Well, there was allot of it, so much in fact that I'm going to split it up into more than one post.
Overall, I found it to be a very good convention. The venue was great, big enough so that everyone was not tripping over each other, but with some nice wee areas to get away from others for quiet chats. as well as that, Cuba st with all its cafes was just around the corner, so I didn't dine in at all. However reports suggest that the on site food was very good anyway. There were a wide selection of clinics which were all well attended (depends on your definition of 'well' I guess). The only beef I heard was a lack of non stop coffee and tea, which if that's as bad as it gets, suggests that it was very successful. Thanks to the organising committee for putting in the hard yards before and during the convention to make it the successful event that it was.
Well, first up, what everyone will want to know about, competitions. The entries were of a very high standard, with some stunning locos (with the eventual winner being an amazing piece of work). As well as the Uga and J5 I decided to enter my 30' clerestory and 47' vans. These were also tarted up a bit prior to leaving last week. Saturday morning I get a text from Amateur fetler asking (from Taupo) 'How are we looking in the competitions?'
The competition room appears to be a most secretive area, with the door shut for most of the 2 days. However late Saturday afternoon the door was open, and those who had not gone layout touring ambled in to check the results.
'Pack of losers! back to the layout with you!
In all seriousness, I was very happy with the results, as I had not expected to score so well. The J scraped into the gold category by 0.31 of a percent, but its written down, so I don't care. It placed better than other S scale models . The other 3 were in the mid 60's, but again, still good enough for bronze. Not bad for 'layout models' with not much extra work done to them.
I'd also like to thank Amateur fettler and Cabbage for doing the grunt CAD work, so that all I had to do was assemble it. The problem I now have is that the next 19 sheep wagons that I do will have to have the same level of detail.
I'll post the judging sheet marking scheme and comments when I receive them in the mail, so that all of us can see where the shortcomings are in modeling in a smaller scale, and which areas need to be addressed to increase the competition scores to compete with the bigger guys.
So, was the J5 the best Nz120 model in show?
I was beaten by B 0-4-4-0's line side hut which he had knocked up