Happy New Year!
2016 is here and that means the start of another year here at The Smoke Stack Hobby Shop. We are now entering our 39th year of operation. And every year seems to get bigger and better. This year we have already started out by attending the Greenberg Train and Toy Show in Columbus on January 16th and 17th. We saw a lot of customers there, as well as met new ones. Thanks to all that stopped by our booth to say hello.
Next up on the schedule is the IPMS Blizzcon show hosted by the Rickenbacker Chapter. It is Saturday, February 20th and will be held at a new location this year. The site is the Arts Impact Middle School at 380 Jack Gibbs Blvd, Columbus, OH 43215. The venue is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For directions and additional information, click here. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and say hello. Murph will be manning this show.
Mike’s Train House (MTH) has recently released their new WiFi system for use with their ProtoSound 2 and 3 locomotives. Imagine having control over your model railroad from any iOS or Android phone or tablet. How much more convenient would operating your model railroad be with the same device you use throughout your daily life? The large, bright full-color screens found on today’s smart phones and tablets are perfect for accessing the DCS features found inside your Proto-Sound 2.0 and 3.0 locomotives. Better yet, the expanded range and speed of wifi would ensure that your trains respond to DCS commands faster and more reliably than ever before.
The DCS WiFi Module plugs into any DCS Track Interface Unit (TIU) and provides the user with wifi control over the layout when used with the M.T.H. DCS Mobile App. Setup is simple and quick and the module can be configured as a stand alone unit or easily combined into an existing wifi network. The only requirement is that the TIU must be on version 5.0 of the software. You can do this update yourself from the MTH website, or bring your TIU unit into the shop and we will update it for free. The update usually only takes a few minutes.
And if you want to see the system in action, just ask for a demonstration on our Big Dog Railway around the shop.
Each month I try to talk about the latest and greatest products that have arrived in the shop. And while we have a lot of that this month, I thought this time around I would focus on the really interesting tools we have on hand to make your hobby that much easier or more enjoyable. So below are some of the more interesting items we have on hand in each of our main hobby categories.
To help with assembly of your project, we have a couple of nice products. First is the Alligator Paint Clips stand from Tamiya. These are handy clips for holding newly cemented or painted parts. Add these to the Tamiya Painting Stand or the Tamiya Paint Jar stand for a really nice work area. Another useful tool is the Exacto Extra Hand w/Magnifier. This is a great way to hold that small item in place while you paint or solder it. And if you really need a total hands-free approach, why not try the Optivisor. Slip it over your head and you can work on the really tiny stuff comfortably and with the ability to see all the fine detail. Add a Visorlight with battery pack to help light up even the dimmest of work spaces.
To help make all this work flow smoothly, we have a 12″ by 18″ Builders Cutting Mat. It has many handy markings printed on the surface , including vertical rulers, metric and standard horizontal rulers, metric and standard 2″ and 3″ star templates 30 deg, 45 deg., and 60 deg. angles. There are also dowel and wood stick size charts ranging from 1/16 to 5/8″.
With all that measuring you may need the Integy Digital Caliper with LCD. It features construction of hardened stainless steel. The readings are displayed in either metric or standard formats. It comes with a spare battery and storage case.
For those of you that like to do soldering work, there is the Hot Racing Pro Connector Soldering Jig. It holds most types of RC battery connectors in place for soldering to wires. It holds XT60, Dean’s, Traxxas, EC2-EC5 and bullet connect and has alligator style clips for holding wire. It has a wide aluminum base for added stability and can also be used as a motor holder. We also have the soldering stand and soldering cleaner for your work area.
While working on your vehicles, you’ll want the 19-1 Tool Kit from Duratrax. It has all the tools required for routine maintenance on over a dozen of the most popular Traxxas vehicles as well as many other brands. Nut drivers, hex drivers, screwdrivers and turnbuckle wrench in multiple sizes are included. It even comes with a black nylon case with the Duratrax logo on the cover. You might also find the Pit Tech Tool Stand and the Pit Tech Deluxe Truck Stand useful for storing your tools and working on your vehicles.
Build perfect 90deg corners on kits or scratchbuilt models every time with the Rite-Way Clamping System. These handy clamps, ideal for Z, N and HO models, are made of tough acrylic and feature a positive stop for perfect edge alignment. Each is temporarily held in place by powerful built-in magnets exerting up to 14 pounds of force, and clamps can be removed quickly and easily simply by pulling them apart. Just set the larger clamp on the outside, place the smaller half on the inside, align the parts, and glue to finish assembly -built-in access windows allow you to glue an entire seam without removing the clamps! Stabilizer bars are also provided to support a work in progress too. Each is made of clear acrylic so you can see and inspect your work at any time. Perfect for use with common modeling materials, they can be used with balsa, styrene, basswood, plastic and more up to 1/4″ thick.
The Railroader’s Tool Kit features three indispensable Xuron tools for the model railroader. The Xuron Track Cutter, 410T High Precision Shear and 450S (serrated) TweezernoseTM pliers bundled in a convenient, attractive, tri-fold fabric pouch. Tools are safely stored when not in use; shear edges stay sharp longer and pliers jaws stay free from nicks. Pouch offers two unused narrow pockets ideal for storing tweezers, scribe or a straight edge. Protects your investment while keeping tools organized.
There are many additional tools in stock to help you with all your railroading needs. We have rerailers in HO, N, and O scales to help you get your rolling stock back on track. There are track laying templates to help get that flex track down straight and smooth. Ballast spreaders for your track. Tools to help check track voltage. Gauges to make sure track is in alignment or wheels are in gauge. DCC decoder address changers. And much, much more.
Those of you that are O scale railroaders and shop in-store on a regular basis already know that we have a large amount of consignment items in stock. For those of you that aren’t aware of this, we have a very large collection of MTH, Lionel, Atlas, and K-Line items from a private collection. These items are, in many cases, in like-new condition and are very aggressively priced to sell.
We have also recently come into possession of two more collections of O scale items. These consist of locomotives, rolling stock, track, and buildings, as well as many accessories. One of the collections even has a very large selection of Christmas village buildings and accessories, mostly from the Carole Towne line, but also some Department 56 and Lemax items as well.
We hope to start cataloging these items and get them in the shop in a week or two. You will also find these items listed on our web site under the Estate Sales tab. Check back often as they will appear there as soon as they are cataloged and in our computer system.
That’s it for this month. Be sure to stop by and say hello if you are attending any of the upcoming shows we will be at. We’d love to see you.