RPM Updates


In this post-Thanksgiving lull, I’ll share some Naperville/Lisle RPM meet comments and photos from fellow Pre-Depression Era modeler Ray Breyer. The event was held in late October and has been an annual event in a Chicago suburb for a couple of decades. The photos and notes here are from Ray’s one-day experience.


There were 36 seminars offered through the two-day event, with several presented twice. A few of these were on my “must see” list but I was unable to catch them all.


Aaron Gjermundson is a highly respected resin caster who makes many of the parts in a number of resin kits. Aaron demonstrated his casting processes in real time. He mixed and poured rubber to make the mold. He also mixed and poured resin to cast parts.

Tom Madden discussed 3D printing opportunities and developments that are benefitting the hobby. Tom has helped produce a number of resin freight car kits over the years.


Extreme Modeler, Bill Welch, focused on many freight car details that are important elements of our models. Bill offered many ideas on modifying existing parts and creating new components to complement our freight car fleets.

Jim Singer offered an interesting review of the C&NW and the Chicago Stockyards, which offered several potential modeling leads.


There seemed to be about 200 people attending the event. The model display room was not as crowded as past events, and neither was the vendor room. There were many top-notch models on display, but there have been many more displayed at past events.Two large modular layouts offered many interesting scenes and it’s always good to see something running.




Some of the biggest news came from event organizer Joe D’Elia. He is stepping aside and will no longer run the show. Mike Skibbe has volunteered to fill the coordinator shoes to organize next year’s Chicago area RPM. Mike is dedicated to rejuvenating this event as a premier RPM meet and will need help from the prototype modeler community to make that happen. Ray has volunteered a presentation on postwar short box cars for the 2016 event.



A month after the Chicago area meet, the Garden State RPM event was held in Scotch Plains, NJ. About 100 people attended the one-day event. Fourteen presentations were on the schedule and a layout design help booth was open through most of the day. Several New Jersey layouts were available to visit on a self-guided tour the following day. Check out the Flickr gallery from the event.

As another year closes out, don’t forget these upcoming RPM events on the calendar.

Prototype Rails will be held in Cocoa Beach, Florida on January 7 – 9, 2016. This has grown into a strong event and is a nice getaway from the colder northern weather for many attendees. Check the website for registration and more details.

A Railroad Modeler’s Retreat was recently announced for Saturday February 27, 2016 at the Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Plymouth, MN, a Minneapolis/St. Paul suburb. Contact Ken Zieska [mhry19 (at) gmail.com] for registration and additional information.

The RPM-Valley Forge meet is always a nice way to thaw out after winter and spark your modeling efforts. It will be held March 18-29, 2016 at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center in Malvern, PA. Visit their website for additional details. I’m planning to attend and make a presentation.

Take advantage of an RPM event in 2016. It’s a great experience!

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