Model Railroading Articles by Jeffrey MacHan

Table Description:  Published articles
# Title Photos Publication Publication Date Comments Page (#)
1 Cheap and Easy Pushbuttons 1 diagram Ntrac 1986    
2 Jeffrey MacHan Named Ztrack Contributing Editor 1 BW Ztrack 5-06 1999-12 Bio and intoduction of Jeffrey MacHan to the readers fo Ztrack Magazine p6 (1)
3 Lightweight Layout Techniques of the VEC: part 1 Styrofoam Base 1 BW Ztrack 6-01 2000-02 1st in series of 4 construction articles: roadbase using foam insulation p8 (2)
4 Lightweight Layout Techniques of the VEC: part 2 Track Laying 2 BW Ztrack 6-02 2000-04 2nd in construction series deals with track laying on styrofoam p6 (3)
5 Lightweight Layout Techniques of the VEC: part 3 Acrylic Landscaping 3 BW Ztrack 6-03 2000-06 3rd in construction series deals with landscaping techniques using acrylic paints on foam p10 (2)
6 Lightweight Layout Techniques of the VEC: part 4 Forest of Trees 4 BW Ztrack 6-04 2000-08 4th in construction series provides a quick and easy method to make lots of z scale trees p10 (2)
7 Scene Stealers on the VEC: The Old River Lighthouse 2 BW Ztrack 6-05 2000-10 Construction article on adding a Z scale lighthouse to the VEC p18 (2)
8 A Barge Bash: Adding a Barge to Your Harbor Scene 1/4 Cover + 1 BW Ztrack 6-06 2000-12 Construction article on converting N barge to Z on the Val Ease Central p14 (2)
9 Camouflaging Märklin Turnouts 3 BW Ztrack 7-01 2001-02 Construction: Tips to disquise Märklin turnout motor housings p10 (2)
10 Beatin' the Modeler's Blues - Ztrack 7-01 2001-02 Op-Ed: tips to find motivation p16 (1)
11 Creating Atmosphere With Sound - Ztrack 7-02 2001-04 Construction: how to add sound effects to Z layouts using inexpensive cassette players p20 (2)
12 Wiring the Märklin Turntable for Operation on the VEC 1/4 Cover + 1 BW + 1 diagram Ztrack 7-03 2001-06 Wiring the TT to eliminate the stock controller for hand held or panel control p6 (1)
13 Packing a Märklin Roundhouse into a Suitcase 1 BW Ztrack 7-03 2001-06 Construction: kitbashing a roundhouse to narrow the structure and shorten the distance from the pit. p8 (1)
14 Quick Fix for Casey Jones Cornering Problems - Ztrack 7-03 2001-06 Easy and not so easy fix to CJ stalling on tight curves. p10 (1/2)
15 A Compact Electrified Swiss Alpine Track Plan 1 track plan Ztrack 7-04 2001-08 Presentation of small Swiss track plan for 2 train operation under catenary. p10 (1)
16 Briefing Notes to Z Ambassadors: Part 1 1 BW Ztrack 7-05 2001-10 Editorial essay on making first contact as an Ambassador for Z scale p18 (2)
17 Workin' On The Railroad: Adding Details - Open LoadZ 3 BW Ztrack 7-05 2001-10 Editorial essay extolling the virtues of adding a variety of freight car loads to the layout p24 (2)
18 The Val Ease Central Railroad 1 Cover + 5 color + 1 track plan ZClub92 Z-info 2001-09 Layout article: Introduction to the Val Ease Central Railroad (German with English insert) p4 (3)
19 Briefing Notes to Z Ambassadors: Part 2 1 BW Ztrack 7-06 2001-12 Second part in guide to a successful participation in a train show and as Z ambassadors. p22 (2)
20 An 8 Silo Grain Terminal for CVE: Painting a Microfigs Kit 3 BW Ztrack 7-06 2001-12 Construction: preparing and painting a Microfigs epoxy resin building kit p6 (2)
21 A Layout Built to Travel - The Z scale Val Ease Central is a globe-trotting hobby ambassador 7 colour + track plan w/elevations (copyright MR Magazine) Model Railroader Magazine 2004-11 (fee = $500 US) Edited by Carl Swanson, senior editor of MR. Two page color spread shows the entire layout. The author describes the genesis and evolution of his champion model railroad, designed for travel and for sharing. p88 (5)
