Gift list

About gifts for me

Christmas and my birthday are pretty close together. I know that makes things more convenient in some ways and less in others, but I do have a few small preferences for gift-receiving:

  • Christmas and birthday are separate things and I prefer separate presents
  • I prefer they are given to me in the right order
  • I don’t care if they’re given to me on the same day

That’s really not a lot to ask for, not more than anyone else gets.

General ideas

  • Coupons or cards or whatever for car washes around town – it’s nice to be able to keep the salt off
  • An electric kettle for making tea (fast, capacity can be quite small since it’s just me)
  • I just bought a house but I have most of the things I already need for it; but I need more furniture, so gift cards towards those would be great.
  • Money / cards towards buying a generator
  • (I’ll add other things as I think of them…)

Gift card place ideas

More or less in order of preference:

  • Cash
  • Ebay
  • Steam (online video game retailer)
  • Nintendo (they’ve got their own online shop for downloadable games, if you didn’t know)
  • Amazon (:/)
  • Menards (there isn’t one near me but I don’t mind having an excuse to visit South Haven or Michigan City for a day)
  • Other home improvement stores (for house things, or to save up for a back-up generator)

Wishlist on the big A

I’d generally like to encourage people to shop anywhere other than the website named after a big river, even the one named after an electronic cove (I assume that’s where the name came from?) or the market that only sells walls. However I do already have a couple lists on there, so I’ll go ahead and link them here. You should be able to mark them purchased even if you get them somewhere else, I think…

3D Printing Stuff

This may sound odd but one (or more) food dehydrators would be great for 3d printing. I haven’t tried it yet but apparently a lot of the issues I have can be solved by drying out the filament first, and fortunately/coincidentally most food dehydrators are just about the right size for 3d filament and can be controlled to the right temperatures, too.

If you’re looking for other 3D printing stuff, any colored PLA or PETG filament (or PLA+, wood fill, or anything similarly named) would be useful. If it means anything to you I have an Ender 3 Pro and a Monoprice Mini Delta printer.

This year I plan to get a resin printer. The cheapest ones are a little over $100, so I don’t expect one as a gift; but if you want to contribute towards that, cash or gift cards to Microcenter or Amazon would work.

Here’s a wishlist that I made with some 3D printing related ideas.

Music stuff

I do not really have much in the way of music stuff I’m looking for at the moment. Josh may have some suggestions for guitar pedals that I would enjoy, though.

Model train stuff

The great thing about model train stuff is that even if I’ve already got something, it’s ok to get me another one of them. Seriously. Don’t worry about that. It’s always nice to know that if I break something while doing maintenance I have a spare; or I can practice painting/detailing on one; or I can have more than one of the same looking car in a train (like, you know, real trains).

The only thing to really keep in mind that I’m only looking for things that are in these scales/gauges:

  • HO scale / HO Gauge
  • HOn30 / HOn2 1/2 / HOe “narrow gauge” (runs on N gauge track but modes are HO scale)
  • 1/87 or 1:87
  • OO gauge (British, 1/76 scale but runs on HO gauge track – compatible with the Thomas models)
  • OO9 narrow gauge (runs on N gauge track but models are OO scale – These would go with the Thomas narrow gauge character models)

Anything in other scales is cool but not going to work with what I already have.

And I don’t have a particular era that I like. I’ve got a model of the John Bull (one of the very first locomotives in the US) all the way up to a modern GE diesel, and I have at least a couple cars that will look good with any of them.

Model train wishlists


Model locomotives are expensive – even the cheapest that I’d consider buying new are at least $50. I’m not going to be picky about them and I definitely don’t expect anyone to go out looking for anything in particular. I do have a kind of wishlist in my mind that maybe I’ll type out later/

But if you were to look, here are the railways / road names I’d be most interested in:

  • EJ&E / Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern
  • GTW / Grand Trunk Western
  • CN (Canadian National – owns Grand Trunk, also now owns EJ&E)
  • Indiana Harbor Belt
  • Santa Fe / AT&SF
  • BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe)
  • CSX
  • Amtrak
  • South Shore Line
  • Chicago CTA
  • Chicago Metra
  • Anything else you’d see rolling through The Region
  • Anything British (just for fun really)

Freight cars

Any freight cars from any roads and any time. I think the only exception is I already have a whole bunch of 34 foot hopper cars – I’ll take more, yeah, but I already have a lot of them.

I will point out two manufacturers that I really like. Tichy Train Group make some great kits. They’re a lot of work, but they come out with a very high level of detail. I’m most interested in trying out their tank car and ore car kits. I’ve already got one of the boom cars and I’m working on one of the boxcars (very slowly) and have an unopened flat car kit; the boom car is a special car that I don’t need more of, but the other ones look good in sets. The biggest drawback is the kits all come unpainted and I’m nervous about messing them up in that step.

Another good manufacturer is Accurail. Their kits are quite detailed, but a bit easier to assemble than Tichy’s. They also generally come pre-painted, which means a lot to me. Also, they are completely made in the US, which is a really nice thing to support too. If you come across anything from them and are wondering if I’d like it, the answer is yes.

If you are looking for something in particular, I’d like to build up some more tanker cars of pretty much any variety (Tichy have a kit like that which I want to try); or you can focus on the same list of railroads that I’ve listed for locomotives. Modern rolling stock would be nice too – long tank cars, auto rack cars, the long flat cars for trailers, centerbeam cars in particular are good choices.

Passenger cars

I prefer passenger cars from:

  • Anything “old time” (cars with 4 axles, about 4 inches long; like these) – they look cool and I have only a few of them. I like green ones.
  • Canadian National (I have a suitable locomotive for CN steam passenger trains, but no passenger cars for them)
  • Grand Trunk Western (I have a suitable steam engine but no cars; CN and GTW can mix and match since GTW was a CN subsidiary, so that’d be cool)
  • Erie Lackawanna (I have an early passenger diesel locomotive from them but no passenger cars)
  • Chicago Northwestern (I have one early 20th century steam engine and a small number of coaches for it to pull, so a couple more would be good too)
  • Amtrak (I’ve got a decent number but more is good too)
  • Santa Fe (already have quite a few “heavyweight” and “Valley Flyer” ones but I’ve got lots of Santa Fe engines)
  • Anything that would be suitable for Thomas and Friends locomotives to pull (i.e. anything British).

Other train stuff

I use Bachmann E-Z track for all the temporary setups, so anything like that. Preferably the type with nickle-silver rails and gray roadbed (background/base below the tracks); the steel track (black base/roadbed) works well enough but you have to clean it very often.

At some point I’ll be building a layout with a narrow gauge railway going through some kind of zoo or amusement park, so if you find anything that would look good at either of those, that’s good.

You’ll also see a lot of buildings and things in the wishlists. They’re fun to build up as well. I’m thinking that I want to have some for general town scenes as well as any industries that would fit in well with the Great Lakes region (while not necessarily being right on the lake). I’m thinking about making a campground and maybe summer lakeside cottage scene, so anything that works for that would be great.