Only time for a quick visit to the model engineering show this year - I had to head off to a toy train show in the afternoon. Arriving at the car park entrance on Friday morning, it was a bit surprising to find a queue of cars and a very nearly full field. They were hastily cropping grass to make more space, and this at 10:30 in the morning !
All of this meant that the average age of the visitors was pretty high but then I don't ever remember seeing a hull of strapping 20-somethings. Still, there were a heck of a lot of them which is pretty impressive for anything taking place during the working week.
The show looked very similar to every other ME show - lots of metal things, made with great care and attention, very few of which I could ever hope to emulate. At least my steam boat "Sooty" was on display as part of the KMBC stand.. We'd decided to go for a steam boat theme this years stand to try and impress the visitors. Model boats are really proper model engineering - not enough metal - but we get to go anyway and they are a periphery interest for many people.
I'm always astounded that anyone actually starts some of the models. I mean who wakes up on the morning and says to themselves, "I'm going to start a half scale model of a lorry today" ? I can understand wanting a model, but even a quarter scale version is a pretty hefty object. You'll need a well equipped workshop with some lifting gear at the very least. Once you've finished, taking the results of your labours anywhere means heavyweight transport, a car trailer or big van. Should you be the owner of a Nissan Micra, you'll be loading it in the mack of your model !
Among the random thoughts that occurred to me was that every hole in a set of locomotive frames has to be understood, marked and drilled accurately. I find it hard work just to bomp the back of a bit of nickel silver to make a lump to represent a rivet - when your metal is 2mm+ thick steel, you must need some serious patience to put up with the slow progress that will result.
A few more photos on Flickr