Blame the Brass

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

Clutter from the Super’s Desk

The Mini-Con is fast approaching, and I want to thank Pete & Jane Clarke, once again, for doing the heavy lifting to make it happen, as well as all the Division members who have volunteered their time to present a clinic. This event really is something special, and that’s because of you.

Although we’ve had an incredible response for meeting hosts over the past years, we need more volunteers. It’s been Division practice to wait a couple of years before returning to a member’s home. This precedent has caused the well to run dry, so to speak. With that said, if you think you might be interested in hosting, please reach out. I’ve communicated with several members this past season who indicated they don’t have much to show, when in fact they have a fabulous basement full of trains. Additionally, I’m also looking at ways we can make use of clinics along with other railroad activities to bolster our meetings, so that folks who want to host but don’t have a layout can become involved.

Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that 2019/20 Division elections happen in May. If you would like to make a nomination for any officer positions, contact this year’s nominations chair, Scott Schill at scottschill@comcast.net.

Alex Polimeni, Superintendent, Division 10

Mainline Hobby Supply presents: The SMD Spring Mini Convention.

Submitted by Pete Clarke

Map to Mainline Hobby Supply. (Richard Lind)

Plans for this year’s Mini-Con have come together nicely. Brian and Bonnie Wolfe of Mainline Hobby Supply have rented the hall, advertised the event, supplied some of the make and take kits, and so much more. Be sure to stop by the shop and thank them. Oh, and buy something while you are there.

The scout troop will offer lunch. 

Ray Price, Herb Biegel, Don Florwick, and Grant Berry will greet attendees at the welcome desk.

Informal clinics:  9:00 to 10:00, and again from 11:00 to 12:00

  • Jane Clarke – Making backdrops
  • Dave Thalman – Rolling stock tuning/weathering
  • Don Florwick – Casting stone portals/walls
  • Dotti Caldwell – Modeling buildings
  • Jerry Skeim – Structures
  • Ron Polimeni – Budget model railroading
  • John Madden – DCC++
  • Bill Wilson – JMRI DecoderPro (9:00); then JMRI OperationsPro (11:00)
  • Jeff Adams – Diesel loco tune-up/lighting
  • Bob Morningstar – Soldering Techniques

Informal clinics:  10:00 to 11:00, and again from 12:00 to 1:00

  • Bill Reynolds – Using Hunterline stains
  • Jack Fritz – Building old Central Valley kits
  • Gary Nastase – Rebuilding turnouts for DCC
  • Jay Beckham – On site 3D printing
  • Harvey Heyser – Layout design
  • Dave Moltrup – Steel mill product transportation
  • Bob Law – Using dry transfers
  • Andrew Dodge – Building a car float
  • Bob Johnson – Track laying 101

Make and take clinics:  Begin at 10:00.

Like last year, each of these will have two sign up sheets. One will be for those 18 and younger.  The other for 19 and older. Clinics will be filled first by those from the ‘younger’ list, then filled out by those on the ‘older’ list.  Within those categories it will be first come first served.

Modular layouts:

  • George Sarra will bring another version of his On30 Dead Rail Layout.
  • More to come…

Clubs and Societies:

For sale:

Raffle:

SMD has purchased a $150 gift certificate from Mainline Hobby Supply to be raffled off for $10 per chance. Odds of winning depend on how many are sold. Please note that this certificate can be used to pay for anything offered by the Mainline. Purchase tickets through the morning and the drawing will be at 1:00.

Door prizes (awarded at 1:00):

  • $50 gift certificate – HobbyTown USA – Frederick, from Richard Benjamin.
  • HOn3 loco, from Andrew Dodge.
  • Classic Miniatures kit, from Bob Johnson.

Formal clinics:

  • At 1:05 the Mid-Eastern Region will give a short talk about the coming Fall Convention – The Liberty Bell Special 2019.
  • At about 1:15 Jeff Grove of Carolina Craftsman Kits will speak on “Laser Technology in Modeling.”
  • At 2:00 Ira Silverman will give a talk on his book “The Canadian, the Last of the Great Streamliners.”
  • At 3:00 Alex Polimeni will give a talk on “Model railroading as game design.”

