Cocoa Beach report
I will offer up some things I saw this past weekend and assume others
will fill in. InterMountain had parts for their upcoming Alternate
Standard two-bay offset twin hopper. As they are just now tooling up
this model, I can only assume what they were displaying were "Rapid
Prototyped" resin parts. The center sill and one piece hopper bays
will be metal. The components were very finely done and this will be
a very nice model. It resembles a Tichy hopper in the way it will go
together and if the choose to view the center sill and hopper
components as common core parts could assemble any number of sides
and ends to do not only the alternate standard but the standard
offset as well. Frank A. said these will be available as kits as well
as built up.
Jon Cagle (Southern Car & Foundry) was displaying two different 3-
dome tank cars and to those that lingered he brought out the
insulated car he is working on. Very fine cross section where the
ends and side sheathing join. He made reference to a fourth new tank
car model but I failed to ask about it. He did say during the panel
discussion that his current tank car kits will be going on hiatus
once his current stock is sold out, so you better hurry if you have
With several Westerfield NYC boxcars yet to build, I intend on buy
one of the BWL cars w/replacement roof but could not find any
I purchased one of F&C's Union 52-foot gondolas and since it was a
"buy one get one free deal" I also bought a PRR GLca 2-bay hopper. It
will be interesting to compare it to the Westerfield version. When
looking at these with the aid of my Opti-Visor, Steve is somehow
applying a very finely done very small detail where the grab irons
attach. Don't know how to describe it but it is clearly replicating a
small piece of attachment hardware. I recently built F&C re-release
of the MP 45-foot gon which is very nice and the 52-foot car is
As usual Lance M. provided some very sound concepts and Roger H.
plowed new ground w/his presentation on IC and NP reefers. Mont S.
gave me some new ideas as I listened to and watched his presentation.
After my inquiries about cutting instruments, John Greedy gave me
something new to try out.
I am finally connecting with more Florida modelers and hope to work
out ways to get to know them better.
2225 Nursery Road; #20-104
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
I will second the kudos bestowed on this recent meet by Messrs. Aley, Smith, and Welch et al. This was the meet's 12th year, and my 12th attendance.
1) The meet itself ran flawlessly and seamlessly, genuine plug-and-play by all, not the least by the efforts of Clinic Organizer and Major Domo Jeff Aley.
2) For me, the highlight of the meet is the culture of comfortable relaxed sociability and shared networking that is de rigeur. That this is amongst some of the most accomplished and respected of all modelers adds to the luster. This pervades almost every nook and cranny of the hotel during waking hours, and it also tumbles right out into the sunshine enhanced by the pleasant background sounds of surf and birds). There is a minimum of strutting, and a maximum of good old fashioned self-effacing modeling excellence. That many of the vendors were also participants and superb modelers as well as vendors was only additive.
3) The hotel is superbly maintained, and it is obvious that the management and staff value our presence. I had more than one staff comment that "they all looked forward to this meet". After some years of so-so food (at best), which too often was also overpriced, the food this year was excellent (excellent!) IMHO. The buffet breakfast was just about all one could expect (to-order omelette station, superb grits, tasty sausages, fresh-squeezed orange juice, not-bad coffee, reasonable price). Ditto for lunch. For the first time, the hotel also had the buffet on Sunday (the morning of departure), and it was well attended.
I personally heard not one food complaint.
4) Having the large display and vendor room open the entire meet continues to be a major feature. It was always full of attendees yakking, looking, yakking some more, sharing lies (not me), etc. I can only absorb so much when invidiously inspecting the gathered finished models, and it was so nice to be able to pop in at my leisure to look at a few more, etc.
5) Bill Schneider's lovely sample Rapido 36' reefers were a big draw, and my order for a bunch of the Tobin cars is in the hopper. However, the reefers were somewhat in the shadow of a display of Rapido's new ten car CANADIAN replete with FP-9s. This train may be the very finest of all such passenger model productions yet, radiating a hazarding siren call to the most deep-dyed suceptable and unsuspecting freight car aficionado, who prior to seeing this superb HO train, might not have even known that Canada had such beautiful trains, or perhaps that Canada had railroads, or that there were even passenger trains!
6) Greg Martin's Take'Shake once again drew an enthusiastic audience. This year's project is an SP rebuilt USRA boxcar- pretty neat. At last opportunity arises for me to make use of an unopened quarts of SP boxcar paint that was given to me some 30 years ago from a cache found in the Sacramento Shops. I am musing just how I might actually apply this paint through my airbrush!
6) The Door Prize drawing Saturday night was again seriously flawed. Despite holding an unprecedented number of tickets - including Mont Switzer's who had to make an "exit of necessity"- before it was over, none of my numbers were called, i.e. zero, nada, nein, non, zip, nothing. This was my 12th year of such miserable failure; and I will certainly be speaking to Mike about this disgrace, and how it can be rectified for next year. Har-rumph!
Denny S. Anspach, MD
At 09:39 AM 1/11/2012 -0800, you wrote:
ooked forward to this meet". After some years of so-so food (at best),which too often was also overpriced, the food this year was excellent
I had kind of given up on the hotel food, so we didnt eat there at all,
maybe next year I'll give it a try. Missing breakfast hours is pretty much
a tradition when on vacation, so that's ok. All of the places we ate this
trip - not just in Cocoa but in Kissimmee during the week prior. were good.
Last year we got something like three free meals and at least three free
desserts just from screw ups at restaurants.
I was surprised that Silvestro's was open for business. They won't be
getting any of mine however...
6) The Door Prize drawing Saturday night was again seriously flawed.Despite holding an unprecedented number of tickets - including Mont
Switzer's who had to make an "exit of necessity"- before it was over, none
of my numbers were called, i.e. zero, nada, nein, non, zip, nothing.
We didn't win anything either, but that's ok. We cleaned up at Lisle.
I too have been to all 12 Cocoa Beech events. This one was certainly one
of the best, if not THE best weather wise. It was even reasonable enough
to smoke a cigar outside after dark. Twice.
This was the first year I actually brought more freight cars than diesels.
Many of them OT for this list, but at least I got my feet wet over the past
year and got some done. I didn't spend as much as I have in the past - a
couple of the BLI NYC box cars, a small number of photos.
My own clinic went surprisingly well, in spite of last minute subject
matter. Both sessions were well attended - for me anyway. I think I had
15 on Friday and 18 on Saturday. I even got to attend two other clinics -
Bill Schaumburg's and Tom Madden's. No equipment issues at all. My 5 year
old laptop is still going strong and this year it accompanied me on two
hospital stays, and didn't catch any diseases. Normal lifespan of a laptop
for me is 2-3 years, with light usage.
Next time will be Lucky 13. If the world doesn't end in December, of