Some friends and I in the NMRA have challenged each other to become Master Model Railroaders. I thought the challenge would make a great opportunity for other fellow NMRA members in the Gateway Division to improve their skills and work on obtaining new skills for modeling. By working together we can learn new skills, improve our modeling, enjoy various aspects of the hobby, and maintain enthusiasm within the group so we all become MMRs.
As you know, the Achievement Program (AP) is really an educational program offered by the NMRA with ten separate categories in four areas of model railroading. The AP “provides an incentive to learn and master the many crafts and skills necessary in the hobby of model railroading.” When you complete a category, the NMRA will issue a certificate acknowledging your achievement. Once you have seven certificates with at least one certificate in each of the four areas, you are awarded the title Master Model Railroader.
In the area of model railroad equipment there are two categories: Master Builder Motive Power and Master Builder Cars. Under the area of settings are three categories: Master Builder Scenery, Master Builder Structures, and Master Builder Prototype Models. There are three categories under Engineering and Operations: Model Railroad Engineer Civil, Model Railroad Engineer Electrical, and Chief Dispatcher. The final area is service to the hobby: Association Volunteer, Association Official, and Author.
I know that in the past some members have just gotten together and worked on their projects together with no structure to the activity. These modelers met and worked on whatever project each wanted. I also understand some modelers have had a more disciplined approach such that everyone in the group would work on the same project. As an example, everyone in the group could get the same car kit and then get together and work on their cars together. One of the requirements for the Master Builder Cars is that there must be eight cars submitted of which four may be superdetailed kits. Thus we could work at the same time on the same kit. Obviously certain categories, such as author, are better achieved when the group is not together.
My goal is to host a session one or two times a month at my house or, if the group is so inclined, the homes of others in the group. My house is a few miles south of the brewery and I believe it is centrally located so members from Missouri and Illinois could come without traveling too far. I propose we meet and discuss how we will proceed. Once this is established, we can set a schedule and, if the group so chooses, we can target a car or kit and start working on the project together.
If you want to give this a try, call me (314) 353-9131 or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can handle 7 to 9 other members at my home. I propose a meeting in March 2009 and then we could begin the sessions in April 2009.