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Keith Pashina
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Today, the 2013 Sn3 Symposium began in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This event has been going on for decades.  Like it's bigger counterpart, the National Narrow Gauge Convention, the Sn3 Symposium is organized by volunteers.  Each year the Symposium is held in a different locale, and organized and hosted by a different bunch of volunteers.

This year, the first-ever Sn3 Symposium was hosted in Minnesota.  This was also my first attendance at one of these events, and I wasn't sure what to expect.  I did know that it would be fun, and I'd see a bunch of friends there and make some new ones.



The Symposium was held in a Ramada Inn, located near the airport and across the street from the mammoth Mall of America.  A tidbit about this hotel is that it was originally built and owned by a model railroader.  He sold the hotel to the Ramada people some time ago.



The Symposium organizing committe (from left to right): Jim McHenry, Mark Wilson, and Fred Holzapfel.  Without these three gentlemen, this event would not have happened!

Keith

Keith Pashina
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The Sn3 Symposium began registration last night (Wednesday) and resumed this morning. 



Today (Thurssday), in the afternoon, two layouts hosted operating sessions.  The first was Jeff Otto's huge, and I mean huge, HO Missabe Northern layout.  This has been published in magazines recently.  There were 26 people signed up to operate, and I will post photos from this session in a future post (I didn't attend, but a friend did).

The second operating session was Ed Petry's HO Sierra Railroad, which also features HOn3 Westside Lumber Company.  I will also make a future post of Ed's layout.




In the evening, clinics were held.  The first clinic was by Pete Nelson, and Pete showed a video originally shot by Helen Tatum of the Colorado & Southern narrow gauge's last passenger train from Denver to Leadville.  This was shot in the 1930s, and featured a lot of scenes I had never seen before.  I was particularly fascinated by the footage of ice harvesting operations in Platte River Canyon - the narrator said up to 80 cars of ice were shipped to Denver daily!



The second clinic was by John Niemeyer, and was on how to use LED lighting in models.  John specializes in using the extremely small LEDs to light his rolling stock, locomotives, structures, and figures.



Johns uses the micro-sized LEDs - one is shown here in an HO Grandt line lampshade.

John gave several examples of applications, and described his techniques on how he installed the LEDs in his models.



Above is an example of scale-sized marker lights in an HOn3 caboose.

Next up with Pete Smith's clinic on scratchbuilding models in styrene.  Originally, a clinic on DCC was to have been offered, but the presenter was ill and had to cancel. 




Pete graciously volunteered at the last minute to give a clinic.



Here is one of several of Pete's S scale models he described.  Many of his structures are built entirely of styrene, as shown here.



Above is one of Pete's completed models he described in his clinic.

I will post more tomorrow.

Keith

Herb Kephart
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Looks like it was a great get together, Keith!

Looking forward to seeing more.

Although there is the danger of confusing some with the possibility that they are looking at Ancestory.com instead of a model rail forum, I have to ask-

I wonder if Fred Holzapfel's ancestor was the brilliant gentleman that came up with the ornamental turning lathe, in the later part of the 19th century?

Herb

mwiz64
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I just had my first bottle of Arrogant..B..Ale the other day. Good stuff.....

Keith Pashina
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Herb:

I checked and Fred Holzapfel is not related to the gentleman you asked about - Fred said it's an Austrian surname that is pretty common.

Mike: the Arrogant Bastard Ale would make a great billboard reefer!

This is the first nice weekend of the year in Minnesota, so I'll be out enjoying the nice afternoon, and will be posting a bunch of photos later this evening.

Keith

Keith Pashina
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I missed posting over the weekend like I had intended to - I was just too busy with Symposium events.  Between attending clinics, giving them, layout tours, and the all-important barroom wind-down sessions, there wasn't much time!



Jeff Otto gave his clinic on handlaying track.  Jeff models in HO, and has an immense layout - I'll post more on this later on.  Jeff really knows his stuff, too - he has already built 250+ turnouts for his layout, and hundreds, if not thousands, of feet of track.



The manufacturer's room is always an important place at these conventions.  Not only do you get to see and buy the stuff you want, but you get to meet the manufacturers and learn more about what motivates them, what their passions are, and what might be coming up next.  Typically, many people have displays where you can get impromptu mini-clinics on how to use their products.

What I am posting here in this thread is not meant to be comprehensive of who and what was there, but more of a commentary of what I saw and what interested me.



Above, Randy and Susan Lee of GME (Grizzly Mountain Engineering) had some very interesting products.



GME has an extensive line of laser-cut wooden wagon models sold in N, HO, S, and O scales.  In front, is a heavy-duty log wagon, and a bunch of HO and S scale wagons in the background.

Randy also sells parts for a 1/2" scale operating rotary snowplow, and will sell you a DVD on how to assemble it. 



GME also sells this innovative servo-operated turnout control, particularly useful for precise alignment for the Sn3 3-way stub turnout shown here.

Randy of GME also is loaded with ideas, and this very creative guy will be bringing out a lot more innovative products in the future.

Keith

Keith Pashina
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Continuing on, here is Jim McHenry and Fred Holzapfel at the registration desk.  I believe about 75 paid attendees were there, plus several manufacturers.



Mike and Korey Pyne of Wild West Scale Model Builders were there with a large display of their structure kits.  They manufacture in Z, HO, S, and O, but of course brought S scale kits to the show.



