The finest 3 rail O scale modeling I have ever seen

I know Norm.  I am disappointed.  Big Structures like that always have birds flying around and living there.  I see no nests, or bird crap on the beams or floors.

I assumed by now Norm would have tiny flying birds by now...  

 

Excellent Work Norm!  I loved the toolbox...

 

Bob

Lionel Fan and Super "O" Track Enthusiast

I have to agree.  If you ignore the center rail Norm's work is as good as I have ever seen.  If you ignore the flanges, his locomotives are Smithsonian class.  I cannot come close to his weathering, and I am a prize-winning "weatherer."  

I have always admired his skills.

  YT won't play for me today, but Norm's work is definitely memorable stuff.

Even the trim on the benchwork has a heavy metal theme. (faux riveted steel)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Dave_C posted:

 I wouldn't confine Norm's layout to just the finest 3 rail modeling. The details, the coloring of everything and the uniformed look throughout the entire layout. It's as good as I've seen in any scale.

That's pretty much how I see Norm's handiwork, as well. He has what can best be referred to as "the gift," and he truly is a credit to our hobby.

  I often think about what it takes to achieve Norm's level of work and what it would take for us to get even close. If you think about it, our man cave is actually our art studio and our bench work becomes our artist canvas. Our mind's eye is put to work to take a moment in time of the real world and transfer that to our canvas as accurately as possible. That takes a tremendous amount of uninterrupted focus. So when we go through the door of our studio, we have to close out the rest of the world and leave it on the other side of that door. That includes devices that will cause that world to go with you into your studio. Even though were all involved with family in one way or another, we're all still an individual who needs alone time to center ourselves and do what we have a passion for. We'll go crazy if we don't. So it's important to schedule in a time of day that the family knows they must leave us alone and then stick with it. Eventually they should become accustom to that time and find something to do themselves. I like taking a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of good wine to get relaxed and focused. Then some railroad music without words or train recordings without narrating gets me in the mood. Hopefully Norm could share with us his method of staying focused. 

Dave Z

Dave Zucal posted:

 Hopefully Norm could share with us his method of staying focused. 

I have no idea how Norm accomplishes all that he does. He's young (certainly as compared to me) and still active in the workforce. He travels a lot and definitely has a "life" beyond his hobby. But it appears that when he sets his mind on doing something, he just forges ahead and gets it done. I recall that at one point he wanted some "used" ties to be placed at select locations alongside the track. Most of us would likely just toss some tie-size wood pieces in those spots. However, that's not good enough for Norm. He "weathers" the ties and adds the tie plate indents, spike holes, etc. Talk about detail oriented! I admire the guy and love his craftsmanship.

While I certainly admire the layout, detailing, etc., I wouldn't want to emulate it even if I had the talent, patience, craftsmanship and compulsion to do it, which I don't. I would imagine that in order for me to accomplish something like this, it would have take over my life, which I wouldn't want it to do. Apparently, from Mr. Miller's description above, Norm has a life so he's able to create a partition, for lack of a better word, that separates the real world from the model world that he's created.

I also recall, from a thread several years ago when this layout was being built, that the layout plan itself is relatively "simple" in that it's somewhat flat, with a couple of loops, a large number of crossover switches and a spur leading to a yard/roundhouse area proving that you don't need a complex design  in order to create an outstanding layout. This is something I probably should have taken more to heart when building my layout, which looks like a design a drunk pretzel maker would have come up with.


In no particular order; Aviation (Pilot), Golf, Amateur Astronomy & Cycling (when it's nice out) and Trains (when it's not).

One of the things I would like to see is a video of how he does this.  Try as I may nothing I do with scenery, weathering or building construction comes close.  I can come up with a plan, I can lay track, I can wire it up, I can make the trains run as intended 99% of the time but when it comes to making them look like they are in the world, the story ends  My bucket list is to learn how this is done.  And yes I have read the books but translating the written word into the real modeling world has not gone well.

xrayvizhen posted:

I also recall, from a thread several years ago when this layout was being built, that the layout plan itself is relatively "simple" in that it's somewhat flat, with a couple of loops, a large number of crossover switches and a spur leading to a yard/roundhouse area proving that you don't need a complex design  in order to create an outstanding layout. This is something I probably should have taken more to heart when building my layout, which looks like a design a drunk pretzel maker would have come up with.

That is basically correct. Norm's layout is neither especially large or very complex in terms of the track arrangement. It is logical for the space he has devoted to it and he purposefully focuses more on realism and attention to detail in every aspect of his modeling. As is apparent from photos and videos (a recent video is available from TM Books & Video), his efforts pay off in a big way. I could never hope to even come close to what he is able to achieve, but it nevertheless provides a tremendous amount of inspiration. And inspiration is a large part of what this hobby is all about.

Norm's work just keeps getting better and better and better.  He keeps raising the bar for everyone to strive for.  I don't think I have enough time left on this earth to ever achieve what he has accomplished.   Wonderful work Norm, I'd sure love to see it in person.  I always thought the guys in Sn3 and On3 had some truly fantastic layouts but none of theirs has anything over Norm's layout.  That is just fantastic work and the way he blends everything together is simply amazing.  Thanks for sharing that with us Norm.

JEM

sptrainnut

TCA 12-67009

 

Norm's work is excellent. I learn so much each time I see a picture or video. The latest video is a feast for the eyes. Norm's work is my benchmark. I appreciate all his sharing. Would love to see some "how to." Just so realistic. Norm truly captures the art of 3 rail.

-Tom

OGR Subscriber-Premium Member/ Forum Member/ LCCA

When I considered making the jump from HO scale to O scale I was originally hesitant because I hadn't seen many O scale layouts that I thought were very impressive (I'm not saying they don't exist, I just hadn't seen them). Then I saw YouTube videos of both Norm's and Dave Minarik's layouts and the hesitation was gone. Their layouts are clearly among the best out there in any scale! 

I don't know Norm but from what I can tell his layout "works" because he has chosen a theme, location, and time period and maintains consistency among each aspect. I wish I had that kind of modeling discipline. His layout shows all the attention to detail and grittiness that George Sellios showed with his Franklin and South Manchester, but Norm's layout takes it a step further; it's believable. 

Joe Shipbaugh

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