Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

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Bufferstop
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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby Bufferstop » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:19 am

Too true Flashbang, we watched it nearly happen in Bergen, a couple with a toddler in a pushchair had encountered some problem in getting back to the Ventura, fortunately they turned up when it was about twenty yards from the quayside. It was a few seconds from commencing it's turn towards the open sea, and with no fuss the helmsman turned the stern towards the quay and moved the entire ship sideways until a short gangplank could reach the ground. it could never have been done with a conventional propeller and rudder and a load of tugs fussing around. As one of our fellow travellers said It's like seeing six blocks of flats chugging along at twenty miles an hour suddenly decide its going to move twenty yards sideways without any external help.
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TheDuke71000
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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby TheDuke71000 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:47 pm

Well I understand many people find Miniature Wonderland interesting.

But I would like to drop my two pennyworth here and point out this is a tourist attraction. As such it is aimed at "Mr Average tourist" so is therefore NOT aimed at Model Railway fans. As a result I regard this as an elaborate automated Toy Train set and even though I have lived in Germany I would never dream of wasting my time or money going there !

My hobby is Model Raiiways, and to me that inferes you model the real thing, not just as it appears visually but also operationally. A "toy train set" is by definition an "out of the packet" combination of parts with little or no understanding of the real thing. Or as we used to say in the club world "Toy train sets are like painting by numbers" i.e Hamburg.

To support what I'm saying I've created numerous Exhibition layouts down the years including German, Japanese and British outline layouts that always create a bit of a buzz at shows from those that recognise something unusual is happening. That little extra is the method of operation and the control over this. If you want a model railway to operate correctly there is only one way to do this. It requires working signalling that operates as in real life through the safety medium of Track circuits. Otherwise any operator can drive his train willy nilly anywhere, and smash up your lovely new expensive models. Therefore I have used a system called TCC for over 40 years to ensure train movement on the lyaout is as well protected as real train movement. The visual result for the viewer is another step change in the reality of the layout.

My current layout "Basingstoke 1958-67", being built for a Railway Museum in Spain will be a Model Railway not an automated toy train set. So this huge 87ft x 24ft layout will require 8 operators who will operate real life train formations even down to the correct coach and locomotive numbers. To 10 consequtive real life timetables (1958-67), and they will have to obey the signalling, as crashing a red signal will activate the AWS and bring their train to a halt. The layout can be seen here on New Railway Modellers in the Model Railway Photography section.

30521 H15 4-6-0 (14 small).jpg

Above: Maunsell H15 30521 4P5FA 4-6-0 exits Lichfield Tunnel just South of Worting Junction and heads for Eastleigh with Empty Coaching Stock (ECS), at sunset. The model loco is probably unique !

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SRman
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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby SRman » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:57 am

While I agree it is a tourist attraction, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a toy, or that it is aimed solely at 'Mr Average tourist'. It works on more levels than that.

The Knuffingen airport section of Miniatur Wunderland is worth a chunk of time watching it on its own. The operations are clearly based on real airports, within the usual constraints of models, with space being compressed somewhat. Sure, the arrivals and departures of a giant bee or the Millenium Falcon are not based on real events, but are examples of the great sense of humour that also features in many parts of the layouts.

There are also many amusing cameo scenes in there, and some very real modelling has taken place if you examine some of the buildings and scenes. Take a good look at the Vatican buildings: they really did go out and look at those, photographing them and measuring (roughly), before converting the data into something more modellable.

There are features definitely aimed at children, but there are also a few naughty bits definitely not aimed at the kids.

It is worth at least one visit, in my opinion. I enjoyed it and will definitely go again if I get the opportunity.

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby TheDuke71000 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:14 pm

SRman wrote:While I agree it is a tourist attraction, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a toy, or that it is aimed solely at 'Mr Average tourist'. It works on more levels than that.

The Knuffingen airport section of Miniatur Wunderland is worth a chunk of time watching it on its own. The operations are clearly based on real airports, within the usual constraints of models, with space being compressed somewhat. Sure, the arrivals and departures of a giant bee or the Millenium Falcon are not based on real events, but are examples of the great sense of humour that also features in many parts of the layouts.

There are also many amusing cameo scenes in there, and some very real modelling has taken place if you examine some of the buildings and scenes. Take a good look at the Vatican buildings: they really did go out and look at those, photographing them and measuring (roughly), before converting the data into something more modellable.