22 Last Spike #1: VEE Depot Inaugeration 1 BW Ztrack 8-01 2002-02 VECRR press release and construction explanation for station-depot kitbash p27 (1)
23 Z-Scale Rails #02 (NTS Champ Layout Goes to Germany) 1 colour NMRA Bulletin 2002-11 Report: Val Ease Central RR (NTS Best of Show 2001) travelled to Fascination Modellbau, Sinsheim, Germany, March 16-20, 2002. p38 (1)
24 Last Spike #2: The Times, They Are a Changin' 4 BW Ztrack 8-02 2002-04 Tongue in cheek report on Z presence at Faszination Modellbau, Sinsheim, Germany, March 21-24, 2002 (highlights: international guests; VECRR is invited layout; Jens Wimmel wins 1st prize in competition). p33 (1)
25 Val Ease Central Railroad at Faszination Modellbau 2002 1 colour NMRA Niagara Frontier Division "Flimsey" Volume 48 Number 2 - June 2002 2002-06    
26 Jens Wimmel, 2002 Faszination Modellbau Champion 2 BW Ztrack 8-03 2002-06 News of award to Jens Wimmel at major German train and hobby show (March 2002) p9 (1/2)
27 Last Spike #3: A Joe Rocchia Märklin Factory Tour 3 BW Ztrack 8-03 2002-06 Joe Rocchia takes Jefffrey MacHan, Terry Sutfin and Eric Foxman on an unforgettable tour of Markin's main factory in Goeppingen, Germany (March 2002) p30 (2)
28 The VEC at Faszination Modellbau 2002 / Who Says Trains Can't Fly?   Model Railroader Magazine 2004-11 ($550 USD payment received - photos by JRM) Edited by Carl Swanson, Senior Editor of MR. The author explains the thrills and challenges of taking his Val Ease Central RR layout to participate in Faszination Modellbau, Sinsheim, Germany. p90 (1)
29 Last Spike #4: The AmaZing Dr. Bob Olson of Pennzee 2 BW Ztrack 8-04 2002-08 Introduction of Dr. Bob and a short history of Pennzee products p32 (1.5)
30 People make "Z " scale great! 7 BW Ztrack 8-04 2002-08 Photo presentation of memorable people who made NTS2002 Great! p9 (1)
31 Z-scale Rails #01 (WR modules @ NTS2002) - NMRA Bulletin 2002-10 Z-modular groups set trackage record. (1st in quarterly "Z-Scale Rails" column). p18 (1/3)
32 Z-scale Rails #03 (Award winners @ NTS2002) - NMRA Bulletin 2002-12 David George wins 3 NTS prizes in Ft. Lauderdale / Reynard Wellman presented 1st "Best Z Product Award" p10 (1/3)
33 Last Spike #5: The Legend of the Wire Walker 1 Ztrack 8-05 2002-10 "True life" VECRR vignette and explanation EZ-Line stretchable line used in the scene. p27 (1)
34 NMRA Special Edition Collector Cars (Heritage #11) 3 Ztrack 8-06 2002-12 Jeffrey provides the complete list and descriptions of the Heritage and Living Legends series cars issued by the NMRA since 1992. p20 (2)
35 Last Spike #6: Lighting the Great Xmas Tree 1 Ztrack 8-06 2002-12 Hizzoner lights the Great Val Ease Christmas Tree to the delight of local citizens / Jeffrey then explains how it was done. p26 (2)
36 Last Spike #7: The Forklift Incident / Level Crossing Rerailers 3 Ztrack 9-01 2003-02 A VECRR railroad police report sets the stage for a construction article on how to build level crossing rerailers. p30 (1.5)
37 Z-Scale Rails #04 ("Z" Top 10 Questions)   NMRA Bulletin 2003-02 The top 10 questions and answers about Z-scale as heard at train shows around the world. p9 (5)
38 System Joerger Helps Put the F-U-N in the Fun Set 1 Ztrack 9-03 2003-06 Jeffrey takes the FUN Set to Work and instals a System Jörger speed controler. p9 (1)
39 An introduction to the exciting world of Z-scale (1:220)   NMRA 2003 Convention Clinic Handbook 2003-07 An introduction in 10 points on the current state of affairZ in Z-scale to conventioneers at the 2003 NMRA National Convention in Toronto, Canada.  
