With my new role as MREMag editor firmly in mind, but with more than a passing interest in a future O gauge project (possibly), I headed to sunny Telford for Guildex 2012, the place where all those working in 7mm scale are drawn in September to empty their bank accounts and re-stock the cupboards of maturing projects.
My aim was to talk to as many traders as possible. MREmags news service has traditionally been home to product announcements for the main RTR suppliers but I want to expand this out to include the thousands of cottage industry guys who support our hobby so well. To this end, I did a lot of chatting and took relatively few photos for you to look at. Sorry.
The show itself is massive - 128 stands. It fills 2 large halls of the International Conference Centre. Some of those stands are layouts, some are demonstrations, but most wish to flog you something.
And what a range there is. One of my first stopping places was Steve Beattie diesel kits who had some fascinating diesel engine models in display. Not locomotives but the power units within the locomotives. I remember building something similar, although nowhere near as good, to fit inside s 10201 kit a couple of years ago. Fitting a detailed model into a 7mm loco ? I suppose it makes sense. You do the cab interior, why not the engine room ?
The first layout for me was Racoon Canyon, a 6m by 1.3m )n30 model. It appealed because I recognised a couple of the building kits used, partly because they are in the "one day" stash of On30 stuff we have.
Actually, I was a bit shocked to realise that there were 15 layouts in attendance. My gas-bagging meant I got a good look at less than a third of them. Mind you, with such a big venue, even a 7mm model gets a bit lost.
One benefit of the floor space is that the aisles are wide and moving around was always easy. OK, so fighting your way to the front of a stand sometimes took a few minutes but that's the sign of a popular exhibition, you can't complain too much.
By the end of the day I was talked out. I cou7ld have spend thousands, as it was, I bought lunch. Maybe next year.
My Guildex photos