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  • Contest Time In Phoenix

    These models were judged the best in their class at the National Model Railroad Association's Pacific Coast Regional Contest.


    1. The "Best in Show" trophy and "Best Steam Locomotive" class was won by Ed Groth's scratchbuilt HO scale model of a Porter steam locomotive that operated on "narrow gauge" track (the rails spaced 2-feet rather than 4-feet 8-inches apart). Ed fabricated all of the parts from bits of brass and other metals including a pencil eraser-size motor. The brake shoes on the drivers can actually be actuated by a lever in the cab of the engine!

    2. Gordon Cannon won the "Diesel and Other . . . Locomotive " class with this scratchbuilt On2 model of an industrial gasoline-engined switcher.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Fall 1971 - Page 84 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Fall 1971 - Page 85

    The most attractive aspect of the model railroading hobby, to most enthusiasts, is that it is one of the most relaxing and creative pastimes possible. The concept of a contest, then, seems a bit out of keeping with what the hobby offers at its best. Still, hundreds of modelers enter model building contests in all parts of the country; and the most enthusiastic enter their models in the only national model building contest of the year at the National Model Railroad Association's annual convention. The answer to the seemingly opposing concepts of a relaxing hobby and any form of competition lies in the fact that these contests are more a best showcase of the talents the entrants have developed than they are a competition. Many of the entrants spend months or years of their spare time on a special model project that results in what they feel might just be at least as realistic as anyone, anywhere, could build - the national contest is a chance for them to see just how well their efforts do stack up against others and, most often, gives them the chance to see where their models and techniques can be even further improved to produce even better models. The spectators that can observe these contests at the N.M.R.A.'s national and regional conventions benefit from seeing these men's work almost as much as the builders. There are few places where so many superior-quality models are gathered together for the viewer to see just how realistic a railroad model can be. You can share your best models with other model railroaders (who else can really appreciate your efforts?) or simply oggle the best that others have built by attending one of the National Model Railroad Association's regional or national conventions. Your $5.00 membership in the N.M.R.A., Box 1328, Station C, Canton, Ohio 44708 will bring you news of the national conventions and where to locate the members and officials of the region you live in. Your membership also brings you the twelve issues of the association's monthly Bulletin (one of the better modeling magazines), a biannual guide to all of the members and member clubs in the world, and the chance to obtain the full set o f N.M.R.A. modeling standards comprehensive "Data Sheets" on all aspects of the hobby. The association's annual conventions bring hundreds of model railroaders together at a different city each fall (the 1971 "national" was held this August in London, England). The 1972 national convention is scheduled for Seattle, Washington. Since few of the members could attend the "national" this year many opted for a trip to sunny Phoenix, Arizona, last April for the Pacific Coast Region's annual convention. The PCR has consistently held one of the largest and best-attended conventions in the country, with nearly half of the attendance from other regions all across the country, and 1971's was the biggest and best ever. Most of the regional conventions are patterned after the "national" with clinics on model building and operation, model manufacturer's displays, tours of the layouts in the area, trips to the real railroads' facilities, and a contest for the best models the members have built. The models on these pages were winners in their respective categories at the PCR's Phoenix contest.



    3. This On3 scale model of a caboose that once ran on the West Side Lumber Company's railroad in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The wooden parts of the model are pieces of individual stripwood with brass ladders and commercial trucks with added details. Gordon Cannon's work, again, and winner of the "Caboose" class.

    4. The full-size inspiration for Eric Bracher's derrick car once worked on the right of way of the Denver & Rio Grande. His HOn3 scratchbuilt model won the "Maintenance of Way" class in Phoenix.

    5. Art Burges' HO scale oil well rig is an exact replica of the real thing right down to scale nut and bolt castings. His model won the "Structures" class.

    6. Frank Slater's HO scale model of a Canadian Pacific Railroad coaling tower had more than enough realism to win the "Display" class trophy.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Fall 1971 - Page 86 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Fall 1971 - Page 87



    7. Andrew Miller added a full cab interior, brake rigging, and most of the prototype's piping to his PFM-brand On3 ready-to-run brass model of the Rio Grande's narrow gauge 4-6-0. His skilled workmanship earned him both the "Novice" and "Kit" first place trophies in the "Steam Locomotive" class.

    8. Wade Pellizzer used various thicknesses of sheet styrene plastic to fabricate the body for his HO scale model of General Electric's U-50 diesel with commercial trucks and motor. He won the "Diesel Locomotive" class trophy.

    9. The real railroads used special cars, called "flangers," to scrape snow and ice away from their track and switches. This one was once used on the prototype Rio Grande's narrow gauge line in Colorado. John Parker's HOn3 model won the "Maintenance of Way " class.

    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Fall 1971 - Page 88 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Fall 1971 - Page 89



    11. Models of unfinished buildings are interesting additions to any model railroad. Bob Silveria's warehouse under constructions won the "Structure" class.

    13. Fred Verrier's On2 model of a tiny diesel locomotive is about the size of a package of cigarettes but fully detailed -- enough to win the "Diesel & Other …" class. Notice the gas cans and tools on the running board and ther oleo up canvas tarp over the cab door.

    14. Another of the prototype West Side Lumber Company's cabooses, as modeled by Fred Verrier in On3 Scale, won the "Caboose" class.

    12. W.J. Davis' models won both first and second places in the "Display" class. This is his first-place HO scale pickle factory.

    15. A pair of R/Robb Ltd.-brand HOn3 flat car kits formed the basis for Bob Silveria's "Maintenance of Way" class-winning pile driver cars. The superstructures were assembled from scale-size stripwood and commercial detail castings.

    16. Frank Slater added a "tin" roof and well-"worn" wood skirts to the Fine Lines brand HO scale freight house kit. His precise workmanship and attention to details made the kit realistic enough to earn him first place in the "Structures" class.
    1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Fall 1971 - Page 90 1001 Model Railroading Ideas - Fall 1971 - Page 91


    Article Details

    • Original Author 1001 Model Railroading Ideas
    • Source 1001 Model Railroading Ideas
    • Publication Date Fall 1971

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