Free-moN: At Home & On The Road

MC Fujiwara Dec 3, 2012

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ah, good. I've seen enough quality groups hit snags, yours is so excellent... Glad to know all is well.
     
  2. Ryan Wilkerson

    Ryan Wilkerson TrainBoard Member

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    Putting together the layout at Roseville was a lot of time, work and expense, especially for the 3 members who coordinated picking up the modules from other members around the bay area who could not attend. I'm very grateful to Steve, Eric and Spuds for making it happen. Trailer rental, hotel accommodations, meals, etc. get really expensive when you're away from home.

    Operations were great since we had both loops and the Effett Yard in the middle with three sidings between. I think we used the space well but could have added 15 more feet. In all aspects, it exceeded my expectations and of the 40-50 people I spoke to at the show, they enjoyed the level of modelling. Much higher than I've seen at this show in N. It only gets better...especially for my three newly built modules.

    I think all the modules are interesting, have their own character and play an important function in layout.

    Do you mind sharing your N scale club details? I've lived near Roseville for 17 years and haven't seen or heard of a club with modern standards that would be at the level of FreeMoN. Where do you meet? If you're interested in building a FreeMo-N module or more, maybe we can do some local setups. There was some interest of local modellers at the show in doing just that. There are a couple big shows coming up this summer for inspiration: NSE in Sacramento and the NTS in Portland.
    -Ryan

     
  3. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    It's the first weekend of Thanksgiving Week (most schools are out the whole week) so people have stuff going on.
    Plus, remember, we're technically not even a "group": people build modules and show up (or not), or some people just show up without modules (though they better start building soon!); we post emails & "talk" online, usually coordinating for a show, but things happen as they happen.
    We have no "Czar," no "President," not even a designated "Event Coordinator."

    [YoHo: I will pass your comments on to our Complaints Department]

    That said, for this show, yesterday we had the layout unloaded from cars, set up & running before the show actually opened at 10am (a first for us!), and today after the show finished at 4 we had the whole kit n' kaboodle broken down & loaded into cars in 40 minutes!
    Woot!

    So "stuff" happens.

    Alrighty: Day Two!
    First thing we did before the show started this morning swap a bunch of modules around.
    We removed Nils' Industrial module from the wye at Effett Yard and replaced it with the simple Ikea shelf 6' runaround tail:

    [​IMG]

    [I placed my hoodie over the end of the Ikea tail to create some mass for people to see out of eye-corner and thus avoid bumping--it's a single leg!]

    Here's what it looked like yesterday:

    [​IMG]

    And we spliced it into the mainline between Steve's Lockhart, TX module and a slew of 45's / Staging Yard O' Necessity:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This way people other than us could actually see all the great detail Nils worked into his work-in-progress (including the periscope in the fascia that allows you to peep into a large warehouse with interior trackage & lighting).
    And it also placed the Staging Yard O' Necessity on the interior of our circled wagons and thus (theoretically) reduced the possibility of bumping the narrow yard.

    Worked out well!
    Still Point to Loop in a giant inverted "G" from Devil Mountain:

    [​IMG]

    All the way around to Lockhart, Industrial & the SYON:

    [​IMG]

    [cont.]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  4. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    The wackiest arrangement was having Bridge O' Wonder next to Effett Yard:

    [​IMG]

    But work out well, and turned Effett into a kinda Dunsmuir.
    Yes, big steam at Effett!

    [​IMG]

    Too bad they're both too big for the 8" turntable [​IMG]

    Actually, the wackiest image was some SPF's Pensy train traversing our California landscape:

    [​IMG]

    Or maybe the fly washing the windows of the new modern buildings on Rick's Silicon Valley CalTrains station module:

    [​IMG]

    But a change in perspective can do just the trick:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking.
    Hope to have a short video cut together soon!
    Happy Thanksgiving week [​IMG]
     
  5. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oooooooo. That overhead view of the bridge is real. Wow. I feel like a circling Seagull!
     
  6. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I got vertigo just looking at that pic...AWESOME !!!!
     
  7. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ever since I have had kids my sense of danger related to heights has been more intense. They are young adults now and now I think my problem is that I am so much heavier that I know I hit the ground that much harder.

    Great modeling.
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm not a heights person at all. But knowing this is a model helps me overcome this very realistic view.
     
