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Archive for the ‘Exhibitions’ Category

It has been just over a month since Canute Road Quay made its first proper public exhibition appearance at the excellent Exe Model Railway Society’s exhibition so I thought a little update might be in order.  It certainly made a change taking a layout to an exhibition where I could firstly see out of the rear window of the car and secondly, unload, be set up and operational within 20 mins of arriving at the venue. Fisherton Sarum takes up the whole of the rear of the estate car (seats down and floor to ceiling) and on average takes about an hour to set up!

With Simon at the controls, Canute Road Quay is closely inspected by visitors at the Exe MRS show last month.

One of the advantages of taking a layout to a show a distance away is the opportunity to see layouts that I do not usually get to see and also it’s a chance catch up with friends (some of whom even had a play) and acquaintances from the area that I don’t often get to meet up with and this show did not disappoint on either count.

My kit built ex LSWR Adams B4 0-4-0T shunts at the Quay.

From an operational perspective I was ably, and with thanks,  assisted for the weekend by friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley and we found that operating the layout on an hour on / hour off basis worked exceptionally well and kept the operational interest up on what at the end of the day is just a little shunting layout.

Two USA 0-6-0 tanks (No’s 64 and 72) meet in front of the Waterloo Arms public house and road crossing.

Also the operating position purposely located at the front left hand end enabled pleasant and easy interaction with the viewing public.  I was very pleased with the positive reaction and comments  from the visitors to the show, especially my little bit of cheating with perspective for the terraced houses on the backscene that can be read about here. I also picked a few more potential exhibition invites that I shall follow-up accordingly.

There are a few things still to complete on Canute Road Quay such as: adding proper interiors and lighting for the front two main buildings (which are not yet permanently fixed down so I can complete this activity), actually wiring up the street lamps so they work, finishing the gantry crane with its hook and pulley and some more weathering of the buildings especially on the roof lines as a result of the number of seagulls present!

The Adams B4 0-4-0T is still in use and not yet ousted by the USA 0-6-0Ts soon to rule the Quay.

Also since the exhibition I have taken the opportunity to take a few more snaps of Canute Road Quay, during a couple of running (play), which is one of the advantages of being a small layout that I am able have set up all the time at home.  Some of these quick snaps can be seen accompanying this post.

USA 0-6-0T shunts right on the edge of the Quay whilst the fireman “can see no ships”.

In my Lighting is Quay post I discussed the use of the LED strip lightning that I have deployed on Canute Road Quay although at home and for most of the time at the Exe MRS show the lighting was extremely effective there was at certain times of the day a shadow cast on the backscene of the front pelmet due to sunlight shining in through venues high level windows (I do not think it was really noticed by visitors to the show but I found it a little annoying at times from an overall presentation perspective). I have therefore fitted a second LED strip without any opaque strip of plastic in front to enable either of both LED strips to be switched on to give three different lighting levels to counter an effects of a venues ambient lighting.

In other news, I have been approached by two of the main model railway magazines to feature Canute Road Quay, in order to allow time between publication and ensure that different articles can be written I have accepted one of the approaches, give priority to the magazine whose lovely exclusive tank locomotives gave rise the initial idea of building the layout in the first place, so it shouldn’t take much to work out which magazine it will feature in first… The photoshoot has been arranged for September with the article hopefully appearing before the end of the year, so watch this space.

 

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This weekend sees the first proper exhibition outing of Canute Road Quay at the Exe Model Railway Society’s exhibition. Having made its successful debut at the RMweb annual South West Area Group members day in Taunton at the end of April. This was not really an exhibition as such but a gathering of like minded friends and modellers, so this weekends event is its first true public outing.

USA tank No 72 crosses the quayside access road

The Exeter MRS exhibition is being held at the The Matford Centre, Matford Park Road, Marsh Barton, Exeter, Devon EX2 8FD. Opening times are 10am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.  By all accounts this is an excellent show so well worth attending, and I am very much looking forward to exhibiting, ably assisted for the weekend by friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley.

In addition to this weekends show, Canute Road Quay has now also been invited to attend the Risborough MRC Railex Exhibition next year on 26th /27th May 2018 at  Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP and also their smaller Risex Exhibition in February 2019!

