Some people only go to the big shows. The ones that are fashionable. The ones everyone else goes to.
I've always said this is a mistake and last weekend, I think I was proved right.
The Larger Scale show is a funny beast. It covers everything from O gauge to engineering sizes, not always logical bedfellows. The bulk of the event is 7mm, G1 and garden railway scales. I like this sort of thing but if you are a hard-core OO fan then perhaps this seems less interesting.
Around the event there were some fantastic models but the star, for me at least, is the O gauge locomotive shed layout 82G.
This is a popular model at normal exhibitions. Large crowds clutter up the front of it. You struggle to see what is going on.
Not here. On the Sunday I visited, half-a-dozen people was the norm. The operators seemed relaxed and kept things moving around. I just enjoyed the scenery. For a large layout, whose main focus is locomotives, there is an awful lot of well modelled and very atmospheric detail. Fire iron filled racks that will have taken many hours to model. A rather simpler ladder leaning against a wall. Both caught my eye and camera.
And I could drink in the scene free from jostling, body odour and backpacks.
Elsewhere, the garden scales were lovely - who can resist the smell of real, working, steam locos?
My favourite model - a scaled up Superquick Main Line station on an O gauge tinplate layout. Very clever use of the photocopier and it looked marvelous.
Tradewise there are good things too. A Gauge 3 streamlined Coronation class loco RTR? Projects to produce Glyn Valley Tram locos and even a K1 Garratt in live steam RTR models? It shows that there is a market out there for interesting and well made miniatures, even if the price will run well into 4 figures. These are investment models. Buy and enjoy them and your money is safe.
Who says that there is no money in the hobby? Probably the same people who tell you to go to the "right" shows...
Photos over on Flickr.