There are features definitely aimed at children, but there are also a few naughty bits definitely not aimed at the kids.

It is worth at least one visit, in my opinion. I enjoyed it and will definitely go again if I get the opportunity.


"SRman"
"Miniature Wonderland" is a computer controlled automated toy train set on a large scale. Virtually all products are "out of the packet". The trains do not interface with the signalling as a model railway should. There is no real life type operation, trains simply go round and round or back and forth, as per the computer programme dictates. So there are NO actual train operators. Even the track and pointwork is straight out of the packet. In real life pointwork was designed individually to fit the space availabe, so no two points were the same. The curvature of the track is toy train set, the corridors of coaches don't touch. And as for huge great airport scenes what does that have to do with railways ? So Hamburg is the epitome of Commercialism. And the manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank.

To put it in context the opposite end of the spectrum is Pendon (near Didcot). This too in my opinion is no longer a Model Railway just a wonderful Diorama. Why? Because the trains are now secondary to the scene and are also now automated, mainly because Guy Williams has passed on.

The implication is that modern commercialism has taken over our hobby and many skills are being lost. DCC is the biggest example. The youngsters love it, but they have to pay almost 400% more for DCC than one of the numerous traditional methods of wiring, which they ignorantly refer too as "analogue". Any person who thinks DCC can run a Model Railway realistically, displays an ignorance of real railway operation, and electrical matters ! For example DCC uses 16v AC in the rails which allows you to have head on crashes. If you have 12v DC in the rails it prevents head on crashes and therefore complies with one of the biggest safety rules of the real railway !!!!

My exhibition layouts have for 40 years or so used TCC (Track Circuit Control) to obtain the real life safety rules, and force operation of the layout to be realistic. So when a sleepy operator runs past a red signal the AWS brings his train to a halt, just as in real life. This real life type wiring system also means more trains can be run more precisely than any other system known to man. You certainly won't draw large crowds to an N gauge Japanese or German layout in a British show, unless there's something very special going on. And my German & Japanese N gauge layouts did just this repeatedly, so much so, that other layout owners were also coming to find out what was going on. The trick is to make a Model Railway, which means concentrating on the railway itself, its operational methods and dispensing with lots of childish gimmicks, and much of what goes on outside the railway fence, such as airports. And as for bee's and Millenium Falcons, this is pandering to "Mr Average Tourist" and not exhibiting a professional understanding of railways, in any way !

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby b308 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:01 pm

TheDuke71000 wrote:"Miniature Wonderland" is a computer controlled automated toy train set on a large scale. Virtually all products are "out of the packet".


You need to do your homework better I'm afraid. It's not a toy train, it's a Model Diorama that happens to have railways, together with ships, airplanes, road vehicles and much else. It goes way beyond a "toy train", to call it that is an insult to those who make and maintain it.

Yes it uses a computer (several in fact) to control the moving parts of the model but if you look at the modelling of the buildings and scenery you will find them absolutely stunning and, last time I looked, you couldn't get HO scale model of St Marks Square in Venice, to name but one of the hundreds (thousands?) of scratchbuilt models, so perhaps not "out of the packet", eh?! The trains are there to take you on a journey through Europe and beyond, they are a means to an end, the fact they use commercial models is one of expediency, modern Continental HO scale trains are reliable and very accurate so there's no need to hand build or kit build like Pendon used to have to do.

As SRman points out it works on far more levels than purely as a tourist attraction. The level of modelling is easily on a par with the best I've seen at exhibitions in the UK and from professional builders. I spent a good 15 minutes just looking at St Marks Square, just at the modelling (note there are no trains there!), they do a book which gives you the background to it all and how stuff is made, they have had to solve many problems to make it as realistic (yes, realistic, it's a model, not a toy) as possible and whilst they haven't got everything right (water still looks wrong when used in models, though at the moment that's all they can use if they want to run the boats) they've managed to do many things most of us modellers haven't!

I have to question whether you have actually seen it in person as your comments don't match with the reality which is one of a superb piece of modelling that stands easily on a par with Pendon and is far better than any other "commercial" model I have seen.

