:: ABOUT THE SITE ::
It's hard for me to believe, but it's been about 10 years now since I
made the first version of this site. I was attending
College for business management, but spending most nights teaching
myself how to make web graphics and design websites. I was
away from home, which is where my first layout was, so I would
travel back to work on the layout on weekends and then work on this
site during the week. I got a lot of inspiration from James
Powell, who at the time had a great site himself. Couple that
inspiration with the sheer awe I had (and still have) for George
Sellios' work and you get this site.
Many things have changed in my life and
this site has changed right along with me. For a while I posted as
many F&SM pictures as I could; so I could share George's amazing work
with everyone. Then I started to post some of my own projects.
Now, I have my hands full most of the time with other responsibilities
and don't have time to do as much modeling - or posting- but I do get to
travel more. I've been taking a lot more prototype pictures and
trying to visit as many great layouts as I can. I'm looking
forward to being able to share pictures of those adventures as well!
As busy as I seem to get, I love to meet new people, so email and say
|:: ABOUT THE LAYOUT ::
I managed to move from shoe box
buildings to a 4X8 layout before I moved to Iowa. The 4X8
was a simple layout, but I was proud of it. The move to
Iowa gave me space above a three car garage to start a layout.
What you see at right is the original track plan and pictures of
this layout can be seen in the construction gallery. I plan to
cut up most of this layout and move pieces to the new layout I
am working on.
The new house/church has given me a
large area to plan a new railroad and that's where I sit right now.
Lots of planning... It is going to be a giant "O" or U shaped
layout and will be set in the mid 1990's. The inside of the layout
will be city/industrial and the outside will be a rough model of SP's
Donner crossing. I'd like to try writing an article or two for a
magazine, so I'll try to tie that in with building the new layout.
:: ABOUT THE
My name is Matt Gidley and I live in Waverly, Iowa. I am not
Matt Gidley the famous Australian soccer player - he stole my name.
As of March 2009, I am 30 years young and in case you were wondering -
Yes, I am looking forward to retirement already! My wife Angela and I
live out of town in an old church that seems to take more time and money
than I could have ever imagined. Both Angela and I love to travel
and I usually can talk her into hitting a few train hot-spots on any
given trip (as long as a trip to the local mall is also on the
Like so many, my modeling started with a train
set for Christmas long long ago... and I have been active in the
hobby ever since. I spent the first 14 years of my life in
San Jose, California- which is where I developed my love for the
Southern Pacific. I have always modeled in HO scale, and
probably always will - although the realism of large scale is really
enticing! When I am not modeling or working on this site, I am usually
working at home, playing guitar, or working at home. This is
an excellent hobby and I've met so many great modelers and have many
more to meet!
Angela in the shop at Jamestown, CA.
hanging out on the UP Centennial at Portola, CA. >>
posing on a Cadillac that needs some TLC.
and I on the 2873 (GP9E) after operating it for an hour at
Angela is a great pianist, so she had to pose with the
musical UP sign.
She, and the SP >>