Friday, December 22, 2017

The Brass Bug, Part I

Brass Trains.

Anyone who's been in the hobby for any length of time knows about brass.

Brass has a much varied reputation, depending on who is doing the telling.

I could probably spend a couple of pages rehashing all the ink that's been spilled or all those electrons that have been inconvenienced over the years but in the interest of making this post actually useful, I won't.

I've had an interest in brass, but it was an armchair interest, as I'd not been in a place, life wise, where my interest could coalesce.

My father has had a single brass engine, a United 2-10-0 Russian, since the late 1980's when we were living in Meridian. This model in question was professionally painted and he bought it from the painter direct as somehow it became his via a deal with another customer.

The painter was one of the civilian contractors that worked on the base (NAS Meridian, MS). (I'll have to ask Dad which group he worked in.) The name of the painter is Mr. Alexander; I don't think Dad remembers his first name; and in the telling he was a custom, professional painter of some note as his customer base was diverse and included some folks of various levels of fame, to include some country artists.

Anyway,I ran it a couple of times on the 4x8 we had then; the big open frame motor that it has isn't exactly a well running machine that will creep along at a single volt, but it still ran fairly well as I remember.

Be that as it may, as always, time passed.

I became an adult and got pretty established in a career.

First brass model I purchased was at the 2012 National Train Show, an Overland Amtrak P42.

I'd like to note, that at this point, Kato had yet to announce their plastic P42 and the Kato F40PHs did not have (and do not have, even in multiple units) the ability to pull my modeled auto train up the helix on version 1 of the Richmond Terminal. (And they won't be able to on Version 2 either, but there's a workaround for that already in place)

The brass bug got a nibble on me.

I was able to fight the infection off, I thought.

I remember telling Dad after I'd bought it that when I passed, one of my sons would get that Amtrak P42 and the other would get that United Russian.

Turned out, it just went dormant.

While working on this post again (probably for the 5th or 6th time; writer's block), the youtube playlist had clicked over to Nothing More's "Fade In/Fade Out"; that'll hit you in the feelz.

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