Clinic Program

Operating a Steam Locomotive in Poland

by Stan Ames

Poland still has one route that uses regularly scheduled mainline steam in daily service.  Better yet,  you can take a one-week course and learn to operate these locomotives as Stan did.  The clinic describes Stan's experience and explains how using this new knowledge can change the way we operate our model railroads.

If you have not actually operated a steam locomotive, here's a chance to learn from Stan's experience in Poland.

Soldering Brass

by George Barrett

This new Power Point presentation by the Sheepscot Scale Products owner and long-time contributor of modeling clinics offers some hands-on soldering experience to allow you to get the feel of the methods, tools, and materials covered earlier in the clinic.  The clinic is designed to teach and build your confidence working with brass and other materials you can solder to build models of machinery, scenery items, and structures.  The clinic is a must for new modelers and any of us who could use a refresher course.

Modeling Rope and Cable

by George Barrett

George has developed a number of tricks for making cables look real by using the proper string, painting and anchoring them correctly, attaching hooks and slings so that they will remain straight and appear under the strain of a load.  Overhead hoists, chain falls, cranes with hooks and blocks are common means for unloading or loading a variety of commodities and add to a modeled scene.  This new Power Point presentation and demonstration clinic will help you deal with a common frustration in modeling rope and cable.

Prototype Structure Modeling

by Brian and Jill Bollinger

Brian and Jill have produced structure kits since 1996 and will show their process for prototype modeling.  Topics include research (online, on site and photographs), selective compression, modeling from photographs when exact measurements are not available, aging structures and other techniques.  The focus will be on single-build vs. for manufacturing production.

The clinic will conclude with a discussion session to exchange ideas and ask questions.  This is one of several clinics aimed at offering a chance to improve your structures modeling skills and this one will help anyone trying to document models for contests or the Achievement Program.

Improving Rolling Stock for Better Performance and Appearance

by Rich Breton

The objective of this new clinic is to allow modelers to make used or older rolling stock perform better and be compatible with current rolling stock offerings.  Covered are the selection process of the equipment and basic instruction on modifying trucks, wheel sets and couplers to achieve more reliable performance. The clinic also will cover how to make this same equipment more realistic and closer to prototype with simple additions with concentration on brake components and basic model applications.  The clinic is a logical lead-in to Bill Stinson’s clinic on Improving Freight Car Appearance.  This should be of interest to the beginning modelers and those interested in viewing a clinic based on new NMRA clinic training recommendations.

Digital Photography in Model Railroading

by Bill Brown, MMR

This clinic will take you step by step using your own digital photos for maximum effect with your modeling. Bill will offer several tips for taking quality photos, then show you how to use them for many modeling purposes. Topics will include using photos for building sides, signs, background buildings, building interiors, and full photo backdrops. This workshop was first given in the spring of 2012 at the Mid Central Region convention in Pittsburgh to a packed house.

High Quality Fall Trees for Pennies

by Bill Brown, MMR

This clinic will take viewers through a process of creating high quality fall-colored trees for very little cost. We will also spend some time studying fall foliage in order to create a realistic blending for creating a natural forest. Clinic first given at West Springfield during 2013 train show.

Quincy Station Make and Take

by Dave Camber

Dave is offering a make-and-take clinic using Creative Laser Design's Quincy Station kit.  The kit is available in N, HO, S and O scales.  Please see pricing in Extra Fare programs on the registration form. Attendance is limited.

TOOL LIST:  Hobby knife; tweezers; tools for glue assembly (weights, small square, clamps, gluing jig - your favorites).  Dave will bring some weights and gluing surfaces.

The clinic covers construction up to painting and final assembly including assembly of hip roofs, laser cut doors and windows. If you have not worked with laser kits, this is your chance; with instruction.

You MUST pre-register! Your registration number will be used to determine priority for participation.

