Clinics

Lance Mindheim
Keynote Address
Model railroading is a recreational endeavor and, as such, how we spend our often limited time pursuing it deserves some thought. How long do we want to spend on construction before we can run at least a few trains? How long do we want a running session to last? What aspect of the hobby do you want to spend the most time on? What is our desired lifespan for the layout? These are but a few of the time related topics we’ll explore.
Lance Mindheim
Putting the horse before the cart
Layout planning and layout design aren’t really the same thing. Planning addresses more strategic issues and must come before we get to the more tactical topics such as track arrangements, curve radius, etc. Clinic covers: picking a theme, choosing the right layout size and complexity for your situation, why layout construction often stalls, and making your layout comfortable to interact with.
Lance Mindheim
Using photos to color your structure surfaces.
Paint isn’t the only way to add color to our structures. In many cases a carefully prepared and sized photograph glued to a styrene surface can produce very convincing results. Clinic will cover: taking the photos, editing them, sizing them, printing them out, and adhering them to your structure.
Dr Geoff Bunza
Model Railroading with Arduinos.
This clinic will feature a special “Make and Take with the Masters” showing modelers how to combine small Arduino controllers, LEDs, Servos, and other goodies to create many different working features for your layout. You can take all the projects and materials home with you too. Model railroad author Dr. Geoff Bunza and a team of experts will help you bring your projects to life. You are encouraged to bring your own Windows laptop to set everything up for your own use. A small materials fee will be charged, and seating will be limited.
Dr Geoff Bunza
Build a Simplified WiFi Throttle You Can Customize
This clinic describes the construction of a simple WiFi throttle that connects directly to the JMRI WiFi server. It is not dependent on your DCC base station. It will support loco address selection, six (or more) function switches, speed and direction control, running on a standard battery. You can customize and expand it to perform multiple functions at the touch of a button, but you can also limit its functionality for guest operators. It uses readily available parts for a one or two evening project.
Rene Gourley
An introduction to 3D cad
3D CAD is the foundation for getting the parts you want, whether they are going to be 3D printed, laser cut or etched. This hands-on clinic will briefly discuss the choice of CAD program, then we will jump right in with designing a simple, but accurate part, and ultimately uploading it to Shapeways where it could be printed.
This is a hands-on workshop and you will need to bring a laptop that meets the following requirements: Wifi-enabled Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari (fo Mac) installed Provides access your email Ideally with 2 hours of battery life so we don't have too many chords
Marc Simpson
Kitbashing: A World of Opportunities - It's easier and more fun than you might think)
Many people consider kitbashing to be a "black art" that is beyond their skill set. This clinic will dispel some of the common misconceptions about kitbashing, and show how some basic tools and techniques can give you unique freight cars, passenger cars, locomotives, buildings and more. Case studies of specific models will show you how the presenter has carried out some of his kitbashes over the years, from early attempts to recent efforts. .
Timothy Horton
Using low cost servos To save time and money
Miniature servos offer a potential cost, time and space saving method to control turnouts. Local modeller Timothy Horton will share his experiences with their installation and operation on his home layout. This clinic will include where to source the hardware, installation methods, operation, comparisons with other turnout control systems, and a look at the engraved lamicoid control panels in use on the clinician’s N Scale BCR Dawson Creek Subdivision.
Burr Stewart
Who's the boss? You or your layout?
The war between scenery, industry track and yards
Building a layout involves a constant war between the forces wanting more scenery vs. more track. Further, there are conflicts between more space for industry spurs, switching yards and mainline running. This clinic presents one builder’s 30 year saga with these battles, with tips to give you confidence for making many of the tough decisions involved. Takeaways include: (1) the differences between the “planning” and “seeking” models of layout development, (2) how to pick which industries and details to quickly give your layout good amounts of “play value” for operations, and (3) pitfalls of the “growth mindset” and how to keep your layout (and its operators) from expanding your workload beyond your time available.
David Popp
Time Saving Techniques for building a Railroad Empire
How do you fit big prototype railroading into small places? That is a dilemma that has faced model railroaders from the beginning of the hobby. Model Railroader Video Plus producer David Popp shares his tips and techniques for designing and building layouts that get the most out of the available space. In this video clinic with a live Q&A session, David uses the N scale Canadian Canyons layout as one of his examples. The layout, as seen in the January through May issues of Model Railroader magazine, measures just 5 x 8 feet, yet it includes majestic scenery and a helix with lower-level staging. Along the way, David will explain the process of coming up with the layout’s unique plan and provide a tip or two on ways the railroad could be expanded to add significant operating fun.
Burr Stewart
Who’s the boss? You or the electronics industry?
Tips for adding braking functions to DCC operations
Recent developments in DCC decoder technology and throttle technology have made it possible for ever more realistic controls for model railroads. This clinic will provide (1) a summary of recent throttle developments, including the ProtoThrottle and WiThrottle, (2) a summary of the braking capabilities of the Tsunami and ESU lines of DCC locomotive decoders, and (3) a handout presenting one large layout owner’s choices of common settings to allow his large fleet of DCC diesels to use these braking capabilities when lashed together in consists of locomotives with mixed decoder brands. A test track will be provided for demonstrations of the ProtoThrottle and the effect of these settings on HO locomotive performance and operator fun.
