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Falling Show Standards - Model Railway Shows. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 12:48 am
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Petermac
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I might be being a little unfair but had almost the same feelings about Gateshead today Mick.

They were friendly enough and, in the main, happy to chat but several layouts seemed to think running trains wasn't a requirement.

There are really 2 things that get to me about exhibition layouts:

Firstly, the speed they run the trains.  I just walked past several because they were running trains at a scale 200 mph - even light engine or shunting - even given DCC and it's superb slow running capabilities.

Secondly, railways are never clean and, in the steam era, they were downright filthty.

Modellers seem to go to the ends of the earth to get the buildings perfect and the trackwork accurate, even sourcing the right locos and stock for 4pm on Thursday, May 26th 1954.  The rolling stock is pristine, the track looks as if it was laid yesterday with washed ballast and the buildings have all been repainted and powerwashed.  Why can't they model the real thing ?  :twisted:

There were a few layouts that appealed to me but one of those was having huge electrical problems and another had constant derailing at one curve ......................:roll::roll::roll::roll:

Not a bad show but I'm not sure I'll drive the 2 hours from here next year - assuming I'm in UK that weekend.  I'm expecting great things from Spalding tomorrow .................;-)

Another thing that stuck me was the price of "used" stock - wow - you can buy new for a few quid more ................:shock::shock::shock:



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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 01:16 am
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You can also guarantee Petermac, that if you are trying to sell used stock the dealers offer you peanuts.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 02:16 am
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G`day Folks,
Having just read this topic again and caught up with the latest from Peter.........I have to agree with everything said. I can only talk about Australian exhibitions but it seems to me that we are following the same line as the Brits.
Running trains is what we pay to see. Friendly, informative operators is what we expect. There seems to be an attitude from some operators that we the paying public are simply there to watch their trains circulate endlessly whilst they have a conversation amongst themselves behind the back scene.
Not so I must say. I didn`t pay for that !!!!...Imagine a young boy or girl who sees one of these exhibitions for the first time and thinks.....Wow!!!!....that`s what I want to do, yet when they come to find out how to start or what`s involved.....the operators are too busy in their own little world to recognize that this child is genuinely interested and needs help. Well that child would be severely disappointed and frustrated I would imagine and second thoughts may arise and they might say no, forget it. 
Now I`m being unfair because I think the ignorant operator is actually a small percentage of exhibitors here, nonetheless they exist. Show organizers need to reinforce with exhibitors an expectation that they will, in effect, provide an entertainment for the paying public. Almost like a contract.....we allow you to exhibit and in return you must provide something worth watching.
If they need an example of how an exhibitor should present and operate a layout and engage with the paying public, I would recommend they go and watch Gary when he does one of his future exhibitions........that`s how it`s done folks.!!!!!.....pretty to watch!!!!
:cheers  Gormo






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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 02:21 am
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g0ibi
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I enjoyed the Spalding show last year Peter, so I'm looking to see plenty of action and detailing tomorrow, hope you think it's better then Gateshead!?

Cheers
Ron



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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 02:26 am
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At our AMRE* last year, we had our NMRA* stand with members demonstrating scenery building, et. al. - Also we had a John Allen Timesaver layout set up for the kids to try their hand.

http://www.wymann.info/ShuntingPuzzles/sw-timesaver.html

Our SIG* had a layout set up with all of the wiring on top so people could see how it went together.  It was also running RailRoad & Co TC software.  There were always at least three members there, engaged with the public.

*AMRE = Adelaide Model Railway Exhibition.

*NMRA = National Model Railroad Association.

*SIG = National Model Railroad Association Special Interest Group.  This group specialises in DCC and allied topics.

Come to Adelaide next year.  6 - 8 June.  :cool:



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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 04:40 am
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I have to apologise for any perception of falling standards at next week's Sunshine MRC show in Melbourne.

I was due to exhibit the Boghouses micro (travel-in-the-bag) layout but have had to withdraw due to being unable to swap my work shifts for a weekend off.

