world

Prototype Timber Tunnel Portals- John Stutz

Contrary to modeling tradition, prototype timber tunnel portals no more resemble masonry portals than timber bridges resemble masonry bridges. This clinic illustrates this with several RR standard designs, numerous examples from the field, and historic photographs.

Fine Tuning Brass for Operational Reliability - Fuzzy Anstine (Scale Brass Mechanic)

This clinic is dedicated to showing and explaining common reasons for Classic Brass to be in a non operable condition, and how to fix them. Some reasons include: side rod and crosshead bind, misaligned quarter, poor gearing (growling, much too fast), out of date electrics (motor replacement, extra power pickups, etc). Once a locomotive is mechanically as sound as possible, the next step is DCC installation, with of course all the bells, whistles and lighting effects, ie; ash pan and fire box flicker, and of course head, back, and marker lights.

Marshall Pass III. Operations in the 1920’s. 1924 Day-by-day at Marshall Pass- Pat Student

This clinic will discuss daily operations at Marshall Pass on the D&RGW in 1924. Analysis of surviving train registers, station set out reports and other documents provide the script for the daily parade of trains. This includes scheduled trains, extras, second sections, passenger extras, helpers, and work extras.

A Railfan’s “Scrapbook”: A railfan trip on the ET&WNC-Vida Division Railroad- Dean Smith

It’s time to shrink to HO scale, travel back to 1925, and join a railfan trip on the HOn3 East Tennessee & Western North Carolina-Vida Division Railroad. You will “hop aboard” a freight train and travel from Johnson City to Boone, pausing in the majestic Doe River Gorge for “Kodaking.” The layout, measuring 23 by 29 feet, features freight, passenger, and dual-gauge operation. This tour will examine the construction, philosophy, and operating procedures used to bring the Vida Division to life with a crew of up to ten.

Take Me to the River: Modeling mountain streams, rivers, and waterfalls- Dean Smith

Fast-flowing, clear streams, rivers, and waterfalls are part and parcel of the mountainous terrain shared by many of our favorite narrow-gauge railroads. With their visible river beds, white water areas, and “see-thru” waterfalls, these cascading waterways can prove a challenge to effectively model. By utilizing a series of easy-to-follow techniques using natural materials and commonly available craft and hobby supplies, this clinic should give even the novice modeler the confidence to dive right in and create effective rivers and waterfalls.

The narrow gauge logging railroads of the Champion Fibre Company-Gerald Ledford

In 1905, paper manufacturer Peter Gibson Thomson came to western North Carolina in search of pulpwood and a suitable location for a mammoth pulp mill that would provide pulp for his Champion Paper mill at Hamilton, Ohio. He also planned to build a large chestnut extract plant. This is the story of Thomson’s 420,000 acre timberlands and the railroads the Champion Fibre Company built to transport the wood to the pulp mill and extract plant at Canton, North Carolina. This PowerPoint presentation will feature historical photographs, track maps, and cover the 40-year timeline of Champion Fibre’s railroads.

Layout Command Control (LCC) for the Narrow Gauge- Robin Peel

What is LCC and why should I care? Learn about the basics of Layout Command Control (LCC) and understand how it might help build fun operations on your narrow gauge layout. Technical jargon will be avoided as far as possible.

Precision Measuring and Cutting for Model Building-Charles Goodrich

This clinic will start with basic measurement devices and move quickly into the modifications that Charles has made to his basic equipment. He begins with a simple ruler, then move to micrometers, dividers, and other instruments that he uses in model building. The clinic will end showing five devices that he has scratch built or modified to make it possible to cut wood and metal accurately to length.

