As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been sincerely delinquent in my model railroading adventure. I made a big push in the fall and early winter, but since the new year began, all I’ve achieved is some light model-building — far short from my grandiose plans of greatly expanding my layout. This weekend, though, I paid the hobby a little extra attention when I swung by the Radisson at Lackawanna Station for the Scranton Model Train show on Sunday.
Though I really have no base for reference, I was impressed with the turnout. Parking in the area was difficult to come by, and when I got inside it was a pretty packed crowd checking out all the exhibitors.
The vast majority of stuff was in O (large) gage, with a solid representation of HO (medium) peppered throughout. Only a couple tables had tiny corners of my much smaller N-scale, but since I seemed to be the only person who noticed, I’m sure most visitors were more than pleased. In addition to the trains, there was all manner of railroad memorabilia and accessories.
I’ve heard a few sources decry the decline of the model railroading hobby, but it would have been really hard to claim that while squeezing through the crowd and craning your neck around and between people to get a look at the tables. I’m not sure how it is that my luck always works out this way, but it doesn’t matter where I am — trade show, museum, grocery store, you name it — someone invariably stands right in front of what I want to look at. Never to look at the same thing, mind you, just something nearby that makes them decide the best place for their body is right in front of someone else. It’s one of the things I can’t stand about crowds, but I was willing to be extra patient in this case. I only wound up buying one measly N-scale crossover track, but I did get a card from the Pittston Train Shop, who insisted they’ve got one of the best selections of the small scale in the area. I’ll be visiting soon to see if they can back that claim up.
Finally, in order to continue paying some respect to the hobby I’ve been neglecting, I set to work on an experiment: converting tiny, approximately one millimeter tall N-scale people into zombies. That’s right, tiny undead. I started the whole thing with an ebay order for 100 assorted people. A month later, a small envelope from Hong Kong arrived (I guess the month wait comes with the tradeoff of buying 100 tiny people for $7 including shipping). With a lot of very careful work and tiny, tiny bits of model glue, I repositioned limbs on one figure to make your classic arms-out-front, dragging-leg walking zombie.
Impressed with my first effort, I decided to make a slightly more difficult crawling-with-no-legs-and- guts-hanging-out zombie. It came out decent as well. I still need to muster up the patience to do all the tiny painting I need, but it’ll be fun to experiment with different poses and styles. I’ll also have to make a few victims to make my tiny scene(s) of horror complete.
So even though my train work sometimes falls to the extreme back burner, it’s obvious we’ve still got a decent presence of model railroad enthusiasts willing to pack the Radisson for a show. Maybe if I get good at my zombie-making, I’ll bring some to the next show to be a representative of both N-scale and zombie fans.