My Library - Magazine Articles By Sam Powell

Bridging the Gap

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2010 #6 December
Page:
12
Category:
Benchwork
Scale:
S
Description:
The author reviews three different ways to connect two parts of the layout while still allowing people to pass through into the layout. He then describes how he built his bridge.

Changing Standards

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 1985 #1 Winter
Page:
2
Category:
Model Railroad Manufacturers
Scale:
S
Description:
After mentioning several other major changes in the model railroading industry, the author opines about the need for the S-scale community to adopt the new NASG S-scale standard.

Die-cast steam locomotive kits: S scale

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 1976-11
Page:
100
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
Scale:
S
Description:
The Rex Models' 0-6-0 is a freelance job that looks like a shortened version of the Pennsy B6sa, the only non-Belpaire firebox loco built at Altoona after 1900. The 2-6-0 is very similar but with a pilot instead of footboards, a flared smokestack, a longer smokebox, and a square tender. The only complaint the author had was that the wheels on the 0-4-0 are slightly out of round, which results in a slight wobble as the engine runs.

Heavyweight Passenger Cars From Spliced Flyer Combines Part 1

Magazine:
3/16 "S"cale Railroading 1991-06/07
Page:
28
Category:
Passenger Cars
Scale:
S
Description:
This installment starts off with the body assembly and roof modifications. Includes completed model photos, and some detailed drawings.

Heavyweight Passenger Cars From Spliced Flyer Combines Part 2

Magazine:
3/16 "S"cale Railroading 1991-10/11
Page:
16
Category:
Passenger Cars
Scale:
S
Description:
This installment covers the interior detailing, sides, ends, handrails, and underbody. Includes many diagrams, including one for all the typical details found under a passenger car.

Heavyweight Passenger Cars From Spliced Flyer Combines Part 3

Magazine:
3/16 "S"cale Railroading 1991-12/01
Page:
20
Category:
Passenger Cars
Scale:
S
Description:
This installment concludes the series by building the underbody and interior detailing, lighting, painting, and lettering.

How To Scratch Build a Steam Engine Frame Or, The Steamer of Your Dreams

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 1983 #3 Summer
Page:
6
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
Scale:
S
Description:
This first installment covers selecting the proper drivers, the matching axle, the cylinder blocks, and the crosshead assemblies. Next, the author uses steel or aluminum U-shaped shelf brackets for the frame. Next up are making scale drawings.

Is Model Railroading A Dying Hobby?

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2013 #1 February
Page:
20
Category:
Model Railroad Philosophy
Scale:
S
Description:
The author discusses several topics to help determine if the hobby is dying. If not, what is it that we can do to help bring in new blood?

Jeff's Junction

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2005 #5 October
Page:
5
Category:
Model Railroad Shows
Scale:
S
Description:
In this guest editorial by Sam, he reflects on the 2005 NASG Convention and how he believes that the hi-rail modelers are now the main force in S-scale.

Making a Case for Operation

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2010 #3 June
Page:
20
Category:
Operations
Scale:
S
Description:
This article covers why you might want to hold operating sessions, what you need to have to do operations, and detailed planning to bring it all about.

Making the Rex 0-6-0 and 2-6-0 Locomotives Behave

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 1983 #2 Spring
Page:
4
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
Scale:
S
Description:
The author tackles some design problems that they locomotives have to make them run smoother.

Modeling the Buffalo Creek & Gauley Railroad

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2011 #6 December
Page:
20
Category:
Product Review
Scale:
S
Description:
The author reviews the book by Brooks Stover, which covers the prototype BC&G railroad, and how he modeled it in S-scale.

New River Series Two Stall Engine House

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2012 #3 June
Page:
20
Category:
Product Review
Scale:
S
Description:
The author builds and reviews the two-stall engine house kit released by B.T.S. Includes several built photos.

News Flash: Penn Creek Valley Goes Down To Corporate Takeover Bid by Washington and Old Dominion RR

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2001 #2 April
Page:
14
Category:
Layouts - S
Scale:
S
Description:
The author tells a "prototype story" of how his personal layout was sold to the W&OD club, and how he is taking a break from model railroading.

