Master Model Railroader?

Master Model Railroader?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:24 pm

After reading the latest NMRA Magazine, I found myself drawn to the articles on people who have recently obtained the Master Model Railroader Certificate.

I think with some improvement in skills, I might be tempted to try to pursue that certificate.
Does anyone have any advice/thoughts?
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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby Bernd » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:11 pm

Questions perhaps.

Have you ever scratch built a locomotive or rolling stock? Just wondering since I haven't seen any of that on this forum. At least not in the time since I've been a member.

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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:37 pm

Bernd wrote:Questions perhaps.

Have you ever scratch built a locomotive or rolling stock? Just wondering since I haven't seen any of that on this forum. At least not in the time since I've been a member.

Bernd

Locomotive to completion, no. I have built around a half dozen cars from scratch, though, but none within the last few years. I posted photos of the cars being built at the time, but all of those photos were uploaded via Photobucket.
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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby Bernd » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:13 am

More power to you for wanting to give it a try.

Here's a link to what's required: https://www.nmra.org/master-model-railroader

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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:33 am

Here is my current roster of scratchbuilt cars:
Two - 50' Gondola cars
One - 40' Gondola car
One - 40' Wagontop boxcar
One - 45' Flatcar
One - Transfer Caboose
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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby Tom Dempsey » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:22 pm

I suspect you'd only be able to count one of the gondolas, however, that ultimately would depend on the eight cars you chose. Remember you don't have to scratch build all eight cars, so write them up and present them to your achievement program chair or his representative (mine lives in Montana, and I'm not driving that far) and see if you can get the point total needed. Whether you do of not, you should receive a lot of helpful input on building a fleet.
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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby modorney » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:37 pm

Around me, near San Francisco, it is possible to get models judged about 8 times a year. It helps living near a big city.

Commonly, many MMR's get three "service participation" certificates - Chief dispatcher, Volunteer and Author. You can get author from giving clinics, and you get more points if you give a clinic at a regional convention - 4 points (42 points needed for the certificate).

For the four modeling certificates, Cars, Structures, Civil and Electrical are quite common. In general, cars and structures get more points if they are complex, are well detailed and have good documentation. Naturally, craftsmanship is important, and scratchbuilding as many of the detail parts helps. Of course, 3D printing is a good way to make details, and if you wrote the code to make the part it is considered "scratchbuilt". (If you buy it off Shapeways from somebody else, that's the same as buying from Walthers, etc.) Generally a structure or a car has to be big enough to have enough detail and complexity to get a merit award.

Should you prefer motive power, one of the best ways is to scratchbuild a "critter" - a small industrial switcher. Building a truck sideframe is often easier for a small loco - it is usually a flat sheet of one inch steel, with holes cut in it, for the axles, brakes, etc. No fancy curvy Blomberg-type castings. But you have to add a lot of detail to a critter - leave a hatch open, showing the engine, along with a Purolator oil filter. Have tools on the platform, lots of signage and weathering, some things, and some people (and maybe a dog) in the cab, plenty of lights, and good weathering. A few bent hatches and riveted-on repair plates.

Another scratchbuilt item that qualifies is a trolley or interurban. Pick one with easy to model truck sideframes, and put lots of people, lights and details inside. A leaky roof, with a water bucket is the kind of detail that is noticed. A few newspapers, and if you can read the headline - "Allies invade Europe" - so much the better.

And, as with everything, documentation helps.

Some divisions, especially those spread all over, have traveling judges, and some allow skype, or photo sessions, especially if you gussy up a 75 point model for another 13 points. (In general, a good judge will tell yo what to do to get the required points, if you are close.)
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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:37 pm

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot about trolley cars!

Somewhere I have some good profile pictures of some of the trolley cars at the Connecticut Trolley Museum that I would love to replicate.
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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby modorney » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:06 pm

Along the lines of scratchbuilding a critter -

At a regional or national convention, we would have a clinic similar to Modeling With The Masters, where you would have the opportunity to build a critter, paint it, decal it and weather it over a four or five day period, with the intent of qualifying (88 points) as a merit award. We would have full access to the room (shared with MWTM) on day 1, maybe even day zero, and access thru the week at lunch and dinner (hotel bring in sandwiches) and you would be able to complete a scratchbuilt loco.

On Sunday, when most of the convention is out doing layout tours, we would still have the room, and you would have access. The reason we would have the room is a separate program called "Steamer Sunday". This is an opportunity to make the basic shape of your favorite steamer, and we would have metal, forms, brakes,shears, etc. plus experienced people, to get you a frame and boiler, plus the hard parts of the tender and cab. No guarantees of a certificate, but all the tools and materials in one place. Some of the tools would have other uses, so you could mill out your diesel frame for a speaker, etc. A very free=-form space and time, and a nominal charge for materials, food, etc. And a degree of latitude on price if all you wanted to do is mill out a frame, or something in less than an hour. During this time, you could finish out your critter, add detail, weathering etc., and hopefully get the award.
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Re: Master Model Railroader?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:20 pm

modorney wrote:Along the lines of scratchbuilding a critter -

At a regional or national convention, we would have a clinic similar to Modeling With The Masters, where you would have the opportunity to build a critter, paint it, decal it and weather it over a four or five day period, with the intent of qualifying (88 points) as a merit award. We would have full access to the room (shared with MWTM) on day 1, maybe even day zero, and access thru the week at lunch and dinner (hotel bring in sandwiches) and you would be able to complete a scratchbuilt loco.

On Sunday, when most of the convention is out doing layout tours, we would still have the room, and you would have access. The reason we would have the room is a separate program called "Steamer Sunday". This is an opportunity to make the basic shape of your favorite steamer, and we would have metal, forms, brakes,shears, etc. plus experienced people, to get you a frame and boiler, plus the hard parts of the tender and cab. No guarantees of a certificate, but all the tools and materials in one place. Some of the tools would have other uses, so you could mill out your diesel frame for a speaker, etc. A very free=-form space and time, and a nominal charge for materials, food, etc. And a degree of latitude on price if all you wanted to do is mill out a frame, or something in less than an hour. During this time, you could finish out your critter, add detail, weathering etc., and hopefully get the award.

I really need to check into what is available around Atlanta for that.
I think a critter would be something nice to build and have on the layout, as long as it isn't one of these critters:
critters-the-new-binge.jpg
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