Clinics and Presentations

We are still accepting proposals for clinics and presentation. If you are interested, please contact Jerry Krueger by email at: [email protected]

If you registered for the convention prior to 2/6/2024, you will receive an email on how to register for Modeling with the Masters. Otherwise you can can do so at the time of registering for the convention.

extra fare clinics

Modeling with the Masters: Painting & Weathering with Inexpensive Craft Acrylic Paint
Fred Soward MMR ● Sam Swanson MMR ● Bob Weinheimer MMR ● Steve Zapytowski MMR

This hands-on clinic is focused on developing skills in painting and weathering models using a three-step process, including base-color painting, staining for shadows, and drybrushing for highlights. Each of these steps will be undertaken using common brushes and craft-style acrylic paints. Attendees should bring their small structures (built or unbuilt), details or figures, or rolling stock (preferably with wood sheathing, such as a boxcar or stock car) to be painted. Three models maximum are recommended. Each model or components to be painted should be primed with a flat overcoat (paint or Dullcote), particularly if the model is plastic, to facilitate adherence of the craft acrylics. Brushes and paints will be provided, but attendees can bring their own, should guidance on various brush and paints be desired. Practice models will also be available, should attendees want to try various techniques prior to working on their own models. The cost of the clinic is $20, which includes all work-station materials. We’ll meet over a 3-hour period to thoroughly cover basic techniques and as time allows, any advanced techniques attendees are interested in can be worked on as well. Limited to 12 participants

Modeling with the Masters: Weathering with PanPastels
Steve Zapytowski MMR● Fred Soward MMR

This is a three-hour hands-on clinic dealing with PanPastels for the weathering of all types of models. Participants need to bring no more than of three of their own models, structures, rolling stock, figures, etc., for weathering during the clinic. Models do not need to be fully assembled as parts may be weathered separately before final assembly. Some sample pieces will be provided by the instructors. Instruction on a variety of tools will be available including sponges, blending stumps, eye shadow applicators, color shapers, make-up brushes, and kneaded erasers. Participants must purchase PanPastels set 30102, approximately $50 from Amazon. The convention fee for the clinic is $10.00 per participant. Limited to 12 participants.

Master List Of Clinics and Presentations
(updated 2/10/2024)

The Evolution of the F Unit
Bram Bailey

This clinic describes the initial production of the General Motors FT unit and the evolution of that product line all the way to the F9. We take a side trip to understand why the FP7/FP9 series were developed and how they differ from the standard models. The differences between American (EMD) and Canadian (GMD) produced models will be reviewed. Part of this clinic is a tutorial on how the various sub-systems of these units interact and the changes made over the production cycles. We will also discuss General Motors’ innovative marketing strategies to ween the railroads off of Steam in favor of Diesel power. This clinic does not include the specialized dual power FL9…which could be a stand alone clinic by itself.

Building the Ontario Central Railway
Bram Bailey

The Ontario Central Railway is an HO proto-freelanced Provincially Chartered Railway operating in Northern Ontario, Canada in 1968.  The layout is 52’ x 32’ and is 70% double decked.   Motive power is predominantly Alco/MLW.  The main focus of the layout is to replicate prototypical operation. The clinic will cover the following topics: 

>Influences in creating the Ontario Central

>Layout Design

>Layout Construction





> Motive Power

>Rolling Stock

>Train descriptions


Wheels, Track & Gauges
Brian Barnt

Description pending

Operations on the Rehoboth Valley RR
Kenton Colvin

This clinic covers the design and operational concepts for a 10 ft x 17 ft completed HO model railroad. This railroad offers a 5-track hidden staging area of the PRR. The PRR interchanges with the RVRR at Covetown. The RVRR then services 5 additional towns with a total of 23 industries. This switching layout offers 12 daily trains (8 freight and 4 passenger). There are 6 Rehoboth Valley Railroad and 6 PRR trains operating using car cards.

How Railroads Impacted WWI
Kenton Colvin

Railroads had a tremendous impact on both the start and especially the end of WW I. Learn about Germany’s Schlieffen Plan to begin the war and how the railroad caused Germany to stop the war. This clinic discusses the state of the railroad industry at the start of the war and use of the railroads to Railroad’s War Board, United States Railroad Administration (USRA), Railway Administration Act and much more. Railroad and 6 PRR trains operating using car cards.

