September 2017--Diorama by Mike Garber
In an effort to provide a little guidance on the requirements for this theme, I went to the NMRA Achievement Program to come up with some rough guidelines. From that resource, here are some ideas for you to use on a diorama.
To begin, any scale can be used (which might give you a chance to try another scale if you like) and there are no minimum size requirements for your diorama. Keep in mind you will have to transport the diorama and present it in the meeting room. The only requirement is that it be big enough to adequately display any models, and give the overall effect of the intended scene.
Your diorama can be an animated or static model of a scene containing as many models of equipment, structures, track and so forth as you can to represent a railroad-themed scene. The ground and all natural features such as rocks, water, trees, hills and depressions, as well as manmade features such as railroad roadbed, cuts, fills, drainage ditches, embankments, streets and roads, vehicles, etc., are all left to you to include as possible to provide a representation of your scene.
Any structures should be in the ground, not sitting on top of it. Again, notice the little things about the structure that you are trying to model, such as the number of chimneys and other roof details. It is those things which will give your diorama the look and feel of a realistic scene.
This theme could easily be the beginning of a layout idea that might lead you to construct, or to be used toward earning AP points, although there is no intention of judging during the meeting unless otherwise scheduled in advance. As always, this will be a popular vote presentation by your fellow members.
Please try not to over think this theme but try to have some fun with it while putting your modeling skills to the test and sharing your talents with fellow members. Sharing with other members is at the heart of these modeling themes at our meetings.
November 2017-- Diesel Locomotive. This is intended to be a standalone diesel locomotive modeling theme for any scale, prototype, era, gauge, etc. that had a diesel prime mover. Not anticipated to be a super detailed model but more detail is usually recognized by the voting members.
January 2018-- Caboose. Yes, again, but it's been our most popular and participated in modeling theme to date. Everybody but the prototype loves cabooses so this should generate a high level of participation again.