More Advanced Techniques for Building Laser Kits

by Dave Camber

The clinic includes component assembly such as stairs and chimneys in addition to windows and doors.  The clinic uses Creative Laser Design's Lyndonville Freight House kit and includes the "trough mold assembly" used in the kit.  A trough mold is a somewhat reusable mold for casting your own simulated stone foundations with Hydrocal or plaster of Paris.

This is an expansion of the techniques in Dave's make-and-take clinic and attendance is not limited.  Another chance to improve your structures modeling techniques.

JMRI Overview

by Ken Cameron

Although this is labeled a clinic it is also an update on a rapidly expanding and changing area of the hobby. JMRI (Java Model Railroading Interface) is a "state of the art", open source program for model railroad hobbyists.  JMRI is a suite of tools distributed via a single download.  The presentation is targeted to show you the areas that JMRI may help you.  Ken will cover DecoderPro, PanelPro and Operations so you get a clear idea of the many features the software may provide.

Current State of NMRAnet/Open LCB

by Ken Cameron

This clinic will provide a basic view of how the new NMRAnet S-9.7 works and the relation to the OpenLCB project.  NMRAnet is an evolving standard to provide a multi-vendor interconnection for the rest of your layout parts for the next thirty years.  Explanations of the concepts, direction the project is proceeding, and demonstration of example hardware will be shown.

The clinic is designed to keep you updated on the changes that are occurring.

Organizing your Layout for an Operating Session 

by Andy Clermont, MMR

Many of us have participated in operating sessions, but it is a fairly large leap to host an operating session on your own layout. Andy Clermont will offer his methods used to host regular operating sessions that he has developed over several years of experience for a layout based on the Rutland Railroad in northern New York at the end of its existence.

He will explain the practices he employs to make regular operating sessions easier and to keep operations realistic and an enjoyable experience for guest operators.  The other important part of this clinic is learning how to manage an operating session so you as the host can enjoy it too!

A Trip on the Lakeshore Railroad Through Old Photographs

by Marty Cornelissen

Marty is a very active member of the Alton, New Hampshire Historical Society and has been involved in preserving Lakeshore Railroad structures and artifacts as a result.  He has accumulated a collection of photos related to the former Lakeshore Railroad that ran between Alton and Laconia with over twenty station stops.  The railroad that eventually became part of the B&M system is now gone. 

Also included are photos of the Gilford Railroad that existed in an amusement park up to the 1960's.  Some of the narrow gauge equipment reportedly still exists at the Boothbay Railway Museum.  The presentation should appeal to history buffs as well as model railroaders.  The presentation will be located in the ground floor lounge.

Signs for Structures

by Jack Ellis

Signs add personality and interest to structures.  Jack's new clinic will cover how to produce your own signs.

This clinic will cover the different sign types and how to reproduce them for model structures.  It includes how to design your own signs on the computer.  You can produce billboards, marquees, and signs painted on the sides of buildings. Also covered: stencils, weathered signs, and a few tricks with printed papers.

This is a Power Point and hands on clinic.

Getting Started Scratch Building Structures

by Jack Ellis

This is a new clinic and as part of the Convention's clinic structures concentration offers the insight of an experienced structures modeler.

The clinic includes how to scale a prototype structure from picture. It covers what you need and how to make a drawing to build from. There will be discussion of where to locate your scratch building supplies as well as materials that are available.

If you are a kit builder you may already have many of the skills. Combine this clinic and that offered by Brian & Jill Bollinger and you gain a lot of knowledge in this area.

Delaware and Hudson Rutland Branch

by Mike Evans

This Power Point presentation will investigate the twenty-four mile Rutland branch between Whitehall, NY and Rutland, VT.  Much of what was there in the 1950s no longer exists today and Mike has had, in many cases, to rely on research sources that he will explain.  He has also added to this clinic ideas for a modular or Free-mo approach for this very "model-able" branch.

MV Mount Washington

by Dr. Bruce Heald

Bruce Heald has authored or edited numerous books on the Mount Washington, Boston & Maine Railroad, and Lakes Region historical subjects and has worked on the Mount Washington for over forty years.  His presentation centers on the Mount Washington and its history from a unique and personal perspective.  Anyone planning to cruise on the MV Mount Washington during the convention should find this very interesting.  The presentation will be located in the ground floor lounge.

