If your aspirations are wider then the contents of your rucksack at the end of the day, it was another great show. At least it was as far as I could tell. My weekend was largely spent on the BRM stand talking to people about Cake Boxes, 3D photos of Pendon and the new project layout I'm working on - more of this later in the week.
Saturday passed in a blur with occasional queues of people wanting to talk to me. It's nice to be popular, although hard work! Editor Andy, who shared the load a bit, found that the NEC floor is very hard on the feet indeed, and he only did the first day.
I did escape a few times to go off filming with Andy York. Despite the lack of danger money, I shot a scene in front of the advance ticket crowd. My theory had been that they would all swerve to the right and miss me. Looking at the footage, it was closer run than I thought.
Sunday wasn't quite as busy as Saturday but there was still much to keep me occupied. Cake boxes are proving incredibly popular and I met several people who were really pleased to have had a go at one. The best part of my job is when a modeller, especially a new one, comes up to me at a show and tells me I inspired them in some way to have a go. This happened many times over the weekend.
All this chatting made for very little time wandering around and looking at things. I'm afraid my photos on Flickr are a bit limited this year.
Foodwise (I know you like to know):
Burger with lots of bacon inside on Saturday. Nice.
Slice of Millionaires shortbread supplied by an RMwebber, and easily the best example of this cake I have ever eaten.
Sunday. Fish and chips from one of the catering caravans in the hall. I'd heard these were good from other places and you know what - they were!
Basically, you can eat at Warley, whatever anyone tells you, at only slightly higher than normal McBurger prices. And no-one stops you bringing your own food and drinks in, there as (as the video shows) two trains worth of seats!
Getting in smoothly on Friday. Since I was bringing quite a lot of models, I had to drive in and arriving at 2pm, I was in the hall at the stand half an hour later. Last years was difficult, this year, unbelievably slick.
The Hornby stand. Featuring a freshly painted prototype H Class loco, it looked every inch the sort of stand you'd expect to see at a proper trade show and just what you need at the national exhibition. I, of course, didn't get much of a photo but there are others out there.
Bachmann's first EP of the steam crane. Looks brilliant and works well - the designer kept twiddling the gears to show the steam engine working - this is going to be pricey but a real centrepiece for any collection.
The Dutch perspective model. Amazing work. If you've seen any photos from the show already, you've seen this one. Very clever twisted perspex water effect from the pump too.
All the friendly people I met on the stand and elsewhere.
At the press event on Sunday afternoon, I learnt that next year has been booked and by the time you read this, 2019 too. It's shocking that this is the 25th NEC event, I remember the Harry Mitchell Centre shows! Excellent work by Warley club and their helpers though - they put on the sort of show this hobby needs and do a superb job.