Saturday, December 01, 2012

Warley Part 1 - Saturday

Modelling board

Advance ticket holders being let into the show at 9.15 meant a very early start for the Parker's Guide team. 7.12 from Leamington station saw us 7.45 at Birmingham International. At this point, normal railway modellers would head straight to Hall 5 to wallow in toy train goodness. We took the Air Rail service to the airport.

We mooched around and watched planes come and go a bit but eventually headed back, arriving in the hall about an hour before the first punters were due in. Even then there was a decent crowd and I had to resist the temptation to say loudly to my Dad, "It's a shame Bachmann dropped out of the show this year." The shock would probably have killed half of them...

Instead we nipped out the front of the building to take a look at the mock-up of Spaceship 2. It's an impressive full sized model but the grass around it is covered in dog mess. Not just the odd bit but several tons of the stuff turning a bit of (space) plane spotting into a crazy dance dodging the smelly stuff.

Egg and Sausage bapBack at our stand, we were still too early so wandered over to the restaurant where there were queues of modellers including at least one we recognised. Breakfast was served - those being put up by the show were being fed in the hall as the start was too early for the hotels. The rest of us bought rolls anyway, I had a delicious fried egg and sausage which I managed to scoff without covering my lovely Hornby Magazine polo shirt with yolk.

You'll be pleased to know we did get started and actually open up our demo but to be honest there isn't much to say about this. I spent most of the day sat talking to people. My Dad acted as back-up and chatted to visitors as well, after all, I can't yak to more than one punter at a time.

Popular subject of the day was the Skytrex based factory building. It was picked up an examined many times and hopefully a few people then headed to the other side of the show to look at the manufacturer and buy some bits. Late in the day, a friend connected with one of the main model railway manufacturers looked at it and said that a ready to plan resin model would cost around £100, so at half that, plus some enjoyable work, my model was a bargain.

Skytrex Factory

To be honest, I can't say I got out much during the day. An unsuccessful (thank you NEC caterers) attempt to get some lunch allowed me to walk a loop around the hall but crowds were such I didn't really see anything.

There was one special moment - I signed a copy of "Parker's Guide". This makes me a proper author. So proper in fact, that I signed 3 more during the rest of the day. It sounds a bit smug but this was really special. (OK, I'll shut up about it now).

At the end of the day, we walked back to the station, glad to avoid a dark and wet drive home, to find the train we should have caught if I'd looked at the timetable, had left 3 minutes earlier. The next one was an hour, and another trip to the airport for a drink, away. Delayed 20 minutes and full of merry football fans, one of whom didn't comprehend that when everyone is crammed into a vestibule, wearing rucksack should be a capital crime.

And the sum total of the modelling? I had cleaned the moulding pips off the side of a floor for a 7mm scale van. My assistant had removed a part from the fret of a cardboard building. That sounds like a succesful demo!

Warley photos on Flickr

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