So, in a world where we do almost everything online now thanks to Covid-19 and various levels of lockdowns and isolating we are doing, three modellers decided to organize a virtual Railway Prototype Modellers (RPM) meet to bring modellers together/apart. Ted Culotta (Speedwich Media), Ryan Mendell (National Scale Car) and Hunter Hughson (The Niagara Branch) organized and hosted the event called “Hindsight 20/20” today via Zoom. I have had a weekly zoom call with fellow modellers in the Toronto area where we basically hang out at our workbenches, have a virtual drink, work on projects and chat. A virtual RPM is a totally different beast, this was an organized and structured event, with modellers from across North America (and I thought I heard at least one person say they were from the UK), presenting on prototype history/research, modelling techniques, and all kinds of things related to being better prototype modellers. With lockdowns and travel restrictions, in person RPM’s across North America have been cancelled, so this is a great way for modellers to still get together and learn from each other while we sadly stay safely apart.
Scenes from a Virtual RPM. The attendees panel and chat between presentations, and shots from a couple of the presentations.
The event had nine half hour long presentations between 12:00pm and 8:00pm, with 15 minute breaks in between presentations and a 45 minute dinner break. I noticed a high of 178 people showing as being connected, which for a first effort at a free event was incredible. Hopefully everyone else got as much out of it as I did. It sounds like they will run more events, there is a Groups.io site for the event, where they have posted information on the presentations from today, and where they will post information about future events when they are planned. It was a great opportunity, and I certainly learned a few things that will definitely help in my work in building the freight car fleet for my layout.