Modeling With the Masters®

Modeling With the Masters is an NMRA Benefit Program that goes a step beyond standard education clinics. Because the MWTM purpose is to build knowledge and skill through doing, the projects and work sessions are designed to satisfy that criteria. Structure and rolling stock projects are intended to expose the modeler to challenges with construction materials, construction methods, various tools, and different adhesives. In Tacoma PNR 2023 the MWTM project will be construction of a wood flat car.

Each participant will be provided a box or bag of all of the materials necessary for the completion of the project. The challenge will include working with wood, plastic, and metal parts. The primary tasks will be “cut and fit” of materials for construction of the basic car and then the installation of the various fittings and fixture that will bring the car to life. A jig will be provided for assembly of the basic car.

The session will commence on Wednesday Afternoon and go until dinner time. Extra time Wednesday evening will be available for work if necessary. Work will resume Thursday morning at 0830 and finish in time for lunch. This schedule allows the modeler to participate in MWTM and still enjoy the other convention activities. While we believe that sufficient time will be available to complete the car project, detailed instructions will be provided and finish work may be completed at home. 

Each Participant is expected to provide the basic tool set necessary for the project. MWTM will make available additional tools that might not be common to all modelers but which will aid in making the project easier to complete and add to quality of the effort. The list of tools for the modeler is as follows:

Recommended Tools

  • Hobby Knife #11 Blade
  • Hobby Knife #18 (Chisel /Flat) Blade
  • Cutting Mat
  • Tweezers
  • Sanding strips (Emory Boards or equal)
  • Sprue Cutter
  • Scale Ruler
  • Vision enhancement device (Optivisor or other)
  • Square
  • Angle block or 1-2-3 Block
  • Straight edge for cutting
  • Bar clamps (for scale size)
  • Dental pick
  • Dusting Brush (Small)
  • Straight Pins/T-Pins/Push Pins
  • MITRE Box and Razor saw (Optional  – MWTM will also provide)
  • Pliers. Flat (to bend soft wire)
  • Dividers (to pick measurements from plans) (Optional)
  • Pencil (thin lead)
  • Light source (optional)
  • Wood glue (Personal preference – MWTM will provide various adhesives) 

Tools/work materials to be provided by MWTM

  • Wax Paper 
  • Masking Tape 
  • MITRE Box and Razor saw 
  • Tooth Picks 
  • Glue pad 
  • Rag/Paper towel 
  • Wood glue/adhesives 
  • Wood stain and brushes

While the objective of the activity is to learn new or to improve existing skills and not necessarily to complete a project for the modeler’s layout, the completed project may be suitable for recognition with AP credit.  Experience indicates that MWTM provides a “safe” opportunity for individuals to try something new without admitting they don’t know how to do something. Those who participate will be provided an advance issue of the project instructions. 

The Modeling With The Masters project for the 2023 convention will be 

Construction of a Wood Flat Car

The project will involve the cut and fit of lumber and other materials, the use of jigs and other techniques for model construction, and simple finishing techniques.  The materials for the model, including all wood, and other materials necessary will be provided. Trucks for the model will be a part of the project package. The modeler may provide alternate trucks if desired. Kadee couplers will be provided for body mount. Jigs to assist in the assembly of the project will be provided for use during the clinic. The model will be completed in HO Scale.

This project was selected because of the variety of skills and techniques used in construction and the introduction to scratch building cars, a required element of the Achievement Program. The completed project, if done properly, should satisfy the “scratch” requirement for AP Cars and may be eligible for a Merit Award. 

If you wish to participate in this special extra fare clinic, please register promptly and indicate your desires on the registration form.

Thanks for your support of NMRA, PNR and the MWTM Program.

Jack Hamilton, MMR Lead Instructor

Modeler working the Flat Car Project

Typical MWTM Work Station Layout