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.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
> 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
> 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.
> -- Malcolm Z
> MCZ Models