The 2013 NASG Convention was held at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel in Scranton, Pennsylvania from Wednesday August 7th through Saturday August 10th, 2013. Jamie Bothwell organized and hosted the convention.

Hotel


Side view of hotel (passenger area on the right); photo by Peter Vanvliet

Interior view down toward the lobby; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Scranton, as viewed from the hotel room; photo by Peter Vanvliet

NASG Convention Car

Day One

Before the convention officially kicked-off, several eastern-Pennsylvania layouts were open for a self-guided tour. Several additional layouts were also open the Sunday after the convention.

At the hotel, in the evening, a casual get-together allowed us to visit with friends and make new ones.


Bill Fraley's Jefferson Central; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Bill and Jeff; photo by Bill Winans

Bill R., Dick K., Bob S., and Lee J. at Bill Fraley's layout; photo by Bill Winans

Bert Mahr's layout; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Two: Area Bus Ride

The big event of the first full day was a bus ride to a coal mine, more specifically, the Pioneer Tunnel at Ashland, Pennsylvania. Two buses were chartered.


After more than an hour in the bus, it was good to stretch the legs; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Waiting to enter the mine (it was 49F in the mine); photo by Peter Vanvliet

A short, but rough, ride took us deep into the mine; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Equipment left behind in the mine; photo by Peter Vanvliet

There's plenty of light here today; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Heading back out of the mine; photo by Peter Vanvliet

A small train took us up the mountain to learn more about the area; photo by Peter Vanvliet

The engineer and conductor (left) appreciated our business; photo by Peter Vanvliet

We visited Centralia, PA (which has the perpetual burning coal mine), but we didn't get off the bus due to road closures in the area (and the bus being too heavy to go the alternate route). We were able to see some modern-day reclamation mining, though, separating the coal from slag.


Reclamation mining; photo by Peter Vanvliet

St. Nickolas Breaker slated for demolition in 2014; photo by Peter Vanvliet

In Jim Thorpe, PA (formerly "Mauch Chunk") we had time for lunch and some sight-seeing, before returning to Scranton; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Two: Evening Clinics

Modeling the East Broad Top RR

Conducted by Lee Rainey

The EBT and Lee's Mount Union S/Sn3 switching layout.

FastTracks Jigs

Conducted by Jamie Bothwell

Jamie described how he builds his turnouts using the last of the remaining S-Helper Service rail.


Jamie looking for volunteers to solder; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Internet Users Get-together

Conducted by Pieter Roos, Bill Lane, and Jeff Sankus

Subscribers to the Yahoo Groups S-scale and S-Trains lists introduced themselves, and voiced issues some had with the groups.


Listening to comments about the Yahoo Groups lists; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Three: Clinics

Painting Backdrop Scenery

Conducted by Jim Martin

Jim and a volunteer member of the audience (who had no backdrop painting experience) painted a backdrop.

View the S Scale Workshop Layout

Conducted by Jim Martin

Jim took us on a tour around the club's layout in the vendor room to describe the various techniques used to build the modules. You can see Jim's own write-up about the show on his blog.


Jim and Andy answering questions; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Steamtown's Steam-era Freight Cars

Conducted by Jeff English

Discussion of the equipment shown at Steamtown, and how to model them in S.

Basic Soldering

Conducted by Andy Malette

Andy reviewed soldering; from pencil to resistance soldering. A PDF file of the presentation is available from this web site. A PDF file of the hand-out is also available from this web site.

The S-CAB System

Conducted by Peter Vanvliet

Peter described the Stanton S-CAB system, including battery-powered engines, and how to install the parts in three different engines. A PDF file of the presentation is available from this web site.

DCC Concept & Layout Design

Conducted by Dave Heine

Dave discussed what is needed to set up a DCC-powered layout. A PDF file of the presentation is available from this web site.

Day Three: Vendors

Jay Mellon always does a fantastic job summarizing what was available from the various vendors at the convention. This following paragraphs are from his report. Opinions expressed are Jay's.

