Monday, June 25, 2012

BAPM (Bay Area Prototype Modelers)

Saturday, June 23, was the date of this year’s prototype modelers’ meet in the San Francisco Bay Area, called BAPM (Bay Area Prototype Modelers). This is an annual event and has been held for several years now. Saturday there were about 110 people attending, a good turnout, and many tables filled with models. I wanted to add some impressions of this local meet to the posts I’ve written before in this blog about regional and national RPM (Railroad Prototype Modelers) meets. These have included the big fall meeting in Naperville, Illinois [held one-time-only last year in Lisle, Illinois]: ; Mike Brock’s January meeting in Cocoa Beach, Florida: ; and Greg Martin’s meet in Salem, Oregon, 2011: .

     The big attraction for most people who come is to see all the fine modeling on display. Eras ranging from the 1940s to recent years were all on display. The large function room at St. David’s Church in Richmond was thronged with people most of the day, circulating among the tables.

     There was also a clinic program. Three talks were given: in the morning, I spoke to present the joint clinic Richard Hendrickson and I prepared, about weathering transition-era rolling stock, using acrylic washes and airbrushing. (The handout for the talk is available elsewhere in this blog, at: ) After lunch, Bob Rohwer spoke about modeling Amtrak’s California Zephyr (2009 version), emphasizing repowering locomotives and accomplishing good lighting in cars, and then Scott Inman gave a talk about modeling the twilight years of SP steam, focussed on his newly completed skirtless Daylight locomotives
     If I had any complaint about the venue, it would be the room used for clinics, since it can’t be made very dark and has a fairly small screen (see photo below). The result is that slide projection accomplishes less than a speaker would like, but since the room isn’t too big, most people can see all right.

     For many attendees, the event is an occasion to see friends and acquaintances from around the area, so the camaraderie in the aisles was a feature of the meeting all day. And folks came from surprising distances, indicating how attractive a meet like this can be: a few long journeys, such as Paul Chandler from Tucson, Arizona, and Mike Faletti from Washington state, and longer (but on business) journeys, including Blaine Hadfield of ExactRail from Utah (that’s Blaine at the podium above), and Bill Schaumburg of Railroad Model Craftsman, but folks were also there from Southern California, from the Sierra foothills, and from northern Nevada. As a one-day meet, it works really well, and I think it illustrates the attraction that RPM meets can exert in any locality.
Tony Thompson

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