Monday, November 23, 2009

Warley - Day 2

Warley Wagon
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker

A successful demo - this is my output from the entire weekend. A wagon seen in black and white !

Sunday started very quietly compared to the previous day. Should the mood have taken you, wandering around the layouts and trade was quite possible and even pleasant for the first hour or so. After this the crowds built up (everyone had had their lie in) and levels got to exhibition manager pleasing proportions. To be fair, moving around was possible but you had to queue a bit for the most popular stands. Doubtless there will be those bemoaning the amount of people and wondering why part of the hall was fenced off. The later is simple - if the show had used it they would have had to pay the NEC for it and that would have pushed up everyones prices. As for popularity - well, that can be fixed by hiking the ticket price up by a fiver or so - how much would you pay to have the show quieter ?

We had lots more chat. Yet again the cardboard buildings were popular but the kit built wagons also had fans. Several asked about weathering too as I had a couple of ViTrains locos on show. Several times there two chairs were full and others stood behind. This actually caused problems when people wanted specifically to see one of us, or we really wanted to chat to friends. One guy had some new 3mm scale wheels I was particularly keen to examine and it took three goes before he got to us !

Exiting the hall was easier than normal. I parked opposite rather than try to get the car in and we lugged the models, board and DOGA stand out the "hard" way. This was far quicker than the lazy option of driving up the spot. In fact we were on the road, or at least trying to find the exit in the maze that passes for the NEC road system, by half five which is something of a record.

Overall, it was an enjoyable show. People I talked to seemed to feel the layout quality was the highest it has been for many years. Trade was fine too. There were a few people missing but I suspect you could get most of the bits the average modeller wants and even some stuff for the specialist. Sadly the really small cottage industries were priced out of this event years ago but that's what happens when you need a venue this big, it costs a lot of money.

Oh, and the biggest complaint, apart from crowds, seems to be lighting. It's is very yellow, hence my black and white photo. If your stand has it's own lights this isn't a problem. If it doesn't, tough. Layouts don't have an excuse as they should know by now you can't rely on exhibition hall lighting. Traders aren't nearly as badly affected but can often compensate by spotlighting specific models if required. The NEC is built for trade fairs where all the stands light themselves. Mind you, if they could leave all the lights on until packing up if finished I'm sure we'd appreciate it !

More photos in the gallery

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