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Just another modeller
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Hello all

I'm pleased to advise that FOCUS MODELLING GROUP INC will hold the first of what will become a bi-annual event at its premises at Unit2, 13 Lionel Street, Naval Base, WA 6155 Australia across the weekend of September 20 and 21st 2008.

A copy of our intended programme is attached here - please feel free to download it and if you are close enough - PLEASE make a point of putting several hours aside and joining us across our 20/21 September open weekend - you will be most welcome!

About us:

Focus was started when I moved to my new business premises - Several good friends and I had often talked about creating something special as a group of modellers, without the compromises needed at most clubs and so when the large commercial unit beside my new premises was available, I bit the bullet, took a risk and leased it for the creation of FOCUS modelling.

We are now fully incorporated and well underway following our dream!

FOCUS Modelling is an invitation only modelling group comprised mainly of skilled modellers who love their hobby but simply don't want to be part of a normal club with its inevitable structure and restrictions.... Basically we are a group who value "doing it well" and love to share the hobby with anyone who has the same approach - a desire to model without unnecessary compromise - irrespective of their skill levels. We aren't elitist or narrow in our approach though - we welcome all those with a good approach to other people, a can do attitude and a desire to model well, irrespective of skill levels....

We are really keen to pass on our knowledge and share the skills we have learned over the several lifetimes of modelling weshare between us, so hold regular "free workshops" on various subjects each month - THIS event however is something special....

Each day of our Open Weekend, we will hold 16 individual one hour workshops - eight different subjects will be repeated twice each day.

We will also be taking bookings for follow on courses at the event - These will be "paid for courses" limited to no more than 4 to 6 people depending on subject, and each consisting of about 9 hours tuition on specialised subjects, spread over several week nights per subject. 100% of this income goes to build our layouts!

The layout which won "best layout at the Show" at the Perth AMRA show this year also lives at our premises and will be operating across the weekend too...plus we'll have a continuous food service + a sales table for those who love a bargain. (I'm very proud to say that focus members actually won almost every one of the show trophies)

The purpose of our "open Weekend" is to teach - and to raise funds for the FOUR large layouts that are planned within the premises.

Read on below, and you will see why we REALLY DO need your support... lots of large layouts to get underway, all at the same time - and that needs more than a little encouragement in our bank accounts


The layouts are big, will all feature handlaid pointwork and there will be little compromise in modelling quality throughout, with all work to a preset set of standards for gradients, minumum radius and other things essentail to good running...

The layouts will be (one is already built)
(US Prototype)
Keddie - a nearly 60 foot long HO scale layout featuring the famous Keddie Wye bridge and surrounding area on the Western pacific railway. This layout is already up, running and matured and now resides within FOCUS modelling managed by the members who built it.

It will be further developed over the next year to extend its operation even further and revitalise its alreay excellent scenery and super impressive Wye shaped bridges....plus duplicating all controls outside the layout for more "visitor friendly" operations.

(UK Prototype)
A large (nearly 60 foot long) layout showing the area close to Bootle and Canada dock where L&Y, Midland and LNWR lines came together close to the Mersey. This layout will be built in BOTH 16.5mm/OO and EM gauges, with the wharf and warehouse lines in EM, and the multiple main line through tyhe scen in OO. Timing will be late 50's - This area/trackage/period allows a wide range of stock, even including the odd Eastern region loco and stock....

(AU Prototype)
New South Wales mainline and mineral operations in HO scale, again nearly 60 feet long and built back to back with the UK layout so they share a common backscene structure and "nested" end loops. This will feature a branch with heavy mineral trains with the garratts and early diesel, plus the huge number of passenger and freight trains that passed between Queensland and New South Wales destinations... more than 100 passenger train movements per day for the period modelled, PLUS an intensive freight operation. This will be a loco lovers layout as there will be so much potential!

(EU Prototype)
Not fixed, but it may even be Danish as one of our fine modellers hails from there!. Probably period 3, definately mixed steam and diesel with main lines under wire and a narrow gauge feeder line incorporated too... This layout will be somehwhat smaller at appx 8 metres x 5 metres but has been kept smaller so it can become our exhibition layout.

Our EU modelling members are a somewhat mixed bag - Danish, Polish, Hungarian and Dutch, so this plan may skew one way or another any time.... I must admit, having just taken a looong look at Budapest West station after I was asked to build it for a friend as a commission... I'd happily model many places in Europe! What a lovely building!

Kind regards

Richard
 

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I wish they had this kind of stuff in Brussels, it would be so cool to be able to have this available locally!
 

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Hi all

As a member of focus modeling I would like to add a bit more to what Richard has said. This is the first model train club I have joined and to date it has being a fantastic experience for me. I pick up so much info and help from the guys and spend nearly every Saturday down there. I even find myself making excuses or telling clients I'm busy on a Saturday so I can go down.

