Today I attended the Ontario Narrow Gauge show for the first time. It’s a show I’ve heard about for a number of years, but have only had a passing interest in narrow gauge until I decided to leap into it last year with my OO9 Talyllyn project and the HO Scale 40.5inch gauge Porter I’ve built. The show is a reasonably small show, and very specialized. No tables full of junk, just lots of high quality modelling by people really interested in what they are doing, as most niche areas of the hobby are.
Overview of the upstairs room of the show.
The show was well attended, with a mix of a few vendors, several layouts, static displays, and a contests area. Narrow Gauge lends itself to lots of different things, and that was on show today. Prototype narrow gauge to completely whimsical free lance was there. My interests are definitely more in the prototypical end of narrow gauge (i apparently lack whimsy in my modelling! Crazy things from my mind just don’t seem to translate to successful projects).
Collection of layout and diorama photographs from the show.
While I normally don’t enter into or consider competition to necessarily be a good part of the hobby, in certain circumstances, it can be ok. I brought my two locomotives to enter into the competition, not because I have any desire to see them judged, but because the awards here are voted on by those in attendance. It’s not a competition to meet some created standard of quality or impress a judge, but a vote of those in attendance as to what they liked best. There were some amazing models, and the winners all deserve recognition for their work. Unlike many competitions, it didn’t feel like one where people were being pitted against each other, but where it was mostly an opportunity for very talented modellers to show off their work.
“Critters” and Locomotives from the Contest Tables. Narrow Gauge has prototypes and inspiration both in the real world and the crazy freelance world.
On top of the modelling on display, they show had three very well done clinics. One I skipped (I’ve seen it given before) by Jeff Young and Peter Foley on their book project on the original Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway, and two I hadn’t seen. One by Ron Guttman on tools and the right tools for some different modelling tasks. The third was the most interesting to me. A clinic, including hands on with Pan Pastels. I’ve never used them, but some of my friends swear by them for weathering models. The session was presented by Gerry Cornwell from Mt Albert Scale Lumber. I learned a lot in it, and now understand a lot more about how Pan Pastels work, and see lots of opportunity for me to apply them to future projects. I will most definitely be picking some up at some point down the road. When that is, who knows, but I’ll no doubt write about it! Pan Pastels are available at many art stores, apparently at Michael’s (though I’ve never seen them there), and at Curry’s in the Toronto area. Gerry recommended a vendor in the US who puts together packages specifically targeted at Model Railroaders, Stoney Creek Designs.
Painting and Weathering with Pan Pastels clinic. Hands on with something I’ve heard a lot about, but never seen being used or had any idea how they worked before today.
It was an enjoyable day out. Hopefully in the future I will have a narrow gauge layout worthy of showing off at the show. I am certainly looking forward to attending again in the future.