Exhibition layout Query

Any questions about designing a model railway layout or problems with track work.
jackshepherd
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Exhibition layout Query

Postby jackshepherd » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:25 pm

Just a quick question, would a small layout without a fiddle yard be a good exhibition layout? Basically ive recently built myself a 4ft by 1ft heritage railway layout, which has a few small sidings and a short running line for a tank engine and some brake vans, but has no fiddle yard, so everything on the board will be seen, but id just wanted to know whether it would be something I could take to shows, or not really? Cheers
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Dave
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Dave » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:15 pm

I have seen smaller layouts than that at many shows.

It is all about the quality not necessarily quantity.

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Mountain
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Mountain » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:20 pm

I dont see a problem with the concept at all. At exhibition I've seen a bit of everything from part built layouts to show how its done to fully completed layouts. Some have no fiddleyard while others are mostly off scene fiddle yard designs. If it looks good and is entertaining then I see no issues. I've seen single locos on a stand. I've seen static scenes. I've seen Thomas the Tank and friends. I've seen ride on locos. I've seen a board with three part built locos bearing the white plasticard bodies in various stages of build.

To be honest, while some exhibition managers prefer everything to be to a very good standard, I personally believe unless you show layouts of in between stages and learning curve layouts mixed in, how are we going to learn how things are done and be encouraged to finish?

Yes, of corse your layout can go to exhibition. :)

Tricky Dicky
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Tricky Dicky » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:49 pm

I do like to see part finished layouts if only to learn a few construction techniques. You can describe how a layout went together but there's nothing better then to see the real thing in progress.

Richard

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Bufferstop
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:22 pm

Most exhibitions have a mixture of sizes of layouts, sometimes a stand will have three or four small layouts/working dioramas. A lot depends on the size of the layout, the smallest I've seen at Warley was in a boxfile, with a cassette sticking out of the side as the fiddle yard. The problem with a very small layout is to keep something going so that the onlookers don't have to hang around waiting. Otherwise a lot of people will miss you.
I have a 3 feet long by 9 inches wide micro layout, with a platform, siding and loco shed, the main line running into a hidden siding where I can swap the loco from end to end. When it arrives in the platform, a second loco appears from the shed, and takes the train out again, meanwhile the original loco retreats into the shed. It can keep half a dozen or so viewers engaged for about ten minutes, if I tell them what I'm doing and how it was built. So it takes a bit of doing to entertain any number of people.
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Dad-1
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:25 pm

As Dave said .......
Quality first and foremost, Quantity optional.
You need to get an invitation, to do that get some photographs taken and send off
to your 'local' exhibition managers. They can then decide if it fits their plan, required
space is important, as well as needing perhaps a table on which to put it.

I was pleased to see many of our members have an interest in part-built where the
construction principals can be seen and discussed. There is nobody that can't learn
something new.

Being an exhibition manager is not easy, trying to fit in different scales, differing
historical eras, types of scenic layout, roundy, or end to end. It's one of the club jobs
that I'd never take on !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Emettman
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Emettman » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:26 pm

I don't see why not. It depends more on what any exhibition manager would like to have.

Perhaps make up a display board on "layouts in small spaces" which would sit alongside your layout, giving suggestions on not always having to start with a "devils's tablecloth 6x4 or 8x4"

Or maybe explaining, with photos, how modelling a heritage line helps you mix all sorts of periods and paint jobs on your trains.

Good quality,yes, of whatever is being aimed for But "having fun" can be the top priority.
(And clattering ovals of Hornby O gauge tinplate rarely lack an audience!)

Just thinking aloud.

Chris.
"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Mountain
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Mountain » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:47 pm

Emettman wrote:Good quality,yes, of whatever is being aimed for But "having fun" can be the top priority.
(And clattering ovals of Hornby O gauge tinplate rarely lack an audience!)

Just thinking aloud.

Chris.

