September 16, 2021

Alexandra Beer House

The Real Estate Experts

Meet up with the Modeler: Steve Brown

“Regular guy” Steve Brown poses future to his structure. Photo by Steve Brown

What was your to start with coach set (or locomotive)?

 I was about 6 or 7 yrs aged, and it was approaching Xmas. My dad and mom were being making some thing in a person of the spare rooms of our residence. When I asked them what it was, they explained to me it was a stitching cabinet for my mom.

When Xmas Day came, my moms and dads took my sister and I upstairs and showed us our significant presents. She bought a little something genuinely great that experienced her jumping all-around in exhilaration. I, on the other hand, got the stitching cabinet. I commenced crying, believing Santa experienced enable me down. My father begun laughing and went around to the cupboard and dropped the doorway. On it lay a 4’ x 8’ HO scale structure, comprehensive with a station, a siding, a spur, a steam locomotive, and rolling inventory. I went ballistic with exhilaration.

I played with that format for a pair of several years. Then, my interests transformed a tiny, and sooner or later the railroad went into the trash. I am not positive what transpired to the locomotive and vehicles. Even however I did not have a railroad any more, for the future number of many years I usually fell asleep at evening designing my up coming pike.

About five many years ago I made the decision I needed to construct a different design railroad. I acquired an N-scale, Bachmann “Empire Builder” educate set. It arrived with a Northern 4-8-4 steam locomotive, 7 freight cars, and a caboose. My authentic strategy was to construct a steam era layout, like I experienced as a child, and the 1st model of my format was precisely that. Nevertheless, a couple of many years later I caught the diesel bug and my steam locomotives got shelved. My recent layout is largely contemporary, but some of my older scenes can continue to be observed on the layout.

When I bought the Empire Builder kit, I experienced very little being familiar with of the power of DCC. All I understood was that it was additional highly-priced, and I did not see the want for it. This kit was straight DC, and I built my have energy block switching console to isolate locomotives in numerous parts. That is when I figured out why DCC is the way to go if you are jogging much more than 1 locomotive or coach. My existing structure is all DCC and some of it is automated working with DCC.

Whilst I do not use the DC steam locomotive anymore, the freight autos can nonetheless be uncovered on my layout. In the end, the Empire Builder coach set was a excellent expense. It obtained me again into the hobby in a simple way, it allow me run trains, and it was the basis that I created my awareness and enjoy of the interest on. Now, in my adult everyday living, I am acknowledging all these goals I experienced for all those people several years.

Describe your design railroading philosophy in 6 terms.

 My model railroading philosophy can be summed up in 3 phrases. “It’s my railroad.” When I bought back again into model railroading, I really did not know far too significantly about it. I commenced poking about on the net and I identified astounding sources for the product railroader. But I also observed were what I get in touch with “purists.” These are people who would remark on my strategies, modeling, and development in this kind of a way that it was apparent they did not think about me a “real” product railroader. It bought me in these kinds of a undesirable location that I deemed offering up the hobby.

Then, I experienced a lightbulb moment. I am the a single shelling out the time and revenue on this layout! Who cares if some of my scenes do not exactly in good shape into the same era? This is my railroad. So, I just shoved off. I have never regretted it. Some of my styles are brag deserving, and some of them will under no circumstances be shown to the masses. But, at the conclude of the working day, I am taking pleasure in the difficulties and the delight in achievement.

I can also convey to you this: when friends and loved ones appear to check out my passion place, and see my buildings and specifics, all they do is Oooo and Ahhhhh. These are people that do not know everything about eras or prototypes but get pleasure from what I have been able to build. These men and women are the types whose thoughts I treatment about most.

Evidently, my philosophy resonates with tens of thousands of other design railroaders. It is empowering to know that it is your railroad, and you can do whatsoever helps make you happy.

What has been your most important modeling achievements?

My most important modeling achievements has been my effects on frequent male modelers just like me. This is why I started off It is My Railroad. I required to inspire folks by demonstrating them that simple, normal male competencies, can establish some fantastic things. This passion is for gentlemen and girls, young and outdated, individuals with basic capabilities and master skills, persons with tiny budgets and big budgets, and people who delight in becoming on your own and people who get pleasure from getting a section of a neighborhood.

What was your greatest modeling blunder?

My most significant modeling mistake was developing a double-deck layout. I noticed lots of video clips of people’s double deck layouts, and I was fired up about the amount of mainline I could get from it. So, I created and developed the existing edition of the Brown Smith Railroad. At the time of this writing, I am about 2-1/2 decades into my make.

First off, I have some wicked grades – 2.5% to 3% – to get from 1 deck to the other. I do not have a helix but even if I did, the internet outcome would be very similar. I can pull trains up my grades with two locomotives lashed alongside one another but I can only pull about 20 cars. I was hoping to have a format where 30-40 vehicle trains would be managing. It is a minor disappointing but for now I am building do.

Secondly, when I want to function on the bottom deck, I often obtain myself leaning in less than the major deck. I should sit in a chair and then stand up when important. This will take a excellent offer of entertaining out of operating functions and modeling. I locate I actually get pleasure from functioning on the prime deck, but lament when one thing needs to be accomplished on the bottom deck.

Bottom line, I will hardly ever develop a double deck structure all over again.

Model cement plant
Steve is working on an N-scale concrete plant. Photo by Steve Brown

What is your minimum preferred modeling process?

It could surprise some people that my least preferred modeling task is laying keep track of, dropping feeders, soldering that alongside one another, and hooking it into the buss. The fact is, devoid of keep track of there are not any trains! For some rationale my track-get the job done in no way arrives out as pristine as a single would see the masters install it. I check out to get my time and comply with all the strategies from the professionals. Then, at the finish of the day my trains derail or brief out listed here and there. I likely spend as a lot time fixing my track as I used installing it.

What task(s) have you been doing work on recently?

Suitable now, I am working on a few assignments. To start with, I am scratchbuilding a concrete plant for a put on my format I call “Caleeinte Flats.” Next, I am setting up a series of movies for where by I am modeling a prototype group track that is right in the vicinity of where by I operate. There are some magnificent true-planet details in this scene that I simply cannot wait to design and share with the railfans. I am heading to demonstrate fellow regular dude model railroaders how they can pull this off in N-scale.

[Check out Steve’s exclusive “Scale it Down” video series! —Ed.]

A train on a model railroad
A coach crosses Useless Man’s Move on Steve’s Brown-Smith Railroad. Photo by Steve Brown

What guidance would you give to a new hobbyist?

My advice for new or returning modelers is to just shove off. Far more occasions than I can depend I have go through remarks wherever fellow modelers love what they see me do but are apprehensive about carrying out it themselves. I always convey to them, just shove off and make some thing you’re happy of.

That is all aspect of the entertaining! It is far too easy for an individual to sit on the other conclude of the world wide web and bash your endeavours. Do not allow that get to you. Above the previous few many years, I have run into hundreds of standard male model railroaders just like you. All of them just get pleasure from observing individuals like you offering it a shot. No matter what, just rail-on my friends!