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Long known as the RPM Conference in Naperville, 2018 will mark the 25th annual event held in the Chicagoland area.  The RPM Conference is meant to be a premiere gathering of railroad prototype modelers and is a place to share models, learn from clinics, and grow as a modeler.  The focus of the event is three days full of clinics, which is why this event is billed as a conference as opposed to an RPM meet.  The goal is to share prototype information and research, discuss modeling techniques, learn to operate prototypically, and grow in the fellowship of like-minded modelers.  


The late Martin Lofton of Sunshine Models led the event as a way to introduce new resin kits and bring together fellow resin freight car modelers from 1993 until 2010.  Joe D’elia from Proto Power West led the charge through the 2015 meet.  And now, I’ve offered to take the reins and make sure that my favorite event of the year continues.


I’m lucky to be local to the area, and will be orchestrating the event preparations.  But beyond making sure there is event space to pull everyone together, the conference is really driven by the RPM family and I’m here to facilitate.  Bring models! Share a clinic! Or just show up to learn.


I’m looking forward to a great 2018 event, building on the success and excitement of the 2016 rebirth, and hope to see you all there!


Mike Skibbe


For a history of the RPM movement prior to the 1993 start of the RPM-Naperville event, please visit Joe D’elia’s RPM History Page.


RPM Mission Statement

  • Promote the prototype modeling of all eras.
  • Develop greater knowledge and understanding of prototype railroading, it’s history, and it’s cultural and economic significance.
  • Nurture and increase the exchange and sharing of both prototype and modeling information among modelers.
  • Uncover new sources of prototype information and share the results of prototype research.
  • To work with manufacturers to “encourage” production of prototypically accurate models.
  • Improve communication among modelers, researchers, historians, manufacturers, authors and editors to avoid unnecessary errors and duplication in both products and publications.
  • Encourage participation, mutual support and fellowship among prototype modelers.
  • Gain increased recognition and respect for prototype modelers and modeling and improved coverage in the model railroad press.
  • Provide guidance and encourage members to organize local meets.
  • Celebrate new and lasting acquaintances with people who share a common interest and wish to share their knowledge with others.