Sunday, October 21, 2018

Photos from 2018 Chicagoland RPM

This stunning scratchbuilt N scale model of the CNW Sheboygan, Wisconsin depot is the work of Vince Kotnik 
The 25th annual iteration of "Naperville," or the Chicagoland RPM as it is known today, was held this past weekend, October 18-20, 2018, at the Sheraton in Lisle, Illinois. Attendance was again up as Mike Skibbe and his crew (including his wife Katie, who deserves special mention, as she puts in a large amount of time, as well) continue to host an excellent event, with good facilities, top notch presenters, numerous vendors, and great people. This year's event included a tribute to the late Martin Lofton and his wife, Patricia, who began the event and hosted it for almost two decades. Tricia was in attendance to accept our collective gratitude and to be honored for creating what became the de facto "RPM National."

I have included a few photos of things that caught my eye. No sleights are intended by omissions as there were many exceptional models on display. Here is a sample...

Frank Hicks modeled this MDT 'M4' reefer using a Yuma Car & Foundry shell and decals
Frank also modeled this UTLX Type X tank car using an MDC tank with a frame available on Shapeways

Jeremy Dummlaer modeled this DL&W box car using an Accurail car as the starting point
Jeremy displayed a couple more in-progress Accurail cars

Jeremy also showed off this NYC USRA gon

Eric Hansmann displayed this Buffalo Creek & Gauley hopper

Darrall Swift had many scratchbashing projects on display including the future GA 55337

Several modelers displayed their completed gift cars from last year's meet, including this HO scale model by Matt Smith

and this O scale version from Dick Scott
This end photo of Dick's model highlights the Carbuilder's end

Ed Rethwisch and Jerry Hamsmith displayed these castings for a future CB&Q FM-11 flat car kit

Craig Wilson displayed this DT&I flat car with (what I believe are) Ford tractors from Wiking

Craig also had this CN flat with Massey-Ferguson combines by Artitec

Eric Mumper displayed this Precision Scale brass early Greenville covered hoppered with Resin Car Works decals

Steven Cerka showed his Erie flat with scratchbuilt cable reels

John Riddel lettered an Intermountain AAR hopper for the NP

As I am kitbashing one of these, I had a keen interest in Tom Bacarella's NP PS-1 combination door box car

Aaron Fogg displayed a stable of EJ&E horsepower

Robert Massey scratchbuilt a roof for an Athearn hopper to kitbash a RI covered hopper following Martin Lofton's article in Mainline Modeler many years ago focusing on wartime covered hopper conversions on the RI

Ken Soroos displayed many models, including this in-progress DSS&A flat car

As usual, Clark Propst had several cars to show, including both the 2016 and 2017 project cars, as well as a current M&StL kitbashing project at far right

Bill Dewar modified an Ulrich gon to model this CN prototype

This N scale (yes, it's N scale!) flat and load is the work of noted N scale modeler Keith Kohlmann

Bob Hanmer converted a Red Caboose model to make this attractive DM&IR gon 

Bob Chapman displayed this fine Sunshine Models G29B built from a Sunshine kit

Prolific Q modeler Ed Rethwisch had a large number of models in the display room including this stock car, a Sunshine kit

One them of this year's event was to chronicle, in models, the progression of the prototype modeling movement. 

The late 70s was when the modern resin movement took hold

The 1980s saw the birth of Sunshine, WestRail, Westerfield, and Funaro & Camerlengo

In the 1990s, the resin market exploded with kits coming faster than they could be purchased (or built) by most
The market matured in the 2000s
Charlie Slater, the second most prolific of the Sunshine pattern makers, brought some examples of his handiwork


  1. Glad you were able to attend. This is one event I haven't yet been able to attend..(due to the fact it typically is same weekend as wifes birthday)

  2. Those tractors on Craig Wilson's DT&I flatcar are Ferguson tractors. Which model exactly, I'm not sure. I'm leaning toward the TED- or TEF-20 model. Why they're painted in Ford tractor colours is another mystery; they may well have been painted like that for certain markets.
    Tip: The Ford and Ferguson tractors can be distinguished apart by looking at the grilles. Ford tractors had vertical bars whereas the Ferguson tractors had near horizontal bars, they formed a chevron shape.


Comments always welcome!