As is traditional at our Region Conventions there is an element of education and learning – that chance to enhance your skills and knowledge shared by other members. This year for the very first time we are able to offer some sessions of Modeling With The Masters® (MWTM®) as we now have a good number of Master Model railroaders (MMR®s) in our Region.

Please note that members need to register in advance for all of the MWTM® sessions. There is usually a charge for participation when materials are used to take away the finished model. For details see below – booking links will be added soon so please check back.

>> Click here to view the Clinics Schedule <<

Modeling With The Masters ® Series of Clinics

(pre-registration for the MWTM Clinics will be required – more info below)

Clinic One: DCC Introduction – Mick Moignard MMR®

This MWTM ® programme of two 120-minute clinics is aimed at the DCC newbie. It is intended to offer an opportunity to learn what DCC is all about from the perspective of how it enhances building and more importantly, operating and enjoying a model railroad to the full.

The first session explores what DCC is, what the parts are and gives you some hands-on time with a DCC system and a locomotive.

      Session 1 – Basic Principles and How DCC Works

  • A 30-40 minute talk on what DCC is and how it offers benefits in building and operating a model railroad. We’ll also look at what the 5 most important parts of a DCC system are, how they fit together. We’ll try to do this in a manner that helps you make choices about what you want from a DCC system, and to enable you to an idea now what questions to ask when discussing with other users, hobbyists and vendors. We’ll also look briefly at wiring a DCC layout, and lots of opportunities for questions.
  • An hour with a locomotive and a DCC system – we should have a small choice to play with. This enables you to see how simple a DCC system is to start up and shut down, and how to select and run a locomotive and operate its functions. Again, lots of opportunities for questions.
  • A brief wrap up with more opportunity for questions.

      Session 2 – will look at the DCC Locomotive

  • A short talk (30/40 minutes) on mobile decoders
  • We’ll look at how you make a choice for your locos, sound and non-sound, and how to install a decoder, concentrating on the various plug/socket arrangements available in today’s locomotive, but not forgetting those older models which don’t have a socket at all and which need hardwiring You should gain insights into how to choose and select decoders in the future for your locomotives. Lots of opportunities for questions.
  • An opportunity to look inside some RTR models and see how decoders are installed in them. You can even bring your own locomotives and discuss installation strategies for them.
  • We’ll then talk a little about what Configuration Variables (CV) are and what they do. You’ll then have a chance to do some simple CV changes on a locomotive and see or hear the effects.
  • A brief wrap-up and questions.

>> Register for Mick’s Clinic <<

Clinic Two: Making Basic backdrop painting with Jonathan Small MMR® – with acknowledgements to Dave Frary.

Have you noticed how some layouts have really great skyboards, and others, well, don’t? Some of this is down to getting the colours right, but with a few simple, quick and easy techniques, and a bit of practice we could all produce much more convincing backdrops. We’ll also discuss how to place these skyboards, hugely improving the environment around our layouts.

In this clinic we’ll see how to paint very realistic skyboards with proper distance, depth and perspective. Later on we’ll see how to add simple hills and forests to the horizon.

Note that this is not an art class – the methods are quite straightforward, and only very basic painting skills are required, to start with. Materials and paints will be provided for which there will be a small charge. Please bring a selection of soft paint brushes, including a 2″ emulsion brush, 1/2″ brush, and smaller modelling and art brushes. I will have a selection available to use for other effects.

Further details to be supplied to those who sign up. The sessions will be in two stages over two days to allow for drying before applying other details.

>> Register for Jonathan’s Clinic <<

General Clinics

(no clinic registration needed)

The Rapido Way – Bill Schneider

Bill Schneider, senior product designer at Rapido North America, walks us through the process of researching, designing and manufacturing models for today’s market, with some unique Rapido twists! Includes discussion of choosing what to make, the design process, and working with the Chinese factories.

The Old Woman in the New Basement – A Layout Tour with Bill Schneider

Bill discusses researching and building his personal 18’x30’ double deck prototype-based layout based on the New York, Ontario & Western in upstate New York state circa 1947. The discussion will include where he finds prototype information and how he tries to capture the essence of a scene. He will also discuss designing and making your own laser-cut structures with a hobby-level laser cutter, making your own photo backdrops and more.

Postcard from Long Beach – Mike Arnold

Mike gives you a postcard view of what the 2024 National Convention in Long Beach CA meant for him, including a journey on the California Zephyr from Chicago and a celebration of the Gallery Exhibit at the California State railroad Museum in Sacramento.

Trees Down the Tracks: Modelling Logging and Short Line Railroads in the Diesel Era – Alan Sewell

Alan has been building an H0-scale forest products short line for over forty years based on, but not exclusively, the operations of the Simpson and Weyerhaeuser companies in Washington State.

The clinic will cover these and other prototype influences and the way Alan has used them in his modelling. This is an introduction to niche railroading but those who already know railroading in the woods should find interest in this presentation.

This will not be all Shays, disconnects or run-down narrow gauge. There will be diesels from SW1200’s to GP’s and a little steam, specialized rolling stock (but not freelanced) and operations.

Illustrated with photos from Alan’s visits and his collection.

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