Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Trip to the not so local Hobby Shop

As many of you know, I altogether stopped to purchase anything you since a few months. I consider buying more cars, locomotives and structures is an utter waste of money and fun. Not that I won't ever buy any of them, but rather that it will happen only on a per case method for replacing obsolete things with more prototypical ones. Since there isn't that much unprototypical cars running on the layout, I see no need to get more. As for locomotives, I'll only purchase 2 to 3 sound-equipped MLW M420s when Rapido will finally see the light! Oh yeah, count on me for driving this into our poor Jason's mind!

But there's a more deep reasoning behing that. I remember reading many years ago a post by Trevor Marshall - or maybe someone else even if I think Trevor would agree anyway - that modellers don't think twice to compulsively buy any piece of rolling stock that catches their fancy but will cringe a lot before investing in scenic materials. Well, I took the advice and after a few months of spending nothing, I had enough cash to dare to visit some hobby shop and spend money on grass, turf, leaves, weeds and tree armatures.

A few friends well into wargaming were driving to Montreal to visit some hobby shop there so I decided to take the ride too. I didn't expect to find a lot and was kind of disappointed after I only found very few useful items. Mainly dozens of ready made ridiculous trees. Anyway, there was a few relevant supplies.

On the return trip, I decided to stop by Jeff Boudreau's shop in Drummondville: Modèles BT. I'm not here to do any advertisement, but the experience is always interesting there. The shop is very small, but the range of product is wide and pertinent to most decicated modellers. I'm not in quantity, but into quality and selection. Also, I love how the staff there is kind, polite and full of helpful advices, somewhat a rarity in a few local stores.
Another good thing at Jeff's shop was the chance to meet fellow railfan and railroader Mathieu Gosselin who was purchasing some neat Vermont Railway GP locomotives. Don't ask me why he is investing in a VR fleet, he wasn't able to answer to that question himself. But I guess it caught its fancy and I won't blame him for it! Reminds me the days I was buying to much locomotives for my own good. M630C? Why not isn't it?

Finally, I also decided to invest in some prototypical canadian railway signs. Jeff is the exclusive dealer for some very neat product made by a talented guy. A little bit pricey, but definitely top notch. I started to nitpick the crossbuck dimension and Jeff decided to make it clear it was accurate. He measured a real crossbuck in the backstore and we compared it to the HO scale rendition: perfect. So I bought enough crossbuck for 3 grade crossings, several whistle posts, flanger signs and derail signs. I'll probably order much more in the future as needed.

I could make my own signs, but I'll be honest, it takes a lot of time I actually don't have. I prefer to put my time on scenery, structures, tracks and rolling stock. Life is finite and I decided I could pay for this and make more progress on more significant projects. Speaking of which, I now have absolutely no reason to postpone scenery work!

And maybe I'll bite my tongue by the end of the year, but I expect Donohue and Rivière Malbaie to be fully scenicked by Christmas!

And don't forget, if MLW M420 should be a staple on your layout or you just like the prototype, don't forget to pester Rapido and Jason about doing it! We have waited for too long!

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