Tuesday, December 17, 2013


I believe this is a new Morning Sun release, but not sure.  Spotted it on the counter of the local train store and it was an impulse purchase.   I had some second thoughts afterwards, especially since my disappointment with the Morning Sun Lehigh and New England release earlier this year.   Not so with this publication - I was quite happy with both the captions and the photos.  Lots of 40's and 50's color photos with plenty of background structures in view.   I would call it an overview of the Lehigh Valley, but it's well balanced and doesn't cover any one subject  in too much depth.  There is plenty of railroading, steel, coal, cement, ...etc.    My only critical comment is that there aren't enough maps included.  I think there is a certain assumption that the reader is familiar with the spiderweb of competing railroads through the Lehigh Valley.   The book is organized into sections or chapters by railroad, and within each section the photos are broken down geographically so there is a natural progression down or up the line.  The first half of the book is devoted to the CNJ and Lehigh Valley, obviously the two railroads that literally followed the Lehigh Valley.   Two more sizable sections follow on the Reading and the Lehigh and New England.   The remainder of the book is devoted to the lesser characters - Lackawanna, Chestnut Ridge Railway (NJ Zinc railroad), the Pennsy (Bel-Del and Green Ridge Branch), Ironton, Lehigh and Hudson River, Northampton and Bath, PB&NE, Dragon Portland Cement, Mack Trucks, and Lehigh Valley Transit (Trolley)        Was fun to look at as many of the photos were from when the railroads were operating full steam ahead.

BASSWOOOD -  That's a 4.5"x8.5"x 10' piece of basswood.   If I cut it into stripwood  I'd have enough to last the rest of my modeling career probably.   I actually bought two of these.   A interior designer I work for had specified "hand hewn"  pieces for a project I was doing for her.   Basswood ended up making the most sense as a choice for the raw materials for a number of reasons - it's light; it machines well; little grain; available in thick pieces; absorbs stain well (needed to look old but not intentionally stained) ;etc.   These two pieces were $360.    How did I make it "hand hewn"?    I have an "undulating" cutter head for my Festool planer.  Just randomly attack the board with it and you quickly get the affect without swinging an adz all day.   Didn't take a photo of finished product.  I still have some nice chunks of basswood to cut up.

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