NASG Dispatch Articles by Sam Powell

Bridging the Gap

Issue:
2010 #6 December
Page:
12
Category:
Benchwork
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

Issue:
1985 #1 Winter
Page:
2
Category:
Model Railroad Manufacturers
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.

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

Issue:
1983 #3 Summer
Page:
6
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
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.

Jeff's Junction

Issue:
2005 #5 October
Page:
5
Category:
Model Railroad Shows
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

Issue:
2010 #3 June
Page:
20
Category:
Operations
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

Issue:
1983 #2 Spring
Page:
4
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
Description:

The author tackles some design problems that they locomotives have to make them run smoother.

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

Issue:
2001 #2 April
Page:
14
Category:
Layouts - 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

Issue:
2003 #5 October
Page:
22
Category:
Layouts - 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

Issue:
2006 #2 April
Page:
13
Category:
Layout Construction
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

Issue:
2006 #3 June
Page:
22
Category:
Layout Design
Description:

The author helps dissuade negative thoughts that prevent people from building a layout.

S Tracks

Issue:
2006 #5 October
Page:
26
Category:
Layout Design
Description:

The author presents the idea of a "train layout" as a 3D sculpture.

S Tracks

Issue:
2006 #6 December
Page:
14
Category:
Layout Design
Description:

How to decide which curve sizes your layout needs.

S Tracks

Issue:
2007 #1 February
Page:
14
Category:
Layout Construction
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

Issue:
2007 #2 April
Page:
12
Category:
Layout Construction
Description:

How to transcribe the track plan design to the actual layout space. Also covers how to build table-top sections.

S Tracks

Issue:
2007 #3 June
Page:
22
Category:
Layout Construction
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

Issue:
2007 #5 October
Page:
36
Category:
Layout Construction
Description:

Why are we drawn to buying locomotives and cars, but not structures?

S Tracks

Issue:
2007 #6 December
Page:
24
Category:
Layout Construction
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

Issue:
2009 #1 February
Page:
12
Category:
Track
Description:

This article describes grade crossings and ideas for how to model them.

S Tracks

Issue:
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

Issue:
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

Issue:
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

Issue:
2010 #2 April
Page:
19
Category:
Model Railroads and People
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

Issue:
2011 #1 February
Page:
10
Category:
Operations
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

Issue:
2011 #3 June
Page:
18
Category:
Track
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

Issue:
2011 #5 October
Page:
20
Category:
Photography & Videography
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

Issue:
2012 #6 December
Page:
10
Category:
Model Railroads and People
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

Issue:
2013 #3 June
Page:
10
Category:
Layout Construction
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

Issue:
1984 #1 Winter
Page:
10
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
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

Issue:
1984 #2 Spring
Page:
6
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
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

Issue:
1984 #4 Fall
Page:
7
Category:
Locomotives - Steam
Description:

This final installment of building a steam locomotive frame will deal with the main rod cylinder set and crosshead assembly.

The Shipyard Brewing Co. by Bar Mills Models

Issue:
2011 #3 June
Page:
22
Category:
Product Review
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.

Tomalco Track System

Issue:
2005 #1 February
Page:
28
Category:
Product Review
Description:

The author reviews the flextrack and turnouts produced by Tomalco Track now owned by Larry Morton.

Towards a New Penn Creek Valley

Issue:
2003 #6 December
Page:
12
Category:
Layout Design
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

Issue:
2004 #1 February
Page:
10
Category:
Layout Design
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

Issue:
1985 #1 Winter
Page:
5
Category:
Couplers
Description:

How to make the AM coupler be self-centering and some fine-tuning to get it to operate smoothly.

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