Altoona Model Works
Bob Spaulding had a model of the 3-stall roundhouse based on a UP prototype. He can custom modify the kit for the modeler's specifications. Several other structure kits are available, as well.


Altoona Model Works' table; photo by Peter Vanvliet

DesPlaines Hobbies
Ron Sebastian was there with his new X-29 box car kit. This kit was major news for the convention. I forgot to ask about the status of the SD-45 project.


Des Plaines/S Scale America showing and selling PRR X29 box cars; photo by Peter Vanvliet

The PRR X29 box car was the big new item at the convention; photo by Peter Vanvliet

East-West Rail Service
A new manufacturer for me. They had a neat Soo Line stock car kit for sale, with the C&O car kit being close to ready. There is also a PFE icing platform kit with LED lighting in development.

Great Decals
Bill Mosteller had S decals for mostly Eastern roads.

Hoquat Hobbies
Jeff Wilson had a good selection of S equipment. I picked up some M-2 trucks (vehicles) and a Clever Bros. kit.

Huff 'n' Puff
They had a bunch of wood reefer kits and a good selection of different style rail trucks.

Lehigh Valley Models
Phil Kerr was there with a large selection if his structure kits. It's been a while since I have seen him at a NASG event.

M.L.W. Services
Andy Malette had the other big hit of the convention, his 8-hatch CN reefer kit. It quickly sold out. And, it looks like his "free time" will be filled for a while producing kits for new orders.


M.L.W. Services' table; photo by Peter Vanvliet

NASG Clearing House
Roy Meissner was there hawking the NASG collection of gauges, hats, and shirts. He also had a neat girder bridge for sale.

Pikesville Models
In addition to a large selection of AF equipment, Dave Blum had the coil cover kit available. He also produced the convention tank car model.

Pine Canyon Models
In addition to returning some older models to inventory stock, they have released some new fire station and freight terminal kits. Nice models.

River Raisin Models
The SP 0-6-0 and 2-6-0 projects, as well as the C&O Heavy Pacific project, are in GO status. Dan Navarre also has a few remaining examples of previously produced SP motive power (gorgeous) on sale. When they're gone, they will not be produced again.

S Scale Loco and Supply
Fred Rouse had a bunch of his scale brass parts there. Check his website for availability.

Tomalco
Larry Morton was there to help you out with your scale track needs.

The Railroad Crossing
Brought his line of S scale building structures.

American Models, Lionel, and MTH did not have representatives at the convention. Although S-Helper Service is "long gone", it was nice to see Don, Robin, and Mike there. There were a number of folks selling off models from estates, including those of Bob Jackson and Frank Titman. I picked up a couple of Frank's models. They will occupy an honorary spot in my model roster. There were also copious quantities of AF equipment for sale from vendors other than Dave Blum.

Day Three: Display Layouts


Alan Evans brought the NASG switching layout; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Canadian S Scale Workshop Free-mo style layout; photo by Peter Vanvliet

More S Scale Workshop layout...; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Jim Martin's module terminates one end of the S Scale Workshop layout; photo by Peter Vanvliet

The other end of the layout; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Three: Contest Room - Greeley's Place

You know that when Jamie plans something, it is going to be interesting. His challenge to all of us was to buy the B.T.S. Greeley's Place kit, build it anyway you want, with a 36-square-inch footprint limitation, and bring it to the Convention. He paid everyone who entered $10 for their effort. A total of nine entries were made, with a few being somewhat dubious (i.e. they were probably Jamie's!)

Webmaster's comments: Three of the Greeley's Place models were also entered into the formal contest. I do not know which one won which, but here are the names:
1st. Place Diorama Master Craftsman Class, Dave Jasper
1st. Place Diorama Craftsman Class, Douglas G. Miller
1st. Place Diorama Amateur Class, Michael Warman


Entry #1 (how to defend your cabin against the zombies); photo by Peter Vanvliet

Entry #2; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Entry #3; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Entry #4; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Entry #5; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Entry #6 (lit-up shadow-box display); photo by Peter Vanvliet

Entry #7; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Entry #8 by Peter Vanvliet - Popular Vote Contest Winner
photo by Peter Vanvliet

Entry #9; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Three: Contest Room - Formal Contests

Webmaster's comments: I took quick "snap-shot" photos of the models in the contest room. I did not have the time at the convention to take any notes about the models. For the ones for which I know the name of the owner I have so indicated. If this is your model, let me know so that I can give you proper credit. I did not keep track of who won what, so either let me know if your model won a contest, or see the October 2013 issue of The Dispatch. Not all of the entries shown below were officially entered into the contests. To the best of my knowledge, I have indicated those as such.


