CANCELED – Mini Convention 2020

The SMD has CANCELED the 2020 Mini Con because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The 18 April event will not be rescheduled this calendar year. Subscribe to this blog for future details on the 2021 Mini Con. [-Ed.]

by Pete Clark

What:  Mainline Hobby Supply presents: The SMD Spring Mini Convention.

When:  Saturday, April 18, 2020. Doors open to the public from 9:00 am. to 4:00 pm.  Doors open for set up at 7:00 AM (vendors, modular layouts, clinicians ONLY).

Where:  Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co., located at 13063 Monterey Lane, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214. This venue is directly across the road from Mainline Hobby. Attendees can park, free, to the north side of the fire hall nearest the convention entrance.

For a good time, be part of the Mini-Con!

Join your fellow SMD members in a day of great fun and fellowship. And, oh by the way, spread the joy of model railroading. Saturday April 18 2020, with the support of Mainline Hobby Supply, we will again host the very popular Mini-convention. New members might not know and old members might have forgotten, our format for the event, so allow me a quick review.

Informal clinics; morning: Hopefully 10 folks (You!) will volunteer to give one from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and repeat it again from 11:00 AM to 12:00 noon. Not a formal presentation, just talk about a model railroading topic that’s of interest to you. Bring what you need to have as examples or visual aids. But remember, no projectors, no loudspeakers. It’s just you, talking to the attendees as they walk past your table. The guests are free to stay and talk with you for as long as they like, or move on when they choose. So, don’t think of it as a speech, don’t think of it as public speaking. It’s just you, talking to another interested model railroader, and maybe another will join in.

Note that officially you have an hour break from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. That’s to allow you to get a snack, visit the restroom, look around to see what other clinics are happening.

Then, hopefully, we get 10 other members to give 10 other clinics from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM and again from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM.

We want 20 informal clinics (two groups of 10), so there’s plenty of room for you.

Join in with SMD members and friends like:

  • Dennis Blank, Jr. (Lighting SD40-2’s with LED’s)
  • Bob Johnson (Rolling stock tune up for reliable operations)
  • Jerry Skeim (Structures & modeling water)
  • Andrew Dodge (Building a retirement model railroad)
  • Ken Kime (How to make molds and castings for making hopper cars.)
  • Don Florwick (TBD)
  • Bill  Reynolds (TBD)
  • Gary Nastase (Roadbed and ballasting)
  • Bob Geldmacher (Making pine trees)
  • Bob Morningstar (Make your own current keeper)
  • John Madden (DCC++)
  • Dave Thalman (Weathering & loading coal hoppers)
  • Ron Polimeni (Budget model railroading)
  • Harvey Heyser (Layout design)
  • Lee Rainey (TBD)
  • Jane Clarke (TBD)
  • John Glaab (Working on brass locomotives)
  • John King (Modify Kadee couplers to be more user friendly)
  • Dotti Polimeni (Painting Downtown Deco hydrocal kits)
  • Frank Benenati, Dave Sweeney and Tom Fedor (MARRS modules).

I can hear you saying, “Come on Pete. Look at that list. You must not need me.”  Wrong. We have space for you. More important, Like Uncle Sam says, “I want you!” And the members and guests who will come to the Mini want to see you and learn about the topic that interests you. Many on my list would be happy to give their spot to you, the new guy or gal. We have room for you. Can I make that any clearer?

I can hear you saying, “But I don’t know what to do.”  You may recall me writing this in the past, or saying it at a monthly meeting. “Just bring a model and work on it.”  I really mean it. No-one seems to believe it, but it’s been done and it’s very popular.

Make and take clinics: At 10:00 AM we will also have two “Make and take” clinics. Jeff Grove of Carolina Craftsman Kits will again donate a group of (small, easy) craftsman kits and Mainline will again donate (small, easy) styrene (plastic) DPM – 36000 – modular learning kit. Just like last year we’ll encourage young people by giving them priority on the make & take sign up lists. Also, another way you can help is by bringing tools to loan for these clinics. X-Acto knives, glue, and, well, look for a list of items once our build leaders (Brian Greenawalt, David Sweeney, and Tom Fedor) have had time to think about it.

Modular layouts: We hope to have a modular layout or two set up and running during the morning as well. I’m having better luck this year, and have gotten “probably” from two (Steve Sherrill and Wayne Betty). But we still can use more. So please contact me (Pete Clarke) if you are aware of a modular group and have contact information for that group. Email me at ebtmx5@aol.com or call 301- 253-4913.