And watching a lovely Hornby Dublo 3 rail thundering by at speed... Nothing like it!
There is something about entertainment where some of the most fantastically detailed and realistic layouts can be a bore when a few ordinary layouts attract attention, and it is all in the movement. I've seen lovely large detailed layouts where a loco crawls through at such a slow speed that people get bored as the train takes such a long time to move before the next train comes along that people move on to the next layout.
One layout I came across operated on a realistic timetable. After I and others viewed the layout with nothing running on it, I plucked up the courage to enquire when a train would run and I was told to come back in about an hour and a half as the layout runs just five trains a day like the prototype. Fair play for realism but I had to contain the giggles when I heard that as it was so funny as it was a reply I didnt expect.
The attraction of the old 0 gauge tinplate along with the Hornby Dublo 3 rail is the movement. The emphasis of express trains at speed. We all know scale speed is slower but we need to enjoy the thrill and memory of the occasion.
It is however about proportion as if one watches a narrow gauge shunting loco zoom past a HST on the main line it just looks odd and realism goes out the window. So a sense of balance but also adding a proportion of fun is called for.
I do admit it is much easier with an oval then an end to end to run a loco at speed.
The difficulty with an oval where it starts getting repetitive if one just has the same train going round and round without a change, so it depends how it is done.

The having fun bit is the key. We all enjoy our hobby. The last time I ran a loco it was on the test track at the Swansea model railway club and I brought a Hornby (Ex Lima) class 121. It was fun to run it and on the next line a Great Western HST was running at speed. I enjoyed seeing if my little railcar could match the same speed and for a while it did. Later I saw that the HST wasn't actually flat out and had a bit more to go so my railcar was realistically slower. It was fun though, for a while until a change was needed. I did enjoy watching what others were running.

The other difficulty at an exhibition is having a aid variety of layouts to try to cater for everyones modelling preferences. We all like different aspects of our hobby. While I personally have a varied approach compared to some, even I find myself attracted to some and less to others. A classic example was I wanted to finds a film of the recent Swansea exhibition to look at a certain layout I liked. The filmage was a good 25-30 minutes long. While I watched, the one filming visited every 00 gauge layout and even returned to one or two, and while he filmed a few other gauges and scales he didnt spend so much time on some, and the one I liked he didnt film at all. OK, I can't complain as he has different likes to me and he did the filming and it was good to see! But itwent to show how we all prefer different things in the hobby.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:04 pm

When you start talking about quality for an exhibition, it has to include the quality of presentation as well as modelling. The viaduct scene at Pendon viewed in silence is quite pedestrian, with a good commentary on what is going on makes it quite entertaining.
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Mountain
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Mountain » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:35 am

I am thinking about aspects I can bring with a model layout to such an exhibition. There are so many good layouts. Yet every now and then I see something special which is hard to say why it is special. Usually it brings some sort of unusual or different aspect into the modelling scene, and it is not always in the form of finescale modelling.
I have enjoyed some lovely layouts where all looks so good and I've assumed all is finescale and when I look closer it is heavily ballasted code 100 and even the locos are by Triang! This makes it all the more impressive.
Some others have the special touch. Some unusual aspect about the railway. For example, one layout was a junction where the track plan was very cleverly thought out as it was in reality a large oval, but it looked like a junction in the track formation. This sort of modelling where lines look like they go places but they dont is very common with USA modellers but not so common for UK modellers. They use it to increase their siding lengths. I've seen designs that look large until I see it is all made to fit an 8'x4' board.
Other unusual or different things are where all buildings or even locos and stock is scratch or kit built. This maybe due to the owner trying to model a gauge or scale or even company or era that is not covered in ready to run form.
For me I guess the different aspect is my little railway is basically freelance with an unusual but believable setting. If I can do it I will be happy. I guess another unusual aspect is modelling to a rather tight budget.

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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby mumbles » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:51 am

I'm a real fan of small layouts, well all size layouts! There is something about a small layout at an exhibition that draws you in to focus on the detail which doesn't get so lost as in a big space.

