What an awesome convention! The best I've been to. If you have never gone to an NMRA Convention and the spectacular National Train Show...start saving for the Peachtree Express 2013 in Atlanta. I'll do a clinic for you. Free!
The main reasons I go are to see old friends, make new friends and learn new things. There is a lot to learn and it comes at you so fast that by the end of the day you are worn out. At this convention the main things I learned that really got my attention:
1. You need to use eyedrops when modeling to help your eyes focus and to replace your natural moisturizing tears. This allows your eyes to focus without wearing them out. If your eyes start watering then you waited too long for drops and the tears that come from watery eyes don't help your eyes....they are designed to flush out foreign objects, so your eyes get itchy and tired. Wow! I even bought a new type of magnification (for me) that I'll share with you when it comes in from Micro-Mark.
2. Z scale has GREATLY improved over the past few years. I was absolutely stunned to see a Z-scale lumber mill, with a DETAILED interior, inside lighting and sound. It would fit in the palm of my hand. Every detail was carefully painted and it was amazing. Simply amazing.
4. 3D Sterolithography is the wave of the future and if you aren't learning about it now, you will be late to the dance. Check out the posts on my Yahoo Egroup TRAINTOOLS for more info.
5. The great clinics at the convention often have their Powerpoints and handouts on the convention site under CLINICS. These are VERY informative and available to you even if you didn't attend the convention.
6. Paul Rankin can fall asleep damn near anywhere...even on an excursion train!
7. When the Conductor says there is no clearance room between the train and Tunnel #5 on the Virginia & Truckee Railroad, he means it. My camera has probably been eaten by the wild horses by now.
Have a nice evening....and plan to go to the Peachtree Express so I can meet you!