Not to be judged; photo by Peter Vanvliet

"WW&B Class B1 Elec. Loco" by Richard Karnes
1st. Place Diesel & Elec. Loco Master Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

Model by Dick Karnes - not to be judged; photo by Peter Vanvliet

"Icing Station" by Roger Delthony
2nd Place Structures Amateur Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"Clayton Movie Theater" by Bill Mixon
2nd Place Structures Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"Abandoned Farmhouse" by Bill Mixon
1st Place Structures Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet


"U&D Flatcar" by Willy Monaghan
Best Of Master Craftsman
1st Place Freight Equip.
(I don't know which one of these two cars won the awards)
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"U&D Drop Bottom Gondola" by Willy Monaghan
2nd Place Freight Equip.
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"U&D 4 Four Wheel Caboose" by Willy Monaghan
3rd Place Freight Equip.
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"PRR K4 #5495" by Bill Lane
1st Place Steam Locomotive
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"PRSL RDC1" by Bill Lane
2nd Place Diesel & Elec. Loco Master Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"Roswell Flatcar" by Roger Delthony
1st Place Fantasy Amateur Class
(interior lights flickered and changed colors)
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"Borden Milk Car" by Roger Delthony
1st Place Hirail Amateur Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

photo by Peter Vanvliet

photo by Peter Vanvliet

"Stombaugh Tunnel Portal" by Richard Lind
1st Place Structures Amateur Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"CNJ Class NEa Wood Caboose" by Pieter Roos
1st Place Scratch Built Freight & MoW Equipment Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"KCS USRA Double Sheathed Boxcar" by Pieter Roos
Best In Show
Best of Craftsman Class
1st. Place Kit & Converted Freight & MoW Equipment Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"Milwaukee Single Sheathed Boxcar" by Pieter Roos
2nd Place Kit & Converted Freight & MoW Equipment Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"B&M Four-window Caboose" by Cy Bacchi
2nd Place Scratch Built Freight & MoW Equipment Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

"PRR Work Train" by Richard Berridge
3rd Place Kit & Converted Freight & MoW Equipment Craftsman Class
photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Three: Steamtown Visit

Taking a brief break from clinics, we were able to visit the Steamtown grounds.


Overview from mall bridge; photo by Peter Vanvliet

RS-3 with freight cars; photo by Peter Vanvliet

UP Big Boy; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Illinois Central #790 2-8-0; photo by Peter Vanvliet

PRR X26c box car; photo by Peter Vanvliet

D&LW switcher; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Reading F units; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Four: Clinics

Making Stonework from Styrofoam

Conducted by Sam Powell

Using foam insulation board to create rock work.


Sam showing the first step after gluing the pieces together; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Four: Train Ride from Steamtown to Moscow, PA

Bill Lane shot a video of the engine that took us on the ride.


Our transportation; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Nickel Plate GP9; photo by Peter Vanvliet

1930s vintage passenger cars, without A/C; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Interior shot of the passenger car; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Arrived in Moscow, PA; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Four: NASG Business Meeting


Just a quick photo taken during the meeting (Dave Blum and Jim Kindraka were not in the photo at the time); photo by Peter Vanvliet

Day Four: Banquet & Auction


Bill, Mary, Fred, Dolores, Carla, Dave, and Bert (notice Jamie moving too fast for the camera on the upper left!); photo by Bill Winans

Just a quick shot before the evening started; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Jamie kicking off the evening; photo by Peter Vanvliet

Jamie starting the auction; photo by Peter Vanvliet

That's all folks! It was a fantastic convention!