Sunday, 13 October 2013

Learning from others

I have more than one hobby. In fact model railways only just make it into the top three, with photography and cycling being in the lead and various others, such as canals, motor racing and our four toy poodles not far behind. . There is no doubt that not focusing on just one pastime leads to conflicts over time, and as a a consequence I'm sure it impacts my expertise across them all.

Sometimes though, as on that recent cycling trip in the USA, there is a chance to leverage some synergies, as we management consultants are alleged to say on a frequent basis.

For the first time in a very long time I picked up a copy of Airfix Model World because it had a big focus on WW1 models which I've always found interesting, including updating the venerable Airfix R.E.8 kit.

More to the point where railway modelling is concerned it was another reminder of how techniques have progressed . The article on building the Fokker Eindecker and a 54mm British soldier showed just what impressive are now being achieved as a result of high quality kits being combined with sophisticated paint finishes.

As a hobby though we are lucky that we have modelers equally willing to share their time, knowledge and ideas. It is great when this is shared on the web or in maagazines, but sometimes it is nice to see both people and their models in the flesh.

This is a long winded introduction to a review of this weekend's Great Electric Train Show at the Gaydon Heritage Motor Centre. Incidentally despite spending a lot of time at Gaydon as part of my job this was the first time I'd visited the motor museum there.

For reasons that I'm not quite sure about it appears to have been cheaper to attend when the model railway show was on than it is normally. Certainly at £10 for both it was excellent value for money and this, along with the venue, seemed to have made it quite attractive to casual enthusiasts and families rather than the more socially challenged. In any case the venue was quite spacious, if not always easy to find your way around, and on Saturday afternoon it was a pleasure to just wander around.

It was particularly pleasurable to get some time to chat to Phil Parker.



Given my stressing around the fiddleyard for LM it was great to see how simple the arrangements ar for Clayhanger


Yes, those bulldog clips are both the alignment device and provide the electrical connection. Incidentally all the operators, vendors and demonstrators I spoke to were unfailingly keen to engage in conversation rather than avoiding eye contact as is too often the case.

One of the subjects we discussed was the rise of the celebrity layout, A show like this provides a good chance to see a model like Bath Green Park without the crowds it attracts at the bigger events.



Having said that, it still doesn't work for me despite the high quality of the modelling.

Elsewhere there were some nice cameos, as here on Tansey Bank




St Minions is just one big cameo, and is obviously close in conception to my own plans


From my own perspective it was also interesting to see Seend.


Best in show for me though was undoubtedly the local Scalefour group's Clarendon.





Negatives? You could have wandered into the Heritage Collection and not realized there was a model railway exhibition going on upstairs, there was very little signage. Layout wise the two things I noticed far too often were visible 90 degree baseboard joins and cobbled areas where the joins between sheets of cobbles were undisguised. Some of the running was less than stellar as well.

More photos to be found here

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