Wednesday, June 28, 2017

St. Louis RPM 2017

A Santa Fe GA-43 converted covered hopper from Sunshine mini-kit by Clark Cooper - a car sitting in my stash - inspiration!
Before my hiatus from attending most of the RPMs circa 2010-2015, I had been a (mostly) regular at the St. Louis RPM held each year in Collinsville, Illinois. At that time it was generally a vendor and modeler-centric event with one clinic running at any given moment, in the corner, behind a curtain. Models were clearly the focus of the event.

Tom Palmer brought a large group of cars from Texas... mostly resin
Fast forward to my first visit in several years during last summer's event in August, 2016. Things could not have been more different. Gone were the concrete floors with black mats and the clinics held behind a curtain. Also, the crowd had doubled in size.

Early TOFC and early covered hoppers from Ben Bartlett
For 2017, the decision was made to add a second track of clinics so there were two running simultaneously. The number of attendees grew, as well, to 550+. The model/vendor room is now the size of a modest exhibition hall. All this has combined to make the event the "RPM National". 

A variety of models from Rick Mink
The photos here are not intended to be the top models at the event nor are they included for any other reason than they caught my eye. The modeling was top-flight and the general sense of mutual admiration was palpable. There were a lot of talented people at the event and the models clearly illustrated that point. As abundant as the number of models was the generosity in sharing peoples' talents and skills. Everybody was happy to humbly share their skills and techniques through a seemingly infinite number of on the spot show-and-tell sessions. There was a lot to absorb.

Crazy realistic weathering by Don Schnurpfeil
Lastly, the organizers were first-rate at assembling a great group of clinicians, vendors, and attendees and keeping the trains running on time. They did an excellent job of welcoming everyone and providing information to keep even the first-time attendees up to speed.

Another great weathering job, this one by George Malcolm
I highly recommend putting this on your calendar. It is well worth the visit. The facility is ideal, the hotels circling the venue are convenient, and the plethora of nearby restaurants the cherry on the sundae. See you next year!

New technologies abound... a 3D printed SP C-40-3 kit from Bruce Barney
A selection of fine models by Gregor Moe
Three models by Mike Wise and Bill Giese... love the Quanah Route cars!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. The wonderfully faded Golden West Service boxcar looks like the work of George Malcolm.