2019 SMD Spring Mini-Convention

On Saturday, April 13, 2019, with the support of Mainline Hobby Supply, the SMD will again host our very popular Mini-Convention at the Blue Ridge Mtn. Fire Co.

Join your fellow South Mountain Division (SMD) members in a day of great fun and fellowship, and spread the joy of model railroading.  On Saturday, April 13, 2019, with the support of Mainline Hobby Supply, the SMD will again host our very popular Mini-Convention at the Blue Ridge Mtn. Fire Co.

Our traditional format will be as follows…

Morning – Informal clinics.  We need 10 folks to volunteer to give one from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and repeat it again from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  No formal presentations required. Just talk about a model railroading topic that’s of interest to you.  Bring what you want to have as examples or visual aids (no projectors, no loudspeakers).  It’s just you, talking to the attendees as they walk past your table.  The guests are free to stay and talk with you for as long as they like, or move on when they choose. Don’t think of it as a speech. Don’t think of it as public speaking.  It’s just chatting with other interested model railroaders. Note that you have an hour break from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.  That’s to allow you to get a snack, visit the rest room, look around to see what other clinics are doing.  Then, ten other members give their clinics beginning at 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM and repeating from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM.

As of this writing, Ron Polimeni, Harvey Heyser, Bill Wilson, Jane Clarke, Jerry Skeim, Jeff Adams, Andrew Dodge, Don Florwick, Bob Johnson, and Jay Beckham have signed up to give an informal clinic.  Jay intends to bring his 3D printer and print items on site.

Afternoon – Formal clinics.  At 1:00 PM Jeff Grove of Carolina Craftsman Kits kicks off the series speaking on Laser Technology in Modeling.  Ira Silverman follows speaking about his new book, The Canadian, the Last of the Great Streamliners. SMD member Alex Polimeni will bring up the markers, speaking on “Model Railroading as Game Design.” 

At 10:00 AM we will also have two “Make and take” clinics.  Jeff Grove of Carolina Craftsman Kits will, again, donate a group of (small, easy) craftsman kits and Mainline Hobby Supply will donate (small, easy) styrene (plastic) kits.  Just like last year we’ll encourage young people by giving them priority on the make & take sign up lists. Another way you can help is by bringing tools to loan for these clinics.  X-Acto knives, glue… Look for a list of items once our build leaders, Brian Greenawalt and David Sweeney, have had time to identify their needs.

SMD plans to have a modular layout or two set up and running as well.  Please contact me, Pete Clarke, at ebtmx5@aol.com or call 301- 253-4913 if you are aware of a modular group and have contact information for that group.

There will be some vendors there with model railroad stuff for sale.  Carolina Craftsman Kits, Nyce Collectables (railroadiana), and SMD member Grant Berry (Misc. stuff) have all signed up. I am waiting to hear back from more.

Of course you can, and should, carefully walk across the road to Mainline Hobby Supply.  Show them your gratitude for supporting this Mini-Con by making a purchase, and while you are talking to them, say “Thanks for sponsoring the Mini” out loud.

Again this year, SMD will purchase a $150 gift certificate from Mainline Hobby Supply and sell raffle tickets ($10 each) throughout the morning.  Also HobbyTown USA – Frederick (Richard Benjamin) has donated a $50 gift certificate that we will give as a door prize.  Both of these drawings will happen at 1:00 PM.

We will have food on site.

All this is just what I already know about!  There’s more in the pipeline. Look for a final update in your Spring Wheel Report.

A call to action! SMD really needs you to make this happen.  Please contact me to offer to help.  Mostly I need folks to give informal clinics.  Everyone who’s done one of these clinics has had a great time.  There are other things you can do. We’ll need extension cords, tools, labor for morning set up and afternoon clean up. Know of a modular group?  I’d love to hear from you. Just can’t do any of those?  Attend, tell others about it!

Did you catch the part about having a working 3D printer on-site? I intend to spend hours just watching that do its thing.  Come on down!

Blame the Brass

Alex Polimeni, superintendent, NMRA South Mountain Division 10. (Tom Fedor)

Clutter from the Super’s Desk

If you receive the NMRA Magazine, you may have already read the President’s Car column in the November issue. It was suggested to me that I read it before writing this, and I’m glad I did. If you haven’t, I’ll do my best to sum up Pete Magoun‘s words in a nutshell: “National can’t overcome the challenges that face the Association alone. Regions and Divisions control their own web presence and PR efforts, and it’s up to them to do the boots-on-the-ground work to build, grow, and prosper.”

Pete’s messaged really connected with me, because I believe SMD is ahead of the curve. We already have an incredible outlet through which to engage with the public in the form of the annual Mini-Con. Our membership is very much involved in the hobby both within and outside of SMD by way of operating sessions, enthusiast groups, open house tours, and conventions across the country. Not only that, but a recurring conversation at our meetings is the idea of stronger outreach and networking efforts to both new and long-time members. Furthermore, our newsletter editor and webmaster have been looking at options to overhaul our website. You can expect more dialogue regarding both of these subjects in the months to come.

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to those members who do not use email, as I did not mail reminders for those meetings as I promised in the Fall edition of the Wheel Report. Thank you for your patience and continued enthusiasm.

In closing, I need to thank this season’s hosts, Rich Randall, Bob Johnson, and Frank Benenati for opening their homes to the Division. Congratulations go out to member Bob Morningstar for his his “Golden Spike” Achievement Program (AP) certificate. We’ve built a strong head of steam in 2018, and I know we’re only going to pick up speed through the winter.

Winter Wheel Report Published

Greetings from the South Mountain Division of the NMRA.

This post is to notify members that the winter edition of the SMD Wheel Report is now available to download.

This first link will open the file in your web browser.

<http://smdnmra.org/files/WRpt_VOL1819No2_WEB.pdf>

-or-

The following link will take you to the SMD website Wheel Reports page.

<http://www.smdnmra.org/wheelreports.html>

Click on “2018/19” in the Winter column to open, or right click and choose “Save link as…”. Past editions are also available on this webpage.