Postmortem on the Penn Creek Valley

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2003 #5 October
Page:
22
Category:
Layouts - S
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes why he decided to demolish the 25 year old layout. He then continues by sharing his thoughts on what the new layout will be like. Includes a track plan.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2006 #2 April
Page:
13
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
The author is starting a new column in the Dispatch discussing what it takes to get a layout built and running. In this column he starts off with handling all of the common complaints.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2006 #3 June
Page:
22
Category:
Layout Design
Scale:
S
Description:
The author helps dissuade negative thoughts that prevent people from building a layout.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2006 #5 October
Page:
26
Category:
Layout Design
Scale:
S
Description:
The author presents the idea of a "train layout" as a 3D sculpture.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2006 #6 December
Page:
14
Category:
Layout Design
Scale:
S
Description:
How to decide which curve sizes your layout needs.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2007 #1 February
Page:
14
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
The author shares a letter he got that describes how the modeler got out of his comfort zone, to tackle layout construction. They are part of a round-robin group, the organization of which is discussed in this article. Photos of the author's layout are included in the next several pages following this article.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2007 #2 April
Page:
12
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
How to transcribe the track plan design to the actual layout space. Also covers how to build table-top sections.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2007 #3 June
Page:
22
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
Scenic curves can either be mathematically planned, or can just be put in position until the layout builder likes its position. Either approach is acceptable. The author mentioned that actual construction always differs from detailed planning.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2007 #5 October
Page:
36
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
Why are we drawn to buying locomotives and cars, but not structures?

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2007 #6 December
Page:
24
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
The author makes the case for incorporating grades in your layout. Includes information about how to calculate a grade and how to deal with the vertical transitions.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2008 #1 February
Page:
20
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
Change can be hard to deal with, but the author makes the case that making minor or even major changes to your layout can breathe new life into your enjoyment of the hobby.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2008 #3 June
Page:
14
Category:
Structures
Scale:
S
Description:
The author shares his opinion about building kits by various manufacturers.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2009 #1 February
Page:
12
Category:
Track
Scale:
S
Description:
This article describes grade crossings and ideas for how to model them.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2009 #2 April
Page:
12
Category:
Model Railroad Philosophy
Description:
Sam has come to the conclusion that we tend to criticize our own and even others' layouts. This article reminds us that this is just a hobby and that model railroads are because we enjoy the act of creating and enjoying the results.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2009 #3 June
Page:
20
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes various ways to make the space wherein the model railroad resides more visually appealing. Includes several photos of his layout.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2009 #6 December
Page:
24
Category:
Model Railroad Philosophy
Description:
Stress is a killer, and model railroading, in moderation, can be the cure, or so the author proposes.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2010 #1 February
Page:
22
Category:
Model Railroad Philosophy
Description:
Keeping notes about your layout in a three-ring binder, even if some information is stored in a computer program, because you can bring a notebook with you when visiting friends. Keeping information such as the background story, track plans, prototype info, operating scheme, etc.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2010 #2 April
Page:
19
Category:
Model Railroads and People
Scale:
S
Description:
"The Magnificent Seven" - Seven S gaugers who influenced Sam. They are Ed Schumacher, John Bortz, Frank Titman, Wally Collins, Claude Wade, Walter Graeff, and Jesse Bennett.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2011 #1 February
Page:
10
Category:
Operations
Scale:
S
Description:
Sam discusses what operations are, why people like operating session or don't like them, handling stress preparing for a session, car-card system, and how to start the first session.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2011 #3 June
Page:
18
Category:
Track
Scale:
S
Description:
How does one get foreign-road cars on one's layout? Via the Interchange Track. This unique and easy-to-model track is fully discussed in this article, which includes how to integrate it into your layout's operational scheme.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2011 #5 October
Page:
20
Category:
Photography & Videography
Scale:
S
Description:
The author's layout models the Pittsburgh area, but he had never actually been there in person. A trip with camera in hand allowed him to better model the area.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2011 #6 December
Page:
18
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
This installment covers the creation of the Mt. Washington backdrop for his layout. Includes a few photos. The backdrop is made from sections of insulation foam.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2012 #1 February
Page:
11
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes his struggle with the last major scene on his layout, that of capturing the city of Pittsburgh, which also happens to be the first scene that visitors to the layout see when entering the room. He describes building a raised scenic base, since it is also a staging yard. Includes many photos.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2012 #2 April
Page:
12
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
The reality of never finishing projects, and how to deal with that reality. How to overcome "destructive" habit in your hobby, and still enjoy the process.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2012 #3 June
Page:
10
Category:
Operations
Scale:
S
Description:
The author shares what it was like preparing for, and holding, the first operating session on his layout.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2012 #6 December
Page:
10
Category:
Model Railroads and People
Scale:
S
Description:
The author makes the case for associating with model railroaders that are not into S-scale, such as the local NMRA, other conventions, etc., especially after one retires.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2013 #2 April
Page:
18
Category:
Structures
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes 6 details that will make a difference in a structure model.

S Tracks

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2013 #3 June
Page:
10
Category:
Layout Construction
Scale:
S
Description:
What to do when there is a house-supporting pole in the middle of your layout space? The author's solution was to build a four-sided building around the square pole, which, when the camera is set a the right angle, makes the pole invisible.

Scratch-building Steam Engine Mechanisms Part II

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 1984 #1 Winter
Page:
10
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
Scale:
S
Description:
In this next installment of the series on how build your own steam locomotive, the author starts the work of building the frame and installing the driver wheels.

Scratch-building Steam Engine Mechanisms Part III

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 1984 #2 Spring
Page:
6
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
Scale:
S
Description:
In this installment the construction and installation of the side rods is accomplished, including how to resolve any binding. Also covered is drive quartering.

Scratch-building Steam Engine Mechanisms Part IV

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 1984 #4 Fall
Page:
7
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
Scale:
S
Description:
This final installment of building a steam locomotive frame will deal with the main rod cylinder set and crosshead assembly.

SouthWind Models Pullman

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 1991-07
Page:
88
Category:
Product Review
Scale:
S
Description:
The author reviews the brass Pullman sleeper car by SouthWind Models, after a substantial review of the prototype car.

The Penn Creek Valley

Magazine:
3/16 "S"cale Railroading 1991-10/11
Page:
29
Category:
Layouts - S
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes the idea behind his layout, his design criteria, the era and area modeled, the track plan, its operating scheme, and an evaluation of what worked and what didn't. Includes a track plan of the entire layout, and many photos.

The Penn Creek Valley

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 1975-11
Page:
48
Category:
Layouts - S
Scale:
S
Description:
Sam describes his layout and how he acquired and built the layout's equipment. Even though S is a minority scale, Sam still has 7 steam engines, one A-B diesel set, 40 freight cars, and 6 passenger cars operating on his layout. In addition to the many photos of his layout, a track plan is included, as well as ways in which the reader can get additional information about S-scale.

The Shipyard Brewing Co. by Bar Mills Models

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2011 #3 June
Page:
22
Category:
Product Review
Scale:
S
Description:
The shallow-depth structure was perfect for the author's new town on his layout, so he built it and provides us with his commentary and construction hints.

The Vestibule

Magazine:
3/16 "S"cale Railroading 1990-10/11
Page:
23
Category:
Passenger Cars
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes how to make a vestibule in an American Models passenger car with some slight model surgery. He also covers diaphragms. Includes a couple of photos and detail drawings.

Tomalco Track System

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2005 #1 February
Page:
28
Category:
Product Review
Scale:
S
Description:
The author reviews the flextrack and turnouts produced by Tomalco Track now owned by Larry Morton.

Towards a New Penn Creek Valley

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2003 #6 December
Page:
12
Category:
Layout Design
Scale:
S
Description:
The author shares his thoughts about the compromises we all have to make when designing a new layout.

Towards a New Penn Creek Valley Part II

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 2004 #1 February
Page:
10
Category:
Layout Design
Scale:
S
Description:
The author describes the thoughts he went through developing a design, track plan, and realistic integration of his layout into this available space (he had several options). Includes a sketch of the track plan.

Tuning Up the American Models Snap-lock Coupler

Magazine:
NASG Dispatch 1985 #1 Winter
Page:
5
Category:
Couplers
Scale:
S
Description:
How to make the AM coupler be self-centering and some fine-tuning to get it to operate smoothly.

Using Slides as Backdrop Painting Guides

Magazine:
Railroad Model Craftsman 1978-12
Page:
74
Category:
Painting & Weathering
Description:
The author shows how he photographs a real scene, has the slide developed, and then projects the slide onto the backdrop of his layout. He then traces and paints the scene over top of the projected image. Photos from his S-scale layout show the results.