NRG 2018 Annual Conference in Las Vegas

The 2018 Conference was held on October 25-27, 2018 at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and received good reviews from those who attended.

The conference included a tour of Hoover Dam on Thursday with a trip on Lake Mead on a sternwheeler boat.  Conference sessions where held on Friday and Saturday and concluded with a banquet on Saturday night.

Hoover Dam and Lake Mead Tour

The Thursday tour to Hoover Dam was enjoyed by all. Lunch on the sternwheel boat on Lake Mead followed the dam visit. The bus driver took a scenic route where animals were able to be observed and was very personable and narrated the drive.

Photos courtesy of Toni Levine

Speakers, Sessions and Round Tables

Friday's Tech Sessions and Round Tables received very favorable reviews by those attending. The lunch, as well as the Saturday lunch, was one of the best we have ever had at a conference. 

Friday's technical sessions features presentations from:

  • Ken Foran – Soldering Brass
  • Steve Wheeler – Lapstrake Hull Construction
  • Kurt Van Dahm – Table Saw Use and Safety

The afternoon featured round tables, allowing attendees to choose from a variety of different interactive discussions.

  • Ken Foran answered questions about his soldering techniques from his morning presentation. Attendees saw his work close-up and got additional tips.
  • Tony Devroude demonstrated some of the techniques he featured in his Saturday talk on carving ship decorations. Tony is an expert carver and his work must be seen up close to be truly appreciated.
  • Kurt Van Dahm explained the jigs and safety features from his morning talk. Kurt also answered questions about table saw techniques and safety tips.
  • Pam Weiss, an expert machinist from Sherline Products, showed Sherline equipment and answered questions about Sherline products and machining techniques. 
  • Steve Wheeler showed his method of simulating tufted upholstery that has been featured in some of his award-winning models. 
  • Nic Damuck from BlueJacket showed how to make realistic sails using Silkspan. 

The membership meeting closed out the day's activities and then a cash bar reception with light refreshments capped off the day.  The membership meeting was led by NRG Chairman Mitch Michelson.  Information was provided to members about 2018 activities as well as the upcoming bylaw vote.  All members were encouraged to participate in the vote, which was held by email following the conference with voting concluding on December 21, 2018.

Saturday's General Sessions were well received and the speakers got very good reviews. Speakers included:
  • Tony Devroude – Carving Figureheads
  • Al Ross – Kit Development
  • Chris Dostal – Nautical Archaeological Excavations – 3D Imaging
  • Justin Parkoff – Walking Beam Engines and Their Influence on the Eastern River Steamboats
  • Doug Tolbert – Researching 74 Gun Class Buckingham

The banquet dinner was the final event for the conference. The after dinner speaker and his topic were very interesting. Peter Rindlisbacher an artist, modeler and NRG member, showed how he used ship models to aid his painting by helping with perspective and other things an artist does to make their work so interesting.
 

Photos courtesy of Thomas Ruggiero

Model Exhibit

The model exhibit contained nearly three dozen models from a range of periods and styles.  Attendees had a chance to see finished models and works in progress up-close and discuss the works with the modelers. 

Photos courtesy of Thomas Ruggiero and David Eddy