Hanging out at Tommy Gilbert's Hobby Shop, 346 East Water Street, in Gettysburg, PA is a lot of fun - and it can be an education, too. Some of the most knowledgeable modelers in south central Pennsylvania come to share their ideas and talk about their love of railroads.
Their passion often evolves into very interesting debates about the history of railroads and the technical details of modeling. For example, "What color was Pennsylvania Railroad boxcar red on new cars in the 1920s". That's important if you model that era. The consensus was that a new boxcar would have been darker than the boxcar red colors offered by most model paint manufacturers. It seems that a few drops of tuscan red are needed to create the darker color used by the PRR. Of course, that color blending isn't necessary if you model a ten year old car in the 1930s that has been significantly sun-faded.
These discussion forums at Tommy Gilbert's are a lot more fun when they are live - and not just on a bulletin board on the web. You get to meet the real people behind the modeling - including some of those authors whose bylines are found in model magazines and books.
Tommy has a couple of layouts in the shop. One of them that came in about a month ago is for sale. It is an N-Scale layout that has a good running start and could be finished into a nice layout. So, there's lots of room for modeling fun when someone buys the layout. But, in the meantime, the layout is set up for operation at Tommy's and people can run N-Scale trains through the mountains and around a town and yards. Here are some photos.
There is a good start on the town with lots of opportunity for adding more.
This sure looks a lot like Colorado.
A Rio Grand waits for the Wabash freight to pass.
There are some industries - and even a Burger King.
Twin tunnels go through a huge mountain.
This shows the depth of the flatland area with the town in the distance.
A Wabash freight pulls out of the yards in the early morning light.
Remember - this layout is for sale. Hurry on in to see it - and go ahead and ask if you can run it.