New backdrop on Val Ease Central and AP status report
- Hi gang,
I promised Terry Sutfin that I would make a report on the Eugene train meet
held last weekend by the PNR 1st division. The highlight of the show for me
at least, was the unveiling of the new hand painted backdrop for the Val
The meet was billed as a mini-meet since it was scheduled for Saturday May
6th. There were about 35 modellers in attendance. Door prizes were
offered, coffee and donuts were in abundance and we had the pleasure of
sitting in on several very professional clinics. I was especially impressed
by a clinic on railfan and model photography. I accepted to give a clinic
which was well received.
The Val Ease Central was the only operating layout at the meet. It appeared
that the attendees had never seen a North American themed Z layout before.
Since I was introducing the new backdrop, I was interested in their comments
which were very positive.
As you can see, the backdrop is twice as high as the original and is
completely hand painted using acrylics on 175 pound cardstock drymounted on
gatorboard. The finished backdrop is in 3 panels which are quite rigid. If
there is sufficient interest, I can produce an article on the techniques
that I used. I did a test panel to gage the paint characteristics and to
get a feel for the paper. After picking up a couple of deeper greens and a
medium fan brush from a local artist supply, I did all three panels in an
afternoon. I'm pleased with the result.
I had the great pleasure of having a visit by Don Bouchard and John Lamere,
formerly of Rogue Locomotive Works (GP38-2 fame). Don and John are partners
again in a new venture to produce Z scale accessories. We had a great time
chatting and talking about our dreams for Z. Don has big plans and I hope
that they come to fruition. When the time is right, Don will let the list
in on his schemes.
Here are some close-ups of the 3 panels for your enjoyment...
AP status report:
I am moving ever closer to my goal of 4 maybe 5 achievement certificates
this year. As you know the Electical certificate is finished.
With the Eugene meet I have 42 of the 60 points needed for the Volunteer
certificate. If all goes well I will have 60 pts after the following shows:
4th Division meet in Issaquah, WA, May 20-21 (3 pts), PNR regional meet in
Boise, ID, June 23-25 (6 pts) and the National Train Show in San Jose, CA,
August 3-6 (9 pts).
I have received 34 of the 48 points needed for the Author certificate. The
next 2 issues of Ztrack Magazine will take me over the top!
The scenery certificate should be completed in the next 10 days after a new
judging session here in Vancouver. I have made the improvements to the
layout as suggested by the NMRA judges in Salmon Arm. The most obvious
change being the new backdrop. I only need another 7.5 points to qualify.
The paperwork for the civil engineering certificate is done and approved by
the judges. I have to hand lay two switches and a crossing and receive 87.5
points out of 125 from NMRA judges. I will probably give it a try in July
after the move to Toronto. I might present the track for judging at the
NMRA national convention. I'll keep Ole posted on how it goes. I'm sorry
that I couldn't attend Billy Roden's handlaying clinic in Richardson, TX in
The 6th certificate is for locomotives. I have to scratch build one loco
and superdetail 2 others and have them judged by the NMRA. I have already
begun work on two of the super detailed locos. This is a photo of a Union
Pacific heavy pacific that I am working on. Once finished, this loco will
be a static model on the layout although it does run. The other super
detailed loco is a Union Pacific 4-6-0 (no photo yet). I am planning to
scratch build a 2-6-6-0 mallet in Union Pacific colors to complete the trio
The last certificate is for cars (rolling stock). I have to produce 8 cars
of which 4 must be scratch built. I think I'll take my time on this one.
After all I still have all of 2001!
Anyway, hope you have enjoyed reading of my ongoing adventures in Z.
CEO: Val Ease Central RR http://www.Val-Ease-Central.com
Ztrack Magazine Contributing Editor: http://www.ztrack.com
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- Hello Jeffrey,
Very nice works - layout, backdrop and rolling stocks.
Especially I like the scene of UP turntable, with a
steamer on and F7 in the roundhouse.