Sunday, February 09, 2014

Trains, no planes, and only miniature automobiles

Last month Dear Husband and I went to the Amherst Railway Society Model Railroad show at the "Big E" in Springfield, Massachusetts along with 25,230 other people. It seems to me that most of them were middle-aged men who were as awestruck as grade school kids at DisneyWorld for the first time.  There WAS a lot to see.
There was a bridge to nowhere.
There were miniature buildings with amazing details.  (note the variation in window shades in the warehouse on the left.
I caught a train rushing by.  I came to appreciate the videos of model train layouts.
Some layouts had all the details covered... although the one below had a gap in the sky.  Since the layouts were assembled in units about the size of a card table, it wasn't too surprising.

Some of the layouts were more than 90 feet on a side.  Some were displayed by Model RR associations or clubs, some by individuals and some by accessory manufacturers. Most people had specialized interests.  There were men who just liked switching the trains from track to track, backing them up, hitching and unhitching the cars from the locomotives.

Others liked trains from the Era of Steam.  Others liked trains and scenery from a particular era.  It seemed that the 30's and 50's were popular.  (Probably the boyhood  decades of many of the attendees!)  Some liked urban settings and others liked more rural ones.

I liked the non-train set up of the camper, pick up truck and track-side building.
Most manufacturers specialized in what they sold.  There were two huge exhibitions of track-side lights, flashers and warning signals.  These days, they actually have LED illumination, and some have sound as well.

For $24.00 I could have had a shepherd, flock of sheep AND a wolf. 
I've seen x-rated sets of figures before, but I couldn't figure out what was naughty about the depot (?) below.  and it was behind a plexiglass barrier, so I didn't ask for details.  Some of those RR guys are probably "old goats," or "dirty old men."
The green and white two tone car ("Shove it or Leave it) reminded me of the car I drove in high school.  I'd definitely want one if DH decides to build a layout. Some folks model their layouts after real locations, while others invent towns and cities.
After my feet got tired, I found a chair and sat and sketched.  The good thing about this venue is that people tended to stop and look at stuff, which gave me a better chance with gesture drawings.

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