Thursday, June 9, 2016

"Just what the doctor ordered... 500mg of Fukitol!"

If you read Marty McGuirk's Central Vermont Railway blog, then you already know about Randy Laframboise's Rutland Road presentation at the recent NERPM... and his reliance on 500mg of Fukitol in designing and building his very large multi-deck layout with Mike Sparks. (So, that's how they do it!)

But that was just one of the many humorous, yet insightful,  moments presented at this annual event. In that vein, Mike Rose detailed how he can delicately fine-tune benchwork with a reciprocating saw and Kip Grant showed his radio roots by imitating the sound of an RS-3 in start-up mode. And of course, there were no shortage of wife anecdotes from various presenters that gave support and comfort to a room full of basement-dwelling model railroaders.

Several hundred attendees had 3-4 clinics to choose from in each of the seven slots from early morning through late evening this past Friday and Saturday. Here Neil Schofield discusses his latest layout and some quick scenery techniques to a rapt audience.

Marty McGuirk presented a nice piece on his latest layout efforts focusing especially on fall scenery and backdrops. He recounted that several areas have been redone on multiple occasions. (Music to my ears!) Plus, I got to finally meet Marty face-to-face after several years of only  on-line communication.

Who knew there was such a story about those two nuns loitering in downtown Sonnyvale on Kip Grant's D&H branchline? In addition, he recounted a story of a modeler who had seen his GMR 2011 article and called to ask for a visit. "Hi Kip, you don't know me, but my name is Dick Elwell..." Good stuff!

Moving the meet from the senior citizen's center in Collinsville, CT to the Holiday Inn in Enfield, CT provided many advantages, not the least of which was a larger room for vendors and model displays. This photo captures about one half of the space which was filled with plenty to gawk at between clinics. Truth be told though, the lighting could have been better in this room. Or is that my age rearing it's ugly head?

A tremendous amount of motive power and rolling stock was on display illustrating various talents in building, modifying and weathering including Butch Eyler's graffiti-filled goodies. Fellow bloggers Ryan Mendall and Pierre Oliver, plus Jered Slusser, had similarly very nice displays which my terrible photos unfortunately do no justice.

This HO scale scratchbuilt structure was the unofficial fan favorite of the meet and builder Ron Poidomani's presentation explained his process from design to finishing details, including interior  LED lighting  and weathering techniques. It is breathtaking.

I regrettably missed this clinic in order to heckle Kip Grant in his, but heard that it was very well-done. Likewise, I had to attend Jersey buddy Ted Pamperin's C&O New River Division in lieu of Chris Adams' presentation on his New Haven branch line. Decisions, decisions!

And of course food was a highlight, although I did not expect braised short ribs, truffled mac and cheese and fresh asparagus washed down with some local IPAs. This certainly beat a burger and beer, four-fold, which was about the cost ratio.
A word of thanks and congratulations to Dave Owens and his crew at the NERPM. A great time and wonderful event! What I've presented is just a fraction of the weekend's events. So many other clinics and model displays could have been covered here, but I'm certain that they will be in other blogs, websites, etc. Click on the above for photo galleries.
And a sincere thanks to my roomie, Jim Dufour, who shared great banter and some real neat discussion about theory and philosophy in constructing his prototype. His presentation on detailing the B&M's Cheshire Branch was a highlight. The NERPM is just few miles down the road from the annual Springfield show. If you can get to this region for that, you should do the same for this event. You'll be happy that you did. Cheers!
Although I'm not quite ready to pull a George Costanza and declare, "I'm back, baby," the NERPM was a needed shot in the arm for me and hopefully will get me going again. Just what the doctor ordered!


  1. Good to see your post, Jim. I can hear Dick Elwell saying that, too! A very modest and great guy.