40 Last Spike #8: VEMRC Lays Turntable Decking 2 Ztrack 9-02 2003-04 Historical article torn from the pages of "The Cinderpit" describes how to add depth to a scene, in this case by adding decking around the turntable pit and roundhouse. p30 (2)
41 Bill Kronenberger named NMRA Z Standards Chair 1 Ztrack 9-03 2003-06 Announcement and backgrounder for Bill K. concerning this ground-breaking development for "Z". p25 (.5)
42 Last Spike #9: Building Val Ease Summit or You Can't Get There From Here! 4 Ztrack 9-03 2003-06 Early construction stages of "Val Ease Summit", a 'replacement' suitcase module for "Centre Val Ease". p30 (2)
43 Z-Scale Rails #05 (A Conversation with Micro Trains CEO Eric Smith) 1 NMRA Bulletin-Scale Rails 2003-10 Jeffrey interviews MTL CEO Eric Smith who shares Z history and his vision for the future of NA Z-scale. p6 (2)
44 Last Spike #10: The Val Ease Transportation System 4 Ztrack 9-04 2003-08 Jeffrey presents the shipping containers that have allowed the Val Ease Central to survive international travel. p30 (2)
45 Last Spike #11: A PuZZlement! (VEE-VEW naming mixup!) 1 Ztrack 9-05 2003-10 In this episode of the LS, Jeffrey tries to unravel the mystery surrounding the mixed-up name conundrum of Val Ease East and West. p30 (2)
46 Jeffrey MacHan interviews Eric Smith of Micro-Trains Line 1 ZClub92 Z-info 4/2003 2003-12 German translation of Scale Rails article  
47 Last Spike #12: Undercover at Eurospoor 2003 11 Ztrack 9-06 2003-12 Tongue-in-cheek report of the state of Z in Europe as experienced at Eurospoor 2003 with the Val Ease Central RR. p29 (3.5)
48 Manufacturer Profile: Micron Art's Reynard Wellman 1 Ztrack 10-01 2004-02 Reynard Wellman provides a glimpse at his professional and hobby interests concerning Z. p12 (2.5)
49 Last Spike #13: The VEC Makes TrackZ to Canadian Railroad Museum 2 Ztrack 10-01 2004-02 The VEC enters the Canadian Railroad Museum. Jeffrey gives details of this new honor for his layout. p30 (1.5)
50 Last Spike #14: Z Pioneer Manfred Jörger and his Million Passenger Railroad 5 Ztrack 10-02 2004-04 With the help of Jeremy Brandon, Jeffrey conducts an interview with German Z pioneer, Manfred Jörger in honour of his remarkable achievement of carrying more than 1,000,000 passengers on his modular layout. p34
51 Last Spike #15: The Animated Railroad   Ztrack 10-03 2004-06 The goal of modelling a railroad is to ultimately create a living universe in miniature. Here Jeffrey explains several techniques used on the VEC to create the illusion of human and natural activity. p34 (3)
52 Last Spike #16: Terry Sutfin, Z Ambassador 5 Ztrack 10-04 2004-08 Jeffrey MacHan and Helen Sutfin offer a glimpse of the many contributions to Z model railroading by Ambassador Terry Sutfin. p29 (2.5)
53 Last Spike #17: A Stealthy Visitor to Val Ease Port Authority 4 Ztrack 10-05 2004-10 Reporter, Mike Ruffone, stumbles across a secret visitor taking on cargo at VEPA. Multiple harbour scenes are fun and easy using various ship kits. Celebrating SSN571 Nautilus' 50th anniversary! p31 (2)
54 Last Spike #18: Playing with Trains - VEC Vignettes 4 (Svein-Martin Holt) Ztrack 10-06 2004-12 Four vignettes from "play" time with the VECRR. Four vignettes of life on the Val Ease Central are presented as an illustration of how to increase "play value" on a model railroad. p30 (2.5)
55 Helicopter view of "Centre Val Ease" 1 colour 2004-12 CVE graced the NMRA home page for the last two weeks of December 2004.
