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Builders in the Hobby
In this episode…
Mary Miller, the NMRA’s first female Master Model Railroader.
Pierre Oliver, Master Car Builder, Elgin Car Shops.
Building the presence of women in the hobby
Mary Miller is a well-known and accomplished modeler, whose work has appeared in several major hobby publications over the years. With her husband Bill, Mary has built one of the hobby’s best-known O scale layouts that showcases Colorado narrow gauge: the On3 Ohio Creek Subdivision of the Colorado & Southern. Mary and Bill also run a hobby business: Miller Models creates and markets sound effects modules – everything from birdsongs and babbling brooks to water tank stops and mine explosions.
In pursuit of this rewarding hobby, Mary also achieved an important model railroading milestone. In July of 1991, Mary became NMRA Master Model Railroader #175 – the first woman in the hobby to earn the MMR designation. Out of several hundred MMRs, Mary is joined by just a handful of other women – including June Maier (MMR 243), Leslie Eaton (MMR 289), Mary Barstow (MMR 292), and Gail Allen Komar (MMR 349).
As someone who is an enthusiastic and accomplished modeler, Mary has a unique perspective on how well the hobby welcomes women and what we can do to encourage more women to become model railway enthusiasts. She joins Jim to share her views.
A Builder for Hire
Go have a look at your “to-do” pile. Pretty big, isn’t it?
There are so many great “must-have” kits available in the hobby these days that it’s hard to keep ahead of the new offerings. With a layout to build, plus family, work and other commitments, only those with very modest model railroading ambitions have time to build everything themselves.
One area where many of us can use help is rolling stock. A layout of any size requires lots of rolling stock and small manufacturers have done a great job of producing resin, laser cut and mixed media kits to add the variety that makes a model railway look more realistic. But building dozens of boxcars or covered hoppers isn’t everybody’s favorite activity.
The good news is, there’s help. In recent years, some hobbyists have turned their love of rolling stock into a business building kits for others.
Pierre Oliver at Elgin Car Shops got started building Intermountain cylindrical grain hoppers for a local hobby shop. In addition to working on his own models and layout, Pierre now builds rolling stock kits professionally, including offerings from Westerfield, Sunshine Models, Funaro & Camerlengo, Rail Yard Models, Southern Car & Foundry, and others.
Pierre joins Trevor to talk about why one might want to hire a professional car builder, and what one needs to know before putting those kits in the mail.
Some photos of Pierre’s work on our Flickr gallery.
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Episode 14 (mp3)
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Next time on The Model Railway Show:
Trevor talks to O Scale Trains editor Mike Cougill about redefining how we present the hobby to non-hobbyists.
Jim speaks with publisher Russ Reinberg about his always-anticipated Finescale Annuals.