Visions of the Chessie System
Keith DeVault

This clinic will showcase the Chessie System in and around West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania and Maryland starting in 1973. It will show the historic places like Grafton, WV, Sand Patch and Connellsville in Pa, along with Cumberland and Oakland Md along with other locations.

B&O Mountain Sub - The Cumberland
Keith DeVault

This clinic will showcase the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to today’s CSX as it relates to the famous West End, or Mountain Subdivision. It will show steam locomotives to today’s diesels. It will highlight the experience and the many stories that this line has had over more than 100 years of railroading.

Let's Get Real
Joe Filipiak

A seasoned art instructor-layout owner. Joe will view the many aspects of a model railroad layout and how to add to, refine some, or even delete something to enhance the realistic look of you layout. A safe way to have active “smoke” coming out of your industrial smoke stacks will also be shown.

Shrinking Circleville
Matt Goodman

Description pending

W&LE Locomotive Fleet
Jim Hill

Description pending

Unstoppable - From the Railroad's perspective
Jim Hill

Description pending

Cleveland 101
Jerry Jordak

Description pending

Timetable & Train Order Operations Primer
David Keith

HAVOC is here at the convention to provide so you can play in a TT&TO playground. If you have fears about even playing on HAVOC, this clinic will ease your trepidation. The clinic is not specific to HAVOC but a general education. It will introduce you to the fundamentals of TT&TO and step through the running of an extra train. Learn what trains are simplest to run and what trains are most challenging. On HAVOC you can run trains of all sorts and even be a station operator or train to be a dispatcher. With HAOVAC on site, you can immediately apply what you learned in the clinic.

Member Slide Night
Jerry Krueger

On Thursday evening, May 16, we will have an open projector night for attendees to share some of their past adventures railfanning and researching for the modeling and layouts. We will have both a laptop and projector available for those that have digital photos to present and an old school slide projector. If someone has old 8mm film, a projector can be provided (please contact the clinic chair in advance if needed). The slide projector is a stack projector, not a carousel projector. Please try to limit your grouping to 30-40 slides to give everyone a chance to present. Multiple groupings can be presented if time permits. Go through your photos and pick a theme. Everyone is welcome.

Modeling the Walthers Ethanol Plant
Ron Morgan

The clinic describes the structures that make up an ethanol plant, the process involved in creating ethanol, what happens to the by-product, space required for structures, and the railroad equipment that is used to manufacture ethanol. The clinic reviews the Walthers’ Ethanol Plant series to model a manufacturing facility.

Mid-Central Region BOD Meeting
Dave Neff

Board of Director’s / General Membership Meeting

Keeping Your Group Engaged
Fred Soward

Description pending

The Many Lives of the Santa Cruz Branch
Fred Soward

Description pending

Basic Scenery Techniques
Adam Woodie

Description pending

Contest Adminstration
Steve Zapytowski

This clinic is a training session primarily for those people who will administer the contest, but it is open to all interested parties. The management of the contest, its administration, and the contest procedures. This clinic is required to those convention attendees who will run the contest.

Contest Judging
Steve Zapytowski

This clinic explores the process and philosophy behind the judging of models for the Mid-Central Region Model Contest. It examines each of the five required areas of evaluation; Construction, Detail, Conformity, Finish and Lettering, and Scratch Building. The judging matrix is described and the manner of awarding points is discussed. Also offered is a strategy for efficient judging. This clinic is different than the one offered in previous years and is strongly recommended for past judges as well as those who wish to judge for the first time.

Lemon Aid: How to get that non-running/needs work locomotive running
Frank Bongiovanni

If that locomotive you just bought, or had for years in a drawer, doesn’t run, this clinic is for you. Frank has been repairing locomotives for himself and for others for over 50 years, and has thrown very few against the basement wall. Emphasis is on brass, and brass steam, but this clinic is very open ended. Audience participation is encouraged, especially with individual experiences. This clinic is scheduled as last clinic of the evening, as it almost always runs overtime, especially if there is good participation and/or if some of Frank’s friends who also do repairs drop in.

Estate Planning for Model Railroaders (and their spouses)
Frank Bongiovanni

Disposing of our collections of Model Railroad “stuff”, including tools, books, magazines, the layout itself, is somewhat more complicated than it might seem. Many of our heirs have learned this lesson to their dismay. Some thoughtful planning and communication ahead of time can greatly reduce their burden, and may reduce the possibility of one of your “good friends” taking major advantage of them. Frank is a retired attorney and has given this clinic for several groups over the years; sadly, it has become his most requested lately. If your spouses or significant others are attending the convention, experience has shown that it’s well worth while encouraging them to come to this clinic.

