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Clinics at MARPM19

Some of the clinics to be presented at MARPM19.  More to come... subject to change!

Chris Adams

A Day on the Valley Local

Take a ride on THE VALLEY LOCAL as it does its work on a typical day in the late 1940s. Using photographs from the New Haven Railroad Historical & Technical Association Photo Library and the personal collections and recollections of John Wallace and Max Miller, we will follow New Haven Railroad local freight extra HDX-7 down the Connecticut River Valley through the towns of Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Cromwell, and Middletown. If we have time (and the switch list warrants) we may even make it further south.

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Mike Baker

HO Vehicle Modeling

Among the various HO scale vehicle kits on the market, the Jordan Highway Miniatures are some of the most popular.  These finely detailed kits can also be difficult to assemble.  Modelers will be presented with examples showing techniques that produce excellent results.  Other manufacturers' high quality plastic, resin & white metal kits will be discussed.

Mike Baker

Making of the Hot Springs Opera House in HO Scale

Follow along from research, sketches, scale drawings and finally the model build.  The completed model was built from all ABS plastic and styrene.  The front façade features layered styrene detail.

David Bott

Ghost White Toner: a friendly alternative to the ALPS for printing your own white decals

In this “hands on” clinic, you will learn what you need and the steps to take to print custom white waterslide decals using an off-the-shelf color laser printer and blank decal paper available today. Dave Bott has been printing custom white decals at home since 1999, first using an ALPS and now using Ghost White Toner. He will bring his laptop and HP printer to show you how you can do the same. He will present some models that used Ghost White Toner decals. If your project is simple enough to create, or you bring your own artwork on a CD or USB thumb-drive, he’ll help you print a simple white decal that you can take home and use.

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Doug Chapman

Using the ICC Railroad Valuation Series to Build Prototype Models

During the era of World War One, the federal government ordered a comprehensive survey of American railroads.  This survey, known as the Railroad Valuation Series (RVS), generated over 125,000 thousand highly detailed right of way maps, documented and inventoried millions railroad buildings and bridges (architectural drawings and photographs exist for many buildings, and compiled rosters of steam locomotives and rolling stock.  These documents are in the possession of the National Archives and are accessible to model railroaders.  Using materials from the RVS, this clinic will: 1) identify the vast array of railroad documentation presently available, 2) provide participants with a step-by-step process for accessing these materials, and 3) inspire the modeler to create a more historically accurate version of a scale railroad.

Ted Culotta

Creating Artwork for Decals

With the proliferation of print at home and one sheet commercial options, many people can now create professional quality artwork to letter their models. Here's a primer on how to create that artwork.

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Ted Dilorio, Ralph Hess, & Dave Ramos

'Quick and Easy' Steam Era Weathering

Are you one of those pre-graffiti era modelers who has been interested in making your models more realistic looking like the modern era guys do, but don't know where to start, or are maybe even afraid you might "ruin" one of your more expensive cars?  Well, don't be afraid anymore! Join steam and transition era modelers Ralph Heiss and Ted DiIorio as they demonstrate AND allow you to try out all the popular mediums you've read about in the hobby press like Pan Pastels, watercolor pencils, Copic pens, MIG washes, and pigments to quickly and easily dirty up your fleet without taking forever to do it. All you need is your creativity, questions, and a car or two of your own to experiment on, and Ted and Ralph will provide the rest. 

Andrew Dodge, MMR

Operating a Model Railroad Based on the Prototype

This clinic will review that through creative problem solving techniques the modeler can achieve excellent results and overcome the limitations imposed on our attempts to follow the prototype’s operations.  While not being able to replicate the prototype, one can certainly go a long way in simulating ones chosen railroad.  Such topics as space issues, prototype rules, paperwork, job assignments, and timetable scheduling will be examined.  Although the railroad to be reviewed will be the Colorado Midland circa 1897, the same issues will be applicable to any railroad at any time.  

Paul Dolkos

Photographing Your Model Railroad

Paul has been a railfan and model railroader all his life and also has a keen interest in photography. He’s found that the two interests are complementary. In this clinic he will talk not just about documenting a layout for posterity or for publication but also its use as a modeling tool. He’ll cover the technical aspects; equipment used, lighting, depth of field and other basics. Then he’ll talk about the artistic aspects of creating images with examples of some of his favorite photos of many different layouts. 

Jim Dufour

Modeling What I Missed – The Boston & Maine Railroad’s Cheshire Branch in HO Scale

A brief look at the history of the Cheshire Branch along with a discussion of Jim’s endeavor to model “a slice” of the it (five consecutive stations) in HO scale ca. 1948.

Butch Eyler

Weathering Freight Cars and Other Objects

Butch's clinic will be on the weathering of freight cars, and maybe a structure or two, using gouache, acrylics, some oils, pastel and watercolor pencils, and other techniques he's used along the way. He'll also talk about his process for ghost lettering and describe some techniques for bulging freight cars. 

John Greene

Building HO Scale Passenger Cars

This clinic will present John's easy-to-follow methods for building HO Scale passenger cars using laser cut wood. plastic and resin parts, and 3D printed parts, with an focus on using Bethlehem Car Works and Branchline parts.

