Monday, November 3, 2014

Model Train Show in Hampton: Part 2

A highlight of the Hampton show was the Iowa Central Modular Railroad.  Six people created and own various pieces of the set. The members meet, assemble the t-track, and operate it for the pleasure of viewers.  During the winter, the track is displayed at the mall in Marshalltown.
The trains are N gauge.  The cliffs (below) are made of styrofoam.  The elevator silos are pvc pipe.  The static grass was created with the help of electric fly swatters, and the campfire--which miniature people sit around while watching a baseball game--is made from 2 LED lightbulbs.

Some of the trains hold special memories. The one circling the silo is a model of one an operator saw on a vacation in New Mexico.  The Christmas train plays songs by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters.
Since many of the models are replicas of older trains, they have to be weathered to represent them accurately.  The trains are weathered with rubbing alcohol and black paint and sometimes adorned with graffiti decals.  

Everyone was quite friendly, and I greatly appreciate the time the operators and an operator's wife took to explain everything.  Be sure to check out their Wiki for more photos.

Beth and Tom Klimesh, Railroad Hobbyists
One couple I was thrilled to meet were Tom and Beth Klimesh.  They were extremely helpful in increasing my understanding of model railroads and had a very interesting selection of model trains and magazines for sale.  And...to top it off, Beth has nearly the same name as I!
One thing they mentioned was that on some trains the couplers had been replaced; the new couplers reduced the value of some of the trains by 2/3rds! One car from the late 1920s or 30s sold for $8.00; if it had the original couplers, it would have been worth $27.00.  Too bad the owners hadn't known better from watching Antique Road Show!

Most of the trains shown above were made between 1926 and 1942 and are still in beautiful condition.  I'm principally attracted by older models, but Tom and Beth have a very wide selection-- something for every hobbyist and collector!

Homer Hickok, Railroad Hobbyist
Another railroad fan I had the privilege to meet was Homer Hickok of Minnesota.  He and his humorous coworkers, John and Tim, set up across from us, and I had a great time chatting with  them. 

The Milwaukee on the upper left sells for $225 and literally has all the bells and whistles.  There are buttons that can be pressed for various train sounds and the crew talking.  The smoke pellets and fluid on the lower left can be put into some locomotives to make realistic smoke.  
In Mr. Hickock's hands is a 1930s Westphal G gauge train car marked at $500.  The original owner had become so frustrated when his outdoor track rusted that he sent the whole train to the dump.  Can you imagine throwing away a few thousand dollar?!  Fortunately someone fished most of the train out.  The car Mr. Hickock is holding was found by workers at the dump and displayed in the office for a time.  
Meet John's Lunch:
He says it was crunchy.  The special ziploc lunch bag was courtesy of his daughter: an interesting way of pranking co-workers.  Practical joking must run in the family.  

Before we knew it, the day was over; we packed and headed home.  Spending the day with family at the Hampton train show was a great experience. 
Have you ever attempted a practical joke?
What is the worst practical joke that has been pulled on you?

40 comments:

  1. these folks are serious collectors and displayers. awesome. the lunch was cute, too!

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    1. Yes, it is amazing to see how hobbyists of all types are very devoted to their interests. The lunch gave me a good laugh!

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  2. This is such a wonderful series, Bethany!

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  3. This has been so fun to follow along on. I think miniature trains are so interesting!
    My Dad is a joker, so I grew up being pranked!

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    1. Sounds like a happy (and exciting) childhood, Mari! Thank you! :)

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  4. These are spectacular! I love train sets. I don't know why, but they really stir emotions in me. I'm guessing there are some memories from my childhood in there that I can't quite bring to the surface. I would really enjoy a show like this. I should check and see if there's something like this locally.

    My whole family has a great sense of humour, and if I really think hard, I can probably come up with some interesting story. But right now, I can't think of anything! Maybe I need more coffee...

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    1. It would be awesome if you could find a local train show! Sounds like you have a fun family!

