I just returned from Sunny Cocoa Beach, Florida where the weather featured sunny skies with highs of 76 degrees Farenheit (24 Celsius). It’s…well… somewhat less than that now in Connecticut!
I was in Cocoa Beach to attend the 2012 Prototype Rails modeling meet. As always, Mike, Jeff, Marty and the rest of the crew put on a great meet. This meet has developed into one of the top in the country, and the weather and presence of the beach just outside the door has nothing (well, maybe a little…) to do with it.
If you’re not familiar with this growing series of events, Railroad Prototype Modelers (RPM) meets like Cocoa are rapidly becoming a major force in the model railroad community. These meets are a great place to get together with other modelers and manufacturers in a relaxed, no pressure setting. Everybody is encouraged to bring along a number of models for display and discussion – there are no contests – and in-progress models are especially welcome to show different techniques and approaches. For us at Rapido they also offer a great chance to get to meet and talk in detail with many of our customers and get some great feedback and suggestions as well.
In addition to the model displays there at Cocoa this year there were roughly 42 presentations, many given twice, including a few hands-on clinics. Topics range from model and layout construction through all types of prototype information. Clinicians include many names that are possibly familiar to you either from magazines or the web – names such as Bill Darnaby, Richard Hendrickson, Tony Koester, Andy Sperandeo , Bill Shaumberg, Bruce Smith, Mont Switzer, Tony Thompson and many others. Some guy from Rapido even gave a talk about how t design and develop models. I’m happy to say that as far as I can tell nobody fell asleep!
RPM meets like Cocoa are occurring all over the US and Canada. If you haven’t been to an RPM meet before, then by all means you owe it to yourself to go to one near you and see what the buzz is about.
For a list of upcoming RPM meets check the model magazines and internet groups or just do a web search. Rapido plans on attending the upcoming meets at Railroad Prototype Moders Valley Forge, (near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) in March and the New England/North East Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet in Collinsville, Connecticut in June. I hope to see some of you there. Stop by and say hello! Just please be polite and try not to snore in my clinic…
Our next public event will be the Amherst Railway Society Train Show in West Springfield, Massachusets on January 28 and 29. This is one of the best train shows in the country adn well worth the trip. If you’re there please make sure to stop by our booth in the Mallory Building (#143A/B).