The Laconia Car Co., 1848-1931

by Warren Huse

A number of people have asked if we would have coverage of this significant local manufacturer of rail equipment - we will!  Warren D. Huse, local historian in Laconia, N.H., will give an overview of this manufacturer of rolling stock for steam railroads and, later, trolley lines (to include subway cars). He will illustrate his remarks with photographs of surviving buildings of the company and examples of its products. His presentation will draw on work by O.R. Cummings, noted railroad and trolley authority, and on his own research into the newspapers of Laconia, covering the past 125 years.

Adding Signaling to a Modular Layout

by Dick Johannes

Learn how signaling is being added to the HUB Division’s modular layout.  Slides from two prior clinics on the process can be found on the HUB Division’s website  This clinic is the culmination of over two years of testing done prior to adding signals to the modular layout. 

HUB used CATS (“Crandic Automated Traffic System”) and JMRI (“Java model railroad interface”) open source software to communicate with the layout. JMRI has many advantages including support for use of smart phones as throttles via WiThrottle. CATS provided a highly prototypical modern CRT panel that they were looking for. HUB tested several hardware choices for signaling and the clinic will demonstrate that with films embedded in a Power Point presentation showing the results.

The key to this effort was defining each module as a self-contained signaled model railroad and linking them in any arbitrary order. This will be explained.  This clinic is a great chance to learn from others' efforts.

Jazzing Up Your Layout

by Pete Magoun, MMR

Pete's clinic focuses on jazzing up your layout to make it stand out from the norm.  The clinic is about adding small details and mini scenes that grab visual interest.  While commercial details and figures add to the scene, Pete will show you how to add inexpensive personal touches and scratch built small details that take a layout out of the ordinary.  He'll show examples from other layouts he has seen as well as present some of his own ideas.

Building A Layout Based on the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR)

by Peter McKenney

Now that I have actually started building a layout based on the BAR, I am able to offer a slightly different perspective than in my presentation at the Warwick Convention.  The clinic covers the highlights of the 111-year history of the BAR in northern Maine.  You will see pictures of major locations, locomotives and examples of the research resources that allow a model layout designer to pick an era, and select elements to include in a design that will emphasize operations.   This is an update of the 2011 clinic and contains more research examples and a multi-level track plan.

The Covered Bridge Railroad of Vermont 

by Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara has a passion for model railroading in Northern New England.  Just Google “Model Railroad Mike McNamara” or go to his web site for a sample. You may have heard Mike on the Internet podcast “The Model RailCast Show” in the Railroads of Northern New England segment covering the prototype railroads.

Mike will share some of the historical research he has done on the St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad and its successors. He will also show you how he has incorporated the 1980's era Lamoille Valley Railroad into his home layout set primarily in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. 

He will highlight how he included notable features and made compromises to maintain the feel of the prototype and its connecting railroads.  The clinic is an expansion of that offered in Burlington, VT in 2010. Mike will also cover how the railroad would work well as one or more Free-mo modules.

If you have a modeling interest in short line railroads, Northern New England, or this prototype, this clinic will entertain.

Maine Central Freight Traffic and Equipment

by George & Kathy Melvin

The clinic chronicles Maine Central freight traffic by commodity with emphasis on the changes from the mid 1950s into the 1960s, such as the decline in coal traffic and increase in piggyback traffic.  Photos of representative equipment used for each commodity will be shown, as well as photos of some of the industries along the railroad. The changes from mostly steam era equipment to newer and larger cars coming into use in the 1960s will be illustrated.  The presentation was done for the Rail Prototype Modelers meet in Naperville, IL a year ago.

