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David Popp: The Thinking Man's Model Railroader...

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David Popp: The Thinking Man's Model Railroader...
Posted by wm3798 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 5:35 PM

I suppose this is somewhat in response to the lengthy thread about Malcolm Furlow... 

I'd like to raise a glass to David Popp, MR's editor, and thank him for his work showcasing N scale in particular, and the hobby in general.

I believe his New Haven layout is among the best designed, best executed, and best presented layouts I've seen in a long time.  Its quality both in terms of construction and concept, ranks up there with the Reid Brothers Cumberland Valley System, in my opinion.  The Naugatuck Valley is completely believable, it's of a modest (and achievable for most of us) size, and is designed with operations in mind, so it looks to be fun to run as well as to look at.

While there are grumblers who say they see this layout too often in the pages of MR. Granted, it has been in there a few times, plus on the MR DVD series, GMR and I believe a few other special editions, I never get tired of it.

I think that's symbolic of how David presents the work more than anything else.  He's constantly re-thinking the layout, tweaking and otherwise making improvements, and he presents those ideas in a clear and entertaining fashion.

Think of it.  Every time we drift into the train room, we see our own layouts over and over, so David's articles are really articulating what's going through our own minds most of the time.  "What if I backdate to steam?"  "What if I wanted to extend a branch line?"  "How can I add some more operations opportunities?"  Always thinking.

I find his articles inspirational, motivating and very well organized.  I also appreciate how he handles the delicate issue of scale choice, illustrating with words and projects the benefits of N scale without slipping into the inevitable "scalist" arguments.

So kudos to you, Mr. Popp... For a very professional, yet always interesting approach to the Model Railroader fraternity. Thanks for your contributions.

Lee

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Posted by mechanic on Thursday, August 14, 2008 5:40 PM

 I agree!

I actually look forward to seeing what Davids been up to on his layout,

Even though it has been in MR a few times,I never seem to get tired of seeing what Mr. Popp is doing/planning next.

Eric

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Posted by Dave Vollmer on Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:03 PM

Hear!  Hear!

Besides having great taste in first names and scales (Wink [;)]), I find David Popp is the full-spectrum model railroader.  He has a fine layout, he operates it realistically, and he seems to have all the required skills from wiring to scenery to kitbashing/scratchbuilding.

I always look forward to his stuff.

Click here to go to Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy

America's Broad Way of Commerce...The Standard Railroad of the World

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Posted by vsmith on Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:06 PM

So...

...you implying that some of us dont think?(I'm just yankin yer chain a little..)Mischief [:-,]Wink [;)]Dunce [D)]Laugh [(-D]Whistling [:-^]

   Have fun with your trains

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Posted by wm3798 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:24 PM

Well...if the shoe fits...Smile,Wink, & Grin [swg]

I think it was clear that Furlow thread quickly devolved into a discussion of the emotional response to his work, and a realization by many that we either love him or hate him...  I wanted to throw some laurels at Mr. Popp because I really don't think there's anyone out there, after a bit of thought, that can say anything substantively bad about his work and/or his presentation.  F'rinstance, his layout represents fall in New England, which is pretty dangerous territory scenery wise, yet I think he pulls it off pretty convincingly.

I can see myself hanging around enjoying a beer with David...  Not so Mr. Furlow...

Lee

 

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:00 PM
I just love seeing those New Haven Alcos.  New England in the Transition Era is a nice thing to model.  The scope of the railroads was small enough to model realistically without access to a warehouse, too.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by luvadj on Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:05 PM

To my understanding and suprise is that when he joined MR's staff, he was an avid HO modeler. His New Haven layout is a wonderful testement to his full time N-Scale devotion.

My hat's off to David as well. Thumbs Up [tup] Thumbs Up [tup]

 

 

Bob Berger, C.O.O. N-ovation & Northwestern R.R.        My patio layout..SEE IT HERE.

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Posted by Jumijo on Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:18 PM
 Dave Vollmer wrote:

Hear!  Hear!

Besides having great taste in first names and scales (Wink [;)]), I find David Popp is the full-spectrum model railroader.  He has a fine layout, he operates it realistically, and he seems to have all the required skills from wiring to scenery to kitbashing/scratchbuilding.

I always look forward to his stuff.

 

Great idea for a thread! I've always enjoyed seeing and reading about David Popp's layout. And the same goes for you and your layout, Mr. Vollmer. The last I read, you had packed up your layout for a move to Colorado if not mistaken. You've done an incredible job on that small layout, and it quickly became one of my favorites.

Jim 

See the Scenic Jumijo Railroad in CTT and OGR magazines! 

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Posted by Dave Vollmer on Thursday, August 14, 2008 7:21 PM
Thanks!  Nebraska, actually...

Click here to go to Dave Vollmer's N Scale Pennsy

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Posted by Track1 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 8:13 PM

Lee - well said.