Doug Lee
Tools and techniques to create an operating scheme.
Doug Lee will discuss a practical process and simple tools that can be used to design a satisfying operating scheme for a model railroad.
  1. An awareness of the layout design (LDSIG) and layout operations (OpSIG) special interest groups.
  2. Exposure to a methodology and tools for designing an operating scheme so attendees are equipped to use these at home. .
  3. A list of internet and book references to facilitate further research.
Tom Carr,Kent Cavaghan, Adrian Kopystynski
Modelling Great Northern in British Columbia.
This presentation addresses the question of “how did the Great Northern Railway influence the development of Vancouver?” We take you through the politics of railroading in the early 20th century, the arrival of the GN in Vancouver, the digging of the Grandview Cut, the three depots that served the GN, the draining and development of False Creek, up to the opening of the majestic third and final Great Northern Depot that served Vancouver from 1917 to 1962, before being demolished in 1965. The Great Northern was indeed a major player in rail transportation in Vancouver for many years, especially between 1900 and 1920. This presentation takes us back in time and looks at how much influence the Hill family and their Great Northern Railway really had.
Mark Dance
Once upon a lifetime model:
The Nelson diesel shops
CPR's Diesel Shop in Nelson BC was a railway icon in western Canada. A significantly compressed version of the Shops had always been planned for the clinician's N scale Columbia & Western Railway and, 12 years after the layout's construction began, it was time to tackle the model. Inspired by the modelling of others, and the wonderful drawings, photographs, and stories published on the shops, design and construction proceeded over a 12 month period.
Mark Dance
Planning, Modelling and operating
the CPR's Slocan lake subs.
Canadian Pacific’s Slocan lake train barge service has inspired many trackplans and layouts. This clinic will briefly review the prototype focusing on its unique features, then review different approaches that have been proposed to modelling it. Finally the clinician will review how he reduced the CP’s Slocan and Kaslo subs (circa 1970) to model form and the challenges the model presented and its operation present.
Mike Pagano
Building a rail-marine interface mechanism
A new way to model & operate a Rail-Marine operation
"The presentation will basically answer the questions below and discuss some of the construction steps described in the series of N scale Railroading magazine. What is a RMIM and how does this idea enhance a Rail Marine Operation? How does it work? How do I fit the plan into my railroad? How can I make it look like my prototype? Tips on modeling marine vessels and discussion beyond the RMIM "
Mike Pagano
An Introduction to Marine Modeling.
Building realistic models for rail-marine operations
Applying scratch building or kitbashing techniques to build a realistic barge and a prototype tug for a rail-marine operation.
Learning Points: Learn the basic nomenclature of marine vessels and the application of appropriate details to make a water craft model stand out. We’ll follow the steps of using a basic photo of a marine vessel as a guide to scratch build the hull of a Canadian Pacific Lake tug. This technique can be used for just about any vessel.
Victor Gilbert
An introduction to the Java Model Railroad Interface
This clinic focus is to discuss JMRI and how it can assist in the aspects of managing and running a layout. Decoder Pro and Panel Pro will be discussed a long with Speed Matching and Locomotive Consisting.
Ken Robertson
Crossing Duwamish
A brief history of the Northern Pacific Duwamish Lift Bridge, in West Seattle, followed by a discussion of the construction and weathering of the Walthers Bascule Bridge kit (933-3070).
  1. Design, engineering and operation of Railway/Railroad Bascule Bridges in the early 1900’s (with 2 minute video) PowerPoint Presentation
  2. Building the Walthers Bascule Bridge kit with modifications to improve its operation
  3. Weathering the finished kit with Pan Pastels to resemble the Northern Pacific Lift Bridge over the Duwamish Canal near Boeing Field in West Seattle
Brian Rudko
Constructing a Micro Layout:
The Black Bear Mtn. RR.
         
In this workshop I will describe my thinking and process in designing and constructing a micro layout. Specifically the “Black Bear Mountain R.R “ which was featured in the September / October 2018 issue of the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. We will touch on deciding on a scale; selecting a trackplan; and creating an engaging scene, as well as the construction methods I used
Dr Gary Hinshaw
Modelling scenery in styrofoam
description coming soon
Mike MacLatchy
3D Printing in the Home:
Tales from a Model Railroader
3D printing seems to offer the potential to produce almost any item a model railroader could need that isn’t available commercially. As the technology evolves, it is becoming possible to use “hobbyist” level machines in the home and achieve good results. However, challenges remain, and the cost is high relative to mass produced items. This presentation looks at the technology that is available for home use, the limitations, costs and how “best” to make use of 3D printing using some practical examples.
Panel discussion
What aspect of the hobby has given you the most sustained enjoyment?
The panel is:Lance Mindheim, Burr Stewart, Mark Dance and Dr Geoff Bunza.