From HeraldNet: Expertspecializes in model train layouts for small rooms
EVERETT -- Mike Scheerens has been a model train enthusiast his entire life.
he was about 10 years old, he watched his father, James, build tracks
for HO-scale trains, one of the largest models available. When his
father tried a smaller model called N-scale, Scheerens remembers the
size was better suited for him.
"He tried fiddling with the
N-scale and he couldn't do it because it was too small," said Scheerens,
47. "He threw it away and I took it out of the garbage later and fixed
it. I got it working."
That fascination with model trains hasn't disappeared. Scheerens earlier this month published a book, "Apartment Model Trains: Two Examples,"
to share what he's learned about building model train layouts in small
apartments. It's also a way to preserve the ideas he originally posted
to a website.
Scheerens in December 1999 started building a model
train layout that would loop throughout his roughly 500-square-foot,
one bedroom Everett apartment. He attached the railway to wooden planks
and positioned them under cabinets in his kitchen, around a stacked
washer and dryer, and eventually around his bedroom.
paper mountains and painted broken foam pieces with beads on it to look
like seawall or rock. His basic construction tools were a 25-foot tape
measure, a 45-degree triangle, pencils, a handsaw, Elmer's wood glue and
a cordless screwdriver fitted with drill bits.
arrangement had to come down in 2007 when Scheerens, who works at
Boeing, moved into a two-bedroom apartment. He dreamed up a layout
supported on the tops of bookshelves and plastic storage containers. The
layout wasn't completed in 2011 when Scheerens moved again into his
approximately 900-square-foot home. He started in September to build
another layout where his black Lionel locomotive can now pull several
cars along part of his living room wall. He's planning to expand the
route throughout his home.
"It's kind of like an art," he said.
Scheerens said he's found most of what he needs to build his layouts at local hobby and hardware shops.
store which supplies Scheerens and others who build model train layouts
is Broadway Hobbies in Everett. The store hosts a train club so people
can share their layout ideas and problem-solving tips. The club's
discussions often include ways to build layout in small spaces, said Lou
DeBenny, the store owner.
His store also sells magazines and
books that can help create layouts, DeBenny added. Still, the most
common problem he's heard when it comes to building happens when the
designing and buildings is supposedly complete.
"The beauty is that the second they say they're done, they want to do something different," he said.