David's N Scale layout is what really brought me back to HO from 3 rail.  His layout in N has everything one could want - reasonable size, yards, staging, operations and the scenery is very well done.  Moving up to 3 rail a number of years ago has been a blast as far as size of the trains but I missed the operations.  Try as I might I couldn't squeeze in the space want I wanted for an operating layout with staging yards etc.  I had thought about N but in the end HO is what I am going to be modeling with.  I do like to scratch build and kit bash and my eyes ain't what they used to be so HO it is with a tip of my hat to David for his fine layout and inspiration to the hobby.

Enjoy

Bill

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Posted by marknewton on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:06 PM
 wm3798 wrote:
...I wanted to throw some laurels at Mr. Popp because I really don't think there's anyone out there, after a bit of thought, that can say anything substantively bad about his work and/or his presentation...

Absolutely. Even though I don't model in N scale, and the New Haven is not a railroad I'm particularly interested in, I've found David's articles entertaining and informative. Everything he's written suggests to me that he does think about what he's doing.

I can see myself hanging around enjoying a beer with David...  Not so Mr. Furlow...>

Me too, but only if we weren't drinking American beer! :-)

Cheers,

Mark.
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Posted by wm3798 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:20 PM

Is Pottsville, PA in America?Laugh [(-D]

Lee

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Posted by marknewton on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:49 PM
I reckon it must be, with a label like that!

Is it any good?

(To be fair, most of the American beers I've tasted were the mass-market brews like Budweiser, etc, which didn't impress me at all. I have no doubt the small/independent breweries produce a good drop. Many years back I had some from Dubuque Star - good stuff!)

Cheers ,

Mark.
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Posted by NS2591 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:59 PM
My Hat is off to David Popp too. I am an N scaler convert I used to do HO and I do plan on some day having an HO and N scale layout. I always look forward to seeing his articles in MR. I can't wait to see the rest of the Articles he's doing. I love doing scenery and I read anything I can get my hands on that has to do with scenery.
Jay Norfolk Southern Forever!!
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Posted by Packers#1 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 10:05 PM
I agree. I'm looking forward to the rest of his newest article. His layout is great.

Sawyer Berry

Freshman Engineering student at Clemson University.

Planning a modular switching layout based on a pair of Missouri shortlines. Also enjoying researching different railroad lines that would be fun to model.

 

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Posted by West Penn Nscale on Friday, August 15, 2008 9:50 AM
I  also enjoy David Popp's articles and layout. I find myself using his example to help me with my new layout,,, I also enjoy Dave Vollmer's addtional comments and have studied both of thier layouts for helpful hints and ideas.....
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Posted by galaxy on Friday, August 15, 2008 2:01 PM
 wm3798 wrote:

Is Pottsville, PA in America?Laugh [(-D]

Lee

IS Pottsville PA in America???? In America???  Why, it's more Americaner than that fancy town what makes them thar "moving picture shows"!!

Yuengling is gooder stuff than most!!!

I thought beer was served only in the beer joints here though......not in the general threads...

ON TOPIC- LOL- any bilboard box cars for Yuengling out there???

-G .

Just my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences. Others may vary.

 HO and N Scale.

After long and careful thought, they have convinced me. I have come to the conclusion that they are right. The aliens did it.

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Posted by CSXDixieLine on Friday, August 15, 2008 3:10 PM

I agree with the original post, and as an extension of those thoughts, the current "Expand Your Layout in Four Weeks" series is a continuation of this fine work--both in print and in the video versions available on this website. Jamie

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Posted by desertdog on Friday, August 15, 2008 5:12 PM

Regardless of the scale, you can always learn something from a good modeler. 

John Timm 

 

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Posted by twhite on Friday, August 15, 2008 5:29 PM
 wm3798 wrote:

Is Pottsville, PA in America?Laugh [(-D]

Lee

Ah, if only that God-like nectar were available out here in California except in small, hard-to-find 'import specialty' stores.  But we do have something relatively similar, only it's a nice, fresh, tart Pilsner.  Called Gordon Biersch.  But I'd sell my ex-mother in law for one of those beautiful lagers of yours. 

Tom Tongue [:P]

PS:  Back on subject--I think David Popp is fast becoming one of my heroes. 

 

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Posted by Geared Steam on Friday, August 15, 2008 6:37 PM

Well I cain't think 2 guwd butt I likk David a hole bunnch!!  Big Smile [:D]

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Posted by jackn2mpu on Saturday, August 16, 2008 2:37 PM
I love David's work; shows me what's possible in N and that can also operate with the best of them. It's not a terribly huge layout (at least the original isn't) that works much larger than it is. I'm thankful he's finally going through with making it larger versus the thought process he did an article on a few months back on expanding things but ultimately didn't. I might even pick up the individual issues the series is in (I'm not a subscriber to MR anymore, but that's another story).

de N2MPU Jack

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God, guns, and rock and roll!

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Posted by swoodnj on Saturday, August 16, 2008 6:58 PM
The big question is will David stick with it or decide to go back to his HO/SOO roots?

Either way I agree, all of his efforts in MR have been great, I look forward to any of his articles. He is truly an inspiration.

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