It is over about a 1 hour drive from my place and its my reward for a hard weeks work.

I saw the first custom spray booths Richard has built for the w/end, 6 in all and boy they look good! They have 2 industrial ball bearing extraction fans with special heating lights. I know they were for sale for people that come down but since I have started building Brass loco's which by the way I learned at focus I couldn't help myself and had to have one. My bet is none of the 6 will even make it to the general public and will be purchased by club members! Excellent price too.

What I like, the is modeling info and help is freely passed and for me the single biggest thing the genuine friendly atmosphere down there.

For the Perth people this is a w/end worth attending. As Richard pointed out lots happening very diverse and you will meet some fantastic modelers and finally put a face to a name. I'm the handsome one!

All welcome and hope to see you there.

Martin
 

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Just another modeller
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (Martin71 @ 11 Aug 2008, 20:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi all

As a member of focus modeling I would like to add a bit more to what Richard has said. This is the first model train club I have joined and to date it has being a fantastic experience for me. I pick up so much info and help from the guys and spend nearly every Saturday down there. I even find myself making excuses or telling clients I'm busy on a Saturday so I can go down.

It is over about a 1 hour drive from my place and its my reward for a hard weeks work.

I saw the first custom spray booths Richard has built for the w/end, 6 in all and boy they look good! They have 2 industrial ball bearing extraction fans with special heating lights. I know they were for sale for people that come down but since I have started building Brass loco's which by the way I learned at focus I couldn't help myself and had to have one. My bet is none of the 6 will even make it to the general public and will be purchased by club members! Excellent price too.

What I like, the is modeling info and help is freely passed and for me the single biggest thing the genuine friendly atmosphere down there.

For the Perth people this is a w/end worth attending. As Richard pointed out lots happening very diverse and you will meet some fantastic modelers and finally put a face to a name. I'm the handsome one!

All welcome and hope to see you there.

Martin

***Thanks Martin

Actually 3 of the 6 spray booths are already sold - I'll need to find time to build several more I think! Income from them goes to the club so thats good news!

Richard
 

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Richard, shift over here to Adelaide please!! That Group sounds good.
 

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Richard looks like a good weekend in sept, I live on the east coast its a bit hard to go over there i wish someone this side would do something like it..
 

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Certainly looks like it should be a good weekend - but a bit of a long haul from here! Still there's always the big lottery win. I hope it goes well and be sure to post some piccies.

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
QUOTE (BRITHO @ 13 Aug 2008, 00:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Certainly looks like it should be a good weekend - but a bit of a long haul from here! Still there's always the big lottery win. I hope it goes well and be sure to post some piccies.

Regards

*** A quick reminder to all West Australian based forum members and friends that the FOCUS modelling Group open weekend is next Saturday and Sunday, 20/21 of September at Unit 2, 13 Lionel Stret Naval Base WA 6165.

The programme for the weekend is attached to my post at the start of this thread.

I will be there as will Martin71, who will be demonstrating DCC and lighting installs.... Focus modelling will also be constantly showing how & demonstrating weathering, airbrushing, baseboard construction, scenery, chassis and pickup construction, turnout pointmaking etc etc...

Our US layout, "Feather river route", which features the impressive Keddie Wye Bridges, will be operating throughout the weekend - lots of West coast US trains running through at scale speeds 7 hours a day!

Its on 0~5 both days, so put an hour or two aside, drop in and say hello!

Regards

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 17 Sep 2008, 07:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I thought it was closer to civilisation. Four hours less flying time than here.


*** Well said that man!

Given that we are populated by 20%++ expats, we ARE simply an extension of civilisation - just a little further south east than the channel islands :) ....with better weather.

Anyway Jeff, I lived in Melbourne for a decade, for a while within earshot of the sound of the Steam ;ocos on the rail line through the Dandenongs and later in Berwick within earshot of the line to Gippsland. All in all not too far from you really.

I loved it in a way but believe me, the lifestyle is nicer this side of the continent :).... and the hobbyshop pricing is far better too!

We had a last "set-up meeting" at the premises last night, so we are good to go for the weekend!!

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, our "Focus modelling group" modellers weekend has come and gone, and what a great time we all had.

The Focus team came together really well and did all of the prep work well in advance, and after our last pre weekends get together we had little to do before kicking off on Saturday morning other than to set out the tables and chairs kindly lent to us.... ready for the demonstrations.

Even the predicted showers stayed away and we had blue skies all day!

