Monday, June 20, 2022

Bay Area Prototype Modelers 2022

The annual Railroad Prototype Modelers (RPM) meeting held in the San Francisco Bay Area has naturally been on hiatus through the pandemic, but on June 18, it returned at last. I have always enjoyed attending this event, the Bay Area Prototype Modelers (BAPM) meeting, and this was no exception. What a pleasure to see the familiar sign on arrival at our usual site in Richmond!

As usual, there were many excellent models on display, and I photographed a few that especially struck me for quality or distinctive treatments. For example, there was a group of box cars by Jesus Peña, who said he had never had the courage to try weathering, until he saw a Michael Gross video (and here’s a link to one of Michael’s articles: ) using artist’s pencils, and decided to try it. His results looked really nice to me. Here is one of his cars, a Class BX-37 box car, ATSF 141923.

One example of a modern freight car treatment that I liked was by Robert Forsstrom, a grain hopper that’s not only gotten dirty, but has been patched and given new reporting marks, along with some graffiti. Very nice looking combination of treatments.

Another display I really liked was Richard Mitchell’s locomotives. In particular, he has used the Mantua/Tyco Pacific (essentially the B&O Class P-7e) as the basis for a number of railroads’ heavy Pacifics. Most receive new cabs, to get a prototypical shape and thin walls. Below is a striking example, the T&NO “Sunbeam” power, but in addition, he displayed a C&NW “400” engine, the streamlined B&O P-7d, a GM&O Class P-167, and the prototype, B&O P-7e.

Lastly, I want to show one of a very nice series of models “in progress,” always a most informative way to see the work that is done. These were by Rick Selby, and the particular example I show below is based on the SP 60-foot box cars of Class B-100-44, 100 cars built by Pacific Car & Foundry in 1978. 

Rick began with the Athearn Genesis 60-foot FMC box car kit. Roof and ends were removed on a milling machine, and Cannon & Co. Plate C ends were added, then extended to Plate F height with styrene. The new roof was built with styrene to match the PC&F prototype. A nice looking model and as I mentioned, always interesting to see work in progress.

I will stop here, and will have more to show in a future post, additional models that I really enjoyed seeing at this year’s BAPM.

Tony Thompson


  1. Tony, I really enjoyed this post. And I just want to make a general statement of appreciation to you for all that you do for model railroaders. I'm not an advanced modeler, and I don't read each and every one of your posts, but I do appreciate all that you do!

  2. Thanks for the summary Tony- I'm sorry I missed this year's event.