Maine Central, Lamoille Valley

Maine Central, Lamoille Valley
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Friday, February 07, 2014

Model Railroad Hobbyist and the Allagash model railroad

If you do not get the FREE online magazine Model Railroad Hobbyist, you really are missing out on a great resource. It is as simple as going to and copying the magazine to your computer, iPad, Kindle, iPhone, whatever. Then enjoy it like any other model railroad magazine, just without the annual subscription fee. Be sure to create an account so you get e-mails when new issues are posted, around the first of every month. They also have a pretty good discussion forum if you are into that.

You get great content every month. I always find something useful. And with the January issue starts a series of articles about a layout I really have come to admire, the Allagash built by Mike Confalone up in New Hampshire. Mike previously was modeling Vermont, including the Lamoille Valley, so that hit my radar. The realistic photos and overall level of modeling was really compelling. About 5 years ago Mike switched gears and decided to proto-freelance along the lines of the Virginian and Ohio and Allegheny Midland, layouts that were huge influences on me when I was getting started in the hobby.

The January issue kicks off the series with a rail fan tour of the layout. In addition to the incredible pictures (that you really can zoom in on to see more detail), there is a cool story to go with it recollecting a rail fan trip in April of 1980 by two friends. The story line resonated with me as it was somewhat similar to a trip I took with my friend Glenn Salvatore back in April 1985. We chased trains of the Vermont and Green Mountain railroads in less than hospitable weather. But it was a great time, and it reminds me how much I still miss my model railroading mentor and friend.

Great layout, great photos, and FREE! Brrr...Looks cold!!
I so enjoy the Allagash and Mike Confalone's modeling that I also get the paid premium content that is made available. Previously Mike had two articles on modeling a paper mill and modeling a quarry. Videos were made available for each entitled Modeling Outside The Box, Volumes 1 and 2. I opted to download the HD video (as opposed to paying more for a DVD). The cool thing is I can watch the video techniques right on my iPhone or iPad right on the layout while I am modeling. So when it was announced that an Allagash Story e-book would be issued in 4 volumes, I jumped on that too.

The first volume was made available at the end of January and is a 62 page landscape book with over 100 photos (again that you can zoom in on - try looking at them full screen on a 30 inch monitor - awesome!). This volume covers the concept of the layout, and information about building it. Similar to the V&O Story published years ago, it covers reasons why certain things were chosen and overviews of methods used to construct things. It reads better than your usual layout story and again imparts a lot of good ideas you can use in your layout and model building.

The next 3 volumes will be released around end of each month, Feb, Mar and Apr. This is in addition to the next 5 FREE issues of MRH magazine. There is also going to be some video released as well, so I'll have plenty to keep me busy studying this great layout.

Volume 1 of the Allagash Story e-book

I should also mention there is a link at the end of the first rail fan tour article in the MRH magazine that leads to a video showing an Allagash RS3 switching on the layout. Really something you should check out and listen too.

If you think the best way to consume model railroad magazines is printed versions, you may be surprised how much you enjoy looking at one on your laptop, iPad or whatever. You get a lot of content, pay nothing, and may find you like it even better! Certainly worth a try for FREE!