 

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As I reported in my last update post here about Canute Road Quay it made is first semi public outing and a days running in anger so to speak at the RMweb annual South West Area Group members day in Taunton at the end of April. This is not really an exhibition as such but a gathering of like minded friends and modellers for a day of informal chat with some trains running at the same time.

Caunte Road Quay makes its debut at the RMWeb SWAG meet in April. Picture copyright and courtesy Ava Hay

The day proved to be a success from my perspective with Canute Road Quay operating as intended (I am as ‘happy as Larry’ shunting wagons around) during the day and the layout  being  well received with plenty of positive comments from those that stopped by for a look.
From a transportation and setting up perspective, being of course much smaller, it is much quicker and easier all round than taking Fisherton Sarum to shows. I also thank my friend and fellow modeller Simon Paley for helping me play trains during the day.

Shunting in action on Canute Road Quay. The vinyl cut lettering on the proscenium arch can be clearly seen. Picture copyright and courtesy Ava Hay

I certainly believe that when exhibiting layouts at shows,  presentation, just as with lighting that I discussed here,  is just as important and should be carefully considered.  Canute Road Quay’s overall presentaion is aided by the design of the Tim Horn baseframes with the proscenium arch giving a letter box style view. The whole board is supported on folding adjustable trestles which does allow a range of viewing heights to be chosen, although I will generally opt for the higher viewing position. As the trestles are wider than the 12″ of Canute Road Quay I have also cut a length of plywood to act as a shelf at the rear of the baseframe for the all important cup of tea and also spare stock etc.
Around the bottom edge of the baseframe I have glued a Velcro Strip to attach one of the curtains that I use on Fisherton Sarum to hide the trestles etc.   To match the curtains the outside faces of the baseframes have been roller painted matt black with Vinyl cut white lettering in Gills Sans, from vinylletteringonline for the Canute Road Quay name across the top of the proscenium arch.

A view of the simple compact fiddle yard of Canute Road Quay. Picture copyright and courtesy Ava Hay

I operate Canute Road Quay from the front of the layout, at obviously the left hand end as that is where the fiddle yard and control are located, as with Fisherton Sarum operating from the front allows for easy interaction and conversations with the public at shows and is very much part of the exhibition experience that I enjoy.

The observant amongst you might also have noticed the subtle change the exhibition side bar to the right of the page which has had a title change and includes the fact that off the back of its Taunton appearance Canute Road Quay has been invited to attend the excellent Exeter MRS exhibition at the The Matford Centre, Matford Park Road, Marsh Barton, Exeter, Devon EX2 8FD over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd July.

P.S. Are you fed up withe the ‘quay’ puns yet, I am kind of hoping so as I might be running out of them….

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This coming weekend, 22nd & 23rd April,  sees the annual Epsom and Ewell MRC exhibition and one of only a couple appearances of Fisherton Sarum this year.  The Epsom and Ewell Model Railway Club is I think one oldest model railway clubs around having been established in 1952. The exhibition is being held at their usual venue of the North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT), Reigate Road, Ewell, Surrey KT17 3DS . It is always good to be exhibiting in the heart of the Southern Railway’s territory.

I have taken some time out from building my latest little train set Canute Road Quay (which itself is making its first ‘public’ debut the following weekend, more of which in a future post next week) to set Fisherton Sarum up at the clubrooms of the High Wycombe and District MRS, for which I am most grateful to repair a couple of things such as the turntable and ensure that everything else is working OK.

Although missing the show my Dad will be attending in spirit and in model form as he and fellow school mates are captured trying to bunk the shed as he did in his school short wearing days

I will be ably assisted during the weekend by some regular operators and friends, although unfortunately my father will miss the show as he is recovering from recent emergency heart surgery (for which offer my sincere thanks to all the amazing staff involved within the NHS). I am pleased that he is well on the mend but rightly still convalescing, so get well soon Dad!

All boxed up and ready for loading. The green boxes resting on the top of the layout are the two lighting rig boxes. The control is nestled between the ‘L’Girders of the baseframe under the layout’s ‘Target’ style nameboard.

