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JRM at Otakon 2022


cteno4

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Well we did Otakon Saturday! It’s a large anime convention here in DC area each summer. It was a long day, but the con was really big this year (usually 25-30k attending) and folks were very excited to see the Ttrak setup and a display of anime themed trains and Japanese scenes. Lots of really positive exclamations when folks would stumble on the layout. Many visitors with family history of model trains so fond memories and some showing interest in the diorama aspect of the hobby. Of course Ttrak was perfect to show that off and talk about how to do the hobby. Lots of club business cards were taken, so we will see if we get new interest in the club.

 

We had a medium setup as only three of us could make the show due to holidays and work so that really limits us to just doing Saturday as the con is Friday-Sunday. Luckily loading in and out Saturday was easy as we were the only one doing that on Saturday. Loading in and out of a big convention center can be very daunting (I did a lot of exhibiting at big Electronics conventions), but the staff was super helpful to help us in and out. It’s a little stressful compared to the small events, but all worked out well. We were on the side of the dealer hall again so big traffic past us, but in a more open area so it was not a crowded area which felt good with Covid.

 

Its funny with bigger events where we are tiny compared to the rest of the space and don’t really stand out and at times and no one will be at the layout, but as soon as a few folks start looking at the layout everyone starts coming over to see what they are looking at and then it gets mobbed for a while, then repeat. Visitors were very respectful of the layout and trains on display, no real mishaps at all and only a couple of “please don’t touch” had to be given. It’s nice to do shows where the visitors are respectful and we don’t use any sort of barricades. This time we didn’t even put out any “please do not touch” signs, which I think actually works better as all my exhibit experience has shown me any pre warnings, barricades, glass, etc just seems to cause folks to behave badly… respect your visitor and they will respect you.
 

We had a new double module done by Renato that featured an Evangelon battle scene on a highway. Dan’s city scene with large building video screes playing animation commercials was also a hit. Visitors were very interested in the details on the modules and they enjoyed going scene to scene finding new details. Lots of photos and videos were taken! Sushi train and anime trains were a big hit. We also had a table with a dozen or so anime wrapped trains on display.

 

very fun to just watch all the costumed folks go by, everyone was having a very fun time. Bit of a shock to be around large crowds after the last couple of years, but show required vaccination and masking and we were also right under an air vent so while a bit cold, it was nice to have fresh air blasting down on us the whole time.
 

All and all a very fun show to do and I expect it will become a regular event for us as they seem to like having us there for a different tangential treat for their visitors.

 

Some fun pictures from the event. Most of these I took when the crowds were lighter for better overall visibility of costumed visitors at the layout.

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

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serotta1972

Awesome modules, Jeff and company.  You all are great ambassadors of our wonderful hobby.  I've not heard of any model train shows happening here in Northern California, hope they come back soon.  I have to hook up with Paul and the crew of AsiaNrail and see if they're participating in any events in the near future.  

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GCRailways

I’d love to eventually do something like this with my layout.  I went to my first Comic Con a month or so ago here in Austin, and that’s been the big trigger for me to finally get started on my layout.  Your layout/club and website have been one of my biggest inspirations, I do want to thank you for that!

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Always nice to hear! Glad you are getting moving on the layout at home. Ttrak makes it easier for us to do events, we can just do what we have members participating. Club now has a basic loop of club modules to start with and then whoever can show up with more we can just grow.

 

i must say again folks at Otakon were super receptive to seeing the trains and layout and very appreciative for us being there. Was very nice. 
 

cheers

 

jeff

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beakaboy
On 8/1/2022 at 10:18 AM, cteno4 said:

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Nice work on the modules. I love the airport runway scene. The 3 of us involved with our TT modular layout that gets taken to shows decided to create a runway to exhibit our growing collection of 1/144 aircraft. It gets just as many comments as the railway and is not finished yet. All the aircraft are New Zealand based with some still operational. 

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Wow! Yeah a 1/144 airport starts to take up space! Nice planes, bet it gets eyeballs. 
 

Out member opted to just a slice of a runway on Ttrak to not let himself get carried away! It is actually prototypical as a regional airport does have a train running under the runway. I need to put a label on the back of the module as I always forget the airport! Interestingly it draws some interest but with only one plane the trains keep grabbing the kids attention and Ttrak having a lost of different detailed scenes tends to draw the adult attention at the public shows. 
 

cheers

 

jeff

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On 8/7/2022 at 12:18 AM, cteno4 said:

 

i must say again folks at Otakon were super receptive to seeing the trains and layout and very appreciative for us being there. Was very nice. 


Since I’ve started watching more anime recently, and begun participation in a couple of online anime communities (who already know all about what I’ve got going on in the other thread.  They had the same reaction!), I’ve noticed trains play a far more prominent role in anime than I first realized.  What I thought would be a one-off idea to showcase our hobby in this environment is making more and more sense as I continue to become more active in otaku culture.

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