So it has been two week since my total knee replacement and I find myself frustrated with the inability to sit at the work bench and build or work on the layout. The swelling needs to go down to allow me to bend my leg a bit more.   I hope that this will be the week to get some things done. I guess that I am not cut out to be an armchair railroader.  Blogging is no substitute for doing actual modeling.

The Type 21 tank car project has my current interest.   It seems like all of my recent projects have been boxcars.  Time to make a change.   I have been squirreling parts away in for nearly a year.   The project started as an effort to convert the Type 21 into a Type 25 owned and operated by Associated Oil Company of California.  The project is on hold in lieu of decals.  My intent was to get Custom Decals (Jerry Glow) to print a set in 1/48 scale.   Sadly, he exited the decal business.

Tom Dill collection

Tom Dill collection

Cruising through my photo files uncovered a shot of a Shell Oil tank car.   So, the project has new direction.  Now all I need is a little cooperation on the part of my body and chips will be flying so to speak.


There has been an interesting discussion running on Trevor Marshall’s Port Rowan blog.   It is about the introduction of a new magazine in the UK dedicated to finescale modeling.   A lot of the discussion centered around why it works there and not here.  Finescale is a nebulous term that can be applied to RTR and scratchbuilding.

I don’t intend to start a new thread on this important subject.   Trevor has that topic well in hand.

The one point about the above topic is the term finescale.   It has some history with me.   My first involvement with scale modeling in 1/4″ was helping Bob Brown with projects on his legendary magazine, Fine-Lines.   The name of finescale fit the work of modelers like Gordon Cannon, Bill Coffee, Bob Brown and many others.  Modelers who researched their prototype, made patterns, cut lumber to exact size and created the model a board at a time.   That seemed to fill my understanding of finescale.

Fine Lines magazine pioneered finescale modeling.

Fine Lines magazine pioneered finescale modeling.

Gordon Cannon's On3 scratchbuilt Shay.

Gordon Cannon’s On3 scratchbuilt Shay.

Over the years, the term was applied to many different levels of modeling and models.  It became a hollow marketing word.  In fact, the word somehow gotten warped into a derogatory phrase to create an elitist slur intended to hurt rather than praise.   I always looked at that childish comment from someone who recognized the merit of doing it right but can’t admit it.


2 thoughts on “PART ?

  1. Gene: Thanks very much for sharing the shot of Gordon Cannon’s three truck Westside #15, which I remember from many years ago. His, Bob Brown’s, and Cliff Grandt’s narrow gauge modeling, among others back in that era, really set the core impressions that have inspired me to stick with railroad modeling, got me as a youth to rethink how it relates to real railroads, and to come back to the hobby after a long hiatus during graduate school.

    Chris Chris Frissell Polson, MT

    • Chris
      I found the slide several weeks ago. It was a beauty. The picture was taken at Chet Taylou home in Toluca Lake. A bunch of us traveled to a narrow gauge meet at Chets.

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