As with most layouts being exhibited some method of protection for transportation  is required and this is not normally seen by the general public at shows. Although when set up the Fisherton Sarum is 20 foot  long it was designed from the outset in such away that  everything included the stock boxes  (converted stout DJ cases designed for carrying up to 120 CDs) containing over 80 locomotives and some 20 coaches along with numerous wagons, will all fit in a Mondeo estate car!

An overview of the scenic section of Fisherton Sarum

My two scenic boards, each 4′ x 3′ are bolted together by wooden end frames to form a box just small enough to fit through though the tailgate of the car.  The layouts legs are bolted to the inside of baseboards  ‘L’ girders and therefore fold up inside the baseboards out of the way.  The whole box arrangement sits on a set of wheels for easy transportation from the car into and around the exhibition venue. As I use cassettes in the fiddle yards these boards are flat topped ‘paste table’ style  and the legs fold up held in place by clips and then these slide alongside the scenic board ‘box’ in the rear of the car.  Other items such as the end backscene pieces, lighting rig support struts and the control panel (whose width was designed specifically to do so) tuck between the ‘L’ girders of the upturned scenic board.

I hope this little insight into the behind the scenes aspect of exhibiting a layout has been of interest, if you are dropping by the exhibition next weekend, please make sure you say hello!  Fisherton Sarum is stand 25 at the show.

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Last weekend I was attending the Festival of British Railway Modelling held at Doncaster racecourse organised by Warners the publishers of BRM Magazine, and spent the weekend as part of the operating crew of the High Wycombe and District MRS large ’00’ layout Hinton Parva.

Hinton Parva keeps the crowds at the Doncaster Show entertained

Hinton Parva keeps the crowds at the Doncaster Show entertained

Hinton Parva represents a very busy junction station on a Joint Midland/Eastern north-south line. The “Branch” purports to be a cross-country line bringing Southern and Western trains from the south-west. As well as the usual “mainline” movements, there is a goods yard constantly shuffling wagons for the pick up goods trains, and a motive Power Depot which has to receive, service, prepare and dispatch locos for the stopping branch express trains, all of which require a loco change. We operate a varied, late 1950s,  steam/early diesel schedule with a wide range of stock from modern detailed RTR and a large sprinkling of quality kit and scratch built locos and coaches.

A view from the other end of the 32' long Hinton Parva, different day different crowd

A view from the other end of the 32′ long Hinton Parva, different day different crowd

Not many layouts feature two Garratts  (one an LMS and the other the sole LNER machine) hauling 60 wagon trains or an ex LNER W1 or 10001,10201,10800 and prototype diesels / gas turbines. The loco roster for an exhibition is nearly 50 locos, and they all make a running appearance.
Another unusual feature is the working semaphore signals, 37 working arms at the last count. Apart from the aesthetic value of the signals, they also provide drivers with their only means of indications of what they are supposed to do, truly prototypical.
The layout is large at 32ft x 12ft, and maximum use is made of this size to provide a running spectacle for the viewers. The complete sequence takes some 50 to 60 minutes and involves about 90 mainline movements, trains in, trains running through, trains starting.

21C3 'Royal Mail' making an appearance on Hinton Parva

21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ making an appearance on Hinton Parva and easily handled an 8 car Pullman rake

Hornby, have increased the number of shows they are having a presence at this year and I took the opportunity to run and photograph on Hinton Parva, courtesy of Hornby, one of the first of the product batch their new original style Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacifics 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’. This is an advance version with the main production batch due to arrive at retailers during March.

21C3 rests on shed on Hinton Parva

21C3 rests on shed on Hinton Parva

These locomotives have a 5 pole motor with flywheel and plenty of adhesion weight and hauled an 8 coach rake of Hornby, Pullman cars with plenty of power in reserve.  It should be noted that in the pictures to the left she has been taken straight out of the box and the detailing pack containing front steps and cylinder drain cocks etc have not been fitted. I am also pleased to confirm that the lettering shading has been corrected from the livery sample to be black as it should be.

Another view of 21C3 on Hinton Parva

Another view of 21C3 on Hinton Parva

As I advised in my Talking Stock #35 post back in December about the imminent Hornby Merchant Navy releases R3435 No. 21C3 ‘Royal Mail’ is in the condition between when introduced in September 1941; with the ‘widows peak’ style front end without smoke deflectors but with the opening around the chimney and the slot in the front face above the smokebox; and when she was painted in wartime black livery in May 1943.