Bill Hanley

Demystifying Resin Freight Car Kits

Over the years, many of us have accumulated resin freight car kits with the intention of someday getting around to building them.  Weeks turn into months, then years while these kits are still sitting patiently in their boxes.  While we have been accumulating kits, the quality and ease of construction have improved greatly.  Many are now offered as one-piece bodies.  In this clinic, we’ll show you the tools you’ll need along with the steps and techniques needed to turn these kits into rolling stock for your layout.  Along the way, you’ll expand your modeling skills.  This clinic will be followed by another clinic of the “hands-on” variety where we will build the same kit shown in the accompanying photo.  

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Bill Hanley

Hands-On Building a Resin Freight Car Kit

Participants will construct a Funaro & Camerlengo B&M Boxcar kit (#6007) as shown in the accompanying photo. Please purchase a kit at the special MARPM price of $25.00 on the REGISTRATION page and plan to bring your own parts and tools listed here:

Parts List

  1. Couplers – Kadee #178 or equivalent

  2. Trucks – Kadee #500 or equivalent

  3. Turnbuckles – Tichy #8021

  4. Phosphor Bronze Wire – Tichy 0.010 & 0.0125

  5. Brake Levers – Cal Scale #494

  6. Lead Weights – A-Line ¼ oz #13000


Tools List

  1. Self Healing cutting mat

  2. X-Acto Knife with fresh #11 blade

  3. Screw Driver – flat blade

  4. Styrene glue and fine brush

  5. CA Glue

  6. Pin Vise with #61-80 drill bits

  7. Sprue Cutters

  8. Emory Board (nail file) or sanding sticks

  9. Modeler's needle nose pliers

  10. Tweezers

  11. Optivisors (optional)​

Bill will have a limited number of detail kits for sale for those who can't find them.

Eric Hansmann

The B&O Allegheny Yard Branch, circa 1926

We open a window back in time to discuss a forgotten B&O branch in Pittsburgh. You will be surprised with this six-mile branch. It offers inspiration and ideas for an operations-oriented layout.

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Todd Hermann

Modeling the Lehigh & New England RR's Catasauqua Branch: Gateway to Pennsylvania’s “Cement Belt”

Served by five different railroads all seeking a piece of the traffic created by over a dozen nearby cement mills, the small town of Catasauqua, Pennsylvania was a vital interchange gateway for Lehigh & New England Railroad.   This clinic will explore the rail history and operations of the area and introduce my on-going attempt to design and build an HO scale layout focused on the LNE's Catasauqua Branch circa the summer of 1956. 

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Benjamin Hom

New York Central System Open Hoppers 1919-1967

Contrary to the image projected by Al Perlman's "Road to the Future" campaign, the New York Central System (NYCS) handled significant coal, ore, and mineral traffic, making up 28% of total gross freight revenue in 1950.  Unfortunately for the modeler, the NYCS freight car fleet is little understood, hampered by a complex railroad lot system and lack of published analysis identifying what modelers actually need.  In this clinic, Ben Hom will present an overview of the NYCS open hopper fleet from the end of World War I to the eve of the Penn Central merger, identify the most common cars, and make modeling recommendations to better represent this major railroad's car fleet on your layout.


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Tom Jacobs

Realizing the Reading, 2.5: The continuing saga of my 1970's Reading Company layout

Since 2012, Tom Jacobs has been designing and constructing a large HO scale layout based on the Reading Company's "Crossline" between Allentown and Harrisburg.  Set in the early 1970s, the layout is housed in a purpose-built 20x36 pole building.  Nearing completion of initial construction and trackwork, Tom will share insights regarding the prototype, the design process, key layout features, plans for operations, and the many lessons learned during his 7-year journey to model the railroad to which he has deep personal and family connections.

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Bernie Kempinski

USMRR Aquia Line: A high tech approach to a 19th century railroad

How do you model an ancient steam railroad when little commercial product is available? This talk will describe how Bernie used some of the latest technology and techniques to build his 19th Century Civil War O scale railroad. He’ll cover laser cutting, photo etching, 3D printing, spin casting, battery powered locomotives, and a microprocessor controlled telegraph system.

Bernie Kempinski

Hands-on Soldering

Bernie will demonstrate soldering techniques for brass and stainless steel.

Bryan Kidd

The Chesapeake & Ohio at Alleghany, Virginia: A Book and a Model Railroad

“Big things in small packages” – an apt description for Alleghany, Virginia. 

Located at the summit of the Eastern Continental Divide on the Chesapeake & Ohio’s busy Alleghany Subdivision between Clifton Forge, VA and Hinton, WV, Alleghany had an importance far exceeding its diminutive size and out-of-the-way location. With as many as 30-40 trains passing through or stopping each day, and pusher engines cutting off and turning on the turntable for their return moves, Alleghany was an unsurpassed beehive of activity. 

Bryan Kidd’s clinic is based on his recently released book, The Chesapeake & Ohio at Alleghany, VA (C&O Historical Society, 2018). It will cover the evolution of this operationally fascinating place and how it is being modeled as part of his Alleghany Subdivision.

