Monday, June 19, 2023

NERPM 2023

I had a great time this past weekend at the 21st(?!) annual New England/Northeast Prototype Modelers Meet. But wow - what a busy weekend it was!

I met my buddies Pete and Pieter for breakfast at Cracker Barrel early Friday morning, and then got to the 'meet in time for the second clinic at 10:30. But as I was setting up, I was surprised by none other than Lionel Strang, who'd driven all the way from Canadia to attend. And the goober never even let on he was coming, despite talking with him on Thursday.

In addition to him and Jim Lincoln (on my right), I was able to see and catch up a bit with a lot of folks. The clinics are typically why you attend a ProtoMeet, but it's the people that make it memorable. It's like a family reunion where you get to catch up on all the goings-on since the last time you got together.

Great to catch up with Tom Jacobs and Bill Chapin who I hadn't seen since the big Springfield show in January.

John Doehring, who's become a fast friend ever since we met at TomStock last summer.

Jim Dufour, who needs no introduction to readers of this blog (or anyone who models the B&M), and Todd Hermann, which was a special treat since he came all the way up from Virginia to attend the 'meet. Like Jim, he and I have a common approach to modeling and his Catasauqua branch layout is one of my favorite layouts.

Bill Schneider, who also needs to introduction to folks here, as well as Marty McGuirk, whose modeling of "The October Scene" in New England is a great inspiration to my own scenery building.

Marty again and Stic Harris, who I've only had the pleasure of hanging out with a couple of times (starting way back in 2018?) but thanks to the wonders of the internet, we're able to keep in touch from time to time - and it was great to see him all the way up from Virginia this weekend!

I was literally on my way out when I was able to take this grab shot of Eric Hansmann, who was such a huge help when I was building and painting my first resin boxcars. Lionel made it in there again too, as well as Ramon Rhodes, who I finally got to meet for the first time this weekend.

Other than the people and, of course, the great clinics (click here to see the lineup from this year), there are the model displays! I always seem to forget to take pictures, so be sure to watch this space or go to FB for photos from this year.

In fact, I didn't even take pictures of my own display(!) Thankfully, it looks like Dave Owens (who heads up the meet) did . . . Thanks so much Dave!

I decided this year not to bring my old warhorse freight cars & cabooses which I've displayed the past bunch of meets. But I did bring the NH diesels I've detailed - and a B&M newcomer...

For more on the RS-2, be sure to click here. The S-2 can be found here.

The RS-1 modeling thread can be found here. I really need to gin up some courage to actually (and finally!) weather these models!

This got weathered though - as a "practice" since it's "just" B&M(!) Click here for more photos, details and the build thread.

To provide it a worthy display - at least something better than just setting it on the table - I made up this scenicked display track, finishing it up the night before the show(!) It was pretty easy to do and a great practice for "speed scenery" which anyone who's read this blog knows is a foreign concept to me. It even spins(!) so folks can see the model from all sides without having to handle it. I plan to do a post later on how I built it.

Also the night before(!) I finally got around to painting the lanterns I got a few months back from my friend Bernard Hellen at Miniprints. I highly recommend them & think they may be the only true scale Adlake lanterns available.

As if the people and the clinics weren't enough, there are always great layout tours during an RPM  weekend. Unfortunately, if you're hosting, you don't get to see the other layouts. But if you're hosting, you DO get to see more great friends - and meet new ones! And as in past years, the Valley Line was on the tour. Despite being the "southern outlier," a lot of folks made the trip down to the end of the Connecticut River to see the layout - and to sign my Guest Book(!) which has become one of the coolest keepsakes of these weekends. I had visitors from 11 different states!

And given that a few friends were coming from WAY out of state and don't often get a chance to operate the Valley Line, I put together a quick op session for after the open house . . .

One of my regular crew, Pieter, was on-hand to help out and pilot first-timer Kevin on the flagship Valley Local. Unfortunately, they suffered the only locomotive failure of the evening when steamer #359 inexplicably decided to quit. Fortunately, diesel #0510 was sent to bail them out.

While not from out-of-state, Mark and David got some first-time experience on the layout - shown here operating the Airline Local with steamer #343 which, fortunately, performed like a champ.

MikeS & MikeR were on PDX-2 with the 0669, working the south end of the Valley Line. MikeS and Kevin came from Chicagoland, and MikeR was up from South Carolina.

It looks like they had fun!

Between our anniversary getaway to the Cape last weekend, and then NERPM this weekend, it's been a fun-filled but exhausting week-and-a-half (has that been all it's been??) since the end of my busy time at work, so I'm actually looking forward to a more relaxed pace - and to leveraging all of this great inspiration to get to some modeling and make some more progress on the layout!

Here's hoping you'll stay tuned and be sure to chime in when you can!


  1. Love this recap, Chris. Definitely a fun weekend all around. It was so great to catch up with you and visit your railroad at long last. The layout is fantastic - it did not disappoint! Need to get back up there to operate sometime. I hope to see you down my way this fall... -Todd

    1. Glad the layout was worth the trip Todd! Looking forward to next time we can get together. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to MARPM this year as I'd planned, but hopefully next year!!

  2. Looks like it was lots of fun!

  3. I’m going to make it to that show one day! Cheers 😎