Friday, September 7, 2012

STEEL MILL MEET - Postscript

I've had a few days to decompress from the 2012 Steel Mill Modelers Meet.  As I've said before, this is one of the few events we (Jimmy and myself) look forward to every year.   We usually enjoy the trip and long weekend away, as much as the event itself, but this year we were in nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we were involved with the organization of the event, as well as opening up our house for the layout tours on Saturday.  It was a double whammy of sorts as the layout and basement were a mess  up until the Saturday morning of the tour.  All the last minute organizational stuff kept me out of the basement more than I would have like previous to the event.
Sunday Morning in the Display Room - Some displays have already been packed up
The event when off pretty well.  Everyone seemed to have a good time and the hotel was very nice, the seminars excellent,  a very large vendor/display room filled to the brim, eight layout tours, and a well prepared Hunkie Dinner.  (In New Jersey no less)   Oh, and we also added a Thursday night workshop component last minute that went over well.  There were four workshops - Application of decals; Bottle Car Building; Paper Modeling for Steel Mill Modelers; and making scrap gondola loads.  If you have been following the blog, I updated it from my phone during the event with photos of the top notch modeling on display.  This year for a first, I don't have any layout tour photos to post as we were stuck in our basement.   Next year's meet will be in Cleveland - hope to see you all there.

You might think that four days of steel mill modeling would burn one out - actually the opposite.  Seeing what others were up to is inspirational and I was back downstairs modeling Sunday afternoon.  Also, having a nice organized basement for a change makes it a little faster finding materials needed.  Although my cynical wife believes I will soon be back to my old cluttered ways.  I didn't get a chance to clean my primary workbench off before the event and actually added some loose things I couldn't find a home for to the pile.  After the tours, Jimmy informed me that my bench was a big photo op for my fellow modelers - how embarrassing.  My two track main running through my basement stairs also was, but I stand proud of that bit of remodeling.   Of course I did finish my cleanup Sunday, after the tours.  I'll have to get to all my large structures quick, before I'm back to my 6"x6" modeling space.
State Tool and Die Bottom Pour Ingot Car - Why did package have four ingot molds with corrugated interiors and four without?  Strange
One thing I realized over the weekend was that I really haven't worked much on my rolling stock.  Not that I need too much yet, but still, seeing the work of John Gallagher,  Garry Lance,  Brandon Wehe, and Tom Stewart on display gave me the urge to build some cars, instead of structures for a bit.   At the meet I'd bought a few three packs of the DFG Gondolas.  These are smaller versions of the ST&D mill gon kit.  The DFG stands for Dean Freytag Gondola.  They roughly follow the Bethlehem Steel in-plant custom gons and are perfect for my layout - you just can't ever find them anywhere, except at the Steel Mill Modelers Meet.  I also bought a pack of the bottom pour ingot cars.
Chuck Pravlik's Newest Resin Offering
And some of Chuck Pravlik's new Billet car floors and stakes.  He makes these in two sizes - the photo shows the model that fits the DFG gondola (without the gon sides installed of course) and another that fits the larger ST&D mill gon.   I bought three of these puppies and will get some more next time I see Chuck.  By the way, Chuck and his wife Jennifer are expecting a little steel mill modeler (or maybe a little pirate, or both)  soon - congratulations.  
Built these, plus two of the Billet Cars and Two of the Bottom Pour Ingot cars
That's the line up - from left to right - a large ingot car kit with no modifications; a mini-gon (large ingot car with gon sides left over from building billet cars); another mini-gon (shortened DFG Gondola); mini-gon (large ingot car with left over gon sides and styrene ends; and an unmodified DFG Gondola.
Billet Car with mini-gon.  Billet car top sits on an unmodified DFG gondola without sides

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