The Franke Furniture kit is at left, and their newest kit, the Kokomo Cabin, is at right.



A ton of building kits!



Another photo of the Kokomo cabin (which I'll be buying soon for my HO layout), and samples of their soon-to-be-released water based wood stains (not paint).  I received some trial samples to try out for Mike.



Next, I visited with Precision Vintage Classics, a company I had not come across before.  Paul Vaughn had an eclectic collection of tools, rolling stock, and turnout controls.  He does not have a website, but is at 9938 257th st. Ct. E., Graham, WA  98338.



Precision was selling these modified ore cars in S narrow gauge - it's a Roundhouse gravel car originally built in HO, modified, including an option for operating dump doors.



Operating dump doors - neat!



Precision has this turnout control, which I am going to try on the layout.  The cost is low, and it's a non-electric manual, under-the-benchwork throw.  It has lots of adjustment built into it.



An overall view of the manufacturer's room.



On Friday night, I gave clinic on the history of the Gilpin Tram - photo taken by Don Heimburger.

Keith

Keith Pashina
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Allen Pollock of Fun and Games was there with a ton of S scale figures and other S scale stuff for sale.


The San Juan Decals line is now owned by Dan and Donna Peterson, and they live in the Minneapolis area - cool!



The manufacturer's room also had this neat little S scale switching layout on display - more on that later.



This looks like an intense B.S. session - Mike Pyne, Korey Pyne, and Monte Pearson.



Bill Hobbs gave a clinic on Stanton Controls on S scale engines, so the R/C side of the hobby was also represented!


I hosted layout tours of my Gilpin Tram "layout" on Saturday and Sunday.  Technically, I don't have an operating layout at this time - just sections from the former layout.  This is as far as I got since I moved 2 months ago.


Another shot of layout tours at my house.


Back at the Contest Room, Pete Nelson (seated) was guarding the doors and greeting visitors. 

Keith

Keith Pashina
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The contest room had several models that caught my eye - here are some of the structure entries.  The white hose company won first place in structures, I think.



This model of the Poza Mine was very nice.



I think this entry won in freight cars - it's a model of a steam engine (as used in a factory) broken down for shipment.  Cool!



I liked this pair of loaded flatcars.



This diorama with a shop scene was very good. The structure had a full interior.



This is most, but not all, of the local narrow gaugers that were at the Symposium.  The local narrow gauge group has been getting together for about 40 years now!



So, back to the manufacturer's room and the Rock Ridge Sn3 portable layout display...



This group will be hosting the Dallas, TX Sn3 Symposium in 2014, and built this layout as  means of drawing attention and promoting the event.



That's Duane Richardson, one of the builders.  It think maybe 4 or 5 people from Dallas drove up with the layout.



One last imae of the Rock Ridge layout.



John McKenzie of McKenzie Lumber Company displayed his tree making kits.



John also more or less continously demonstrated his process during the show, and also gave a clinic on the process.



Don and Marilyn Heimburger of Heimburger House Publishing Company came and displayed their book offerings.  Don is a big supporter of S scale and Sn3, and has the publications to prove it.  Don told me he was celebrating 51 years of publication - he started publishing when he was 14!



Milepost 169, a local reseller of products, also was at the show.



Joe Fuss of Raggs to Riches came.  Here is a Joe Fuss beating back the hordes of curious modelers.



Joe is a great guy and fun to talk to.  He always seemed to have people around his display.

Keith

W C Greene
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Great photos of a great time! Liked Duane Richardson and the neat Sn3 Rock Ridge layout. Duane is a great dude. Unless I have made someone mad, I may be at the Symposium but since my layout is not S or n3, I probably won't be asked for the layout tour. (But anybody coming to town is invited to visit the Mogollon Railway anyway.)

Woodie

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Real nice!. Thanks for sharing. Jose.

Keith Pashina
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Woodie:

Seeing your layout would be a good incentive to attend next year's Sn3 Symposium. I am sure they would let you participate. After all, the Symposium has low standards, as evidenced by them allowing me, an HOn30 modeler AND 2-foot modeler to participate! :)

Keith

Keith Pashina
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Robert Sherwood of Western Car Shops also was at the Symposium with his line of products.




Another company called PBL also apparently also sells a little bit of Sn3 products, too.  This is the feeding frenzy in action on the last day.

Some of the local narrow guagers - Scott McLeod, Joe Herrick, and Jim McHenry.


That's Pat Student sitting down, probably contemplating the goodies PBL brought.  Both Jim and Keren Booth were there.




Some last-minute instructions as Randy Lee gives a demonstration of servo-powered 3-way turnout control.


Some last-minute discussions on Saturday night.

Pete Nelson presented the contest awards, but you'll have to go to the Symposium web site to see the results.  Also, the Dallas group gave an update on what to expect in next year's Symposium (I think they're doing it in February).  People also spoke for future Symposiums, too.  I think the next four years of Symposiums will be:

2014 - Dallas
2015 - Seattle
2016 - Clearwater, Florida
2017 - St. Louis

So, things were all set, and the group officially ended the Symposium.  After such a wearying event, most everyone adjourned to the hotel bar to get some well-deserved relaxation and continue dispensing pearls of wisdom.



This was a great event, and I had a great time.  I think I will be attending more of these Symposiums in future years.

Keith


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