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The History of UNW

By Keith Lyons

The United Northwest "UNW" started life as a high school project of Keith Lyons, back in 1975. One of the first members to join this N scale group was Wayne Gilberts. The others didn't stay with the group, but Keith and Wayne did. In college, Keith recruited David Moser, and the three put together a display layout that some said looked like a combination of packing crates with scenery on top. That layout, as much as it was, was displayed at the fifth annual Pacific Science Center Model Railroad Show on Thanksgiving weekend, 1978.

Since that early show, the members have seen the advantages of the NTRAK standards. We decided to utilize many of the features of NTRAK, but keep to a homoginous, self contained club, and set out to design a new display layout. The first show for that newly designed layout was in 1981 at the Tacoma Mall, put on by the late Stan Sharpe. We finished the mainline with temporary bridges and had trains running just before the end of the first day of the two day show.

Everyone seemed to enjoy watching as the club members added landforms and bridges to the layout. The majority of the layout was covered with Styrofoam and beadboard foam. We covered the sculpted foam with a thin layer of Hydrocal (plaster) and colored it with a wash of India Ink, followed by the Zip Texturing method of powdered Tempra paint. This was covered with Ground Foam, mostly from Woodland Scenics. We even added a "kid" to the club, a young Shawn Newkirk.

Many additional members have come and gone, but several have stayed and help us all to grow in our abilities and have helped to shape the Club into a Charitable Organization. Ed Whitmore, Dave Montgomery, Kent Williams, Ed Rutledge, and Wayne Resch have each been wonderful sources of new inspiration through the past several years, and we've all enjoyed adding new friends to our club!

Our club would not be what it is without the many friends we have made in the modeling community, such as Roy Cutler, Dean Daughenbaugh, Jim Younkins, Dennis Reeve, Diane Powell, Doug Walters, etc. The list is so big, it keeps going...