Sunday, April 21, 2013


I'm going to change the format of this blog a bit for posts after this one.  In the future the posts will be:

  • Mostly text free - I won't be writing paragraphs of my thoughts,...etc..  - Just captions with the photos with necessary descriptions, but for the most part I'll let the photos do the talking.
  • Strictly modeling and or steel/prototype photos.   Occasionally a new tool or book if they merit mentioning
Time is one reason for this change.  As most of you have probably noticed, the frequency of my posts has dropped quite a bit since going back into business for myself.    However, the primary reason is that I've been doing some self-reflection and realized that my ramblings, editorializing, politics, or whatever, really don't matter in terms of my model railroading, and could in fact bother some people.   This self reflection is in the aftermath of another on-line conflagration I was involved in, this time with a modular group I was a member of.    You'd think I'd know better after raising two teenagers in the online/facebook age.  Adults don't appear to act much different than teenagers online (go to the yahoo steel group if you want to see some of this) and it's so easy for things to be taken out of context and small things to become blown out of proportion.   It's much better to have a civil conversation in person.      All my online posts will be on this blog from now on, and will consist of photos of my work and prototype info.   If you have questions, please feel free to email.    The only in-person model railroading event that I plan to be at this year is the Steel Mill Modeling seminar at Kent, Ohio in early August.  

So to start the steel mill blog 2.0,.....
A-Furnace Stoves - Hot Blast Valve Details

A-Furnace Hot-Blast Valves under construction

Friday, April 5, 2013

BOOK REVIEW - Bodine's Industry

This book is a new release by Schiffer Publishing.  It's a collection of photographs from A. Aubrey Bodine, a photographer for the Baltimore Sunday Sun from 1924 to 1970.   It's just shy of $40.  The publisher is in Southeast PA - I ordered online late night, it shipped out the next day, and I had it the following.    Obviously I purchased it based on the cover photo, although I realized going into it that the book featured other industries small and large.  There are about a dozen photos of Sparrows Point.  Additionally, there are numerous other Baltimore area industries.  The captions are brief and not always accurate, however, there are a lot of 40s and 50s era photos.  The photos are all interesting and well done, but not necessarily useful to a modeler - most are focused on people at work.  A good, unique coffee table book - a bit sad at the same time, as it chronicles a by-gone age,  where Americans used to actually make everything, instead of hawking shit from China for minimum wage.

If you haven't ever dealt with Schiffer before, look through their vast catalog of books.  You used to be able to find one of their titles occasionally in Borders years ago, before they scaled back their number of titles per store by 75% and then eventually went bankrupt and closed.   Schiffer covers a broad range of subjects - lots of art and architecture, maritime, modeling, and military history.   Their military range focuses on very specific subjects and the selection is only bested by Osprey Press.  I also ordered two books on WWII Armored trains - I had a few of these from them already and completed my set of their inexpensive armored train paperback titles.   They have the definitive work on these trains for a princely sum of $100 - maybe some day.