Audio Episode

Brought to you by:

Jim Martin: Jim's radio broadcasting career includes both the private sector and the CBC, Canada's national network. During his many years on air he was a reporter, announcer, news director, talk show and news magazine host, and his favorite part, interviewer. For many years he was also the book review and video review editor for Canadian Railway Modeller. More recently he has been writing articles for Railroad Model Craftsman. He also enjoys presenting backdrop painting clinics to local groups and train shows.

Trevor Marshall: Trevor cut his teeth in radio at Standard Broadcast News, a national radio newswire service in Canada. The radio news writing style has served him well in his current profession as a freelance writer for clients in the transportation, life sciences, and government sectors. Trevor's articles for the hobby press have appeared in Model Railroad Planning, Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman and other publications and he regularly presents model and prototype railway clinics on a variety of topics. He finds everything about the hobby interesting, but is particularly interested in the process that goes into a well-thought-out, prototype-based layout.

Chris Abbott is our Technical Director. Jim and Trevor would still be talking to each other without his help.

Otto Vondrak is our Creative Director. That awesome badge and banner on the site? That's his doing.

David Woodhead is our Music Director. If you find yourself humming our theme song, well - you're not alone. Jim and Trevor have had it stuck in their heads for weeks now. Well done, David!

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In this episode…


Lance Mindheim, Author, Layout Designer.

Bill Schaumburg, Editor, Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.



Where “layout” meets “lifestyle”


Many model railway enthusiasts measure the hobby in terms of quantity – and for them, the bigger the layout, the better. Well-known author Lance Mindheim agrees that’s true for a few of us – those with the time, energy, crew and money to pull off a multi-deck empire. But through his books and articles he makes a compelling case that for most of us, pursuing an achievable layout may be our best shot at that dream layout.


Lance owns The Shelf Layouts Company – a custom layout building and design firm. He is also the author of numerous articles for several hobby publications, including Model Railroader and Model Railroad Planning. And in recent years he has published a series of books on designing and building smaller, smarter layouts. Many of his theories on layout design have been put to good use on his two home layouts, which recreate modern industrial switching districts in Miami.


Lance speaks to Trevor about how to design a layout that fits your lifestyle.


Related Links:

Photos of Lance Mindheim’s two HO scale layouts.



Celebrating the prototype and sharing ideas


Looking to improve your model building skills? Ask Railroad Model Craftsman magazine editor Bill Schaumburg and he’ll tell you that you can’t beat the real thing as a starting point: Copy what you see, and you’re done. Of course, that’s not so easily accomplished – but it’s still a great goal for all of us. And one place we can go for help in achieving this goal is railroad prototype modelers meets – RPM meets for short.


To help modelers achieve their best – to share innovative ideas and techniques – and to have fun: those are three key reasons that hobbyists gather at RPM meets across North America. These events have been tremendously important to the hobby, as they’ve helped connect manufacturers and hobbyists to create better, more accurate kits and ready to run equipment. But as Bill tells Jim, even novice modelers and confirmed freelancers will find much to inspire them at these events. What they won’t find is over-inflated egos, as the best modelers in the hobby are always eager to help others improve their skills.


Related Links:

(Note: Most of these links are to 2011 meets. Some are to 2010 meets but we expect that these pages will be updated as plans are firmed up for 2011 events)

Railroad Prototype Modelers (meets in California, Illinois, Wisconsin)

Prototype Rails (Florida)

New England – Northeast Prototype Modelers Meet (Connecticut)

RPM East (Pennsylvania)

Rocky Mountain RPM Meet (Colorado)

Mid Continent Prototype Modelers (Kansas)

Western Prototype Modelers (California)

Bay Area Prototype Modelers (California)

Savannah Prototype Modeler’s Meet (Georgia)

Central Ohio Prototype Modelers Meet (Ohio)

Great Lakes Model Railroad Symposium (Indiana)

Rails By The River (Oregon)