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  5. Those miniature trains are really interesting. Love the sandwich prank, too. *giggles*
    The only pranks that were ever pulled on me were by my husband, and it's all about food. About halfway through dessert he will ask me to get something for him, and while I'm at the refrigerator or counter he will switch his last bite with my mostly-still-there dessert. Ain't he funny. *rolls eyes* lol

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    1. Ha! That's a good one! (And one that's been seen in my family!) Sounds like you have a very *sweet* husband!

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  6. Hey Bethany! I am getting caught up with my blog reading so I went back a couple of posts on your blog and thoroughly enjoyed reading about these trains. These people are indeed serious collectors!

    Ah, good ol' pranks....growing up my older sister loved pulling pranks on me :) The lunch is hilarious! Happy Tuesday to you!

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    1. Yes! Some that I talked with told me that they started out just collecting, but then their collection became so big they needed to sell!

      Have an awesome day!

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  7. I love model train displays. In fact, I love trains. The BNSF commercial on TV is my favorite!!! (not counting the fact that I hate all the others) but that commercials music and images make me train crazy. I can't think of a recent practical joke, but life is full of them. I think they're normal around here.

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    1. It's good to have a good commercial now and then! My distaste for most commercials is one reason that, for the most part, I stopped watching TV...ah! the joys of simply enabling an adblocker and watching whatever I want on Youtube!

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  8. these are amazing replica's, such detail in the trains.

    the sandwich bag is cute.

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    1. Agreed! Well, maybe not quite cute, but interesting! ;)

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  9. I live right beside (as in about a minute's walk) beside a train museum that celebrates just one train.. it's called Engine 374. No need to check the link, but here it is for the record: http://roundhouse.ca/about-us/engine-374/ All to say, I found your post fascinating, and with a fun touch of humour too. Thanks, Bethany :)

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    1. Looks like a neat old engine! Thank you for the link!

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  10. lovely trains which is my favourite means of transport

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    1. I've heard Europe has some very impressive train systems! I've only travelled by train twice in my life.

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  11. I've always thought model trains are really cool, but probably most of all I love the mini-world around them!

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    1. I'd have to say that is what fascinates me most as well!

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  12. My favorite part of model trains is always the whole set up. The small buildings and trains running through the, "towns". Your day sounds like a lot of fun.

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    1. It was! The towns designed are pretty neat!

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  13. Sounds like a fun day. My colleague likes to play practical jokes. He taped my mouse so it wouldn't work right. I got him back by replacing his chair with a tiny one the size a third-grader would sit in. He dishes it out better than he can take it.

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    1. Haha! Sounds like you got very good revenge! I think anyone who attempts practical jokes should be willing to face the consequences: they'll have pranks played on them as well!

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  14. Wonderful to see all these miniature trains.
    I love it.
    Lunch joke is special.

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    1. It was pretty neat for me to see as well!

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  15. I liked reading about the trains.
    I have a question for you: what's blog reading feed?
    Love Ashley
    creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Ashley! My blog reading feed is a list of all blogs I follow. Whenever a new post is created at one of them, I can read a preview and click it if I want to read the whole article. I follow most blogs through Google Friend Connect.

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  16. It's amazing how these people make them!

    When I was in the Navy, on of those days that I was so tired and sleepy my boss sent me to go looking for the cable of a wireless communication device. I knew about this prank, but on that day I fell for it! I went all around the ship asking of it, sailors would look at each other, hold their laugh, and send me on my way to ask someone else for the non existent cable! Grrrrr!!

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    1. Oh my! Sounds like you had quite the boss! :D That is a good one!

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  17. Beautiful trains, love the little models...I've never imagined pranking someone with food..muhaha you just gave me a great idea ;)

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    1. Haha...I hope your family will forgive me! :D Have fun!

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  18. These are spectacular! I like train sets.

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  19. I like trains, so I love these miniatures!

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  20. Hobby is very important in our life..

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    1. Hobbies keep us occupied when the work of the day is done. :)

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