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I've been to a few model railway exhibitions recently and noticed that quite frequently that a layout will be beautifully made and detailed, obviously many hours put in to getting a nice finish. Then some [email protected] loco arrives and flys off the tracks at every point/turnout. Another loco turns up then a "magic finger" is required every 10 inches or so to get it going again. At the last exhibition I was at there was a loco doing both, constantly derailing and stalling. I wondered, why bother, why put a lot of time and effort into the scenery then run some rolling stock that demotes the layout from the achievement that it actually is. There is no reason thesedays not to have a fine running loco in any scale,era or demographic location.

I'll leave my finescale rant for another day!
 

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Sadly this is of course the inverse of many home layouts which never get beyond track laying and hence "Nice locos, shame about the layout!"

Perhaps some layouts built for exhibition are a group or club effort - hence the layout is well presented, but not all clubs choose to own rolling stock themselves so then the models may not benefit from group attention. Although - old models that don't run as well tend to have huge wheel flanges too - so they can't derail? I would hazard that poorly laid or dirty trackwork is as bad as a poor locomotive. (And of course track that looks fine and is nicely painted/ballasted/detailed can be dirty, uneven and poorly wired just like a loco that looks fine can be noisy, a bad runner and with as much pulling power as a pancake.) Both have to work well for an exhibition!

(Personally if the "magic finger" was needed often on my layout with a difficult model it would very quickly become the "magic hand" and then the "magic open window" and finally the "magic splash in the garden pond" or the "magic howl from the neighbour over the fence mowing his lawn and hit on the head by a reluctant runner"!)
 

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QUOTE (goedel @ 13 Feb 2008, 00:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>and finally the "magic splash in the garden pond"

Anything that plays up more than a couple of times on St.Laurent is put into the "Sin Bin" - the box for items requiring attention.

There is a GI tanker at the bottom of my garden pond constantly derailed, despite being checked several times - it floated for about a week before it finally sank !
 

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QUOTE (simonj @ 12 Feb 2008, 23:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. I wondered, why bother, why put a lot of time and effort into the scenery then run some rolling stock that demotes the layout from the achievement that it actually is..
In my limited (and now very dated) experience of club railway modelling there was often a conflict between the scenery modellers and the railway operator interest. I wanted a complete 'stop line' on the scenic side a month before the exhibition, so that operation could be rigorously tested; every item of stock, every movement, to allow the problems to be flushed out and eliminated. Now believe it or not, operating the layout actually degrades the scenic finish. The rail head has to be clean: paint is often removed from the rail side in consequence, by the time reliable running is achieved. But that's fine because the model is pointless, unless it can actually represent railway operations with some realism.

And here comes the conflict, on the occasion we had done the work to get the running right, overnight before the exhibition opened two obsessives 'touched up' all the paintwork. Result: a grim two days of non-stop finger poking as the new paint interfered with good conductivity. That decided me on leaving that club, and all such clubs, and I have since done my own thing on my layouts where anything that conflicts with running reliability is immediately discarded.
 

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QUOTE (goedel @ 13 Feb 2008, 00:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>(Personally if the "magic finger" was needed often on my layout with a difficult model it would very quickly become the "magic hand" and then the "magic open window"

In my experience there is also the "magic violent collision with the wall" and if all else fails the "magic blow from the hammer"!

Regards
 

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QUOTE (simonj @ 12 Feb 2008, 23:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There is no reason thesedays not to have a fine running loco in any scale,era or demographic location.

Apart from time perhaps?

I made the mistake of opening out the back - back on my bachmann 37 to 14.7mm just before a show this year, only to find the setting caused said derailments on points and the breakdown hand was called into service.
They ran fine on the straight however.
I have not worked out weather the b-b neeeds closing or points need shimming?

Still, the show on the whole went well.
 

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I've seen very well made layouts at exhibitions with great looking rolling stock spoiled by the operaters running the trains at an approximate scale speed of 500mph.
 