Speaking of layouts, Brian Wolfe of Mainline Hobby Supply will have his layout open to tour during the Mini-Con.

Clubs and Societies: This would be a great opportunity to promote your club or historical society! So far, none have signed up. Please contact me to reserve your table at ebtmx5@aol.com or call 301- 253-4913.

For sale: There will be some vendors there with model railroad stuff for sale. Carolina Craftsman Kits, Dwarvin Enterprises (Fiber optic system of lights) and Bob Van Zant (HO locomotives and misc. stuff) have all signed up and we are waiting to hear back from more. And of course, you can, and should, carefully walk across the street to Mainline Hobby Supply. Tell them thanks for supporting this event by making a purchase, and while you are talking to them, say “Thanks for sponsoring the Mini” out loud.

Raffle: Again this year we will purchase a $150 gift certificate from Mainline and sell raffle tickets ($10 each) through the morning. Also, HobbyTown USA – Frederick (Richard Benjamin) has donated a $50 gift certificate that we will give as a door prize. Both of these will happen at 1:00 PM.

Formal clinics: Also, at 1:00 PM we convert from informal to formal clinics. We hope to have a speaker from the Mid-Eastern Region (MER) tell us of the plans for the MER’s annual fall convention. Alex Polimeni will speak on Model railroading as game design, and noted historian and author Lee Rainey will speak on “Shortline Operating Patterns: What to Consider in Designing a Schedule.”

Food: We will have food and beverages on site. This will also be handled by SMD members.

The Mini-Con is almost here. We still need you to make it happen. Please contact me and offer to help. Mostly we need folks to give informal clinics. Everyone who’s done one of these clinics has had a great time. If you have questions, I’d be happy to talk with you about it. There are other things you can do, we’ll need extension cords, tools for the make & take clinics, help at the registration desk, morning set up and afternoon clean up. Just can’t do any of those? Attend, and then tell others about it.

Follow the SMD blog for Mini-Con updates at smdnmra.org.

Annual SMD Spring Mini-Convention

by Pete Clarke

Join your fellow SMD members in a day of great fun and fellowship. And, oh by the way, spread the joy of model railroading. Saturday April 18, 2020, with the support of Mainline Hobby Supply, we will again host the very popular Mini Convention. New members might not know and old members might have forgotten our format for the event, so here’s a quick review.

Informal clinics

We need 10 volunteers to give one from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and repeat it again from 11:00 AM to 12:00 noon. Not a formal presentation, just talk about a model railroading topic that’s of interest to you. Bring what you want to have as examples or visual aids (no projectors, no loudspeakers). It’s just you, talking to the attendees as they walk past your table. The guests are free to stay and talk with you for as long as they like, or move on when they choose. So don’t think of it as a speech or public speaking. It’s just you, talking to another interested model railroader. Note that officially you have an hour break from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. That’s to allow you to get a snack, visit the rest room, and look around to see other clinicians.

More informal clinics

Then we need 10 other members to give 10 other clinics from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM and again from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM. We want 20 informal clinics (two groups of 10), so there’s plenty of room for you. Join in with SMD members and friends like Dennis Blank Jr. (Lighting SD40-2’s with LED’s), Bob Johnson (TBD), Jerry Skeim (Structures/Modeling water), Andrew Dodge (TBD), Bob Law (Using dry transfers), Ken Kime (How to make molds and castings for making hopper cars.), Don Florwick (TBD), Bill Reynolds (TBD), Gary Nastase (Roadbed and ballasting), Bob Geldmacher (Making pine trees), Bob Morningstar (How to make your own Current Keeper), John Madden (DCC++), Dave Thalman (Weathering and Loading Coal Hoppers), Ron Polimeni (Budget model railroading), Harvey Heyser (Layout design), Lee Rainey (TBD), and Jane Clarke (TBD).

I can hear you saying, “Come on Pete.  Look at that list. You must not need me.” Wrong. We have space for you. I’m like Uncle Sam. “I want you.” And the members and guests who will come to the Mini Con want to see you and learn about the topic that interests you.

Although many on the list would be happy to give their spot to you, the new guy, we do have room for you. Can I make that any more clear? I want you!

I can hear you saying, “But I don’t know what to do.” You may recall me writing this in the past, or saying it at a monthly meeting. “Just bring a model and work on it.” I really mean it.  No-one seems to want to believe it, but it’s been done and it’s very popular.