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https://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/dis ... -basilica/

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby TheDuke71000 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:01 pm

b308 wrote:
TheDuke71000 wrote:"Miniature Wonderland" is a computer controlled automated toy train set on a large scale. Virtually all products are "out of the packet".


You need to do your homework better I'm afraid. It's not a toy train, it's a Model Diorama that happens to have railways, together with ships, airplanes, road vehicles and much else. It goes way beyond a "toy train", to call it that is an insult to those who make and maintain it.

Yes it uses a computer (several in fact) to control the moving parts of the model but if you look at the modelling of the buildings and scenery you will find them absolutely stunning and, last time I looked, you couldn't get HO scale model of St Marks Square in Venice, to name but one of the hundreds (thousands?) of scratchbuilt models, so perhaps not "out of the packet", eh?! The trains are there to take you on a journey through Europe and beyond, they are a means to an end, the fact they use commercial models is one of expediency, modern Continental HO scale trains are reliable and very accurate so there's no need to hand build or kit build like Pendon used to have to do.

As SRman points out it works on far more levels than purely as a tourist attraction. The level of modelling is easily on a par with the best I've seen at exhibitions in the UK and from professional builders. I spent a good 15 minutes just looking at St Marks Square, just at the modelling (note there are no trains there!), they do a book which gives you the background to it all and how stuff is made, they have had to solve many problems to make it as realistic (yes, realistic, it's a model, not a toy) as possible and whilst they haven't got everything right (water still looks wrong when used in models, though at the moment that's all they can use if they want to run the boats) they've managed to do many things most of us modellers haven't!

I have to question whether you have actually seen it in person as your comments don't match with the reality which is one of a superb piece of modelling that stands easily on a par with Pendon and is far better than any other "commercial" model I have seen.

Image

https://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/dis ... -basilica/


I think you have totally missed the point I'm making, which was in response to previous postings that made the assumption that Miniature Wonderland was a model railway. Which it did start out claiming to be, or possibly you are unaware of its History ! Don't forget I've been living in Germany until recently and via the two Model Raiwlay Clubs I was a member of, got quite a bit of the "low down". So I will re-iterate that it is a computer automated toy train set aimed at "Mr Average Tourist", and as you have noted is now moving into various other dioramas much of which is "bought in". For the sole purpose of increasing tourist numbers. In other words it has absolutely no appeal to me as I'm interested in Model Railways, and not this sort of commercial tourist attraction !

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby b308 » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:15 pm

What you have said contradicts what I know... However I am not prepared to argue with you, you go on believing what you believe and I'll do the same...


In the meantime, as a railway modeller, I'll continue to enjoy it for what it is, a superb example of modelling.

Which is all that matters really... :)

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby SRman » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:15 am

Yes, the trains are automated. The road vehicles on the Faller system are also computer controlled, and far more sophisticated than the off-the-shelf items. Likewise the planes and road vehicles at the airport. They have developed their own control circuits and interfaces. At least one of the ships is radio controlled so does not come under the "computer-controlled" banner, it has to be manually driven by a staff member.

I am going to continue disagreeing with you here, TheDuke71000. You are welcome to your opinion, but I would suggest that most railway modellers will still enjoy a visit to Miniatur Wunderland. It is entertainment, but there is a lot of serious modelling that has gone into it, as well as some gimmicky things. Many of our home layouts have the odd gimmick too, just for fun. Would you also suggest people not watch Top Gear because it isn't really a serious motoring show? That also was done for entertainment (and yes, there are a lot of people who don't like Top Gear, especially the newer ones, but that's not the point here). Do you object to Lego or Meccano items because they aren't "serious modelling"? The same principle applies: do we not enjoy something simply because it is classed as entertainment rather than a serious representation of the real thing? Do we not enjoy it because someone else says it isn't serious modelling? :)

Broaden your horizons. Let a little fun into your life. I do. Many others in this forum do too.