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Mountain
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Mountain » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:35 am

mumbles wrote:I'm a real fan of small layouts, well all size layouts! There is something about a small layout at an exhibition that draws you in to focus on the detail which doesn't get so lost as in a big space.

I kinda agree, though there is a balance between an entertaining running of trains and not trying to squash too much in a small space. My board used to be a single board containing a 7mm narrow gauge oval in 2ft x 3½ft, but it quickly became apparent that I needed twice the length to add passing loops as without them it is just a small oval of track. I have built a second board to address these shortcomings.

Tricky Dicky
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Tricky Dicky » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:57 am

I agree with Mountain about how some of the larger layouts can be boring due to waiting for something to happen, I can never understand why trains are run at a crawl from fiddle yards instead of slowing them down as they enter the scenic section. Likewise I feel some operators simply go for the easy option with a large fiddle yard full of trains to simply set two trains off in opposite directions along the same two pieces of track despite there often being a number of different routes or many sidings and marshalling yards where some shunting could take place. Whilst at Wigan I saw a very fine example of a layout being operated unfortunately I cannot recall the name but it was an O gauge DCC layout which the two operators kept busy along with using every working feature eg turntable and it had my attention for quite a while. Whilst a large n gauge roundy roundy next door could not hold my attention due to the repeatativity of the action.

As for the layout run to a real time timetable I think I have seen that one too. It was most frustrating to stand in front waiting for something to happen whilst three operators stood behind having a chat whilst waiting to keep to their timetable. Yes it is nice to see a layout mimicking the real world operations but I do think some operators should consider the entertainment factor rather than indulging in a club room session. A good balance between entertainment and reality is a good exhibition layout.

Richard

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Mountain
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby Mountain » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:29 am

I've seen some amusing things at exhibitions on occasions. For some reason when I was at the Swansea exhibition I was able to save a few disasters by alerting operators of wheels that had left the rails. I know the best layer track can still have the odd misshap, but for some reason I was amused that when I was viewing things happened... I felt like Mr Bean and the TV shop!
At an exhibition in Corris a good few years ago when I took an ex GF with me, there was a nice little layout with a train and a tram with automatic stop/go effect at a 90° crossing. I had similar on my layout at the time, and while I was watching the tram went to stop on the isolating section but it over ran the section and carried on. I alerted the operator who had so much faith in his equipment that he ignored what I said and said "It will stop". The result in the collision made my ex GF laugh and the poor man was rather embarrassed!
It is rather like running ones own layout and for hour after hour all works perfectly until you show it to a visitor and everything seems to happen. I remember reading about one poor chap who had brought his pride and joy to an exhibition only to set it up and nothing worked and it wasn't a quick fix as he didnt have a soldering iron etc. He spent the whole day pushing locos by hand in ways to try to disguise that nothing worked and in the busy exhibition hall, no one seemed to notice, not even the organisers or the mayor who came round that day! I bet he was relieved at the end of the day! So it is a good idea to bring a few tools, and maybe design in alternative ways to keep things running. Thoughts go towards a back up battery loco or even clockwork...

b308
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Re: Exhibition layout Query

Postby b308 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:53 am

With regard to speed of trains it rather depends on what you are modelling, my NG doesn't go fast in Real Life so my models don't either... The key thing is to make sure something is running, even when you are chatting to the punters, for that reason alone a roundy-roundy layout is easiest to work... I feel for that chap where nothing would work, it sounds more like he forgot something (such as the controller (yes it can happen) than a layout fault...

Tips:

- Set up your layout at home before the exhibition to test it
- Have a list of all the items you will need (controller, stock (!), extension leads, tools, etc., etc) and tick them off as they go in the car
- I have a bag with all my stuff mentioned above which is purely for exhibition use, nothing except the mug gets taken out of it at home to be cleaned (guess what i usually leave behid!!)
- Make sure something is moving when operating... Static layouts are called Dioramas, if it's not a diorama then something should move!!


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