Following Falkirk and Elgin (Dundee, Bonnybridge and Newcastle too).

Anyone in the hobby trade knows that this is a busy time of the year. Sarah and I have just finished a hard stint of exhibitions with Nairnshire Modelling Supplies. It appears that we have started to achieve some brand recognition for our business and sales are increasing, both on-line and at the shows. It will take several year’s worth of careful choice of stocking levels and hard work before we can really see if the venture will work for us. Nonetheless, we would both like to thank all those who have supported our venture so far, either by words of encouragement, placing orders through the on line shop and by purchasing items at shows. That includes exhibition managers that have allowed us into their shows  – making space for a new trade stand is not easy! We currently attend ten shows annually but would love to add a couple more shows to the calendar. Perhaps in the North West of England…

Falkirk show of this weekend past was the last until next February. Next up is the mayhem that is the big three day ‘Model Rail’ show at the Glasgow located SEC, a huge exhibition run by the AMRSS. This break  allows us some time to prepare for that and decide how the stand will be stocked to give us some differentiation and unique selling points.

Whilst on the subject of trade, the big news in the US modelling world here in the UK is the retirement of Mac of Mac’s Model Railroading, Helensburgh. Model Rail is likely to be the last show for this business. Fortunately for me, Mac’s has an important model sitting on his trade stand at Falkirk which is ideally suited to my small HO scale collection, one I really ‘felt the need’ to acquire when I saw the first photographs in Model Railroader! In the meantime, we wish everyone involved with Mac’s Models a happy retirement.

crw_4396_jfr1The faded and distressed livery is correct for this HO scale model which is produced by Athearn under its ‘Genesis’ premium range. Premium quality it is too. The livery is a re-badged former Milwaukee Road MP15AC under SOO ownership. The painting out of the former markings has started to peel – just like the real ones did. An amazing level of painting detail has been achieved by Athearn. UK-outline models still have a way to go to achieve this level of quality and detail for the price.

crw_4394_jfrcrw_4393_jfrcrw_4391_jfrcrw_4395_jfr2crw_4392_jfrThe model features a sound decoder, working running lights and a working roof strobe light too. However, users of Lenz equipment will find that the decoder will not function properly with their equipment which is a bit unfortunate. However, there’s no problem with Digitrax, NCE, MRC etc.

Lulls in trade…
Even the busiest show has its quiet moments. What does one do to fill the time? I take a little modelling with me which can be done without too much workbench kit. Recently, I prepared rail and sleepers for track building; cutting and placing the sleepers on a prepared template which can easily be carried home with the trade stock.

crw_4377_jfr

When I return home, the track is soldered up.

crw_4383_jfr
Once removed from the template, it is cleaned and stored ready for when I start the fiddleyard of my next UK-outline EM gauge layout. That will be a home-based ‘scenic test track’ which will be used as somewhere to run my collection of EM gauge models. I won’t say anything more about that project for now!

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