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RMGR Newsletter

G-Gauge Gnus
Editor: Ross Crain, Bx 29 Site 3 RR 2, Rocky Mountain House, AB, T0M 1T0
phone: 403-845-2527 email: ercrain@telusplanet.net

Summer 1999

President's Message
We have a busy summer season ahead of us with numerous shows, backyard visits, our annual picnic/campout, and and our first ever swap meet. There should be some-thing for everyone! Shows need volunteers to help setup, teardown, run trains, and greet the audience. It's fun, informative, and good for the soul - kids prefer us to all other train displays, so if you like kids (even 60 year old kids) this is a good place for you. The future of model railroading is Large Scale - help tell the world about it.

Special Thanks
  • To Lynn and Randy for the use of their new home for our Christmas potluck supper;
  • To Ross and Sonja for Santa Claus presents for everyone at the potluck;
  • To Ruth Stahl of Golden Acres for her presentation on miniature plants;
  • To Tony and Joan and Golden Acres staff, and Richard and Faye at Aviation News, for allowing our group to meet at their premises. With such a large membership as ours, it's nice to have a home that holds us all. Thank you from all of us.

    Web Site is here
    The RMGR has approved the setup of a small web site dedicated to our activities. Tom Matys has volunteered to set this up. If you can contribute photos or text contact him at 403-254-5162 or email tommatys@cadvision.com. We also have a page on the CMRS web site and a page on Large Scale On Line that will be linked both ways to our new site. Thanks Tom!

    CMRS SuperTrain 99 and ACMR Red Deer 99 Show Reports
    These shows were well attended, gave us and the audience lot's of space and bright lighting. Both shows were financial successes for the sponsoring clubs and will probably be held at these new and better venues next year. Many RMGR members volunteered their time, track, and trains to make our displays a great success. The club track is a loan courtesy of LGB of America and they deserve a hearty thank you for the virtually "permanent" addition of this track to our RMGR club shows.

    Various club members have taken Large Scale trains to other, more diversified, shows like Hullabaloo with a tremendous response from the audience.


    Good Stuff and Miscellaneous
    Attached to this newsletter are a number of articles that will be of interest to newcomers and oldtimers alike:
  • Members address list and events calendar - Shirley Jalving
  • When are curves too sharp?? - courtesy Vogue Magazine
  • LGB Turnout Tips - submitted by Doug Cannon, reprinted by permission from George Schreyer
  • Dwarf plants for garden railways - from NMRA May 1999 Bulletin

    We need more hard-to-find items like these to distribute to our members. If you run across any gems of wisdom in magazines or on the Internet, send a clean copy to the editor. Our next G-Gauge Gnus is due out in late November 1999.

    Video Lending Library
    Doug Cannon is Librarian for videos of Garden and Real Railways. If you have any videos to contribute to the collection, or have some you are willing to lend out on an individual basis, please let Doug know. Call Doug to borrow a video 403-274-7606.

    Help Needed
    To keep a meaningful newsletter, WE NEED news, reviews, articles, ideas, drawings, plans, and pictures from YOU, our members. Contact the editor with your contributions.

    Coming Events and Open Houses
  • 29 - 30 May 99 NMRA Regional Meeting and Show 16 G Scale Modules from Saskatoon!!!!!!
  • 12 - 13 Jun 99 Heritage Park Railway Days RMGRS Setup 11Jun 99
  • 12 - 13 Jun 99 Big Train Show, Long Beach CA
  • 17 June 99 Regular business meeting, styrofoam scenery demo
  • 15 July 99 Bill&Audrey Burtwell, call SW 251-2937. SWAP MEET in the backyard.
  • 28 Jul - 01 Aug 99 15th GR Convention, Chicago IL
  • 30 Jul - 02 Aug 99 G-GAUGE DAZE - RMGR Campout/Picnic at Rocky Mountain House, Ross & Sonja 403-845-2527 See MAP and Invitation attached to this newsletter
  • 08 Aug 99 Layout Tour and BBQ in Calgary - 4 homes, call Shirley 249-9981
  • 23 - 27 Aug 99 LGB Convention, Durango CO
  • 11 - 12 Sep 99 Hoot N Toot at Golden Acres South, Calgary, RMGR Setup 10 Sep
  • 16 Sep 99 Brown Family, call 271-5585
  • 25 - 26 Sep 99 Edmonton Train Show RMGR Setup on 24 Sep 99
  • 21 Oct 99 TBA
  • 18 Nov 99 Robert & Angie Fraser, call 257-0276
  • 16 Dec 99 Potluck Christmas Party - location TBA
    Note that due to our larger membership, some meetings may be held at a venue other than the hosts' homes. Please check before you drive to the wrong place. Please let your host know how many are coming.