:brickwall



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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 02:45 pm
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As exhibition manager for my club Hayle mrc here in Cornwall,i try to make sure that in the main i only invite layouts that i know will entertain the PAYING public ie movement of trains,keeping in mind that most of the people that come to our show may only have a passing interest in model railways,because we are a holiday area its some where to go on a rainy day we have our regulars of course because of this i insist that the public can see trains running.                                                                                                                Regarding Metcalf card kits its an opportunity to show some who is just starting out in the hobby how to be able to put buildings on their layouts at a reasonable price and fairly easy to put together and it has been proven that it leads onto scratch building at a later date.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 07:30 pm
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g0ibi
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Got to say I was well impressed with this weekend's Spalding Rail Show! Lot's of good quality layouts and most with trains moving!! I also liked the idea of keeping the traders stalls separate from the layouts albeit in the same hall.
Well done Spalding MRC!

Cheers
Ron



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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 08:29 pm
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It has been interesting to find that my opinions of some train shows and their exhibits are shared by others.

So on a positive note I was wondering what people would actually like to see.

First of all we all seem to agree on moving trains.

Regarding the speed of trains. I quite like the older layouts where the fact they keep moving at a constant speed is interesting enough. For the more realistic layouts I think that there has to be a balance between '200mph' trains and the boredom of really slow movements. Watching a US diesel take a couple of minutes to move about 2 feet, even if it is the right scale speed, can get tedious.

As for scenery. Realism is all very nice, but when modelling the steam era it means grimey townscapes or twee country sidings which after a while all look the same. My preference is for trains running through the countryside, absolutely realistic or not.

I have seen pictures of model trains used on commercial presentations where the line and train is in full colour, but the backtrop or cityscape is just white. It shows the space passing through but emphasises the focus of the display, the train and line. If I am not mistaken is there an advert on UK TV with something like that at the present time?

If there are any architectural model specialists around it would be interesting to learn of their opinins. My suspicion though is anyone who spends their day making models of cityscapes and the like probably has a hobby completely different, like sewing or pottery!




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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 09:09 pm
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g0ibi
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Hi, agree with you, scale speed should be easier to achieve with DCC I'm sure!
As regards model building etc, this guy's stuff was great at the Spalding show;





Cheers
Ron



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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 09:34 pm
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Hi Ron, did you see the notice on the front of that display? it had cost him just £7 ( plus the vehicles and figures etc ) because it used materials that we throw away!

Pete. 



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 Posted: Sun Nov 15th, 2015 10:44 pm
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g0ibi
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No I didn't Pete, makes it even better!!






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 Posted: Mon Nov 16th, 2015 08:21 am
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I like to see trains moving. I prefer them to move at a speed appropriate to the location and layout size portrayed. But I accept that in all things we are forced to compromise to some extent. Even the biggest layouts usually have the same trains with the same engines on the front passing by every minute or two.

Having operated layouts at exhibitions I have always agreed with the little note pasted on the operator's side of the very first one I ever got my hands on. That said "The public have paid to see trains RUNNING - make sure at least one is always in view and that one is always moving"

That was quite easy on a two-track simple circuit where one was stopped in the station and the other came by for a few laps then vice versa.

Having my own-build layout exhibited earlier this year which is a single-track loop proved more of a challenge in that respect. The single track had a remarkably frequent DMU service (every 20 seconds or so!) and the unit was in view for just over half of the circuit. There was always at least one loco and a few wagons in the sidings however and therefore there was always a train on show. When the DMU stopped around the back the freight could be shunted.

Every layout is unique in its own way. A single-track plank can be the best piece of modelling in the world but you cannot run a continuous service upon a length of straight track - in and out is as good as it gets. That's fine in such a case.

What I also like to see having paid at the door is a standard of modelling commensurate with the entry charge and general standing of the event. I'm perfectly willing to accept lesser-known and perhaps seldom-shown layouts at smaller regional or club events but at the likes of Warley I would hope not to see crumbling scenery, faltering electrics or a layout with nothing happening and abandoned by its operator(s) entirely while they head off for a break. It's almost always possible to find someone to cover for at least a short break even if you are a one-man band. Ask a fellow exhibitor for help - it costs nothing and is usually offered very willingly.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 16th, 2015 04:43 pm
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Petermac
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I thought Spalding show was excellent - well worth the drive.

Plenty of really good layouts and plenty of movement and grime.  Just up my street although some may say I lack the movement bit ...............................:roll::roll::roll::roll:   In addition, it was great to meet up with Ron, Pete and Paul.  I now know who's writing when I read their posts.  I hope my dates will coincide with the show next year.