Our only hiccup was that at 9am we realised the barbeque for the cooking had been forgotten, and the nearest member to the clubroom lives 25K away, so heading home wasn't a popular otion but they are a resourceful lot.... so with a quick whip around and $20 a head collected, one member had nearly $200 in his pocket, nicked my van and nipped down to our equivalent of the B&Q, so by start time we had our new club BBQ hot and ready to cook!

All was ready early for the 10am start and we relaxed a few minutes before the first of our guests arrived, and they kept coming... and coming!

We only charged $A5 a the door, and I have to say, it has to be the best value ever - Several stayed the full 7 hours of Saturday, attending all of the days sessions, and then returned to pay aonther $5 and do the next 4 on Sunday!

With everyone staying so long, throughout the day the attendance was at about our limit as with only just over 2500 square ft of premises, we had four demonstration areas each containing 2 different lots of demo gear, plus a very large layout and about 100 people wandering around & attending our interactive workshops at any one time, plus another few enjoying the excellent food which was also at prices that were affordable - about $3 for a cuppa, a roll and a cake!

Sunday was bitterly cold with a string wind straight from the Southern Ocean (that means the Arctic ocean down here), so we started the day at about 13 degrees and it got down to below 5 with intermittent rain but modellers are a tough bunch and we awere kept busy until late in the afternoon - a wonderful result!

Overall a great success in several ways, guaranteeing that we will follow through on our plans and repeat this event twice per year without fail! ... We certainly achieved our primary targets!

***To set the scene to make this inaugural event a positive one for both attendants and members, so both sides will look forward to the next time. (All who came left happy, our presenters were absolutely fantastic about working so hard all weekend without exception .....and even better, they thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing too!!!! )

***To make all feel at ease and not threatened or intimidated at the thought of doing the scary stuff or hands on stuff like airbrushing, building loco's, doing scenery, making track, signals etc and installing DCC.

***To involve and work with rather than talk at the attendants - our presenters should be proud of their efforts here, with many of the attendants being among WA's most skilled modelling people who sat as interested as those with lesser experience and all felt equal, because the presenters made them feel welcome, comfortable to interact and participate ....and welcome to lead the subject anywhere they liked!

***To make sure we were talked about positively by attendants.... so next time will be even busier! Feedback to me was really great, all attendants enjoyed it and were most complimentary about our demonstrators and presenters... who included forum members Martin71 on the ins and outs of DCC installation and lighting, and Lancashire Fusilier expertly assembling lovely scale semaphore signals.

***To gain some new members... we did well here too!

***To make a little money so we can commence our new layouts! We did fine here too really... We haven't finished the counting yet but even though I think we will not quite reach our income target, we'll be very close and as everything else was so much better than expected we really don't care!

Apart from the above, highlights for me personally included:

A father and son who drove from Albany in the States far South and about half a dozen who drove up from another regional city (Bunbury) that is hours away just to attend.... and stayed from start to finish!

One of our "elder statesmen" of the hobby who was so impressed by Pauls skills on ths signal building that he returned the second day to lend him several books and two of his huge bound personal compilations of incredibly detailed information on Midland and LMS signals - for him to let paul have his personal archive is a great compliment to our focus modelling and MRF member!

Great compliments about the presentations from Adrian, another of our better Perth modellers who was a friend of Roye England and still contributes to Pendon Museum...

Fully booking out several of our follow up 9 hour / 3 week courses on soldering, trackwork, dcc, airbrushing etc, because all income from the "labour" side of these is donated 100% to Focus modelling and supports all our modelling members!

Finally.... finding that when I walked back into the clubrooms at 5.30 despite the fact that the members hadn't stopped all day, the whole area was already ship shape and cleaned, tables & chairs stacked ready for pickup and all I needed to do was lock up and have a cuppa with them before we all wandered home happy and tired!

Enough rabbiting on: I didp roecess and downsize all piccies ready for posting but left my pen drive at the office.... I'll post a few images tomorrow along with captions so you can see for yourselves what went on!

Kindest regards

Richard
 

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I am glad that went well for you & your helpers, Richard, it is a pity I could not attend ( a bit far away)

Sol
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
QUOTE (Sol @ 21 Sep 2008, 21:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am glad that went well for you & your helpers, Richard, it is a pity I could not attend ( a bit far away)

Sol

***Not helpers Sol, but fellow Focus members, and all very much equals at the very least in this event:

I did much of the coordination and planning, and guided where I could, but they did all the work and provided the modelling inspiration on the day - as our premises are right alongside, I was busy doing what DCCconcepts does best much of the time, apart from passing through every now and again to see everyone was happy, say hello to fellow modellers, check the food supply and top up the loo paper and other mundane things :)

I'm sorry you couldn't come... But its only a couple of thousand K... if you start walking now, you'll be in time for the next one in march


Richard
 
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