Jim Martin: Jim's radio broadcasting career includes both the private sector and the CBC, Canada's national network. During his many years on air he was a reporter, announcer, news director, talk show and news magazine host, and his favorite part, interviewer. For many years he was also the book review and video review editor for Canadian Railway Modeller. More recently he has been writing articles for Railroad Model Craftsman. He also enjoys presenting backdrop painting clinics to local groups and train shows.
Trevor Marshall: Trevor cut his teeth in radio at Standard Broadcast News, a national radio newswire service in Canada. The radio news writing style has served him well in his current profession as a freelance writer for clients in the transportation, life sciences, and government sectors. Trevor's articles for the hobby press have appeared in Model Railroad Planning, Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman and other publications and he regularly presents model and prototype railway clinics on a variety of topics. He finds everything about the hobby interesting, but is particularly interested in the process that goes into a well-thought-out, prototype-based layout.
Chris Abbott is our Technical Director. Jim and Trevor would still be talking to each other without his help.
Otto Vondrak is our Creative Director. That awesome badge and banner on the site? That's his doing.
David Woodhead is our Music Director. If you find yourself humming our theme song, well - you're not alone. Jim and Trevor have had it stuck in their heads for weeks now. Well done, David!
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In this episode…
Paul Dolkos, modeler and photographer.
Mike Brock, modeler.
Great model railroad photography
His current HO scale layout, based on the Baltimore harbor district, was the cover story in the 2010 edition of Model Railroad Planning and he is the contributing editor for Scenery By The Seasons from Kalmbach publishing.
And his previous layout – subject of numerous articles as well as its own Great Model Railroads DVD (Volume 46) – has inspired legions of model railway enthusiasts to try their hand at modeling the Boston and Maine Railroad.
But Paul Dolkos is known as much for his photography as he is for excellent craftsmanship.
Paul is the go-to guy when great photos are needed for Model Railroader and Great Model Railroads. He joins Jim to talk about how that happened, what he looks for when capturing a layout with a camera… and how one of the most famous model railway hobbyists on the planet was also one of his toughest assignments.
Building for the Big Boy
Has any North American steam locomotive captured the imagination of modelers quite like the Union Pacific’s 4-8-8-4? Known as the Big Boy, it has been offered in model form in all major scales – including several iterations in HO.
But what does one do with such a mechanical monster?
If you’re Mike Brock, you build an HO scale layout that showcases the Big Boy in its traditional stomping ground.
Mike has owned UP 4-8-8-4 models from several manufacturers, including Pacific Fast Mail, Key Model Imports, Precision Scale Company, Broadway Limited Imports and Athearn. And his Sherman Hill layout – the cover story in the 2002 edition of Model Railroad Planning and featured in the March 2002 edition of Model Railroader – showcases the broad curves, generous turnouts, big facilities and long passing sidings needed to support articulated superpower and equally impressive train lengths in a realistic setting.
One would expect such a layout to fill a gymnasium but surprisingly – as the MR Track Plan Database reveals – it’s a mid-sized undertaking (at least by North American standards) at 22 by 34 feet.
Mike joins Trevor to discuss what a layout owner needs to consider if Big Boys are the power of choice. Since he’s also heavily involved with Prototype Rails, Mike also shares information about this popular RPM meet, held each January in Cocoa Beach, Florida.