Modeler's Mentorship

This page is designed to provide an opportunity for members to make connections with other members in order to ask for or volunteer to provide mentoring in various aspects of model railroading.


To start, Alan Mende, the Superintendent of the Susquehanna Division, has asked that those who have expertise in different areas volunteer to mentor in those areas. The areas include, but are not limited to, layout planning, scenery, electrical control, DCC, operations, scratchbuilding, researching the prototype, soldering, and adding realistic details. The list goes on and on, limited only by your areas of knowledge.


All you need to do to volunteer to mentor is give your name, email address, and your area(s) of expertise to our superintendent, Alan Mende ( We already have a few members who have stepped up listed below; please consider joining them. If you are volunteering, please respond to requests for help or advice in a timely manner, at least acknowledging that contact has been made.


The list of mentors below is in no special order. If they have a division email listed, you can contact them directly. If not, contact, and he will forward your request. When you first contact one of the mentors, please put something like “mentorship in model railroading” or “Susquehanna Division mentoring” in the subject line. Establishing a way to make connections that works for both the mentor or the member asking for advice will be a critical first step. Do you live close enough to get together in person, or do you need to figure out a way to work virtually? The system will need to work well for both participants.

Mentors and Areas of Expertise

Alan Mende,, a prototype model railroader modeling the Central Railroad of New Jersey in 1953.  Can mentor division members in:

  • soldering
  • working with brass
  • scratchbuilding
  • adding details
  • contest forms and judging
  • AP Evaluation


Jerry Lauchle, MMR,, models in HO scale. His model railroad photos have appeared in several magazines and in three NMRA calendars. Also proficient modeling in wood, Jerry says, “no plastics for me.” His modeling in wood includes scratchbuilding and craftsman kit-bashing rolling stock, structures, and scenic elements like bridges. He has many methods of painting, staining, and weathering wood and metal detail parts that come in kits like those of Fine Scale Miniatures. Can mentor division members in:

  • Model photography
  • Modeling with wood and creating scenes with structures, rail, and trains.


Keith Frantz models in HO scale and still uses “good ol’ DC.” Can mentor division members in:

  • DC Electrical Control
  • Signaling


Bill Lesjak,, models a freelanced HO scale layout with a focus on a variety of kinds of scenery. Can mentor division members with:

  • scenery


David Ellis,, models the Pacific Northwest in HO Scale. Can mentor division members with:

  • Backdrop use
  • Going for the Golden Spike