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QUOTE (Piemanlarger @ 19 Feb 2008, 14:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have not worked out whether the b-b neeeds closing or points need shimming?
In the interests of the minimum effort required to deliver a satisfactory result, first question would be 'how reliable is the running of the other stock, and most particularly whatever else among the stock is closest to the wheel arrangement of the 37?'. If the 37 is the sole offender, then any tweaking of the points to better accomodate it, may well cause problems for other stock which currently performs reliably. If it is just the 37, then measure b-b on the most similar reliable vehicle, and reset the 37's wheels to that figure.
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 19 Feb 2008, 16:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've seen very well made layouts at exhibitions with great looking rolling stock spoiled by the operaters running the trains at an approximate scale speed of 500mph.

That could mean us with SL then !

Yes, we do sometimes run the ICE3 flat out through the station when there are a lot of youngsters watching - after all, we are there to entertain the public & that (I'm pretty certain from the feedback we get) is what we do.

Having said that, the rest of the trains are run at a speed consistant with what they are doing & what they are.

One thing that other exhibitors often overlook is that it is the general public (who we estimate to be around 90% of the "door") rather than the actual modeller who is paying for you to be there. We tend to run SL to suit the venue.
 

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QUOTE (poliss @ 19 Feb 2008, 16:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I've seen very well made layouts at exhibitions with great looking rolling stock spoiled by the operaters running the trains at an approximate scale speed of 500mph.
How else can they get them round the loop-the-loop?


I agree dbclass50 that it is all about entertaining your audience. For families with children then slow and occasional action to some kind of 'timetable' that means nothing happens for half the time will interest the children for about five seconds, even if dad wants to chat to the operator and admire the layout for a quarter of an hour he will soon be pulled away to look at something else by the them!
 

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QUOTE (goedel @ 20 Feb 2008, 13:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>How else can they get them round the loop-the-loop?


I agree dbclass50 that it is all about entertaining your audience. For families with children then slow and occasional action to some kind of 'timetable' that means nothing happens for half the time will interest the children for about five seconds, even if dad wants to chat to the operator and admire the layout for a quarter of an hour he will soon be pulled away to look at something else by the them!

I was helping a friend at a recent exhibition operate his German layout and was constantly aware of keeping the public entertained after all they did pay. We obviously did something right as we had to stop on numerous occasions to chat to the public and one subject we got on to a few times was how many trains we should run as in reality we could have run 2 trains as soon as the doors opened and then left the exhibition if we wanted to be prototypical


Shaun
 

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Would it be fair to say that creating scenery can be a relative cheap exercise, while quality rolling stock and locomotives are expensive.

In today's day and age there are still exhibitors who believe that an exhibition is a time for them to play trains rather than entertain the public. This is detrimental to the hobby as a whole.

Personally I do not think that a layout that is 5 foot off the ground is any good for an exhibition. The majority of the people at the exhibition are under 3 foot tall!

But it takes all sorts and exhibition organisers can have difficulty finding layouts to show.

I once went to an exhibition when one group faithfully packed up all their HO loco's and stock before going home every night. Beside them was a gauge 1 layout where the value of several of the locomotives individually was greater than the stuff they were packing up. The gauge 1 boys just shut the layout down and went home, leaving the stock on the layout. Guess who has more fun.

John
 

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I would agree with what John says - when we take St.Laurent to an exhibition/show we do our best to entertain the paying public. It can be very hard work but we enjoy it.

At the end of the first day on a two day event we also simply stop the trains in a suitable place, turn off the mains & go !.

We often get comments from visitors that some operators seem to be there for their own purpose and will not talk to them or if they do it's often in a patronising/stuffed shirt manner.
 

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Brian,

I belong to the the group that has the Gauge 1 layout, not that I own any Gauge 1 equipment. Turn layout off, time to go and have a beer and a meal. To pack up the stock would take between 60 and 90 minutes. Life is to short!

Unfortunately given the size and value of the trains (plus we don't have an ICE) the trains don't really zip around the layout. Operation of the layout is basically have two trains on each main line circulating and making sure that the dont crash into each other and evry 30-45 minutes doing some shunting to change the trains. It is fun to play with and talk to the punters, even though they have no idea as to how much they are worth. They look at the price of Thomas and think that a G1 2-10-0 will only be 4-5 times more expensive. (I wish that as well, but reality is a different story)

John
 

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John,

Constant movement seems to be the key to keep the public happy - I'm just trying to picture an ICE3 in G1 going full tilt !