R3422 Adams radial number 3125 in SR wartime black livery

R3422 Adams radial number 3125 in SR wartime black livery

The next batch of ex London & South Western 0415 class Adams radial tanks have now arrived with the retailers including R3422 number 3125 in SR wartime black with ‘Sunshine’ lettering. this means that for once to suit my modelling period I do not have to repaint and/or renumber an RTR Southern release (although I do have an R3334 ex 30582 with Drummond boiler ready to become 3520 also on SR black with Sunshine lettering as she ran between March 1945 and March 1948).

Another view of R3422 number 3125

Another view of R3422 number 3125

Number 3125 is in the condition she ran between October 1944 when she regained an Adams boiler and March 1949 when she was repainted in British Railways lined black livery. The other recent Hornby, Adams radial release is R3423 as number 30583 also with a an Adams boiler in British Railways lined black with late crest that she gained in early 1959.

H Class smokebox door number plates from 247 developments

H Class smokebox door number plates from 247 Developments

Also now available for Southern Region modellers wishing to enhance or renumber the H Class tanks being released by Hornby later this year are etched smoke box door number plates from 247 Developments.

A cruel enlargement of the H class smokebox door number plate

A cruel enlargement of the H class smokebox door number plate

Recently under the new ownership of Brian Mosby, an excellent modeller himself whom I have known for some time, 247 Developments has produced the full range of H Class numbers (except 31264 and 31312 which never gained the BR number!) The etching is of a high standard and will be welcome addition to the 247 Developments range for any Southern Region modeller.

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Some of the more eagle eyed readers of this little corner of the blogosphere will have no doubt noticed that the over the last couple of weeks the number of booked appearances of Fisherton Sarum at exhibitions has increased with a couple added to the diary for this year and also for 2018 too.  As I only purposely exhibit at between one or three shows a year on average it is always good to see and talk to readers of this blog at such shows and chat about all things Southern Railway whilst playing trains.

nevard_081024_fisherton_DSC_2673_webSo just a heads up that the current list of booked shows are as follows;  if you are in the area and able to come along please say hello:

Also by way of even more advanced notice the following appearances are booked for 2018.

Any other appearances of either Fisherton Sarum or even perhaps Canute Road Quay will also appear on my Exhibition Diary page here so check back from time to time for more information.

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Voting for this years British Model Railways Awards promoted on RMweb and British Railways Modelling Magazine is now live and open for voting until 9th February, with the winners being announced in the Spring edition of British Railways Modelling Magazine and on RMweb.

As well as giving you the chance to vote for your favourite models and manufacturers of the year, the categories also celebrate excellence and innovation in the wider British model railway scene such as websites and exhibitions (see below).

There have of course been a number of Southern / Southern Region related models released during 2016  so I urge you to support the production of these models by choosing your best in the relevant category and voting accordingly. These Southern models are as follows:

N Gauge:

00 Gauge

Following a few difficult years Hornby certainly appear to have turned a corner, and with the Cattle trucks to Diagram 1529 and 1530 and the ex LSWR Muansell 58ft non corridor stock alone have provided us Southern modellers with some excellent models (and more are to come in 2017 I assure you) so must be in with a good chance in the 00 manufacturer of the year category this year…

I am also very humbled to see that this little corner of the blogosphere of mine has once again been nominated (it was voted 4th in last years awards) within the website of the year category, so and this is a bit of a, well a big, shameless plug, please feel free to vote for it, if you have enjoyed my ramblings over the last twelve months.

Regular readers will also know that I am member of the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society and our annual Wycrail exhibition is once again of those that has been nominated in the Exhibition of the year category, so again if you attended it, enjoyed it and think it deserves your vote…

Also if like me you have received excellent service from a particular retailer such as Kernow Model Rail Centre please also vote accordingly.

Please make sure you vote counts to support the Southern / Southern Region models that have been produced in 2016 by voting here before the 9th February.

Here endeth the shameless plug(s)….

 

 

 

 

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