Sunday, June 14, 2020

How do we run a layout during a show?

You've made the time to go out, probably for the day. You may well be by yourself. You may be meeting some friends there. It's been ages since you've been to a Model Railway Show, so expectations are high, a little bit of nervous energy as you wait to pay your entrance fee...then you are in!

We've all been there, we all look for something different. That the hard part really, as everyone does have a different idea of how to present a layout.

I have a few pet hates, these are not directed at anyone, I swear! My biggest peeves, in no particular order:
-Locomotives working so far above scale speeds.
-Inattentive layout presenters.
-Rollingstock from different locations, run together.
-A mix of weathered, and non weathered rolling stock.
-Layouts not being run until a defined closing time.

Yes I know the flood gates will probably open, sorry.

So what to do about it? Well in this covid 19 time that we live, I've had a little free headspace to have a think about it. I think we should have a dialogue about what we would like to see, and how we would do it.

Here's a few chicken scratchings that I put together. I will be running steam on HH, so that's the focus. What have I missed? What about a set program that you have as a roster for the day, so that those who are interested will make the time to return?
 I, personally would like to see that. It would even work for Club layouts, say with steam 10-12, diesels 1215-1230, you get the idea. You could even have more detailed information like the movements of trains, or locations and a rough idea of what that would mean.

I've always wanted to give people a reason to stop, to linger, that way they feel more comfortable in asking questions. If someone turns up at your layout, and they are the only one, then in my experience if you don't give them a reason to stay, to be comfortable, then they will move on, with many questions left unasked. Railway Modellers are for the most part loners, there aren't too many that are resilient enough to stand in front of their community and share their efforts. Those who aren't presenting, tend to be the quiet ones, easily startled, you get it, si?

When I had Splitters, I had created a 'history' for the location, with details of rollingstock and what was transported on the line. I was then faced with people wanting to go and see what was still there. So then I added a sheet of the explanation of what I was trying to achieve in my Proto-Freelance modelling efforts. So people are prepared to stop and read, let's use that and give them a reason to pause out the front of your layout.

We've all had quite some time away from shows this year, and what have you learnt about our hobby during this down time? I've had time to re assess what we do, how we do it, what matters, and how we present it to the public.

If you have some opinions, please, share them. I'd love a discussion about what we do, could do, or should do.

Have a great week, live in smiles,

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Twins, finishing off, well almost

There's been a fair bit going on at our place for a few weeks now. The modelling bench has been a welcomed distraction. 

I've moved forward with the building of the Post & Telegraph office, on to the fiddly bits that can seem to take ages to complete. The verandah roofing with all that this brings. The bits are the guttering and what happens under the gutters. Then there's the verandah roofing, and the verandah posts.

In this really poorly focussed photo you can get an idea of what I've been working on. There's the barge boards on the end of the roof, the gutter and under it the facia. The gutter is U channel with a section of .040" square styrene glued to the underside of the 'gutter' so that the back of the gutter is flush with the back of the styrene. These I make separately in sections ready to use when I need them.

The verandah posts fit into a styrene base of about 3mm high, and made up out of two pieces of angle, as illustrated above. By doing this I can have the building base, separate from the building, separate from the roof, all so I can paint each part separately. There was some outside help with this idea, and it came from an online session with modellers from around Aus and one from the UK, thanks guys!

Here you can see the posts on the verandah, fitted into their base. Since taking the photo I've re-aligned the base on the outside posts, as they were a little off being upright. The roofing is being glued on also, I've used Campbell's corrugated iron, I love this stuff! 
The building is coming together pretty well. Most of the gutters and roofing is done, there is just downpipes, a rainhead to go at the gable gutter, and after receiving some great suggestions from a facebook comment, I will be doing ground plumbing fitment also.

I'm not too far away from painting this now. I will be working on the interior this week. Then I'm going to make a start on the Station complex. It is a much bigger building than on Splitters, so a good challenge, and a step up in building with styrene.

There are a couple of projects on the go at the same time, and the backscene frames are nearly ready to have some blue paint applied. This is one of my favourite parts of layout construction as it sets the theme and especially the scenery style. So many people seem to be worried about this part, lets see how we go.

A new week ahead, another cool one, perfect for modelling, enjoy your week,