Make And Takes

At 10:00 AM we will also have two “Make and take” clinics. Jeff Grove of Carolina Craftsman Kits (CCK) will again donate a group of (small, easy) craftsman kits and Mainline will again donate (small, easy) styrene (plastic) kits. Just like last year we’ll encourage young people by giving them priority on the make & take sign up lists. Also, another way you can help is by bringing tools to loan for these clinics. X-Acto knives, glue, and, well, look for a list of items once our build leaders have had time to think about it.

Modulars

We hope to have a modular layout or two set up and running during the morning as well. I’m having better luck this year, and have gotten “probably” from two. But we still can use more. So please contact me (Pete Clarke) if you are aware of a modular group and have contact information for that group. Email me at ebtmx5@aol.com or call 301-253-4913.

Vendors

There will be some vendors there with model railroad stuff for sale. Carolina Craftsman Kits, Dwarvin (Fiber optic system of lights) and Bob Van Zant (Misc. stuff) have all signed up and we are waiting to hear back from more. And of course you can, and should, carefully walk across the road to Mainline. Show them your gratitude for supporting this event by making a purchase, and while you are talking to them, say, “Thanks for sponsoring the Mini.” Out loud!

Raffles

Again this year we will purchase a $150 gift certificate from Mainline Hobby Supply and sell raffle tickets ($10 each) through the morning. Also HobbyTown Frederick (SMD member Richard Benjamin) has donated a $50 gift certificate that we will give as a door prize. Both of these will happen at 1:00 PM.

Formal Clinics

Also at 1:00 PM we convert from informal to formal clinics.  We hope to have a speaker from the Mid East Region (MER) tell us of the plans for the MER’s annual fall convention. Alex Polimeni will speak on Model railroading as game design, and noted historian and author Lee Rainey will speak on “Shortline Operating Patterns: What to Consider in Designing a Schedule.”

Food

We will have food on site handled by the SMD.

And that’s just what I know about already.  There’s more in the pipeline, so watch for updates in the spring newsletter.

But we need you to make it happen. Please contact me and offer to help. Mostly we need folks to give informal clinics. Everyone who’s done one of these clinics has had a great time.  If you have questions I’d be happy to talk with you about it. There are other things you can do, we’ll need extension cords, tools for the make & take clinics, help at the registration desk, morning set up and afternoon clean up. Know of a modular group? I’d love to hear from you.  Just can’t do any of those? Attend, tell others about it.

Who:
Mainline Hobby Supply Presents
What:
Eighth Annual SMD Spring Mini-Convention
Where:
Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co.
13063 Monterey Lane, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214
When:
Saturday, April 18, 2020
9:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Why:
For a good time, be part of the Mini-Con!

Mainline Hobby Supply Seeks Layouts for September Open House/Tours

Good day fellow model railroaders.

We would like to know if you are willing to patriciate in this year’s open house layout tours on September 21 & 22, 2019?

Please let us know as, soon as possible, what days and hours your layout will be open. A brief description will be needed or an update if you have any changes in your layout.

Sharing your hobby and interests with others is one way to bring more people into the hobby.

And in advance, Bonnie and I would like to thank each and everyone of you who have helped us out over all these years by opening your homes and clubs.

Thank you,

Brian Wolfe

mainlinehobby@comcast.net

Mainline Hobby Supply

Mini-Con UPDATE

Updates include:
1. Informal clinic presentation by Andy Arnold – Build a diode matrix.
2. White Elephant Table added.
3. Coolers – We will need a few for beverages.
4. Please consider supporting this event. Review the “You can still help” section and let me (Pete) know what you will do to assist.

Submitted by Pete Clarke

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
  • Andy Arnold – Build a diode matrix

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:

  • Carolina Craftsman Kits – Jeff Grove.
  • Foggy Mountain Models – Mark Schreier
  • Nyce Collectables – Railroadiania – Larry Nyce
  • Dwarvin Enterprises – Lighting without Wiring  – Michael Groves
  • SMD members Grant Berry, Bob VanZant, and David Sweeney will have things for sale.
  • White Elephant Table
    1. Bring RR-related items you’d like to sell.
    2. Include a list of the items with the price you’ll sell it for.
    3. A SMD member will man the table and  make the sale for you.
    4. Unsold items not claimed by the end of the event will be thrown away.
    5. No charges or fees, but consider a donation to the SMD if you use this service.

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).
  • Coolers – We will need a few for beverages.
  • Volunteer – Help manage the white elephant table.
  • 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 these, 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!

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!