Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 NMRA Convention on the Gold Coast

This week I made three return trips to Helensvale on the Gold Coast to attend the NMRA Convention – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Friday was registration night and it allowed me to check out the Buy and Sell,  peruse Gwydir Valley Hobbies Shop, and Wuiske Models, and see what was on hand at AR Kits, Southern Rail Models, Black Diamond and PGC.  I also got to talk to the operators of the layouts in attendance – Coorparoo, Esk and the NMRA Queensland group Point to Point Layout. 
Very nice Fuel depot on the NMRA modular layout.

I loved the gates at the front of the Fuel depot.
On the way down to the Coast on Friday afternoon, I stopped in at one of the layouts that was open for inspection.  The layout was based on Great Northern / Spokane, Portland & Seattle Model Railroad.  This ran well and had some good scenery.
A very nice excavation being undertaken in the city.

Nice trackwork.

A nice Branch or is it actually two?
Upon registration all received a goodies bag containing various items and a USB key with notes on it, as well as the printed convention handbook.  Saturday’s sessions were interested, with Arthur Hayes session a standout best of show with his ‘Moving Goods/freight on your layout’ session.  I also enjoyed Gerry Hopkins’ Air Brushing Basics session.  Gerry was using that Aldi brand cheap compression that I recently purchased.  I had not turned mine on yet, as I am just overloaded with various reading at the moment.  When Gerry turned his compressor on you could not hear it.  It was perfectly silent.  That is a great advantage.  I also enjoyed the session on the modular layout, Railway Operations through Track Warrants and Railway Communication within the train room.  I also enjoyed looking at Laurie McLean’s Animation Display and Bob Claydon’s 3D Printing Demo.
Laurie's Conductor working and two kids waving to passers by.

The local Saloon with ladies of ill repute in attendance.  Is that PK at the bar?

The blacksmith and the farrier working and a drunk with his dog.

The barber at work and a guy reading the newspaper awaiting his turn.
I picked up a few items from the Buy and Sell both for myself and others.  One item was a Fleischmann Tacho wagon that I hope to get working so I know how big my layout is.  I also picked up a few items from Gwydir again for both me and for a mate.  In particular I obtained a selection of scale lumber that I need to finish a bridge.
Saturday Night we retired to the Helensvale Golf Club for a dinner and speeches.  I had a great time talking to Graeme Prideaux and Laurie McLean.  The meal wasn't too shabby either.
Sunday’s sessions were also very informative especially Martyn Jenkins’ session on JMRI Scripting.  The second session has certainly peeked my interest in controlling the lighting on my layout via a computer.  I think I will be investigating this further.  Following the end of the day, I went home and then entertained both Laurie McLean and Stephen Ottway at Cassino.  I think they both think I’m crazy and I think they are right!
So I certainly picked up some tips over the weekend, and also gained an enthusiasm to try some things that I have been scared at jumping into doing.  Thanks to the organisers for a great weekend.
I just need to find some modelling time now.

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