Presenting at Copetown RPM Meet – February 22, 2020

Coming up in less than two weeks is the annual Railway Prototype Modelers Meet at Copetown, ON on Saturday February 22, 2020.

This year I’ll be presenting one of the clinics on how I design and build my model lumber loads. (I haven’t done a clinic before, so this should be interesting if not slightly terrifying!)

Other clinic presentations during the day will include:

  • Model and layout photography (Hunter Hughson)
  • Modeling TH&B GRS signals (Ron Tuff)
  • Tuning brass steam engines (Steve Bratina)

And another huge component of this type of event is the model display room, where there will be tables of models on display, brought in by the attendees. These can be finished or in-progress models, and usually display a wide range of subjects. Being able to see the models and discuss them with the modeler is great for inspiration and ideas, and you can learn a lot on different subjects and techniques.

For a taste of what this kind of show is like, see my posting from a few years ago from the first Copetown RPM meet:

First Annual Copetown RPM

Event Details:

February 22, 2020 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Copetown and District Community Centre

1950 Governor’s Road, Copetown ON (just east of Highway 52)

More information and contact can also be found on their facebook page.


If you have a chance to take in the meet, say hello! And don’t forget to bring along models for display – it doesn’t have to be finished either. The model displays and conversation are a big part of this type of meet.

Looking forward to the talent that will surely be on display on this day.

Custom Finishing Log Truck Kit – Frame and Modifications

With pulpwood loading operations being a major feature of the Algoma Central Railway, I want to have some vehicles and loading equipment as well to feature at at least a few of the loading spots on the layout. To that end, some while back I picked up a couple of Custom Finishing pulpwood truck conversion kits. These kits are cast in white metal and contain all the parts including log bunks and parts for an integrated loading crane to kitbash from a semi truck model (you have to supply the base truck to combine with the kit.)

The Custom Finishing Kit has a cast metal frame piece and the instructions indicate that it is designed to fit the old Atlas Ford “LNT” truck. I didn’t have any Atlas trucks but I did have an old Athearn Kenworth truck kicking around from my old 4×8 layout in my parent’s basement 20 years ago. I didn’t have any other real use for this truck cab so I decided to convert this into the pulpwood truck.

I did my own frame modifications on this one, removing the fifth wheel and filling any remaining nubs and raised detail flat on the top surface of the rear frame and cutting the frame right in front of the axle springs. The frame was extended with pieces of HO 4×10 strip and capped with a piece cut from .040″ sheet. A few pieces of .010x.040″ strip along the bottom of the frame also helped reinforce and strengthen the joints.

The fuel tanks in the Athearn kit are designed to sort of clip on over the frame, which looks rather toy-like. I cut the mounting clips off of the tanks and glued them directly to the sides of the frame, which looks a little better.

The rest of the frame conversion consists of gluing the protective bars and log bunks to the frame with CA, as well as the assembled base for the integrated log handling crane. There’s also an end piece for the frame.