    Editorial
    Large scale model railroading is gaining strength in many areas - new manufacturers, better models, more retailers. Even the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) has put a lot of effort into acknowledging these advances. The May 1999 NMRA Bulletin was dedicated to Garden Railroading, with 14 full colour pages of editorial material, plus an author's contest exclusively for Large Scale articles. That's more than Model Railroader Magazine (MR) has done in the last 5 years! MR's last concession to Large Scale is an article that managed to convey the message that Large Scale is beneath the dignity of "real" modellers, and is a mere temporary diversion.

    An NMRA committee has been working for several years to define and promote interchange, track, and wheel standards for the various scales that use 45 mm track, as well as other gauges used in Large Scale. They have also promoted, as has Large Scale On Line, better labelling and advertising standards to define scale, gauge, and era represented by a model. Success is only partial but moving ahead. MR still thinks 1:29 scale Aristocraft diesels are "G Scale"! Even though about 10% of MR advertising revenue is from Large Scale retailers, less than 1% of MR editorial material is devoted to Large Scale. More feedback from readers could change this over time. What do you think of the current state of magazine coverage of your hobby?


    Book Reviews
    Explore The World Of LGB, subtitled Answers to Your LGB Questions; 216 pp, soft cover, LGB Part # 00559; English (German version available)

    This is the long awaited replacement for LGB Technik, the book that describes LGB's EPL wiring and power control systems, commonly known as the "G-Wizz" system. The book covers basic wiring, advanced circuits for switch machines, passing sidings, and signal operation. The new stuff concerns the use of the many advanced features of the "Jumbo" power supply, such as braking and momentum effects, automatic station stops, and train control of these functions. Another major new item is the LGB Multi-Train System - the digital command control (DCC) system built by Lenz for LGB. Many hints in here for all users of DCC systems. It takes close reading to find all the gems - how many people know or use the "external control" terminals on standard LGB power packs?

    Beginner's Guide to Large Scale Model Railroading by Marc Horovitz and Russ Larsen, Kalmbach Publishing,, 1998 ISBN 0-89778-397-2. 96 pages, soft cover.

    This is also long overdue but a bit pricey. It covers scale and gauge (inadequately since 1:29 is not even mentioned), indoor and outoor large scale railways, how kids and adults get involved, a short section on live steam, and several photo sections. The "Technical" chapter attempts to do in 6 pages what the previous book does in 200 pages. Good broad coverage of most topics, but a little shy on depth.


    Product Reviews
    Aristocraft Delton Classic 2-8-0 Consolidation Steam Locomotive
    After nearly 4 years of advertising, they have arrived. The locomotive looks good, runs well (but more motor and gear noise than LGB engines), pulls well, no built in sound (but easy to add). Center two pairs of drivers have no flanges, so it will go around 2 ft radius curves, but lead truck often derails on these curves. This can be fixed by reducing the spring pressure that tries to keep the truck centered. Scale is 1:24 so loco looks a little small next to 1:20 equipment, but it suits most LGB, Bachmann, and Aristo (Delton) older era freight and passenger cars. It won't look too swell with Aristo heavy-weight passenger cars. Overall a great model that fills a hole in the Large Scale scene.

    Hartland 4-4-0 American Steam Locomotive
    Nice new, reasonably priced, addition with a different wheel arrangement. This one could be custom painted for various standard gauge Canadian railroads, many of which had 4-4-0 locomotives from 1880 thru 1930. In standard gauge, the locomotive represents 1:29 or 1:32 scale. As a narrow gauge unit, it fits 1:22 or 1:24, but may be a bit small for 1:20. All of these scales, of course, use 45 mm (LGB or Aristo) track. The locomotive is too shiny, has some ugly mold parting lines on the boiler, and pretty crude side rods by current standards. These engines are re-issues of Kalamazoo "toy trains" of the late 1970 - early 1980 period, so they are not as sophisticated as their modern counterparts. The motors appear to be wound for 12 volts and not 18 to 24 volts like other Large Scale engines. Hence they run very fast compared to others at the same throttle setting - they'll tip over on sharp curves at full speed. Dulled down and slowed down a bit, it will make a valuable addition to your Large Scale locomotive roster. Note: to keep prices down, Hartland combines two different boilers, two different cabs, two different tenders, and one or two motor blocks to make half a dozen different locomotive types, much like you or I would kitbash a locomotive from spare parts. The low fidelity to accurate prototype dimensions may scare off some modellers.

  • Links to previous issues of G-Gauge Gnus
  • Summer 1999
  • Winter 1998
  • Summer 1998
  • Spring 1997
  • Spring 1996
  • Fall 1996



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