Minicon 2006 logo
Potomac Division Minicon
at Emmanuel United Methodist Church (EUMC)
10751 Scaggsville Road Laurel MD 20723

Eighty-four model railroaders attended on a balmy 68 day, March 11, 2006. Let's take a virtual walk through the events.
Click on any small picture to see larger version,  with more explanation.
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While folks were checking in
things were being set up in the Fellowship Hall.
There were T-track
 and conventional N-scale modules.    
John Glaab brought his "Magarac Steel & Iron" module 

Business Meeting and Awards

What scale do you think this is? AP judge Ed Price photographs prize model

Boy Scouts

Six Boy Scouts attended a Railroading Merit Badge class. John Drye, Potomac Division Superintendent, gave the boys the Operation Life Saver briefing.  When most people were attending clinics, the Boy Scouts had a great playing with the trains.
This is the future of the hobby.

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Building Trees by Marc Sisk
Marc showed how to construct various types of trees with low-cost and natural materials.  Realistic pine trees made from plain brown rope, wire, and ground foam and deciduous trees made from dried flowers and other techniques that will help forest your layout with great looking, inexpensive trees.

Making Dwarf Signals by Marshall Abrams.
Marshall showed how to make a dwarf signal with a LED (Light Emitting Diode) that's only .1 inch wide. The LEDs we use are nice because the light from the individual chips light up a whole  circle. This means that in addition to green and red, they make a quite nice yellow if both the red and green are turned on. They also come in a green/yellow version, which can be used on the main line approach track and two red/green on the main and side tracks. View clinic.

Intermediate Resin Casting by John Griffith
This clinic reviewed how to make molds and then how to make resin castings from those molds. It followed the process John used to model East Broad Tops Combine #14. John discussed the trials and tribulations to produce adequate car sides and how to produce a cestatotry roof with see through windows. During the clinic he showed how simple one sided molds are used to produce car sides and roof. View this clinic. Resin Casting Introduction.

JMRI Software Projects: PanelPro Introduction & DecoderPro – A Tool for Programming Decoders by Dick Bronson
PanelPro is a computer based system for building CTC control panels. A discussion of supported systems and a demonstration of constructing a control panel for a passing siding will be included. PanelPro is part of the free software suite developed by the Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) Project.

Painting and Staining Rock and/or StoneCastings by Noll Horan, MMR
Using acrylic tube paints, Noll showed how to duplicate any type of rock and/or stone surface. From sandstone to limestone, with four to six paints and a brush, you can easily achieve that "look and feel" of rock and stone.

Introduction to Steel Mill Modeling by John Glaab.
Many modelers are intimidated by the size and complexity of steel mills.  John explained the basic elements of a steel mill, the importance of choosing the time period for the mill, and how to take existing kits to build a 1920's -30's era mill. John's "Magarac Steel & Iron" module was set up in the Fellowship Hall.

  Cranes Around the Railroad by Tom Brodrick.

You just had that gigantic derailment on that pesky out of gauge switch. Who do you call? The crane crew of course. Will they need the small crane or the big boy. How do you decide what size you need? Tom explained how size does make a difference and how you tell which crane is which. We saw what makes the crane go round and round and up and down.
Tom discussed the crane as a lifting device from the age of steam thru the present with photos and illustrations. Based on personal experience, he described how to set a scene and generate revenue.

Two Trains to Towanda by Bill Cox
Two railroads were covered in the clinic: the Susquehanna  & New York (1856 to 1941), and the Williamsport & North Branch (1875 to 1938).  Both railroads (at their greatest extent, on trackage rights of the Pennsy or the Lehigh Valley) ran trains from Williamsport to Towanda  in north central Pennsylvania.  The clinic handout included some maps which are detailed sufficiently to give the reader a basic understanding of the railroad's line. The history of the railroads was reviewed,  operations described including industries along the line and engineering features, locomotives and rolling stock will be discussed. Modeling possibilities of the railroad were suggested.

Build An Animated Warehouse Roll-up Door by Bill Day
Following a slide presentation on a variety of animated structures, built the "key mechanism" of a warehouse roll-up door, using two Design Preservation Module panels, styrene sheet, styrene rod and styrene H columns.


Wood Trestle Bridge Building by Steven Wills
This hands-on clinic covered the building of wood Trestle Bridges. Steve discussed scale vs. building to scale, selection of material — pros, cons and cost, using a Balsa Striper, bridge design,  and building a jig. The jig and bents/bridges made went home with their makers. The jig can be modified to build any bridge for the layout.
DCC Basics & Decoder Installation from Beginning to End by Charles Gregory
The world of DCC is wonderful but a bit confusing. Charles walked through the world of DCC,  presenting basic information about choosing a DCC system, a brief overview of setting up the system, installing a decoder, some adviced ideas that you can do with DCC (sound, milling, and computer operation), and a look at what you can do when it is done.

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