Posts Tagged ‘Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club’

Thanksgiving Weekend’s Railroad Show in Medford

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

This past weekend was the annual Rogue Valley Railroad Show in Medford, Oregon. This year the main floor was packed with even more layouts and displays than before and when the doors were opened on Saturday we were slammed with attendees all day long which was great to see. One of the first-timers was Laurie who I initially met at the Rickreall Train Show earlier this year, she is a photographer who was showing her work which captures rolling stock adorned with street art (aka graffiti). In August she was featured in the Douglas County, News-Review Currents; if you have a subscription you can read the article here: News-Review Article on Laurie.

Laurie's work was featured on the front page of the News-Review' Currents section August 25, 2011

Laurie's work was featured on the front page of the News-Review' Currents section August 25, 2011

Also represented was the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association whom I first met at the Eugene Train Show.  In their own words, they are a… “non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to restoring, maintaining, and operating historic railway equipment of the Pacific Northwest. [They] are the official caretakers of the SP&S 700, a 4-8-4 steam locomotive that ranks among the largest steam engines still in operation.” If you’d like to help them out you can visit their website to buy some of the goodies you can see in the picture below or become a member here: http://www.sps700.org/

Goods featured by the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association - Photo by Cat Cook

Goods featured by the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association - Photo by Cat Cook

Next door to the SP&S 700-people was Roger Rasmussen, of Coastmans, showing off his Evergreen trees & kits. His kits are handcrafted in Oregon and are incredibly realistic. The Douglas Fir Tree Kit is their flagship product offering the absolute best in detail and prototype accuracy. Another one of their products, “SuperTrunks” is made from 100% Port Orford, Oregon Cedar. It may not singlehandedly keep the Oregon forestry industry alive but hey, every little bit helps. The kits and “RediMade” trees are high quality and affordably priced. Check out the Coastmans website here: www.coastmans.com

High quality trees for scale modeling direct from Oregon - Photo courtesy of www.coastmans.com

High quality trees for scale modeling direct from Oregon - Photo courtesy of www.coastmans.com

One of the layouts was by Shaun Anscombe and depicted Hogsmeade as well as some other Harry Potter-inspired scenes. He also had some reference photos of the real-life of the train station in England (where he hails from.)

Hogsmeade Station by Shaun Anscombe - Photo by Cat Cook

Hogsmeade Station by Shaun Anscombe - Photo by Cat Cook

A train speeds through Shaun Anscombe's Hogsmeade - Photo by Cat Cook

A train speeds through Shaun Anscombe's Hogsmeade - Photo by Cat Cook

Also sharing their layout was the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad Club out of Springfield, Oregon.

BNSF locomotive with warbonnet paint scheme on the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

BNSF locomotive with warbonnet paint scheme on the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

Lumber operations on the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

Lumber operations on the Lower Mackenzie Modular Railroad - Photo by Cat Cook

Winning first place for People’s Choice was the Southern Oregon Z-Scale Modelers out of Medford, Oregon. Check out the short video below featuring part of their layout:  It features a helicopter with rotating blades, a highway with moving vehicles, tunnels with plexiglass sides so you can see what is going on inside, and more!

This Saturday is the Rickreall Railroad Show and Swap Meet – Sponsored by the Willamette Valley Model Railroad Club – 10AM-3PM Polk at Polk County Fairgrounds Hwy 22 and Hwy 99E, 10 miles west of Salem. Over 50 different vendors on over 100 tables, a wide variety of railroad products, and inexpensive food. Since it is just a one day show (with 2 hours for setup) we can’t bring all of our modeling items, just railfan goods this trip, but hope to see some of you there!

Klamath Train Show 2011 and Two New Train Videos from 7Idea Productions

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Just over a week ago was the 2011 Klamath Model Railroad Show & Sales Event hosted by the Klamath Rails Club at the Klamath County Fairgrounds. Last year we had freezing rain but this year it was sunny and warm all weekend which made for a comfortable and happy event.

Rock formations modeled on the Klamath Rails Model Railroad Club layout (Photo by Cat Cook)

Rock formations modeled on the Klamath Rails Model Railroad Club layout (Photo by Cat Cook)

At the show I met Greg Jones of the Klamath Rails club who pointed out the rock formations he made on the club’s traveling layout. He explained his process for making the rocks included using the Woodland Scenics rock molds (shop here:Woodland Scenics Terrain and Landscaping Products) with fast-acting drywall compound you can buy at any hardware store. He gave me some examples to show you the rocks before paint is applied.

Rocks made by Greg Jones of Klamath Rails Model Railroad Club using Woodland Scenics rock molds (Photo by Cat Cook)

Rocks made by Greg Jones of Klamath Rails Model Railroad Club using Woodland Scenics rock molds (Photo by Cat Cook)

Returning this year was Robert Gavora with his Fine and Rare Books. He carries a huge collection of fascinating tomes on railroading. If you can’t attend shows in the Pacific Northest to see for yourself check out his website: www.robertgavora.com.  Here is my latest purchase, this fabulous book of Kinsey logging railroad photographs. In the early 1900s Darius Kinsey traveled around taking pictures of loggers with their locomotives, the photographs were then sold to the loggers. I’m pretty sure he has more copies of this if you are interested.