Modeling Railroad Vehicles
Mike Bradley

Description pending

NMRA Member Retention Program - Changing to T-Trak
Jim DiPaols

Description pending

Steel Mill Modelers SIG
Jim Dipaols

Description pending

Cumbres & Toltec RR
Bob Frankrone

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad is a living time machine that will transport you to a place and time when steam ruled the rails. Travel with Bob as he takes both an archival and present day journey on the Cumbres and Toltec RR.

Promontory - Past & Present
Bob Frankrone

In 1869, a golden spike was driven at Promontory Point, Utah, signifying the completion of the transcontinental railroad. Through the use of archival photographs, Bob steps back in time to look at that momentous event in railroad history. Fast forward 150 years and see what the site looks like today and how the National Park Service is keeping that piece of railroad history alive for all to experience. (45 minutes)

Love Those Loads
Bob Frankrone

An updated version of Bob’s popular open loads presentation. This clinic features a variety of open load models that can be built from commercially available kits or easily scratch built from basic materials. Beginners and master modelers alike will enjoy learning how to create interesting and realistic open car loads. With plenty of photos from both the prototype and HO scale models, Bob’s clinic is always a crowd pleaser. Bob is the author of the “Love Those Loads” series featured bi-monthly in the NMRA Magazine.

Belt Lines & Terminal Railroads
Paul Hobbs

Beltlines and Terminal Railroads are a particular form of railway, usually urban, serving a location for the mutual benefit of owning railroads. Sometimes they are owned by a municipality. We will discuss examples, large and small, and suggest modeling possibilities.

North Coast Limited - Northern Pacific's Premier Transcontinental Train
Paul Hobbs

The “North Coast Limited” inaugurated in 1900, ran until Amtrak took over from May 1, 1971. We will discuss the several generations of equipment used, train consists at different times, and modeling opportunities.

Modeing Realistic Vehicles
Grier Kuehn

To some, model vehicles are as serious a hobby as model railroading. To the rest of us they may not be the main characters on our layouts but play important roles. This clinic will focus on how some simple and fun steps can make vehicles of all price ranges more realistic to insure they enhance rather than detract. Although centered on HO, the theme carries over to all scales. A handout is included.

Stories from the Cab of 765
Chris Lantz

Description pending

Modeling the AC&Y
Chris Lantz

Description pending

Board of Director's / General Membership Meeting
Ray Persing

Description pending

CAD for MRRing
Ray Persing

, I acquired what has quickly become an indispensable tool in my modeling arsenal – a resin-based 3D printer. In order to get the most out of it, I started learning how to use a popular 3D modeling program, Autodesk’s Fusion 360. This hands-on clinic will walk you through some of the basic functionality to allow you to begin designing your own parts for use in your modeling. Attendance is limited to 10, and you must bring a laptop with Fusion 360 pre-loaded and ready to go. You will coordinate with Ray before the day to obtain needed files.




Age of Steam Roundhouse Update
Pete Poremba

Description pending

Modeling Stone Arch Bridges
Neal Schorr

One of the signature items of the Pennsylvania Railroad were its stone arch bridges. Neal’s layout features three different types used by the Pennsy, each of which required a different method to model them. The clinic will explain in detail how to they were constructed out of hydrocal plaster to closely resemble the prototype.

How the 1920's Ringling Bros & Barnum Baily Moved The Big Show
Jerry Severson

This 50-60 minutes clinic covers how the RB and B&B 1920’s circus used 10 trains to daily move 100+ railroad cars, 1,000+ people. 130+ back lot wagons, 500+ horses over 14,000 miles to 125+ cities in a season. Using pictures and actual route book data, attendees will learn why Ringling still used truss rod cars, the types of cars used, how the cars were built, how the cars were loaded and when each car had to be loaded. All done in an era of no computers and telephones. Shortened clinic presented at 2023 National Circus Historical Society Convention.

What's Happening in the NMRA
Bob Weinheimer / Fred Soward

NMRA National Directors Bob Weinheimer, MMR and Fred Soward, MMR will host a panel discussion about what is happening at the NMRA at the national level.


The North Coast Limited is presented by:

The North Coast Division
Division Four
Mid-Central Region
National Model Railroad Association

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