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby brit-in-bama » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:03 pm

I agree with most of the posters above who support the notion that this is more than just a train-set, but if I really wanted to get pedantic with the duke, I would simply point out that if you use absolutely "any" "out of the box parts" that includes any shafts, nut and bolts, or plastic or brass sheets on your models, then you are not a "railway modeler" in the true sense of the term, true scratch building would start with iron ore and oil to build your parts, so lets stop this pointless argument, railway modeling is different for each of us, many of us do use out of the box parts (as you call them) simply because we lack the time and skills to make them ourselves, time is another constraint, and yes Miniature Wunderland is a wonderful creation, and gives us goals that we can try and achieve in a smaller way, it is a tourist attraction, but there are many fine models and modelers who not only create stuff but maintain it also, so lets put this to rest now, you have your "opinion" and others have theirs, live and let live, and in my opinion anything that resembles a train moving on steel rails is a model railway, it may just be the beginning of something that may one day challenge one of your own creations,

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby PanzerJohn » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:44 pm

As soon as I hear "runs to a timetable" I have visions of nothing moving for ages and moving on to the next layout.

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby b308 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:51 am

I assume he'll speed up the clock, that's the usual way if you follow a real timetable. Each to their own, I suppose, I don't like such constrictions when I'm playing with my toy trains and it also stops me talking to the people who visit exhibitions I am at and want to talk about my layout! They pay the money to allow me to show my layout so the least I can do is chat to them...



Just picked up someone mentioned the lack of a UK section. Well from my visit last year it seems they are in the process of building it. Not sure what scale, though people have been mixing OO and HO scale models for as long as they've been around (60+ years) with only rivet counters objecting...

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby SRman » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:04 am

b308 wrote: snipped ...


Just picked up someone mentioned the lack of a UK section. Well from my visit last year it seems they are in the process of building it. Not sure what scale, though people have been mixing OO and HO scale models for as long as they've been around (60+ years) with only rivet counters objecting...



I believe they are working on the UK section, and there are other longer term plans. Eventually there may even be an Australian section. The Italian section is currently the newest, I think. Incidentally, while I was there, I spotted Hogwarts Castle and set of BR mark 1s running around. :D

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:12 pm

TheDuke71000 wrote:
I think you have totally missed the point I'm making, which was in response to previous postings that made the assumption that Miniature Wonderland was a model railway. Which it did start out claiming to be, or possibly you are unaware of its History ! Don't forget I've been living in Germany until recently and via the two Model Raiwlay Clubs I was a member of, got quite a bit of the "low down". So I will re-iterate that it is a computer automated toy train set aimed at "Mr Average Tourist", and as you have noted is now moving into various other dioramas much of which is "bought in". For the sole purpose of increasing tourist numbers. In other words it has absolutely no appeal to me as I'm interested in Model Railways, and not this sort of commercial tourist attraction !

The Duke 71000
.



Dear, dear, dear - this is the type of RMwebesque railway model snobbery that gets the hobby a bad name. OK I get it that "The Duke 71000" does not care for Miniature Wonderland, his preference, but to describe it as a toy train set is a terribly unfair categorisation, it is a model, it has railways so it is a model railway layout. This attitude is especially misplaced in a forum where there is a wide range of skills and capabilities from the absolute beginner to the experienced and highly skilled modeller. He holds his current layout "Basingstoke 1958-67", as a a Model Railway not an automated toy train set, news just in - Miniature Wonderland at least uses the correct scale track (for a continental layout), not the incorrect narrow gauge track used on Basingstoke.

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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:08 pm

TheDuke71000 wrote:
To put it in context the opposite end of the spectrum is Pendon (near Didcot). This too in my opinion is no longer a Model Railway just a wonderful Diorama. Why? Because the trains are now secondary to the scene and are also now automated, mainly because Guy Williams has passed on.

It was Guy Williams' stated intention to capture the early 20th century scene in the Vale of the White Horse, through the medium of a model railway. It was always intended to be a model of the scenery with a railway running through it. I met and talked with the late Derek Naylor (Aire Valley Railway) there when he was operating Madder Valley, and he was quite sure that they were still following Guy's grand plan. Automation of some sort was always intended so that the modellers could tell to the visitors the story of the scene and it's realisation. Derek without an ID badge, told the visitors, that his own layout was called the Aire Valley Railway, and I said then you must be Derek Naylor, I was the first visitor who knew of him prior to visiting Pendon. He was quite pleased to be recognised and talked to me for some time between his operating turns.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Miniature Wunderland - Hamburg

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:21 pm

@ luckymucklebackit
OK Jim - you've made your point about the Forum's ethos, now can I say don't let this get to personalities, which I believe is also a feature of "RMwebesque".
Knock it on th'ead mate.
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