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In the United States we don't really have the same concept of what you call an exhibition layout. If a layout is shown at a show it is almost always a club layout thats modular. So please excuse the silly questions. What's an average size exhibition layout? What does it really mean to build an exhibition layout and why do it? Is there some special mystique to creating an exhibition layout and is it usually the product of a single individual. What happens to it when there isn't an exhibition? Why truck your layout to a show instead of hosting a layout tour at your home like they do in the United States? Are there awards or ratings to be won?
 

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Hmmm...,-no simple answer here I'm afraid David,-it's one of those 'how long is a piece of string?' type of questions...


The size can vary considerably, from one extreme to the other,at the small end you may have 'diorama' type layout,or 'micro layout' that can be very easily transported and set up by the individual,in Britain the 'shunting plank' layout is very popular because of this,and being small they don't need huge amounts of time and capital invested in them to get them to an exhibitable state,and are easily manageable,they can be fitted into odd corners at exhibitions too..

Slightly larger layouts maybe solo [perhaps with a mate or two to help operate] or club efforts,but the really large layouts that need a truck to transport them are nearly always club ones...

The small ones are often the persons' 'home layout' as well,-due to space constraints,-or are sometimes portable 'extensions' to a larger 'parent' layout that stays fixed...

Clubs sometimes open their clubrooms to the public so that their layouts can be viewed,but in a lot of cases this simply isn't possible,-but I don't think that there are many private individuals who have the space,or the inclination, to hold a show in their own home....

Why do it?? -for the 'buzz',to socialise,-to meet fellow modellers,-to promote the hobby,-'coz you can, I suppose...


Sometimes,-usually the larger ones,there are awards for 'best layout','best loco','exhibitors favourite' [probably the one with most kudos attached] etc....but it's usually not competitive as such...
 

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Dennis
To understand fully the "exhibition" concept, you must first remember a few salient points about the UK.

Firstly, houses, especially the more modern ones, are usually very much smaller in the UK than America or Australia. (probably smaller than most Western countries I imagine). This means that small layouts are very common, most larger layouts being either in lofts or in railway modelling clubs. This explains why "open house" days are not common with domestic layouts (no room for viewing, not big enough to interest many visitors)

Secondly, the club scene.
Quite a lot of clubs in the UK, most counties (much smaller version of your states) having a choice of clubs within a ten to fifteen mile radius. However, many clubs are housed in multi-purpose buildings, being housed in one room of a community centre, a church hall, a local leisure centre/school complex or some similar building. Many clubs I know do build large layouts, but don't have the facility to erect the complete layout because of lack of space, or even have to disassemble and store the layout after each club night Some clubs are more fortunate and have permanent space big enough to house a large layout which is always assembled, but these are in a significant minority. There is therefore a situation where there are a few "club open days", but these are usually annual events, with a wide geographic spread.

Thirdly the Exhibition scene.
Because of the constraints listed above, it has become the norm to have exhibitions of all sizes and in all parts of the country. These vary from large, annual events like Warley (in the national exhibition centre) where there will be as many as 75 layouts and 120 trade stands, to small local events where there may be as few as six or eight layouts and one or two local traders.
Usually run by the local club, these events may be annual, twice yearly or even quarterly. There is invariably an admission charge which hopefully covers the cost of staging the event, plus a small surplus to help run the club concerned and improve the services offered to its members.

"The Exhibition" therefore becomes a social event for the members and guest layouts attending, a meeting place for modellers who visit, as well as a way of introducing the hobby to members of the public who "come to see the trains" As previously stated, the competition element is of little importance, but there is pride taken in the quality and accuracy of the modelling.
Wash it all down with a cup of tea and the consensus of opinion states that "a good day was had by all".
Hope between DS239 and myself some understanding of the mind set is emerging, if our quaint little ways are becoming a little clearer, glad to be of help!!!
 

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Thanks for expanding on this,Jeff.-I tried editing my post to make things a little clearer [on re-reading it,I could have stated things better],but the edit didn't work for some reason...
 

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Australia's pretty much like the UK. Most layouts which are taken to a show are modular as they are untransportable otherwise. The big layouts are club ones and the smaller ones can be the result of work by a few individuals. I did show some of these layouts in the review of Wantirna Model rail show. Recently I went to St Andrews model rail show in Fife and it was roughly similar to the shows here. I do have a few picures but have still to post them. People here and in the UK are not that eager to show their homes off. While blokes wouldn't care, women are very house proud and that tends to be the limiting factor.
 

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Noting the leaning towards standards in the USA are there standards for layout module size?

What I have noted is that when layouts with an American theme are exhibited in the UK they seem to lack depth whilst having an extended length. I was wondering if this was as a result of using modules.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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There are several local clubs within ten miles of me, all of whom have an annual exhibition.
Fund raising seems to be a very important part of these events.

All but one of these clubs have to share space and therefore cannot build permanent layouts. Instead, the usual thing is to build and run several smaller portable layouts to satisfy the varied interests of club members.
Then there are the politics........


As said before, the average UK home based layout is rather small and even then has to be squeezed into a bedroom, loft, garage or garden shed. Basements are almost unheard of in UK houses built after WW1.
Having said that, there are still quite a few large layouts out there.
 

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Wow. That is fantastic.

Here is a standard module baseboard:-



This enables 2 modellers 100's of miles apart to each build a module at home that they can join up on the day of exhibition. You can do anything you like within your module as long as the 4 inches of track at each end of the module is straight and is in a position that conforms to the standard to enable an easy connection to the next module.

The 24 inch depth does explain the point I made earlier about American modular layouts not being that deep however it does mean modules can be transported in your BMW Mini!


MRF members could build a Model Rail Forum modular layout which we could exhibit!

We could be the first online model railway club!!!


Who would like to join a Model Rail Forum Model Railway Club?


We would probably set up a seperate discussion area for club members so that we can take this further.

100 members each constructing a 4ft x 2ft OO gauge module at home would permit us to exhibit a 400ft long layout if we all get together at the same time!!!

WOW!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 4 Sep 2006, 21:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...
MRF members could build a Model Rail Forum modular layout which we could exhibit!

We could be the first online model railway club!!!


Who would like to join a Model Rail Forum Model Railway Club?


We would probably set up a seperate discussion area for club members so that we can take this further.

100 members each constructing a 4ft x 2ft OO gauge module at home would permit us to exhibit a 400ft long layout if we all get together at the same time!!!

WOW!
...

Not a bad idea.

We are discussing this.

Even if we had a fraction of that amount, it would still be a fun way to work together and to get members to interact more.

Watch this space...
 

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Count me in lads, could be the biggest club in the UK and a great experiment on remote co-operation.
A get together would have it's own logistical problems though!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We protagonists need to stick together.


Actually if there were any way for me to join in I would go along with whatever the majority decided. That's the point of a module. You're regular layout is your own but the module is to allow you to get with others. There would be no arguments from me.
 

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The biggest common denominator is DC and OO. And the most popular era is the steam/diesel transition period. A preserved line theme offers more flexibility allowing a mixture of the new and the old.

N gauge modellers can of course have their own module group within the club permitting 2 exhibits to be showcased.

Those into the new stuff can join up their modules at one end and those into the preserved stuff can join up their modules at the other end. This way it does not really matter how many modules of each theme there are.

Depending on the mix of members that turn up each time there could be a relatively greater or lesser amount of new to preserved.

There could be a transition module in the middle. This could have 2 terminus stations.

Each module should be designed to be self contained with a common linking mainline at the front. The exception may be the transition module although this still has the "standard" link up at each end.

If somebody wants to create a module with an 009/HOe narrow gauge railway on it then fantastic as long as it is self contained and has the common link mainline at the front.

There is nothing to stop anybody creating an embankment or a cutting or including a bridge as long as that module is self contained with the track running at the standard height above the ground to enable module connection. You could have a module with a bridge and an embankment next to a module with a cutting as long as the linking ends are scenically level. We agree on standards for track and scenic colours so that track ballast and grass and backdrop sky looks samey on each module.

To keep things simple we would operate those models that we have at home that we bring to the exhibitions.

Those are my thoughts to open up this discussion.

There should be something there to wet the appetite of every member of Model Rail Forum!


Happy modelling
Gary
 
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