Red Star Railway's Comments

20 March 2018


Up front, let me make one thing clear: I hate winter. Not "dislike." Hate. From the top of my bald head to the soles my super-sized feet.

It isn't the cold; it doesn't get all that terribly cold here, although the occasionally my wife uses the "f" word ("Florida"). And it isn't the snow -- we really don't get that much snow here on Delmarva Peninsula.

No, it's the combination of cold and wet weather. It works hell on my model production. It frustrates me. It makes me unhappy.

Bear in mind that I always paint outdoors. This is for reasons of health; some years ago I had a scary stroke, so I'm careful not to kill off any more brain cells. Low temperatures and wet weather render outdoor painting impossible.

This winter, the cold and wet have been continuous and penetrating. It has knocked my model production in the head. When I tried to paint in marginal conditions, the paint didn't cure properly. When I made molds and castings (yes, indoors), they didn't cure properly. I had to discard them. Not good.

So I did the heroic, male thing. I surrendered to Mother Nature.

For orders already in process: I work on them when conditions permit. Future orders: on hold until the seasons change.

Not to say that I have been idle. Since I haven't been able to produce models, I have been working instead on masters and molds for new (or semi-new) models. Stay tuned.

In the meantime: please pray for end of winter. It really pisses me off.

Best wishes (except to winter),


23 January 2018

Dear Friends --

Everybody has days and dates which are important to them. Today is such a day for me.

On Saturday, 23 January 1993 -- at exactly 1:00 p.m. -- I made the decision to devote the rest of my life to the study and modelling of the railways of the Soviet Union and its successor states. That's exactly twenty-five years ago today.

It was a rather sudden and abrupt change. On the morning of 23 January 1993, I had a large collection of scratchbuilt and kitbashed railways, mostly based upon Southern African prototypes, primarily in HO scale but with a few models in Sn3-1/2 narrow gauge. Within two weeks after that date, I had made arrangements to dispose of the lot. I was starting over with a totally blank slate, and there would be no going back. Looking back, it was rather like walking on performing on a trapeze without a net.

Obviously, this was an intensely personal decision. In this age of Facebook and Twitter, it's almost expected for everyone to share every detail of their personal lives. I'm not going to do that. Some private and personal things deserve to remain private and personal. So don't even think of asking me "Why?" It is what it is.

Looking back, I have no regrets. And I look forward into the future with undiminished enthusiasm, curiosity, and the desire to keep learning about Russia's railways.

Coincidentally, today also marks the fifteenth anniversary of the day I set to work "in earnest and for real" on the patterns for my HO scale 2TE10U model. On Thursday, 23 January 2013, I took my beloved 1991 Toyota Corolla for servicing at Martel's Foreign Car here in Dover(I always bring work with me when I take our car -- now a 2014 KIA Soul -- to the shop). I thought I'd be lucky to sell four or five 2TE10U sets; set number 300 went to my grandson Creede in Fort Worth, Texas, in August.

And in my wildest dreams I never would have predicted that on that January day back in 1993.

Chris White