Recently I have been looking at getting suitable railway scenery to supplement the table. EBay has been kind, however I thought 'are there any railway shows nearby?' A quick search on the internet threw a lucky fish line into the water. A large show (50 plus traders), nearby (Doncaster) this weekend!
Both myself and Daz set off, not knowing what to quite expect; was it going to be all old guys with beards (we have our own wargaming stereotypes as you well know) or were we going to get something s little different? Well, we were very pleasantly surprised. Whilst there were many of the older generation attending, there were a fair amount of younger folks...and several, actively interested, ladies.
The show consisted of a broad range of railway suppliers in an open, airy venue (the Doncaster Racecourse). Customers were polite, something some of the wargaming public could take note from - people shared stall viewing space, with very few grazers who chatted in front of the products. Personally, it was a little disappointing on the building front, but there was some interesting supplies purchased instead.
I bought some items from Skytrex that I had never seen on their trade stand at wargames shows - baskets and crates of market produce: these will make very nice market materials for my fantasy town. A gentlemen demonstrated his 'flockbox' for us to see. The best of the day was a little company called 'Petite Properties'; they sold a range of buildings at differing scales which were very detailed when compared to the wargaming equivalent - at very reasonable prices. The gentleman was warm and welcoming without being overly sales conscious and his wife was one of the best representatives of sales at a trade show I have met. She shared freely her experiences of detailing and weathering buildings, and was more than happy to give some tips. The best tip was cheap eyeshadow, rather than expensive weathering powders, which the lady demonstrated on some printed wall patterned paper. What a pleasant experience where I actually came away feeling I had gained more than the pots of paint that I had purchased (which were excellent value too at two pounds a pot).
So now it's time to weather those strange looks as I rifle through the women's make-up stands in the local supermarket...