More than 240 modelers, spouses and friends – including your editor – attended the National Association of S Gaugers (NASG) national convention recently in Novi, Michigan. The annual event, which rotates regionally throughout the country, was ably hosted by the Southeastern Michigan S Gaugers at the Sheraton Novi.
The five-day event featured a busy and interesting mix of area layout tours, operations sessions on S scale layouts (including on two of national renown), and clinics. Here’s my recap on happenings in the “world’s oldest scale.”
One of the most popular activities featured Ken Zieska’s hands-on “Make n’ Take” clinic on assembling and finishing with Pan Pastels of a lasercut modular industrial kit from Monster Modelworks which stretched over three days.
River Raisin Models promoted its latest brass imports – the Early Berkshires – in six different roadnames (Boston & Maine, Boston & Albany, AT&SF, Southern Pacific, and Illinois Central) from Boo Rim Precision of South Korea. They’re due in Spring 2017.
American Models showed off models of its latest project – dome cars – to go with its ever-popular lighted Budd car sets in both scale and hi-rail.
In an important development, Fox Valley Models S Scale Track displayed samples of its all-new tooling of S Scale Code 138 Flex Track designed to match its existing turnouts in either hi-rail or scale versions. The rail is also compatible with other brands of S track and features prototypical tie spacing.
Willie Monaghan’s timely and inspiring clinic on the ready availability of 3D printing and its huge potential for not just S but all scales of model railroading was the subject of much discussion on the dealer floor, where other vendors also displayed railroad structures and objects created with programs such as Shapeways. 3D printing certainly has the capability of transforming the model railroad commercial market as well for once-off personal projects manufacturing.
Attendees were also treated to the nationally acclaimed Ridgehill Central Railroad modular layout display by the Canadian S Scale Workshop. Its modular flexibility allows the huge, beautifully scenicked layout to conform to virtually any size or shape. The members’ mission is to show off the fine-scale potential of S. The layout has been awarded “Best of Show – Layout” at 2011 Trainfest and 2013 Amherst hobby shows.
While S scale may be a minority group in the world of model railroading, you’d never know it by the enthusiasm and skills displayed by the avid modelers! Next year’s national gathering returns to Baltimore, Maryland – “The Birthplace of American Railroading.”
That’s all from the NASG Convention in Novi! Let us know in the comments if you also attended the convention, or if you’re planning to visit any other conventions this year.