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Convention

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  • Malcolm Cleaveland
    Had a wonderful time at the 1st National Z Scale Convention. Getting to Medford was the hard part, and the tickets were expensive. United messed up so we
    Message 1 of 3 , May 3, 2010
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      Had a wonderful time at the 1st National Z Scale Convention. Getting to
      Medford was the hard part, and the tickets were expensive. United messed
      up so we missed our connection in Denver. They offered to fly us to Utah,
      L.A., San Francisco or Portland, then get us into Medford late Friday
      morning (of course, that meant we would miss the MTL factory tour).
      Plus, they were not going to put us up in a hotel while we waited. We
      were going to spend 7 or 8 hours in the lovely Portland terminal. So we
      got to Portland shortly before midnight, rented a car, then drove the
      length of the state to Medford. Arrived in time for the factory tour, but
      didn't get much sleep, altho' we tried to get a few hours in the cars when
      we stopped to eat.

      While Medford is very close to the MTL factory, in the future I would
      rather go to a convention held in conjunction with the NTS, like our 2005
      convention in Columbus. The convention itself was held in a room with
      very dim lighting. You really need good lighting for Z scale. The
      clinics were very interesting. Strangely enough, the lighting in the room
      where the clinics were held was excellent.

      The thing that stood out, IMHO, is that there were no announcements of
      any substance from Micro-Trains. AZL had the prototypes of their 53' well
      Thralls without the details to be added in production and they looked
      awesome. AZL also announced a lot of coming releases, including 89'
      flatcars, 60'(?) Thrall gondolas, heavy passenger cars, the UP Bigboy and
      light and heavy US Mikados. What is left for Micro-Trains to do?

      SeaRails had a lot of stuff there, including a RO-RO ship, new
      tank-tainers, and lots of other neat stuff. Mostly RP, but some brass and
      stainless steel etching/laser cut pieces. Loren and Karin had some great
      stuff, including a helicopter with whirling rotor blades on Loren's
      module.

      I was relieved to see that the AZL containers are sheet-and-post, so
      not in direct competition with Harald Freudenreich's and my line of
      corrugated containers. Not sure why they chose sheet-and-post; you see
      very few of them anymore. Maybe if they were reefers, like the 40s that
      Harald makes, but there is not a refrigerator unit on them (you could add
      it very easily). The pad-printing was superb. There was a Pacer 53' that
      was exquisite. Only problem, I cannot find where Pacer runs any
      sheet-and-post containers, only corrugated. I'd be glad to be proven
      wrong.

      Still no 53' tractor trailer rigs available except for SeaRails RP.
      Apparently Make-My_Model is out of business, so there is no source for
      wheels any more. I did talk to Randy Brown of Arrowhead Scale Models and
      pressed him for 53s and modern tractor rigs. He does make 28s.

      One of the things we really need is commercial decal making. As long
      as we have to rely on Alps printers, Z scale will have an unscratched
      itch. MicroScale needs to add Z to their repertoire. Some of their N
      decals are already satisfactory for Z applications, but they refuse to
      address the Z market.

      All in all, we had a good time after the horrorshow experience a getting
      to Medford. For future reference, Medford may not be the ideal place to
      hold the convention. The weather was good, but a little later in the year
      might be nice. After the NTS would be good, too.

      CheerZ,
      -- Malcolm Z
      MCZ Models
    • Ben
      Thanks Malcolm for your trip summary, I m very glad that my scares were confirmed regarding the flight connections, I knew that the risks were very high when I
      Message 2 of 3 , May 3, 2010
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        Thanks Malcolm for your trip summary, I'm very glad that my scares were confirmed regarding the flight connections, I knew that the risks were very high when I started to plan this trip, especially when I saw how hard it was to get into that location with a minimum of 2 connections from my departure point, I knew I would have miss a lot of sleep and I just couldn't afford that lately.

        So my deceptions are less high, because of your stories.

        Thanks

        Ben

        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Malcolm Cleaveland <mcleavel@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Had a wonderful time at the 1st National Z Scale Convention. Getting to
        > Medford was the hard part, and the tickets were expensive. United messed
        > up so we missed our connection in Denver. They offered to fly us to Utah,
        > L.A., San Francisco or Portland, then get us into Medford late Friday
        > morning (of course, that meant we would miss the MTL factory tour).
        > Plus, they were not going to put us up in a hotel while we waited. We
        > were going to spend 7 or 8 hours in the lovely Portland terminal. So we
        > got to Portland shortly before midnight, rented a car, then drove the
        > length of the state to Medford. Arrived in time for the factory tour, but
        > didn't get much sleep, altho' we tried to get a few hours in the cars when
        > we stopped to eat.
        >
        > While Medford is very close to the MTL factory, in the future I would
        > rather go to a convention held in conjunction with the NTS, like our 2005
        > convention in Columbus. The convention itself was held in a room with
        > very dim lighting. You really need good lighting for Z scale. The
        > clinics were very interesting. Strangely enough, the lighting in the room
        > where the clinics were held was excellent.
        >
        > The thing that stood out, IMHO, is that there were no announcements of
        > any substance from Micro-Trains. AZL had the prototypes of their 53' well
        > Thralls without the details to be added in production and they looked
        > awesome. AZL also announced a lot of coming releases, including 89'
        > flatcars, 60'(?) Thrall gondolas, heavy passenger cars, the UP Bigboy and
        > light and heavy US Mikados. What is left for Micro-Trains to do?
        >
        > SeaRails had a lot of stuff there, including a RO-RO ship, new
        > tank-tainers, and lots of other neat stuff. Mostly RP, but some brass and
        > stainless steel etching/laser cut pieces. Loren and Karin had some great
        > stuff, including a helicopter with whirling rotor blades on Loren's
        > module.
        >
        > I was relieved to see that the AZL containers are sheet-and-post, so
        > not in direct competition with Harald Freudenreich's and my line of
        > corrugated containers. Not sure why they chose sheet-and-post; you see
        > very few of them anymore. Maybe if they were reefers, like the 40s that
        > Harald makes, but there is not a refrigerator unit on them (you could add
        > it very easily). The pad-printing was superb. There was a Pacer 53' that
        > was exquisite. Only problem, I cannot find where Pacer runs any
        > sheet-and-post containers, only corrugated. I'd be glad to be proven
        > wrong.
        >
        > Still no 53' tractor trailer rigs available except for SeaRails RP.
        > Apparently Make-My_Model is out of business, so there is no source for
        > wheels any more. I did talk to Randy Brown of Arrowhead Scale Models and
        > pressed him for 53s and modern tractor rigs. He does make 28s.
        >
        > One of the things we really need is commercial decal making. As long
        > as we have to rely on Alps printers, Z scale will have an unscratched
        > itch. MicroScale needs to add Z to their repertoire. Some of their N
        > decals are already satisfactory for Z applications, but they refuse to
        > address the Z market.
        >
        > All in all, we had a good time after the horrorshow experience a getting
        > to Medford. For future reference, Medford may not be the ideal place to
        > hold the convention. The weather was good, but a little later in the year
        > might be nice. After the NTS would be good, too.
        >
        > CheerZ,
        > -- Malcolm Z
        > MCZ Models
        >
      • John Mui
        Malcom, my friend Stony is working on some 53 chassis. The first ones made from RP look pretty good. Cant have a intermodal yard without some chassis. John
        Message 3 of 3 , May 3, 2010
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          Malcom, my friend Stony is working on some 53' chassis. The first ones made
          from RP look pretty good. Cant have a intermodal yard without some chassis.

          John
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