Stic Harris and I hit the road early....very early...Friday morning for Pittsfield, Mass. and the 2013 FineScale Expo. Three days and 1000+ miles on my car later and I'm back in Virginia.
This is the second Expo I've attended and while it was fun my impression was there wasn't the same frantic level of buying and selling going on in the dealer room. The clinics, while interesting and excellent seemed to be a lot of repeats from last year - some variety would have been nice.
Was the show worth it? I think so. The main reason we went was to see some friends. We had a nice visit with Don Janes and George Dutka....Don being more interested in Stic's hockey career than his model railroading.....and we both dropped a few sheckles in the dealer room. I did hold true to my mantra to only buy things I know will fit on the railroad - and my big purchases were a new country store from BEST Trains and a Winchendon Machine Co. kit from Laser Modeling 3. I already have spots picked out on the railroad for both of these buildings.
I rounded out my purchasing with some odds and ends - Northeastern has a new line of doors and window castings that are smaller windows more typical of New England buildings, so I ended up with a variety of those parts, and I also bought some metal details from BEST Trains.
Our main reason for going was to visit Dick Elwell's spectacular Hoosac Valley - one of my favorite layouts of all time. I've seen Dick at a few shows over the last few years, but hadn't been able to get to see the railroad since shortly after he'd moved a then finished railroad into a new house about 12 years ago.
We left the hotel early enough to be there when Dick opened the doors at 10:00. Actually, we got to Adams early enough that we had time to photograph a couple of the wonderful old mill buildings that are all over the place in that part of New England.
Although the railroad is basically finished, Dick is all excited about his latest project - a new paper mill complex that is in the early construction stages. I was flabbergasted, and more than a little humbled, that when I walked into the basement the first thing Dick did was reach onto his side table and produce my paper mill articles from MR .... and he proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions about the article!
We also visited Bob Van Gelder's South River & Millville (left), and Bill Duffe's Boston & Maine (below) before hitting the road for a long, dark, but otherwise uneventful drive home.
Here's a photo from each of those layouts - more to follow in future posts I'm sure.
All in all a great weekend with good friends.