The Alco Experience

by Rudy Slovacek

This clinic will give a thumbnail sketch of ALCO diesel history beginning with the pre-war HH 600 which was designed to replace the 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 steam switchers in yards.  Picture examples will cover some of the more successful and popular models, as well as some of the rarities on the development path to large M 636s produced in Canada. These will be paired with the prime mover sounds from actual HO models equipped to faithfully reproduce members of the ALCO family of hard working diesel locomotives.  You will have to excuse the Inside Activities Director for a while at the convention - he will be attending this clinic. This Clinic has only been presented in the HUB Division.

Short Lines of New Hampshire 1950s - 1960s

by Dwight Smith, MMR

A photographic look back at the intriguing short line railroads that once operated within the State of New Hampshire.  See the Berlin Mills Railway, Suncook Valley Railroad, Springfield Terminal Railway, Claremont Electric Railway, Barre & Chelsea Railroad, East Branch and Lincoln Railroad and others including the unique Mount Washington Cog Railway.  A new clinic by the man who was there at the right time to take the photos.

Where in the Heck Are Those Freight Cars Going?

by Dwight Smith, MMR

My Power Point presentation will feature 1950's era freights cars commonly seen at a variety of loading and unloading facilities.  Learn how to give your freight cars purpose on your layout. I will explain a super-simple waybill system that I use for each car using 3x5 index cards that last for a long time.  This is a newly revised version of Dwight's clinic steeped in his vocation and interest in this area.

Improving Freight Car Appearance

by Bill Stinson

The clinic features how to convert simple kits and ready to run models into models close to contest quality.  It includes removing molded-on features, adding wire steps and coupler lift bars, tuning trucks, and adding general details. Painting and weathering with powders and oils will be covered as well as materials sources.  You may recall Bill's structures clinics. This is a new clinic Bill has developed and is a logical progression after seeing Rich's Breton's clinic.

123-DCC An Introduction to DCC

by Bruce Stockdale

Bruce's clinic is designed for both beginners and those who want to refresh their knowledge of DCC.

This clinic starts with the basics of DCC, its components, and how they work together to create a functional model train control system.  The clinic will show how to combine the components, like adding decoders to locos, as well as provide details on the proper way to wire a layout for DCC operations.  The clinic will cover simple as well as complex layouts, including special considerations like turnouts and reversing loops.  A variety of equipment from several manufacturers will be on display for everyone to see.  This clinic provides you with the background to better appreciate the more advanced DCC clinics being offer at the convention.

The clinic is offered in series with Ken Cameron's "Current State of NMRA/Open LCB" and Dick Johannes' "Adding Signaling to a Modular Layout" for those wanting a DCC concentration.

Electronics for Dummies

by Michael Tylick

This clinic attempts to explain the basics of electricity and provide some understanding of what they are talking about in the hobby press and the instruction sheets.  We will explore some simple circuits with a particular emphasis on structure lighting.  This new clinic being delivered for the first time covers some of the things you wish you remembered from physics class.  It includes a very good handout.

Let’s Build a Laser Kit

by Michael Tylick

In this Power Point clinic we will discuss the necessary tools and materials along with some timely tips for making your first laser kit a success.  We’ll end with some finishing techniques and examples of some easy ways to modify your model into something unique. This is a new clinic for the Northeastern Region.

Modeling New England Passenger Trains 

by James Van Bokkelen

This clinic provides information on resources and references for modeling passenger services of New England railroads based on James' experience, with visuals and completed models.  He'll show how to use RTR, kits and kitbashing to represent many pre-Amtrak prototype trains.  He'll also present an outline history of car builders supplying New England.

If you have an interest in modeling Northeast railroad passenger service and wish to build or modify equipment to fit your needs, this clinic should be especially interesting to you.

Boston and Maine Images and Stories

by James Van Bokkelen

James will offer a presentation based on historical images of the Boston and Maine Railroad including rolling stock, structures and signals with emphasis on the final years of the railroad’s existence. James started taking slides of the B&M about 1978, but most of the show will be from 1980 - 1983.  He's been riding, and studying this railroad since 1964.

James is modeling the B&M Eastern Route in HO and has created a website with a huge amount of B&M historical information.

The presentation will be located in the ground floor lounge.