We don't run to any particular epoch - we try to run something for everyone, from the ICE3 (which belongs to Maggie anyway) to the epoch II freight that trundles slowly round with the G8 0-8-0 at the head.

I agree about packing thinks up - life is far too short & when you think about it safer from damage packing/unpacking.

The only G1 I have is a Piko BR218 & some LGB for the garden - would like more but the good lady has limits !
 

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Hi Brian

I like to think that the public have a good time at the shows that group that I am involved with exhibit at. One of the group was on holiday in German and found Istein station on his travels. This is what the layout is called and modelled on.

One of the owners of some of the stock is quite happy for children to drive the train with an ESU hand held. They seem to have a good time especially when they can sound the horn! The layout is best described as a big oval that requires an area of 9 meters by 11 meters minimum. So they can get a bit of exercise walking around following the train that they are driving.

One of the things that we have done is have the control panel on the out side. It is quite rare to have any of the operators inside the layout. Its fame is spreading. The plastic modellers association had an exhibition and asked us to take our layout along. It was the only railway related item there. But there was some outstanding modelling on display. Given that it takes about 6 hours to set up and dismantle, we will only exhibit it at shows that are at least 2 days long.

The interests of the members in the group is distinctly Germanic and Swiss At one show we had a gentleman who modelled BR gauge 1 and he asked whether he could run his great western banana (I think that is what it was called, it was a railcar of some sort) on the layout that was radio controlled. It was actually quite hard case watching a BR prototype on layout.

Unfortunately like you SWMBO limits my train budget so at this stage I cannot afford to buy any gauge 1. I still have too much to buy for my HO layout! Brawa have a lot to answer for in terms of preventing me buying more buildings and signals that the layout really needs. I swear that they must have seen my wish list of items that I want/need.

Are you sure the Piko 218 is gauge 1, I thought it was G scale?

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 6 Mar 2008, 06:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Are you sure the Piko 218 is gauge 1, I thought it was G scale?

John

Sorry John - it is, of course "G Scale". (they look a little strange next to the Aristo' 66 !) Not a bad bit of kit for the money either. Would like an HGK 66 with sound - just as well Mr Misery a couple of doors down has moved - he even complained about the sound of the waterfall !

Can you let us have a list of forthcomming exibitions you will be attending please ? If you are exhibiting down our way at all & need another pair of hands & I'm not already committed give me a call (I'll "volunteer" BRITHO as well).

SHOMO is pretty good really, as long I have have not spent money that should have gone elseware & I'm honest about it no problem, especially if a trip to New Look is planned with a "contribution" from yours truely, normally 1 x locomotive + 1 x pair shoes or handbag.

"You need another locomotive like I need another pair of shoes" is often quoted.

all the best Brian
 

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Hi Brian,

I am in New Zealand, so its more like you come down my way, or I come up your way.

As a rough estimate, I would think that if an exhibition had GBP40k to spend on getting us and layout over there and back, we would think about it, although travelling economy from NZ to the UK is a bit of a drag!

Istein will be at the NZAMRC convention in Napier in two weeks and at the Wellington Railex in late October early November. If you happen to be at either event let us know.

John
 

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Sorry Brian SWMBO's best comment is

"They all look the same."

Closely followed by my two daughters (4 & 7)

"Dad can you run Thomas and Percy"

John

All locomotives and rolling stock on the layout have unique running numbers.
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 6 Mar 2008, 10:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Brian,

I am in New Zealand,

John

If I had looked at your location...................... (lose a housepoint).

Well, if the lottery comes up it looks like Turkey, NZ, Australia for a start.

Maggie does take an interest, hence the ICE3. My stepdaughter (aged 28 & still at home) has a Brawa "Weserbahn" in Cow Livery & a ficticious train of assorted chocolate/drinks wagons to go with it.
 
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