Saturday, November 24, 2012

AMT Amtronic, Google, Noir, Adjusting and me

Throughout the year the Amtronic Ranch post has frequently shown up in the 30 Squares of Ontario most-accessed-posts-of-the-week list. For awhile I thought that it was simply another case of stats server spammers at work, but the Google search terms stats show that Googlers will often select the Amtronic Ranch post when it is presented in search results for ‘AMT Amtronic’ or variations on that phrase. I was surprised at how many search queries Google appears to get on Amtronic – I know I shouldn’t be surprised given the scope and reach of Google and the internet, but it does seem like a rather obscure word.

Anyway, I had recently bought a Model Power HO-scale Porsche Boxster Cabrio for the layout and its profile reminded me of the ‘roof’ shape of the Amtronic Ranch, so I tried to take a picture showing what I thought was the similarity – with so-so results. That’s the lead photo on this post.

Around about the same time I bought the little Porsche I came across this video about the ‘Urban Outlaw’ and his big Porsche quest,
And while I’m on the cars and customizing track, the Amtronic Ranch was built from the left over parts from this build I did 7 or 8 years ago. It used the front end of the AMT Amtronic and the back end of the AMT L’il Gasser.
I still have an unopened AMT Amtronic kit that I’m thinking of building box stock in January as a short break from train stuff. It’s a rather interesting kit, and from what I can tell from browsing the internet, full of building challenges. Well, I now have 2 kits. I bought a second - shown at the bottom of the photo below - at Udisco in Montreal on the weekend. I had heard about this legendary store for quite sometime, but this was the first time I had the chance to visit.
I made the road trip to Montreal with a friend and his son. Udisco is the Tardis of hobby stores: it appears rather modest on the outside, but it's huge on the inside: trains, plastic kits, plus lots of other interesting stuff.
 [Udisco's store front on Decarie Boulevard]
 [There's lot's of parking under some custom graffiti - that's the side wall of Udisco.]
[It's basically rows and rows of shelves like this lined with kits and hobby goodies - not to be missed.]
This long, not-so-train-oriented ramble is a bit of a break from getting the layout back into good running order before bringing it out of the basement and into the living room for the Christmas season. There’s been lots of work on cleaning and adjusting and fiddling that isn’t too exciting, but hopefully it’ll all come together in a couple of weeks for some fun times. 
Also, I thought I’d post the remaining parts of the streetcar noir series that I wrote earlier in the fall each day next week to bring it to an end for this year. That series of posts was my attempt to see if I could meet Debra’s challenge of trying to write a story instead of my usual stuff (questionable results), write a story that had lots of train stuff built in (all fictional as it turns out), use storytelling to come up with new model building ideas (remains to be seen, but it’s been fun to try), and try out making different types of photos (I did get one I was rather happy with and it became the blog title photo). Maybe I’ll pick this up again in the new year if my interest goes that way again.

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