goingincirclez.com | The Paradox State, Online

Post Woodbury Post


In summer 2012 I at last found a long-sought resource: direct contact with a living, breathing former Tyco employee who was willing to talk, share insights, and answer questions.  And not just any employee, but a high ranking one from R&D at that!  At one time if you’d told me this would come from a random tip to a slot car forum I might have laughed, but I’ve learned the dedication of slot car enthusiasts is nothing to sneeze at.  Plus the worlds of toy trains and slot cars are linked in many ways (if sometimes in spite) as we shall see...

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Cigar Day


10 years' part of 35 and I've still so much to learn.

I still miss you, Grampa.
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The STC Restores Another Penn Line Reading Crusader...


I don't really bother updating much around here, do I? Never was the narcissistic type, I guess... and I don't have much time for online stuff anymore. Still, people often tell me I should get my name out some more and market myself, blah blah blah...

...so here's another Penn Line Reading Crusader restoration I completed earlier this year:

This one belongs to the prolific and knowledgable collector Sean Naylor, who contacted me soon after I finished the first one. I received the locomotive in September 2011 and sent it back (completed) in Feb 2012. Things might have been done sooner, but this one was in worse shape than expected. We'd wondered why someone would paint such a beautiful work of aluminum brightwork - that answer was revealed when I stripped the paint and unveiled the previously hidden layers of scratches beneath. Smoothing and polishing that back out took a long time!

Unlike the writeup on the original Crusader I restored for George Bennett in 2010, I'll remembered to take decent "before" images. And plenty along the way. So I'll let the photos below do most of the talking from here out...!

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Making Your Own Decals - A Basic Primer


Look around this site enough and you'll see plenty of projects I've completed using decals I made myself. In fact, making decals is central to many if not most of my projects - maybe it's subconscious, but I rarely do anything else anymore. Homemade decals open a world of possibilities: they can allow you to create models that aren't commercially available. They can restore graphics on items even outside the model realm. They can be an economical way to touch up other models without investing in full decal sets. And most importantly, they can personalize items and allow you to make things which are completely unique and one-of-a-kind. Get good enough at it, and you might even find yourself making a few bucks on the side.

Different colors and elements require different approaches! Read on to find out why...
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The Evergreen Route is a Cover Road!


I'm generally not one to blast my own K5LA , but I have been doing something mildly cool on the side in recent months. The editor of Model Railroad News approached me last summer to ask if I'd be interested in writing reviews for them. I'd known him for a few years and had helped him with his own websites when he was largely an unknown in the hobby (ahem). A stack of back issues for review set the tone, and soon enough a pair of Walthers' new self-propelled American 25T Cranes arrived at my doorstep for review and photography. A few too many words and grainy photos later, my first article went to print in MRN's October, 2011 issue...

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Rough Drafts, Shoulda Beens, Canvases & Test Shots: Tyco "Pre-Prods" Part 2


Love 'em or hate 'em, “billboard” railcars have their roots in the colorful reefers and covered hoppers that once roamed the rails in decades past. Scale-railroad versions trace their origins to promotional cars and sets dating back to postwar O scale. Tyco was an early pioneer of using HO cars for this purpose, with rare sets and cars made for various companies and hobby shops. This was the extent of billboards in the hobby for many years until the fad exploded in the late 60's. When Tyco was sold to the Sara Lee Corp. in 1970, the seeds were sown for a cross-promotional blitzkreig; by the mid-1970’s the “billboard car” craze was in full swing, finding hundreds of freight car offerings from several vendors awash in corporate colors. If it was sold at a supermarket, chances are there was (or is) an HO car made for it....

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More Tyco "Preprods" Displayed...


I've finally updated the preprods post with some new stuff, including:

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What-Ifs, Never-Weres, Fantasies & Concepts: Answers (and Questions!) from Tyco R&D


Have you ever read the fine print that says "actual product may vary from shown" and wondered why? Or notice something in a catalog is indeed markedly different and wonder what happened to the one in the picture? Or ponder why some items saw the green light of production's blessing - sometimes against better sense - while others didn't and hey, what about those others anyway: how many cool things were proposed but never actually made? Ever daydream about what sort of mayhem and creativity you'd unleash if given the keys to the factory and its resources and R&D department for a day?

What if some of those answers came to light, but only dragged new questions along with them since R&D (and the whole factory, oops) closed somewhere between 10 and 30 years ago, depending on whom you talk to...?

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Project: Bombastatron


Bombastatron: (bom-bast-a-tron; -- n: A amplification chamber which imparts an assortment of electron tubes the capacity to disseminate sound waves with bombastic qualities; i.e., kickass old-school lounge box)

PROJECT Bombastatron: The process of resurrection...

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Magic, Sadness, Terror and Beauty: The Mystique of Railroading


When people first meet me a question inevitably arises; words and inflections vary but the underlying sentiment is unmistakable: You still play with trains and you're how old? Why haven't you grown up? Oh, as a father I've grown up of course. But my affection - childlike if it must be - was fused permanently unapologetic long ago, and really isn't too hard to understand...

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