My newest book on logging railroads by Darius Kinsey (Photo by Cat Cook)

My newest book on logging railroads - Kinsey Photographer: The Locomotive Portraits edited by Dave Bohn (Photo by Cat Cook)

Another returning pleasure was getting to chat up Aaron Bentson producer of 7Idea Productions’ excellent railroad videos. The Klamath show allowed him to show off his newest production, MRL Montana Mainline Part 1: Jones Junction to Helena (click here for Blu-Ray). This release comes hot on the heels of his previous new release, Coal Trains of the Powder River Basin, out on DVD & Blu-ray last month.

Cat Cook and Aaron Bentson showing off 7Idea Production's latest releases (Photo by Don Cook)

Cat Cook and Aaron Bentson showing off 7Idea Production's latest releases (Photo by Don Cook)

As usual the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club made the trek to share their traveling layout. Here’s a closeup of a portion featuring ‘fiber’ trees and an Athearn ready-to-run truck (buy it here: Athearn HO Ford C-Series with Van Body – California Motor Express CME). We will see more of them next month at the Rogue Valley Train Show November 26-27 2011 at the Medford Armory in Medford, OR.

Athearn RTR Truck on the road of Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club Layout (Photo by Cat Cook)

Athearn RTR Truck on the road of Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club Layout (Photo by Cat Cook)

Our next show is a big one, the Great Train Expo up in Puyallup, WA on November 19th & 20th 2011 at the Puyallup Fair & Event Center. Hope you can make it!

Tilt-Shifting the Rogue Valley Railroad Show

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Last weekend was the 33rd Annual Rogue Valley Train Show which was well-attended by happy train-lovin’ people. Here’s a picture of the show floor from my perch up in the balcony where our big ol’ booth was located.
Rogue Valley Model Train Show (Photo by: Catherine Cook)

33rd Annual Rogue Valley Model Train Show - November 27th & 28th 2010 Medford Armory (Photo by: Catherine Cook)

Have you heard of Tilt-Shift Photography? It’s a way of manipulating certain aspects of a photograph to make the subject appear smaller than it really is. For example when applying this technique to a picture of a football stadium full of people everything looks like it is actually a miniature, or model, if you will.  Often when we photograph our train layouts we try hard to avoid our models looking like models but this photography approach attempts to do just the opposite – make real life appear like a miniature model! I thought this was pretty cool so I decided to give it a go with some pictures from the train show… miniaturizing real-life people who are looking at miniature trains helps satisfy my daily recommended intake of irony, let’s proceed!

So I found a tutorial on how to accomplish this. Let me state first off, I am by no means a professional photographer, I’ve never taken any classes on the correct way to use a camera or frame a shot so forgive the amateur mistakes you may be subjected to in this blog.  First we have to choose a photograph. Possibly the most important requirement of a successful tilt-shift fake miniature picture is having the right kind of photograph. You want to mimic that the viewer is looking down at a miniature so a shot from a higher vantage point looking down at the subject is key. We are going to work with the photo shown above. Next you will need a photo editor, I’m going to use Photoshop 5.0.  Here’s how we turn the above photo into a fake miniature photo:

  1. Open photo in Photoshop
  2. Press Q to enter Quick Mask
  3. Select Reflected Gradient Tool in the Toolbox
  4. Left click in the center of where you want your ‘in focus’ section of your photo to be and drag straight up to where you want it to start going ‘out of focus’ (this adds a hazy red fog to part of your photo)
  5. Press Q to exit Quick Mask
  6. Click the Filter drop down menu and select Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 7.5 pixels (the tutorial referred to above says to use Lens Blur but my version doesn’t have that, Gaussian Blur seems to do a similar effect)
  7. Press Ctrl-D to deselect the areas you selected with the gradient tool
  8. Click the Image drop down menu, select Adjust>Hue/Saturation and increase the Saturation by 80 (or to your taste)
  9. Click the Image drop down menu, select Adjust>Curves and drag the tonal curve until you like the look of the shadows (may not be necessary)
  10. Save it as a new image, voila!

    Tilt-Shift Fake Miniature Version

    Tilt-Shift Fake Miniature Version of the 33rd Annual Rogue Valley Train Show Photo (Photo by Catherine Cook)

This should (and does to some extent) look smaller, though I could use some more practice.  Below you can check out some more pictures from the show before and after my attempts at Tilt-Shifting them. First we have the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club’s Layout:

Before Shot - Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club Layout (Photo by Catherine Cook)

Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club Layout (Photo by Catherine Cook)

After Shot - Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club Layout (Photo by Catherine Cook)

Tilt-Shift Version - Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club Layout (Photo by Catherine Cook)

Here’s another before and after shot showcasing the Siskiyou Toy Train Club:
Before Shot - Rogue Valley Train Show (Photo by Catherine Cook)

Siskiyou Toy Train Club - Rogue Valley Train Show (Photo by Catherine Cook)

After Shot - Rogue Valley Train Show (Photo by Catherine Cook)

Tilt-Shift Version - Siskiyou Toy Train Club - Rogue Valley Train Show (Photo by Catherine Cook)

Before Shot - Rogue Valley Train Show (Photo by Catherine Cook)

National Railway Historical Society, Southern Oregon Chapter - Rogue Valley Train Show (Photo by Catherine Cook)

After Shot 2 - Rogue Valley Train Show (Photo by Catherine Cook)

Tilt-Shift Version - National Railway Historical Society, Southern Oregon Chapter - Rogue Valley Train Show (Photo by Catherine Cook)

Well that’s it for my initial foray into Tilt-Shift Fake Miniature photography. To see some well-done pictures using this technique (by people who know what they are doing) check out this page: Tilt-Shift Photography

Happy Railroading!