Unable to get NR to pick up dependancies

Hi all, Node developer newb here. My first nodes are meant to introduce custom nodejs modules to the NR system. but I seem to be unable to get node red to pickup on my node's dependencies. I have the following in my package.json in the root of the folder of my nodes code:

"dependencies": {
    "formidable": "^1.2.1",
    "replace-in-file": "^3.4.4",
    "dateformat": "^3.0.0",
    "mqtt": "^2.18.8",
    "socket.io": "^2.2.0",
    "protobufjs": "6.8.8"

however, it never seems to install protobufjs and so if I put my node in a flow and deploy I get:

msg : error
"Error: Cannot find module 'protobufjs'"

on my win7 pro box I have tried :
stopping node-red
From C:\Users\my_username.node-red - npm uninstall e:\foo\bar\my_node-red_module
From C:\Users\my_username.node-red - npm install e:\foo\bar\my_node-red_module

my package.json with dependencies is located at: e:\foo\bar\my_node-red_module\package.json