I’m here at the Railway Modellers’ Meet, babysitting the display room, which was unlocked unspeakably early due to reasons lost to history. As with any good model railway convention, I’m running on fumes due to the sprint to complete my display and the activities of the meet itself. Being the meet chairman, I’ve necessarily missed much of the meet due to trying to resolve the myriad such things that pop up.
However, one part that I really wanted to get to was Max Magliaro‘s clinic on scratch building N scale steam locomotives. He did not disappoint. In fact, Max had so much material that we had scheduled him for two slots, and he was still going strong half an hour after the meet was supposed to have wrapped up! Max opened with a slide describing why he likes scratch building steam locomotives, in which, tongue firmly in cheek, he suggested that we should take up building steam locomotives because,
You will be a Model Railroad God, and your friends will be in awe of you.
We often hear that the hobby is losing craftsmanship. Yet, looking around this room, which is our best display in years, it is clear that this is not the case. What’s more, British Columbia is clearly not a monotheistic model railroad community. No, we have about as many gods as the Norse!
Here, for example is Jim Little’s brass model of CPR 136. It is completely scratch built, along with the passenger cars and Lidgerwood beside it.
Then there is Kyle Gardiner, who regularly shames the rest of us with his models. This year it is a quarter inch scale flanger that really works. He says he built it because he was snowbound. When Kyle brings one of his engines, I just want to find another display room for mine. Keep making flangers, Kyle.
Or what about Takahiro’s brass-bashing. I don’t know if he’s a God yet, but he definitely has skills.
In total, we had 86 models in the display room. That is the most we’ve ever had. Many of these models represent significant amounts of work – whether scratch building or kit bashing. The room was full of inspiration! The hobby is alive and well here in BC!