Lighting your scenery without Wiring - a Novel Approach - No wiring- Joel Mitchell

You will learn the art of implementing scenery lighting in minutes, without wiring, using a revolutionary system. Lighting scenery adds sparkle to the detail that you have worked hard to create. However, for most of us this requires a lot of forethought and even then we end up with wiring spaghetti. In this clinic, Joel will cover advances in lighting, what led to the development of the Dwarvin fiber optic lighting system, and how to use it. Lots of customer examples will be provided as well as a hand’s-on demonstration

Designing prototypical lighting for realism- Joel Mitchell

Prototype lighting requirements will be covered with an emphasis on how to establish the right lighting conditions, especially for roadways, buildings and parks. This will be somewhat technical as it will consider the luminous intensity requirements for real life conditions and relating that to the scale to provide good, balanced prototypical lighting. At the end of the clinic participants should be able to select and design appropriate lighting for their layout, whether in HO, N or O scale.

The Alishan Forest Railway in Taiwan- William Hobbs

The Alishan Forest Railway in Taiwan was constructed to facilitate logging the forests in the mountainous region of Chaiyi County.  A 30 inch gauge line, it goes from 100ft above sea level to 7300ft in 47 miles of loops, tunnels, loops in tunnels, trestles, and switchbacks.  Originally powered by 2 and 3 cylinder Shays, in recent years diesels have been added.  The line now takes tourists to Alishan to enjoy the cool mountain air and views.  The line is a possible World Heritage Site. This clinic will include photos and video of trains operating over the line.

A Railfan trip to Cuba (sugar railroads) in 1981- Tom Yorke

This clinic will document a tour of sugar lines in Cuba in 1981 when steam was still king. Come see slides from 40 years ago, when narrow gauge steam engines were still working to haul product to market. A true time machine opportunity.

Dead rail battery charging system- Lowell Didas

You are operating your dead rail equipped locomotives during an op session when your locomotive runs out of juice in its battery.  In most cases, you would remove your loco from the tracks, take it to the work bench, remove the battery, and put it on your battery recharger.  With this recharging system, you merely put your loco on a siding, attach your magnetically tipped charging cable to your receiving plug, and charge away.
This clinic will go into detail on making the cable and building the receiving receptacle to charge the battery on the layout.  Total time involved in the installation of the receiving receptacle- 15 minutes, and modifying the cable- 10 minutes.  Hassle saved by using this system, who knows.  No wear and tear taking loco or tender apart to get to the battery.  Just magnetically connect the cable and turn on your charger.  When fully charged, just unclip and continue running your locomotive.
Handouts and parts list will be provided.

The Colorado and Southern in a nutshell - Jim Curran

So many of us lack enough space for our layouts. This clinic looks at how the Colorado and Southern (especially the Clear Creek Line) is ideal for modeling in a compact or linear fashion. We will look at locations that lend itself to this as well as show ideas on modeling Black Hawk and Idaho Springs. We will also look at what makes the C&S and it’s predecessors so unique and fun to model. Resources on C&S equipment and structures that have been produced will be provided.

Ceiling Tile Rocks - Mark Anderson

This clinic will show how to create sedimentary rocks from both home consumer and commercial ceiling tiles.

Locomotives of the White Pass & Yukon Route - Robert Bell

Imagine, a Climax locomotive, Colorado & Southern, Silverton Northern, East Tennessee & Western North Carolina, and Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow gauge locomotives all working on the same rails! Truth is stranger than fiction. Take a look at the eclectic range of narrow gauge locomotives, steam to diesel; that have plied the rails of the White Pass & Yukon Route.

Modeling the ET&WNC in HOn3 - Johnny Graybeal

It’s a chicken and the egg problem. You don’t model a favorite railroad because kits aren’t offered. The manufacturers say no one models that line so why produce anything. For the first time ever, the stars have aligned and it is now possible to model the famous ET&WNC narrow gauge in HOn3 and On30. This clinic will cover the kits that are available in wood and 3D printing, for freight and passenger cars, as well as locomotives. Mention will be made if the kits are also available in On30.

Restoring Wooden Narrow Gauge Freight and Passenger Cars - Matt Bumgarner

The Alexander Chapter NRHS has been restoring wooden narrow gauge freight and passenger cars for over a decade.  This clinic will show their efforts to date, their success stories, and how to successfully restore a 100+ year old piece of equipment using modern materials and techniques. It will also introduce to everyone the South East Narrow Gauge and Shortline Museum and their exhibits.