56 Last Spike #19: Confessions of a Railroad Modeller? 1 colour 1 BW (Svein-Martin Holt) Ztrack 11-01 2005-02 "Don't Look For Perfection, Perfect the Look" Celebrating 5 years continuous service as columnist with Ztrack, the author provides a detailed explanation of his motto, "Don't look for perfection, perfect the look!" and how he put it into practice on his champion "Val Ease Central RR". p29 (3)
57 Last Spike #20: A PURRfect kitbash 2 BW Ztrack 11-02 2005-04 Mike Ruffone announces the grand opening of the PURRfect Catfood Company and the author describes how he kitbashed an N-scale paint factory into the PURRfect structure for Centre Val Ease. A Life-Like N-scale built-up kit is transformed into the "PURRfect Catfood Co." / "Val Ease Sparkling Spring Water Bottling Plant" p34 (2)
58 Z-Scale Rails #06: Stretch to Fill or Shrink to SiZe   Scale Rails 2005-05 The ubiquitous 4' x 8' HO layout plan offers numerous possibilities for Z layouts in smaller or larger spaces. p 12 (1)
59 Last Spike #21: The "Val Ease Summit" Experience - Using the Tippi Hot Wire Foam Cutter 4 Ztrack 11-03 2005-06 2nd installment on VES construction describing techniques using Tippi Hot Wire Foam Cutter to create VES landforms. p34 (2.5)
60 Howard Kannitbee's VES Construction Diaries 56+ Z Convention Handout 2005-07 Clinic CD-ROM presented to attendees of 1st Z Convention held in Columbus, OH. (11 chapters chronicle step-by-step construction of Val Ease Summit Division)  
61 NTS2005 preview 1 BW Ztrack 11-03 2005-06 VES introduction along with photo of CVE + VES p15
62 Last Spike #22: The Howard Kannitbee "Val Ease Summit Diaries" 2 + 4 track diagrams Ztrack 11-04 2005-08 Final installment in the 3-part VES construction series. Includes VEC Library "Pass" for Ztrack readers. p38 (2)
63 Last Spike #23: WARNING: Highly addictive in small doZeZ!   Ztrack 11-05 2005-10 An essential self-diagnostic test for Zeesterism in honor of Ztrack's distribution agreement with Kalmbach Publishing. p32 (2)
64 Last Spike #24: Meet Z Ambassadors Gerry and Audrey O'Callaghan 4 BW Ztrack 11-06 2005-12 Presenting two dedicated Canadian Z Ambassadors. p32 (2)
65 Last Spike #25: Let the Puzzles Begin! 4 diagrams Ztrack 12-01 2006-02 In this first part in a series dealing with operations, the author explains how "Timesaver" and "Inglenook"switching games and shunting puzzles contribute to model railroading FUN. p 32 (2)
66 Last Spike #26: Jeff's Top 10 TipZ to a Better "Z" Experience - Ztrack 12-02 2006-04 10 suggestions for NA modelers on how to establish a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship with a Z model railroad. p36 (2)
67 Last Spike #27: London Festival Adventure (VEW and Loosely Warren) 6 Ztrack 12-03 2006-06 The author reports on his incredible UK adventure and provides photos of the two Z layouts featured at the 2006 edition of the London Festival of Railway Modelling p36 (2.5)
68 Profile of a Champion, Bill Kronenberger 1 BW Ztrack 12-04 2006-08 Portrait of Z-Bend Track Ambassador Bill Kronenberger p28 (1)
