Division One Web Site Railroad Item of the Month View from the Cab From the Editor's Desk Clinic Corner Doug Hickman Cartoon Air Dry Clay Classifieds
Vol #50
January 2019

LogoTrain Order

Train Order

Division One of the North Central Region of the National Model Railroad Assoc.
Our mission is to promote education and fellowship through the sharing of information and the promotion of the world's greatest hobby. - Model Railroading.

Railroad Item of the Month

The next time you are in the Chicago area, or driving along I90 through Illinois, make a trip to the Illinois Railway Musuem. I spent nearly all day here a couple of summers ago, and I am trying to come up with an excuse to head back that way.

Paul Marsden

View from the Cab

cab Wow! It's 2019 already. Where did 2018 go? (Where did my LIFE go?) We are getting close to kicking off the new year with our January meeting on February 1. Yes, that's right. Due to schedule adjustments we had to push back the January meeting by one week. We will still have the regular February meeting on the 22nd as well, so be sure to update and follow your planners!

Last month I spoke at length about the ocean freighter that I began scratch-building in mid-November for a pier scene on my layout, and those of you who attended the November meeting had a look at the initial construction. I've been making good progress and plan to bring it again to the Feb. 1 meeting. If you've got a model or diorama that takes some time to build, please consider bringing it to Black Swamp Division meetings and show us how you do it. It will be fun to watch you work and we can all learn things as you do. We want to expand the idea of Show-n-Tell to be VERY broad. We are all interested in models at every phase. Got a new one for Christmas that's still in the box? Bring it. Half done? Bring it. Newly finished. Ditto. New tool or material? Idea for how to do something? Question about how to do something? Pictures of things too big to bring to the meeting? Short video clip of a project or prototype? EVERYTHING here is good stuff for Show-n-Tell! Just think of the activity as "what's going on in your model railroading world". If we all pitch in and contribute, we could fill an evening with more ideas and inspirations than we could keep track of. Just don't think that what you have to show or share is not important. It is to someone, so bring it!

We'll have four more meetings between now and April before we break for Summer. Start thinking now about ideas for our annual Spring outing. We'll start that discussion at the next meeting. Your leaders also welcome new suggestions for things you'd like to see developed as clinics as well panel discussions, like the one we did on DCC at the November meeting. Got a request for a "make and take" meeting? We definitely want to explore that direction too, so let us know your thoughts and what you'd like to build together.

Well, we are into the heart of a great season for model railroading. With the cold short days and colder long nights, there's no yard work calling and more time to settle down at the workbench and get more things built. I'm having a blast on my layout and I hope you are too. More than that, I hope Division One is inspiring and encouraging you. If so let us know what to keep doing. If not, tell us how to get better. After all, we are a service organization, and you are the customer!

See ya on down the line,

Dave McMullian,

From the Editors Desk

I hope everyone had a fun time/safe travels over the Christmas period with family and friends. It amazes me how Santa always knows, and gets exactly what I need, as can be seen by the photo.

I did manage to spend some time working on my railway over the holiday period. One of the things I was working on was a little canal basin, which I have described below.

Remember we do have a facebook page now, click here to view the page. Not only are we going to use this group on Facebook to promote division events, but as a "networking" tool. We have our convention coming up, and Facebook provides us a way to promote the event, for FREE. The more people on it, the more the news gets out. I must throw out a big thank you Marshall Stull for helping/posting content onto the Facebook pages.


Paul Marsden,

Clinic Corner

Happy New Year!

It seems like it has been a year since we last met. Hard to believe there are only 4 more meetings this year. I hope everyone had a really nice Christmas and a great start to the new year...... 2019! We have some really great clinics and presentations planned for the next 4 meetings. And speaking of Christmas, I hope everyone brings something to share for Show & Tell. It can be anything from something new you received at Christmas or purchased at a train show, a kit, car, or anything you found while cleaning or organizing the train area, pictures, a new technique you read about, a new tool you discovered or an old tool you found a new use for, any kits you are building (great to see in progress models), or anything else. Just bring something to share and help everyone learn something new in our great hobby. The more we share the more we all know.

Our February 1st meeting will include an intro to how to set up an operation session from scratch whether it is for 1 person or a basement full. Part two of the clinic will be at the 2/22 meeting. there will a homework assignment! We will have a presentation on portable and reusable bench work which anyone currently building a layout, thinking about building a layout, or thinking about any expansion will find interesting. And we will finally get to watch the layout video we have tried to fit in since October. So there will be another full program slate for the February 1st meeting.

I hope to see you there.

Norm Cattell,
Assistant Superintendent

Doug Hickman Cartoon

Air Dry Clay

I had been thinking about talking about my experience of using Air Dry Clay in the Train Order, and then I read Dave's View From the Cab and the light bulb goes off, I can write about this here, and hopefully Dave will not be on my case about not having anything for show and tell, so win, win for me. I have had a few attempts of trying to use Air Dry Clay before, just playing/testing and have never been satisfied with my results. I had decided that I had an area that really needed me to try again.

Figure 1. The clay that I am using.
I am using DAS Air Hardening Clay. I got it from Amazon, but I have since seen it for sale at Hobby Lobby for about the same price as what I paid on Amazon. It comes in 2 colors, white, and teracotta. I am using the white.
Figure 2. Stamp.
I bought this stamp from, the 3d printing company. It did not cost that much, they had a few different types.
Figure 3. Area ready for the clay.

Background story, I had been struggling with my layout, I was not happy with how traffic was going to flow around it. In June last year I had some free/sitting doing nothing time, and got into thinking about what I did not like. Bingo, new layout created mental. When time became available again I ripped up a few pieces of track and I got excitted again about cracking on with the layout. Unfortunately, I am still awaiting the track layers to fix the track, but that is another story. So now I am happy with the track design, I had this siding/yard with no industry on it. Before my redesign I was working on a canal that was going to disappear into a hill, but before the canal could fully disappear, the hill did. Now I had a canal to nowhere, so I came up with the idea of extending the canal a little bit so I could create a basin/dock for the siding/yard, and thought the clay, and stamp would be a perfect edging for this area.

Of course I did not start thinking about taking pictures until I was into the project, so I do not have a before picture.

Figure 4. Clay in Place.

I guess I could have taken more pictures of the next steps. I rolled the clay out, and pressed around the edges, and then used the stamp to create the walls. I then let the clay dry for a couple of days. I painted the clay using acrylic paints, in various greys, and browns. I used some wood filler to help cover the seam.

> Figure 5. Nearly Finished.
Figure 6. Railroad must think things are getting close, they have put a car in the yard waiting to be loaded.

I liked how it looked, and have now produced a dividing wall, as seen, to separate the industries.

Figure 7. Extreme Close Up.


2018-2019 Schedule

28th September, 2018
26th October, 2018
30th November, 2018
14th December, 2018
1st February, 2019
22nd February, 2019
22nd March, 2019
26th April, 2019
All Meetings start at 7pm

We have Division elections coming up. Please think about standing for an officer position.


Remember we are hosting the regional convention in 2020. We can never have too many volunteers. Let Dave McMullian know if you would like to help

NCR Regional Convention 2019

Need to know where we meet? Click here for the address and a map
Division One is a 100% NMRA membership organization. For insurance purposes, you are required to be a member of NMRA. Membership in NMRA grants you membership in both the North Central Region and Division One.