  9. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ryan, first of all, thank you for the effort. As I said (If not here, then in MC's post on MRH) Before moving to Roseville, I was a member of the Beaverton Modular Railroad club in Portland Or. I am quite familiar with the issues inherent in getting all the cats herded. And we kept the bulk of our modules together.
    First of all, I agree, I suspect the operations aspect it was fabulous and I saw that as well.
    And I agree, It was in general better than what my club presented in N. (more on that later)

    I should have been a bit more specific in my concern. My concern was with my hat on as a club officer for my club who helps with the sweat equity of putting on the IRF. Our experience is that the number 1 thing that the show needs is new layouts or at least new modules, but at the same time, in general, for the guest not deeply into all aspects of the hobby, "completed" or at least highly finished work trumps others.
    And to that point, I am not on the IRF committee, but occasionally, when I decide I want to build up some rage, I attend the meetings and I know that they will sit there and hem and haw about whether Silicon Valley FreemoN was a bigger draw than The On30 club which was on standby.

    Since I personally want more N at the show and I also personally want more operations and more modern thoughts in layout designs, I want you guys, but the committee may look at number of trees planted on the modules and decide to go another way. (never mind that the committee members haven't built a new modules for their layouts in decades.) I'm not saying that's what will happen. I'm saying that is my fear.
    Absolutely. I wish I had more time to spend up there. I was busy working the kids coloring and videos and got only brief moments to look. I never meant to imply otherwise. As I said above I had a very specific concern.
    First of all, I never said we were a club with modern standards. Goodness gracious, I wish.

    I am the Treasurer and Webmaster for Roseville Roundhouse MRC and we were incorporated in Roseville in 1977. We are both N and HO.
    As I'm sure you'll know due to your qualifier of modern standards, the N scale layouts are old Wedding cake styles (though I think Jud has done wonders with the large Warf area that was recently added.

    We are also a club that has only 2 active 100% N-scale members. We had 3 until one died unexpectedly last year and there are a couple members, myself included that dabble and a few more that have given up N and are only HO due to age and eyesight. There used to be a quite robust number of N members. the vast majority of them left due to life changes. Work taking them away from Sac, the recession, etc.

    So, with 2 members, there is little value in rebuilding the layouts.

    Having said that, myself and one of the other cross scale members are pushing to do just that. It's moving slowly.
    We also have T-Trak. I have built a module for that. We didn't set up this year, because we had so many donations that we needed the space and man power to clear them out. Plus, one of the 2 N-scalers unexpectedly couldn't make it and so there was one guy and some dabblers holding down the fort.

    As to N in Sac. Perhaps those Wedding cake layouts turn people off, well, I'm here to tell you that if you want, come on in and join. Now's the time. This is a chicken and egg situation right now. You can't have a new layout without members to build it, but we won't get new members without new layouts, but it is a club that needs and wants new N-scale blood.

    I've invited a couple of the n-scalers here (Noah) down, but to my knowledge, none have bothered. Or at least they didn't tell me.
    Heck, come on down with some T-Trak modules. I've been toying with the idea of trying to set up a T-trak meet. Not sure how many would be interested in it.

    As to me building a FreemoN module. I might take you up on it. I'm mainly HO, but so what. And while I'd prefer to get more members for RRMRC. I'd rather see SOME sort of robust N club in the area rather than zero.

    But again, let me be clear, my fussing was from the perspective of a show owner who wants to see Maximum Ooos and Ahhs from all walks of attendee. I had set my expectations quite high for that.

    Still, it was a successful show. I'll know just how successful next week, but easily best in years. Perhaps all my fretting is for naught. And I will be sure to pass on your comments about perhaps getting more locals involved, because they will be excited to hear that we've impacted interest in the hobby.

    and again, thank you for all the work. I hope you didn't take my comments with offense. It wasn't intended. I just want you back next year.

    Heck, I want them to start offering up the space outside to vendors and anyone willing to bring a pop up canopy so we can get more layouts, more vendors, more anything.

    But it takes people like you to get there and I want to make sure you're appreciated.
     
  10. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    There will always be the challenges of participation to overcome. Make due with what is available and if the group represents the modeling well the support will follow.

    I say that not to take away from what you have laid out here, but rather as inspiration to continue to attempt to excite and attract others for the sake of any scale.

    Keep it light, keep it fun.
     
  11. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not very realistic for California at all (at the moment). Haven't seen a river with that much water in it for a long time up here! :teeth:

    I can stand and stare at Nils' modules for hours. His mountain scenery is amazing, and his new industrial / city street module is beyond words.
     
  12. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    We had some nice lighting just before the show opened Sunday morning. So have some "dawn at Silicon Valley Station" shots

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Nice lighting. Sure looks like 6am! My camera certainly can't capture such a scene.
     
  14. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    I need to tell you that your club was not very friendly to new people about 10 years ago and told me and several of my friends that we weren't wanted.

    Now your club is facing the issues of the insolence of your predecessors.

    There are a lot of N Scalers like me in the Sacramento area, it is just RRMRC was never very hospitable towards us.
     
  15. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Couple comments on that: 1) the worst offender in that area, our president at the time, has been removed from the club and most of the remainder have quite literally died. We're well aware of those issues and fought hard to fix them. If you had stopped by during the show, you'd have been hard pressed to recognize more than a handful.
    2: having said that, why is there no N-trak club? No other permanent n scale club? I know the challenges we've had. It happens in most all clubs, both the troublesome members and the attrition due to life. That does not explain why such a rich railroad history area has but one N scale club.
     
  16. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    This thread is focused on my Free-moN modules and the shows I participate in.
    I welcome advice, comment & criticism about MY modules and the shows that I participate in.

    YoHo, DCESharkman, please take your discussion to another thread.
    [Perhaps entitled "Sacramento N-Scale Groups" or something that is actually positive and inviting.]
    Please don't respond in this thread, nor to me directly.
    Thank you for respecting me, my work, and this thread.

    Ryan W: thank you for being the diplomatic voice of reason & empathy, and for all of your vivacious vibes and support throughout the years.
    Even though we don't meet up that often, your encouragement and positive energy (invested into the hobby, us fellow excited model railroad bretheren, and, most important, your kids) is extremely contagious and pushes people to shows & better modeling beyond your boarders.

    After all my years of public model railroading, all the Free-moN modules and all take-out-all-the-seats-in-my-car trips to schelp to shows, THIS is one of my favorite moments of model railroading:

    [​IMG]

    [Yes, Dave F. is sooper cute, but look at all the intense excitement surrounding the trains!]

    I wish you well with your modules, and please don't hesitate to get in touch if there is any way I can help contribute to your modules (with info, techniques, or ??).

    If anyone has a specific question about my modules or the Silicon Valley Free-moN group (of which I am now a wee-participating member), please feel free to contact me offline at my website or email: mcfujiwara@gmail.com.
    I still hope to finish the video of the show soon, which will be on my YouTube Channel.
    Cheers! And hope all have a happy holidays!
     
  17. Noah Lane

    Noah Lane TrainBoard Member

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    I second MC's recommendation for starting a separate thread regarding a Sacramento N-Scale group. It is an important discussion, just not here.

    MC- You guys continue to amaze me. Not just with your modeling, but how active you are in Nor Cal train shows. I can only imagine the amount of time, money, coordination, and effort required to set up the FreeMoN layout at multiple shows per year. I will say, from a spectators point of view, it is absolutely appreciated! And I'm sure countless other participants feel likewise. I hope that one day the FreeMo thing catches on over here, and I can get involved.

    What is the likelihood that you and your FreeMoN Posse will be at the Richmond show in January? That show looked really cool last year, and I'd love to see more of the full layout in person.
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's great to see.
     
  19. Ryan Wilkerson

    Ryan Wilkerson TrainBoard Member

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    MC,
    That's probably the nicest thing anyone has said to me online...actually scratch that...the wide-world of the railroad-hobby community. I love that photo too.
    Your welcoming to my family before we had a module was very kind. That goes to the other good guys in the SVFN group too but you were a great catalyst to take the layout to the next level and encourage everyone to make it happen. When I looked at the Roseville show's layout, I thought of how it would look without all your handy work...it would have been a loop and mostly straight! Your module contributions are only part of it...the how-to blogs, super fast show write-ups with photos are very enjoyable and my boys and I always look forward to them. And how can I forget the layout videos? I know my wife can't forget the music! :) Actually, it's become such a part of FreeMo-N that my boys will actually hum the toon while running trains! Makes me laugh every time :)

    Thanks for the offer on the help...I know I'll need it. Next step is to try your tree building process.
    I hope to see you at the Richmond show!
    -Ryan

     
  20. eric220

    eric220 TrainBoard Member

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    For the record, "Pennsy" has two n's. ;)
     

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