69 Last Spike #28: Painting Acrylic Water-Based Backdrops on the VECRR, and Beyond! 5 Ztrack 12-04 2006-08 Backgrounder on the award-winning hand-painted backdrops on the VECRR and instructions on the painting of a "new" backdrop panel. p36 (2.5)
70 Last Spike #29: VECRR "N-spirationZ" 5 Ztrack 12-05 2006-10 Surgically N-hanced N-scale plastic structures make interesting and original "Z" industrial buildings on the VECRR. p36 (2.5)
71 Last Spike #30: "A Countdown to Remember", VECRR at Exporail's Great Train Day 6 BW Ztrack 12-06 2006-12 Last minute setup of VECRR at Exporail's "Model Railroading Weekend" p38 (3)
72 Last Spike #31: "Mesozoic Park" Oh give me a home...where the "dinosaurs" roam! 3 B&W Ztrack 13-01 2007-02 How a "dino park" saved "Val Ease West". A VECRR Vignette. p35 (2.5)
73 Last Spike #32: Wired for FUN - VEC Controls 2 Ztrack 13-02 2007-04 The award-winning VECRR uses a combination of traditional and leading edge electronics to make things move, light up and flash. The author provides details on the VEC control systems. p34 (4)
74 2 Women of Z: Report from 2007 Amherst BIG Train Show 3 Ztrack 13-02 2007-04 The author reports on two women making their mark on model railroading at the 2007 Amherst Railway Society BIG Train Show in West Springfield, MA p18 (1.5)
75 Last Spike #33: AZL DeliversGP7 Dream Machine! 1 color Ztrack 13-03 2007-06 In March of 2007, AZL finally delivered a long-awaited dream machine, an EMD GP7. The author takes a test drive and provides some interesting stats p35 (3.5)
76 Last Spike #34: VEC "Quonset" hut - An Evening Scratchbuilding Project 3 Ztrack 13-04 2007-08 An easy and cheap project to help fill a tight spot on any railroad. p35 (2.5)
77 Photo: David George wins First Place at NTS2007 1 Ztrack 13-04 2007-08 David George, Tristan and Judi George pose proudly in front of the First Place Individual Module winning module w/plaque. p10
78 Last Spike #35: Nighttime is FUN Time on the VECRR 6 Ztrack 13-05 2007-10 Installing Märklin streetlights in Val Ease East  
79 NTS2007 Report 1 front cover Ztrack 13-05 2007-10 Sights and sounds from Detroit, MI  
80 Last Spike #36: Z Scale Comes of Age   Ztrack 13-06 2007-12 A New Year's Declaration of Independance  
81 The Val Ease Central Railroad Celebrates 1,000,000 Passengers   Ztrack 14-01 2008-02 VEC hits 1,000,000 passenger milestone. Jeffrey declares that it's been a great run as he announces his retirement from Z model railroading and train shows.    
82 Scenery Planning Tips for the Small Layout Builder: Improving Realism and Believability   NMRA 2009 Convention Clinic Handbook 2009-08 The vast majority of layouts are modest in size. Well planned and positioned scenery elements and structures can transform a layout into a visually exciting model railroad. The world-wide Z-scale Ambassador, published author with over 80 articles, and accomplished small layout builder (2001 NMRA National Train Show Best of Show - Module) will explain the various tricks and techniques involved in amplifying the illusion of reality and believability that he used on his award-winning modular HOe layout, "St. Bartholomew's Abbey".