Randy Laframboise

Rutland Railroad Mainline Subdivision Wayfreight 1952

A trip along the Rutland mainline Subdivision using modeled and prototype photos of BR-2, the southbound way freight between Burlington and Rutland, in September 1952. Discussion will include modelling techniques, industries served, and prototype practices.

Marty McGuirk

Scratchbuilding Prototype Structures

This clinic will offer tips and techniques to convert the fuzzy photo of that obscure prototype structure you stumbled across into a model. We’ll cover research (What questions to ask, and where to find the answers), Dimensioning from photos, Laying out the parts, Assembly, Filling in the gaps (in your knowledge - and on the model!), Modeling and modifying doors and windows, Illuminating thoughts, Roofing tips, and painting and weathering, and planting the building in the scene. 

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Lance Mindheim

Model Railroading As Art

In addition to the enjoyment we get from building and operating our layouts, we can also do so through the simple act of viewing them—in other words, thinking of them as we would a piece of art.  If we do so, then the same principles used in the art world can be applied.   The clinic covers subjects such as color treatment, scene composition, backdrops, and photographic presentation, and has been significantly updated since previous presentations.

Mike Pulaski

The Mohawk & Hudson, Fifteen Years of Proto-Freelance Modeling

A description of the concept, design, construction, and modeling of a proto-freelanced road in upstate New York that includes building an HO scale double-deck layout for the first time, moving, then staying with the same concept and building a new and improved version with a larger footprint a second time around. The clinic includes a discussion on creating a believable corporate paint scheme on motive power and freight cars, along with creating a credible roster of equipment.

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Dave Ramos

New York Harbor - 11 Years of Operations

Changes have been made throughout that time to keep operations fresh and manageable.  The railroad had its first of five shakedowns in the Spring of 2008.  Over the years Dave has made many changes to both the infrastructure and the paperwork to smooth out operations on the railroad, from a massive reconstruction and addition of twin staging decks to the revamping of the paperwork that makes the layout work. The New York Harbor is actually four separate layouts that interact with each other. The current scheme is a twenty-four hour day by day schedule that started operations on January 1st 1947 and is currently on January 30th, 1947.

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Dave Ramos

DIY - DCC Command Station. (DCC++)

Dave recently built a standalone DCC system using an Arduino, a power shield, and a Raspberry Pi for a cost of under $100. This extremely portable system will also allow him to eventually build a portable 1920 Lehigh Valley's 27th Street Freight Terminal (before the Lehigh Starrett was built).

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Ramon Rhodes

Santa Fe Railway in Chicago during the 1990s.

This fast-paced and in-depth look at Santa Fe Railway operations in its final years centers on the Chicago metropolitan area. Using hundreds of photographs, maps, and graphs, we will take a look at the trains, industries, and traffic, as well as the new developments in the industry that defined Santa Fe operations during the last 5 years of the railroad's existence.

Richard Shulby

Custom Turnouts on Glass

This is a seminar on how to build complex trackwork for any situation, without expensive tools or jigs. Richard started building his own turnouts in the late 1960s to save money, and over the years has incorporated ideas learned from others. The techniques herein can be used to create custom configurations in various scales and gauges, using commercially available rail of any code (size). Construction can be accomplished comfortably at the workbench, and then installed in the final location much in the same manner as any standard turnout. The process involves constructing the turnouts on a sheet of plate glass, and is presented in a step-by-step manner.

Jesse Smith

A Trip Across the Road: Russell to Clifton Forge, VA as a C&O Locomotive Engineer

By the end of his 38-year career as locomotive engineer for C&O, Chessie and CSX, Jesse Smith was running the “single stack” container train between Russell, KY and Clifton Forge, VA.  Through his experiences and photography, we’ll ride the engine on a typical trip east along the Kanawha and New Rivers and across the Alleghany mountains.  We’ll look at the train, the route, the lifestyle, and even today’s General Electric computer program that “automatically runs the train” for part of the trip.  It’s just another day on the railroad.  All aboard!

Travers Stavac

B&O at Locust Point: Mid Century

Historical perspective and development of the Baltimore Terminal Sub-Division of the Baltimore Division of the B&O Railroad, focusing on the Locust Point Branch. Covering how it fits into the system and Sub-Division, including the Riverside Engine Terminal and its facilities and structures; the Municipal Harbor Belt Railroad, industries and organization; local industries along the branch; the coal pier and its 'Hopper Yard'; the grain elevator and associated facilities; B&O's Marine Terminal and port facilities; float traffic in the harbor; the banana business and icing facilities; a review of yard and branch operations; and the decline of railroad at Locust Point.

Mat Thompson, MMR

Evolving Operations at a Meat Packing Plant

The Swift Packing Plant on my Oregon Coast Railroad was designed to keep a two-person crew busy for an entire operating session. This clinic will cover how the plant, corrals and other structures were built and the evolution of the track plan. The operating scheme will be explained to include dealing with multiple car moves within the facility and the decisions made about which prototype procedures to include and which to ignore.

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Download the Ships and Boats presentation

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