Monday, 10 October 2011

The NMRA Convention wrap...

Hello gain, and I'm back now from a tiring, but certainly enjoyable and inspiring weekend at the 2011 Australasian NMRA Convention, held up in Melbourne.  I headed up on the Friday afternoon to assist with setting up the venue for the weekend, before enjoying two days of interesting clinic topics and conversations on a mixed bag of model railway subjects.  It was a fairly intimate event, with about 80 attendees.  The venue made it look like a small crowd, but it was all good company.  Early starts and late nights, with lots of ideas to think about while laying in bed at night can make a young-ish body weary.

Across the two days, we got to hear a good range of topics presented in either lecture or workshop formats, from DCC LED applications, casting techniques, CNC milling with live demonstrations, various discussions on model development and techniques, as well as a number of talks on some prototype settings and modelling thoughts. As well as that, I was also there to host a couple of workshops on how I go about building my gum trees, which was well supported by all, and I was happy to receive plenty of positive feedback (as well as some good after discussions brain storming some new ideas).  Thanks to Mario Rapinett for the couple of shots during the clinic.  I'll add here a link to my clinic notes on how I do these trees (its a 10.4MB file as a word of warning)...

As well as the clinics and workshops, a couple of traders supported the event, with thanks to Brunel Hobbies, Outback Model Company, Narrow Gauge Downunder, and Fine Art Model Trains, for being there to happily accept some modellers hard earned dollars. 

There was also the modelling competition that is usually a part of such an event.  I was quite happy to accept the award for best diorama (with my Kawarren piece, as featured in the previous blog posting), as well as the "Rick Shoup Award" for best model of an Australian/New Zealand prototype.  I also thought I'd have the Kawarren goods shed structure judged under the NMRA criteria, and was happy to score a merit of 108/125 with it.

And then here's a selection of images from across the weekend.  Congratulations to those others who were awarded in the various competition categories.  If I could have one slightly negative thing to report from the weekend, it was the perhaps low number of participants in the said competitions.  I would prefer to see more entries to this area, even if the model is not entered with the intention to receive any awards (I don't neccessarily enter things with the prize in mind, although I do like to offer my best work), but to atleast put more on offer for fellow modellers to admire and discuss during the show.

There was a number of private layout tours available for the Sunday afternoons entertainment, with a mix of scales and gauges to visit, but I had a long drive ahead of me, so opted not to head out and visit any of these (another day maybe).

 Thanks to the organising committee of the 2011 Melbourne NMRA Convention for the hours dedicated to planning such an event.  Its a tiring job with little reward, but their efforts were thoroughly appreciated by all in attendance.



  1. Dan, a great write up, I've downloaded the tree building, really easy to read, had me wanting to head out a build a few gums right now! Thanks for sharing the info to those who couldn't get to the convention. Congrats on the well deserved awards as well, Geoff.

  2. G'day Geoff,
    Thanks for that. Glad you found the notes effective. It can be a bit intimidating to see 16 pages on how to make one tree, but the notes should cover most questions (plus there's heaps of photos). If I can say one thing about the trees, if you have a go at them, take your time at the start. With these trees, it really is a case of you get out of them what you put in. I can normally tell from even my bunch, which ones I've paid more attention too. Need to allow about an hour work time per big tree to enjoy the results more.