Denver NNGC Notes: Conversations with Bob Stears, Part 1.

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Denver NNGC Notes: Conversations with Bob Stears, Part 1.

Jim Courtney
I spent a fair amount of time at the convention hanging out at the vendor's table for The Leadville Shops, chatting with the guys.

Doug Junda was usually busy selling the firm's laser cut On3 and Sn3 kits, as well as decals in both scales. Bill Meredith was often talking to visitors about his beautiful S and O scale locomotive etching sets in nickel-silver and the beautiful brass castings in both scales. He is developing custom gearboxes as well.

The most recent Sn3 Leadville Shops offering, the D&RG 4000 series boxcar in as delivered version (bottom) and 1920s version (top).

Bob Stears was assigned the task of "animated entertainer". Bob set up a work mat at one end of the table and spent a lot of time building up the test laser cuts for his DSP&P/DL&G/C&S boxcar project (more below).

Bob also brought along 5 or 6 of his "works in progress" On3 C&S passenger cars. They use a lot of new construction technology that was interesting. Bob has produced laser cut and scribed sides and ends from Rowmark, a white acrylic material, mating them with styrene floors and modified injection molded San Juan passenger car roofs. For complicated, nonlinear items like the baggage doors on RPOs 10-11-12 and arched top end doors, he has had them produced in ultra-detail 3-D prints.

Bob explains the construction techniques of his RPO 10-11-12 to a visitor.

The passenger cars are not prototypes for commercial kits, rather his own projects for his passenger car fleet. He plans on building enough cars for two Leadville passenger consists and a "Fish Train" consist.

Keith Hayes photograph.

The green doors in the photo above are the 3-D printed parts.

Right and left sides of Bob's C&S RPO 13 as it appeared in 1908, after the end platforms were removed c1906 and before the mail compartment was rebuilt to its familiar configuration in the mid 19teens.

Bob is also busy finishing up his standard gauge car fleet, including this stock car with laser cut wood body and Rowmark doors.

Another recent side interest of Bob's is vintage 1880s-1890s posters from Denver regional breweries. His 1880s D&RG 24 foot reefer in the contest room has a custom Zang's poster attached to the car:

More about Bob Stear's laser cut boxcar project, and what it might mean to the South Park / C&S modelers on this forum in the next installment.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA