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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

What height should the layout be for exhibiting at exhibitions - I would prefer to operate it sitting down, but I have read in may places it should be eye level(ish) for the spectators?

Thanks
 

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You would normally be behind the layout if you were an exhibition operator and I rarely see an operator who sits down. They generally stand and watch over procedings from the back. Remember youngsters like to see the layouts so not too high.

Exhibition layouts are not normally tail chasing layouts. The operators work to a schedule and there may be fiddle yards at each end of the layout, or at one end if its a terminus type main line or more often branch line layout with trains entering and leaving the terminus station at one end and leaving the layout into the fiddle yard. You also get industrial type shunting layouts where the locomotives are present for much of the time.

You may have a few ideas but it really is best to visit a model railway show for yourself and watch how things are done and arranged and pick up a few tips that way.

You will stand more of a chance of sitting down with a smallish N gauge layout and I have seen N gauge exhibits no larger than 1.2m x 0.6m with the two owners sitting on stools behind. Have a look at some of the exhibition layouts featured in the resources section at Model Rail Forum (Railex and Warley)

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Hi dr5euss
I have owned a couple of exhibition layouts and personally I find that a baseboard height of around 39 inches (1 metre) is ideal for operators and the viewing public too. Children can usually see the trains running (if necessary with the aid of the hosting clubs "Hop ups") while the enthusiast can view the overall effect of the layout.
I know some advocate 4 feet or higher but I personally always find these layout a little hard to grasp the effect being modelled! At the end of the day its your choice but you're really be lucky if you can sit down all the time and operate a layout at an exhibition - The only time I have found this possible is when a fiddle yard operator is used or lunchtimes!
 

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I would tend to agree on 1 metre, or just a little less, being about the best compromise height. This height can be viewed/operated either standing up or sitting down, neither requiring nor disqualifying either of those possibilities. Being able to do either can be quite important during a long day!
 

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QUOTE Gary,

You need to broaden your horizons. At U.S. shows the N-Gauge layouts are often the largest. Each member of the club brings one or more modules that are 2 x 4 feet. Upwards of 30-40 modules are not unheard of.

Thats an interesting idea Dennis and could be applied to OO gauge or any gauge with the approach adopted by UK clubs. And it permits large layouts to be constructed at home rather than in a club room.

It could even be taken on by cyberspace clubs who get together on the internet and agree on a plan for a modular exhibition layout. The club members only getting together at exhibitions which they attend. With real estate being very costly in the UK it would permit groups of like minded people to work together from home to build a massive layout based around small managable modules.

As an example if 10 Model Rail Forum members got together a 40ft x 2ft exhibition layout could be created from home!

An agreement would have to be made on which products to use for scenery and how to build scenery so that there would be a colour match, and on the method of jointing the modules together. It might reguire a Peco backscene all the way along to make this consistent and therefore each module would be the length of one Peco backscene which is 3ft I believe so this might be an easier length to work with. The Hornby Skaledale range could be used for buildings across the entire layout to give it a consistent look and feel.

And the subject could be something that permits a whole range of interests to be taken into account. And to keep things simple Peco or Hornby code 100 set track should be used so that the public can relate to what they are being shown and can see what they can actually do for themselves if they put their minds too it!

In fact the easist way forward is to agree to use the scenic products of one manufacturer for buildings, one for track and ballast, one for landscaping and one for signalling.

Layout control, wiring and fiddle yard construction seem the areas that need the thought for such a scheme.

I'm just throwing ideas in the air at the moment but those reading this should understand my thinking.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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George and Gary,

I hope you don't mind me taking your thread a little astray. I have found that many people in the US are building taller permanent layouts though I'm not one of them. I need to enjoy my layout sitting down as well. I wouldn't want my $2K leather chair to go to waste.
When modular tracks became popular they just seemed a natural fit for shows as well as people who have space restrictions at home.

Yes Gary it would seem a natural for the UK and it's not limited to N-Trak in the states. I saw a Nn3 modular layout just a couple of weeks ago and ETE the European Train Enthusiast group does a modular Marklin layout that I am thinking of joining.

So if you are to exhibit I suggest you take a look to see if there is anything similar in the UK and build to those standards whether you join the group or not.

Here is a link to the N-Trak organization so you can get an idea of what I am talking about. N-TRAK Modular Railroading Society, Inc
 

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I am totally turned on by this modular design concept.

With advanced planning you can do all sorts of things.

Leather chairs are fine to sit in but they will almost certainly get in the way of visitors if you plan to sit at the front of your modular layout when exhibiting.

However, with careful planning and a modular layout shaped in the form of a big "U" then you could certainly fit a swivel leather chair in the front centre and provide plenty of viewing space.

Its not been done before however I suspect that the first person to exhibit in this way will draw a large audience both of visitors and of exhibitors who will be looking on enviously.

The height has to be just right so that you can swivel around and reach over and fiddle in the yard without getting out of the comfy leather chair. And of course you have the best possible viewing position!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Actually the chair is in my library.
What I see being done of course is to have a work/rest area in the middle of the modules.



The picture above shows one of the advantages of a modular layout. It allows you to bring the hobby to a larger audience. (Don't ask me about the flags, obviously this picture was taken from one of the red states). As you can see this is more of a toy train layout. The N and HO modular layouts tend to be more detailed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your replies!

Now that I've got the height (3ft), can it just be placed on a couple of homemade sawhorses? It's about 7 feet long by 1 foot wide.

Thanks
 
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