2005 Minicon

Saturday, April 30, 2005
St Matthew's United Methodist Church,
8617 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003

   Both NVNTRAK (N scale) and the Potomac Module Crew (HO) modular layouts were set up.

Click here to view contest winners.
  Contests were held for Motive  Power, Freight and Passenger cars, Structures (Off and On-line), Displays (ON and Off-line), favorite train and Modules.

At the Division's annual meeting we voted to adopt revised by-laws and elected the Board of Directors for the Potomac Division for the year.  Click here to read the current by-laws.

There were 10 clinics presented. Several have been saved for you in the on-line collection.

Clinic #1 How to Weather Wood (hands-on).   Presented by Noll Horan

Various techniques of weathering wood were described and demonstrated. Hands-on participation focused on weathering the wood for the O-scale structure kit assembled in clinic #3.

Clinic # 2. Airbrushing: Whys and Wherefores in Model Railroading.   Presented by Clint Hyde

Kinds of brushes, kinds of paints, kinds of materials, other tools. Hands-on participation focused on painting the accessories for the O-scale structure kit and weathering a few freight cars with the airbrush, and some other items.

Clinic #3. Wood Scratch Building (hands-on, 3 hours).   Presented by Martin Brechbiel

A semi-generic O scale small freight station/whistle stop/platform structure was scratch built, board-by-board!

Clinic #4 Animation for Operation.   Presented by Bill Day

Bill demonstrate how to animate chutes and doors on coal tipples, chutes and doors on ore bins, spouts and counterweights on water tanks, circular movement of water plugs, up and down motion of rollup doors and other structural features that add realism to operation. The clinic could also be titled Easy Animation because it uses low-tech materials such as Tortoise switches and turntable motors.

 Clinic #5 Red Iron, Using Structural Steel to Create Industries and Scenes.    Presented by Tom Brodrick.

Tom showed some of the use of steel after it leaves the mill and before it becomes a finished building. The emphasis was on distribution from the mill, basic explanations of shapes and their designations, the use of these shapes in the building frame; pictures, descriptions, and ideas about the equipment used in steel erection.

Clinic # 6 Making An Urban Backdrop Using the Internet.    Presented by Marshall Abrams

Marshall covered commercial backdrops, backdrop painting ideas especially clouds, using pictures from the internet, manipulating pictures, sharpness, resolution & printing, how to touch-up pictures, and perspective. Pictures of a finished scene will inspire your modeling. Reference material included.

Clinic # 7 Rocks Made Easy ― Working with Rock Molds & Coloring with Dyes.    Presented by Bob Johnson.

Bob demonstrated techniques for casting rock molds using molding plaster and assembling the castings into large, homogeneous formations and a quick and easy technique to color the assembled castings using a combination of washes, dyes, chlorine bleach and dry color powders.

Clinic # 8 An Introduction to Freight-Car Forwarding Systems.   Presented by Bruce Strickland

The goal of this Clinic was to inform modeler about the various schemes other model railroaders use to generate freight traffic on their own railroads.  The first part of the clinic talked about what steps the user should do before getting any of the systems into play.  The second part talked about some specifics of several of the popular schemes.

Clinic # 9 Introduction to Resin Casting.   Presented by John Griffith

This is an introduction to those who would like to do castings.  It provides the information needed to do your own simple castings.  It covers the safety, tools, and materials required, making masters, preparing a mold from a master, and how to cast parts.

Clinic # 10 Rock Faces from Ceiling Tile.   Presented by Mark Andersen 

If you’re looking for a simple and easy way to model trap rock, shale type deposits and other sedimentary rocks, then using ceiling tiles is for you!  Ceiling tiles are a fireproof paper product that is similar in substance to homasote.  Simply broken, glued together, somewhat carved to your liking, priming, coloring and weathering are all processes that were demonstrated.

Minicon Schedule





All models to be judged must be in place by 9:00






Contest display and judging


8) An Introduction to Freight-Car Forwarding Systems, Bruce Strickland

6) Background Buildings Using the Internet, Marshall Abrams

White Elephant Sales

Modular layout operations

Come run a train


1) How to Weather Wood, Noll Horan

7) Rocks Made Easy Working with Rock Molds & Coloring with Dyes, Bob Johnson


2) Airbrushing in Model Railroading, Clint Hyde

5) Red Iron, Using Structural Steel to Create Industries and Scenes, Tom Brodrick


Lunch & Business Meeting


3) Wood Scratch Building by Martin Brechbiel

9) Introduction to Resin Casting, John Griffith


4) Animation for Operation, Bill Day


10) Rock Faces from Ceiling Tile, Mark Andersen



Contest awards and final announcements

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