You can still help…

  • Extension cords – We will need several; and surge protectors (that add extra plugs).
  • For the make and take clinic’s we’ll need all the following, put your name on it and you’ll get it back at the end.  We really do need this, you can’t make a kit without tools.
    • Exacto knife
    • Flat file
    • Sprue nippers
    • Straight edge/ruler for cutting/measuring
    • Sandpaper
    • Squares
    • Super glue
    • Cutting pads
    • Toothpicks
    • Elmer’s glue (for wood kit)
    • Plastic cement (for styrene kit)
    • Clamps for gluing corners
    • Paint (craft acrylics)
    • Paint brushes
    • Thinner (not if only acrylics)

Did you notice that the formal clinics are by a model manufacturer, an author, a young guy?

Did you notice that you’ll have the chance to watch something be printed on a 3-D printer?

Did you notice that you have a chance to win a $150 gift certificate for Mainline Hobby Supply and a free $50 gift certificate from HobbyTown USA?

Don’t let the tried and true format fool you, this event gets better each year. It’s going to be a great day. The only way it could be better is if you are there!

February SMD meeting canceled

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

Hello everyone,

I am sorry to inform you all that there will be no Division meeting for the month of February. I did not send an earlier notification as I was hoping to work something out, but c’est la vie! I’d like to thank those who have offered to open their homes to SMD but were not able to this month, and to repeat the offer that, if you’re interested but on the fence about hosting a meeting, let me know and we’ll do everything we can to help you get ready.

In other news, I want to give a shout out to Pete & Jane Clarke for their tireless efforts in organizing the SMD’s ever-popular Mini-Con in Blue Ridge Summit once again. If there’s anyone you’d like to see get into the hobby- friends, relatives, there’s always somebody!- now’s the time to nudge them to put April 13th on the calendar. Furthermore, the last edition of the Wheel Report is coming up fast, and Tom Fedor can always use quality content! Snap some picture with your phone and show us what you’ve been working on this winter.

Looking ahead, there are exciting developments in the works for South Mountain in the near future, so be sure to watch this space. In the meanwhile, take care out there, and I hope yo see you all next month!

Alex Polimeni

Superintendent

MER Archivist Needed

Mid-Eastern Region

The position of MER archivist will become available effective April 1, 2019.

Responsibilities and benefits include:

  • Repository for legal records, meeting minutes, financial statements, newsletters, etc.
  • Annually scan documents and deliver cd to the MER Business Manager
  • No travel required
  • Region level Achievement Program credits toward Service to the Hobby – Volunteer certificate

For more details see the MER handbook.

Contact MER Director Jack Dziadul <jdziadul@mer-nmra.com> with any questions.

RPM-East 2019 Announced

Photo and model by Eric Hansmann

Make plans to attend RPM-East!

It is time to make your RPM-East plans and rekindle your modeling efforts after a long, cold winter! Two months remain until this prototype modeler gathering in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There will be plenty of action March 22 & 23.

  • Two days of prototype and model presentations
  • Large display room to share your modeling efforts and learn new techniques
  • Variety of vendors selling goods for prototype modeling
  • Thursday evening operating sessions on local model railroads
  • Informal Saturday buffet
  • Sunday model railroad layouts to visit

Early bird registration is only $35 (until March 1), with an additional banquet cost of $29.

There is a special hotel room rate of $95 per night.

Registration forms, hotel information and more can be found at the RPM-East website:

http://www.hansmanns.org/rpm_east/index.htm

RPM-East is sponsored by Division 2, MCR-NMRA.

The following modelers and historians are committed for our meet.

John Albert, Keith Albright, David Bott, Brian Carlson, Ted Culotta, Larry DeYoung, Jim Elster, John Greene, Bill Hanley, Eric Hansmann, Ron Hoess, Bernard Kempinski, Dennis Lippert, Rick Mahaney, Bob Meier, Bill Neale, David Owens, Jim Panza, Dave Ramos, Ramon Rhodes, Greg Smith, Robert Sprague, Steve Stewart, Mont Switzer, John Teichmoeller, David Wilson, and Kaylee Zheng.

Presentation titles will be posted soon to the RPM-East website. A tentative presentation schedule will be posted to the website in February.

Set your schedule and register now for RPM-East!