I could have spent the whole show listening to and watching Paul's demonstrations.  You clearly don't blow your own trumpet Paul so I'll blow it for you.  A great stand to visit.  :thumbs

I'm pleased you posted some shots of Roy Hickman's dioramas Ron - absolutley stunning modelling - right up there with our own Chubber. :thumbs  I did lash out £4 to buy his tutorial notes.  as you say, most of his stuff is from household items.

I do like the idea mentioned by Max of a layout with all the wiring on the surface.  That would be so helpful in expalining the dark arts usually hidden from view.  Maybe someone in UK might try that.  I'm sure it would be popular at shows.

I head off for home tonight - hope the wind drops before we sail otherwise my "hotel on the high seas" may not offer ther good night's sleep I expect ..............................  I use this route because I expect additional security delays following the horrors in Paris, through which I have to drive, it could take longer. :cry::cry::cry:

I'll post up some of the photos I took at the shows here and there when I get home.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 16th, 2015 06:10 pm
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t5his the reason I did not go to gateshead this year i did miss our little m,eet up but,Iwanted to go to spalding but this dam illness I have hits hard when it feels like it so daren`t drive far, hopefully next year,
:thumbs;-):cool:
Owen



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 Posted: Mon Nov 16th, 2015 07:32 pm
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60019Bittern
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I don't think it's just Model Railway Shows that seem to be going downhill as well. Our local Stamp and Coin Fair has now got so bad I don't even bother going anymore. None of the dealers seem to have any new material but promise something at the next show but it never appears.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 16th, 2015 10:29 pm
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A good point Petermac, at all the shows I have been to there has always been some demo stands usually the organising clubs members, kit building, scratch building, etc but I have never seen any one demo-ing layout wiring, there is no reason a layout couldn,t be wired on the top I am surprised no one has brought it up before, I will bring it up at our next club meeting.

Pete. 



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 Posted: Tue Nov 17th, 2015 01:00 am
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gormo wrote:  Show organizers need to reinforce with exhibitors an expectation that they will, in effect, provide an entertainment for the paying public. Almost like a contract.....we allow you to exhibit and in return you must provide something worth watching.
Hi Folks,
While I'm new here, I'd just like to say that this is a very interesting topic, I agree with much that has been said, especially about Metcalf kits(!) but the quote above - Absolutely Sir!
That for me, really hits the nail on the head.
It's got to be enjoyable for the operators but if you don't enjoy it, why do it?
Most of all, it's got to be enjoyable for the paying public whether they be seasoned modellers or mum, dad & the kids.
I've advertised one of my clubs shows on here, I am pretty sure it's going to be great but the best show I've been to this past year was the Derby show at "The Roundhouse" in May.
It had pretty much everything, British steam & diesel, US and European layouts, roundy-roundys and end to ends, standard and narrow gauges, imho you'd have to be very picky indeed not to find something you could really enjoy.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 17th, 2015 04:18 pm
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jakesdad13 wrote: Hi Ron, did you see the notice on the front of that display? it had cost him just £7 ( plus the vehicles and figures etc ) because it used materials that we throw away!

Pete.


What!!!!

No resin-to-plonk  Harburn Hobbies Corrugated Huts at £14.99p or their 'Two Rows of Greens [12 cabbages] at £7.50p nor Townstreet stonecast Engine Sheds at £99 or £125 [+ £4.60p postage]?

The man should be taken outside and soundly thrashed for failing to support the railway modelling industry....

Mr S. Kinflint
Grumbletown.



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 Posted: Sat Nov 21st, 2015 12:14 pm
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Interesting topic,

I do agree with most of posts so far. Over here in Australia shows are few and far between the AMRE show that Max mentioned is definitely the biggest and usually one of the best in South Australia. It was my first time operating a layout at an exhibition this year and I must say, I thouroghly enjoyed it.
Last year Dad and I did a presentation at a convention and the topic was 'getting young people involved in the hobby' because let's face it, less people are getting involved in the hobby.
We concluded that one of the best ways to get young people involved in the hobby is engagement. We found that at exhibitions there needs to be more layouts that children can operate such as the 'U Drive' that Gary noted on.
The problem with that layout is it says (but not to fast!) under the layout title which could be a little difficult for young children to understand that trains don't need to go at the speed of sound.
I think the shunting puzzles are an excellent way to get people involved because it's interesting but also gives them a challenge and something to do rather than just looking all day at layouts.

Just my thoughts
Connor



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