Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Stockton & Copperopolis in the News

With the NMRA convention coming up in Kansas City this summer, both Railroad Model Craftsman and Model Railroad Hobbyist are doing their part to publicize the event. As many of you may know, the Stockton & Copperopolis has been featured in both publications recently: the November 2017 issue of RMC and the March 2018 MRH.
Trainmasters Video
As another means of making people aware of the convention, just before Christmas, Barry Silverthorn of Trainmasters Video visited my  railroad and a few others in the area. He spent about a day video taping our layouts and interviewing the owners. That video was just released on the Trainmasters website (
     Both RMC and MRH did a real good job of showing off the railroad and Trainmasters was no exception. The 23-minute production covered a great deal of the railroad and even made me look halfway decent. My thanks to Barry and my frequent operator, Mark Davidson, who spent the day helping me during the filming.
For those of you thinking of coming to the convention, it looks like it's going to be a good event. The people in charge are working hard to make sure that of its success. If you don't read it already, check out Model Railroad Hobbyist. Joe Fugate does an excellent job and there is a heavy emphasis on photos to tell the story. The best part is that it's free. Trainmasters, however, is a subscription service but there are many, many videos of layout visits and how-to-do-it subjects. I've only seen a couple but they are very professionally done. It seems well worth the price.
     See you at the convention!

Monday, March 5, 2018

New Structures at Farmington

Two weeks ago, Kansas City hosted its bi-annual Prairie Rail event. This is an invitational operating weekend where railroaders congregate from all over the country to operate four railroads during the three days. This year, we had over 150 attendees operating on over 30 model railroads. The Stockton & Copperopolis was privileged to host two sessions with ten operators each. Fortunately, the railroad behaved and everybody seemed to be having a good time. Only minor problems  came up and were easily solved. I heard nothing but good comments about the event in general.
The Farmington Winery sits at the end of a spur at the edge of Little John Creek. The boiler house is in the rear. I still need to add some wine barrels and a vat or two around the outside. I will do that when I do the final mounting and scenery work.
 In the leadup to the event, everything was cleaned and checked but no new work was done for fear that some new problem would arise. In this period of limbo, I literally dusted off a kit I had been saving for over 20 years and decided to assemble it. The Farmington Winery was born! The basic kit was a Railway Design Associates mill which looked very much like some of the old California wineries. Not much in the way of modifications was done as it looked good the way it was.
The California Models cottage. The weather vane was added from an etched kit I had been saving. The house will sit on the other side of the tracks from the depot near the main town district.
 During the same time period, I finished another kit started several months back. It was an early kit with a lot of wood and paper details (no nifty Grandt Line castings here). It is going to be in the background so any lack of detail would not be noticed anyway. It turned out all right but the modern laser kits are more the way to go.