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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Different Scales in Model Trains

Model trains come in various scales (gauges):

Ø      Z 1:220 (with all the letters identifying gauges Z became the smallest so they used the last letter in the alphabet)
Ø      N  (rails are Nine mm apart- hence the N) 1:160 **
Ø      HO  (Half O or ‘aitch oh’) 1:87  **
Ø      OO  - 1:76 runs on HO track and is the British version of HO
Ø      S   scale 1:64
Ø      O   (was referred as zero (or 0h) gauge) 1:48
Ø      G (Garden) 1:20.3 to 1:32
Ø      T is the newest (Tiny scale) and is the width of a pencil
Ø      There are many more gauges, although they are important to die-hard railroaders, we will not be listing them here.  Many of our staff is well versed in the different scales and would be happy to review them with you to make a stronger choice for what works for you.

Gauge refers to the width of the track, measured between the railheads.  Different from scale, which is proportion to life-size.

At present, Chinook & Hobby West carries two Scales of Model Trains for Sale:  
**HO Scale which is 1:87 scale, and N scale which is 1:160.  
For your information, the large train in operation high above the sales floor is ‘G’ Scale or Garden Scale; we do not sell this scale in this store at this time, although we can special order it.

-- Next time - the different grades of products and different types of track

Monday, 19 September 2011

Collecting Diecast Cars

By Jesse Millington

When you hear Camaro SS 396, Boss 302, Hemi or Buick GS, the first thing that comes to mind is a nice, old, fast and expensive muscle car. One we love but may never own. We admire them at car shows and never think we can have one.

Do not fear though because you can own one, just smaller! What I'm talking about is collecting Diecast Metal Cars and enjoying that car passion weather its '50's Cruisers, Muscle Cars, Exotics or Tuners.

Having that small piece of automotive history in your hands gives a great sense of pride in collecting what you love and want.  It doesn't matter if you want to fill a vast basement, small room (TV room looks great with diecast cars...), or even just that spot in your office or garage wall dedicated to that one special piece or many exciting pieces. Collecting diecast can really bring the satisfaction and joy of owning 'that car'.

Starting off as a beginner I recommend doing some research on what you like and seeing if its available.  Search online, come see us (or your local hobby store) to help in the search.  Or if you like the hunt, go to local Flea Markets, garage sales, Toys R Us (there is no age limit in the toy isles!) or Wal-Marts.

People may not understand why you like those cars you've chosen but its for your pleasure not theirs. Maybe it was a first car you owned and experienced freedom or one you saw in a chase scene in a favorite movie. Maybe it was while walking down the street and some old greaser laid a 10 footer of rubber and was gone!

I always say, collect what you like because in the end, you own it, you'll enjoy it so make it worth your money and time!!!  Have fun!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Vintage Craft Friday- Liquid Embroidery

Liquid Embroidery Crafts

Liquid embroidery can be done in the place of embroidery or screen printing without expensive equipment. The result is a pattern or text that is imprinted on fabric by using an embroidery pen. Embroidery pens are ball-point pens that are used like markers. Wash fabric that has been liquid embroidered just as you would normally wash the type of fabric. Ideas on how to use it on different mediums can be found:

Liquid embroidery is great for kids and adults alike. My daughter decorated her 'indoor' school shoes and she is in grade one. I have decorated wooden and papermache boxes, shirts and pillow cases.

The brand we carry is called Vogart. Great for Clothing, fabrics, china, wood, leather, and more.  We have a great selection of colours and the tip cleaner too. 
You can find these and many more Vintage crafts at our stores. We have two locations in Calgary, one in the North West and one a few block north of Chinook Centre. See the addresses in yesterdays post.

This article was authored and found at :

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Getting Started in Model Railroading

Model railroading is fascinating and has been dubbed by any as the "World's Greatest Hobby". It is very versatile and incorporates many learning opportunities and is so much fun for all ages. It includes creativity with sculpturing, painting, airbrushing , decorating and landscaping, and encourages scientific exploration of electronics, physics, mechanics, engineering and architecture, all combined with humor, friendship, family activities, social interaction, and the great sense of accomplishment.

Things to Consider Before Starting
  • Space - plan out how big your layout can be, within the room you have available. Keep in mind that you need to get to all points that has track.  So you may want to consider a U shape or a hole in the middle that you can get to should you need to.
  • Scale - this goes with the Space point.  If you have outdoor space, you may want to model in G, in a small to large room HO, or for a really small space N.
  • Budget - plan to spend on the materials for the table, base, roadbed and track first.  Then some model train pieces, buildings and landscaping.  This will also prevent you from getting overwhelmed with too much to do.
  • Tips - if you are interested in using long flat bed cars,passenger cars or other long cars you need to make allowance for large radius curves or they will derail.  Come and visit us for great beginner guidebooks and guidance in planning
Next week: the scales (gauges) of model railroading

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Two Locations to serve you better!!!

We now have two locations here in Calgary to serve you, our Customer, better!  Our main store is located at 5011 MacLeod Tr. SW and our new second location is located at 2604-4 St. NW.

Hours for both:
Mon. to Fri. - 9:30 - 9
Saturdays - 9:30 - 5:30
Sundays - 12 - 5
Select Holidays - 12 - 5

Monday, 12 September 2011

Military Idea

Looking for diorama material, a historical collection or if your just building up your collection of military craft and figures? Then look no further as we have an excellent stock for hobbyists of all ages. We have selection of naval craft including several aircraft carriers! We have many kinds of aircraft including our sale special of Hasagawa models. If army is your forte we have a division of armed and armoured
Vehicles and dozens of kits of infantry to accompany them as well. Be sure to check out our clearance center upstairs in the south store where there are scores of Army, Navy, and Air Force models as well as photo etching, accessories, and infantry.
Lastly we have our usual great selection of diorama building supplies and terrain flock, ballast and turf. So if the military style is your kind of hobby, stop on by and see what great models can work with!

Items to feature for this newsletter are the ships of the Japanese navy. We have a flotilla of destroyers and cruisers for the naval enthusiast. Nothing like a massive fleet in formation, that is heavy metal!