Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Part Two of the Steel Mill Modelers Meet report - 
Day One - Thursday -  We made good time from our New Jersey home and ended up arriving at the hotel early, 10:30 to be exact.    Despite the early arrival time we were able to check in.  The room was nice and clean and overlooked the large outdoor pool, with a small outdoor terrace.   The hotel has a bar, restaurant, outdoor and indoor pools, health club, two golf courses, tennis,..etc.   Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to visit many of these amenities as we were busy with the weekend activities.   We unpacked out bags, but no one in charge was there yet and the display room was not scheduled to be opened until 12noon so we ran out and explored the immediate area, picking up lunch.  Upon returning to the hotel,  the display room was open so we started lugging in our Free-mo module and display models.  The room was set up with mostly tables and since we were the only module coming, we set it up on two tables along with our model displays -  The Pig Caster, the ore transfer car, and a narrow gauge car and loco display by Jimmy.  See photo.   After, an afternoon in the display room talking and buying things - I purchased a Blooming Mill kit from Chuck Pravik, Jimmy bought a Bachmann 0-6-0, we had dinner in the hotel and then there were three seminars that night.   The seminars were in the hotel amphitheater - a perfect room for this purpose - tiered, comfortable seating, good sound system,...etc.      The first seminar was "Davies Works Progress" by Pete Scharf   - this was a continuation of a seminar last year about building an integrated steel mill on a club layout in Florida.  A very interesting work-in-progress talk from a fine model railroader that started out with little knowledge of the steel industry, but is become very knowledgeable on the subject and modifying his modeling accordingly.     The second seminar was by Vince Altiere entitled "Building a Ladle Repair Shop".  Once again a very interesting and well done how-to presentation by a master modeler.   The subject matter was a former Pig Casting facility at Bethlehem Steel that was converted into a ladle repair shop.   Vince spoke a lot about accurately measuring and squaring assemblies up as you build - something critical on a structure of this size - but also something that unless you've done it, it's hard to appreciate the difficulty in doing it right.   Vince also paints a lot of his sub-assemblies as he builds his models - something that I haven't been doing and am starting to regret, but something I will be changing in the future.   A photo of Vince's project is in Part 1.   I don't take a lot as with all the SMMM I have attended - you get a CD with all the presentations on it - so plenty of photos on that.   The evening concluded with a presentation by J. Burnside on his Metallurgical Coke Facility - This was a good primer for folks just starting in this segment of the hobby on coke works and also some good modeling to look at.

No comments: