Category Archives: Exhibition

Layouts seen at Exhibitions in Australia and Overseas

Site Seeing – the “I love the Yard” edition

Imagine an industrial 7mm narrow and standard gauge model railway with radio controlled crane and lorries. Then look at a great video and see it in action.


The Yard

Built by a group of four during a three-month period for a club exhibition. This layout is in 7mm scale and uses both 16.5mm (3.5mm HO standard gauge) and 32mm (7mm O scale gauge) track. Scenic area is only 2’2” x 6’, with an overall size of 2’2” x 9’ including fiddle yard.

Of particular note are the working features of the layout including:

  • standard and narrow gauge trains
  • working gantry crane, and
  • radio controlled lorries

The gantry crane had apparently been on another layout and manually controlled. When moved to the yard it was converted to radio control. The lorries, which I believe are the work of Mr Giles Favell, (see the resources section below for more) were in use on other layouts. The rolling stock came from other layouts also.

Control of trains is by DCC, while point control uses MERG canbus.


Resources

See more about the wonders of Giles Favell’s radio control 7mm scale lorries and his layouts at:

Site Seeing – The David Barrow fan boy edition – September 24, 2018

We moved back to Australia in 2006. So, I have to live through others when they visit David Barrow in Austin Texas, my wife’s hometown, and where we spent 10 years from 1997. Trevor Marshall visited recently and came away with a great post on the man and his layouts – including his new small (comparatively speaking) O scale layout which really piqued my interest.


David Barrow’s layouts

Hi – my name is Andrew – and I’m a David Barrow fan boy tragic…

I first remember reading about David Barrow’s Cat Mountain and Santa Fé layout in the 1980s in Model Railroader magazine. As a young man, dreaming about my large future model railway plans, David’s layouts (there were at my last count about 17 versions of the Cat Mountain) were my ideal. While I dream of those massive layouts still I took another path to small layout designs.

Recently David Barrow has followed down that rabbit hole, this time in O scale, with a new layout. You can read more about that in the second link below by Trevor Marshall.

David’s layout design and presentation skills are unique in the hobby. Not to everyone’s taste I’ll grant, yet having seen and operated on the layout once in 2005, I did not notice its minimal scenic treatment. I was too interested in the operational side of things.

Image 1: Davids Barrow’s entire O Scale layout – battery-powered and operated by radio

Once again the layout design is the centre of attention and the scenic treatment is classic David Barrow – minimalist. However, you can use the design and then scenic it to your heart’s content. Hmmm – now let me see – I have 3 boards in the garage on which that layout design would fit perfectly…

You can out more on this layout in the Model Railroad Planning 2018 publication from Kalmbach.


Resources

Site seeing – February 19 – The small passenger layout edition

While searching for ideas recently I came across a now very old set of posts from 2001 onwards about the building of a narrow yet long passenger station layout. Onto today’s site of interest.

Site 1: Simon Martin’s Shelf Layout project

This appears to be an orphaned site, and I cannot find any information or updates beyond the 2005 update on the page. Which is a real shame as this layout is a simple, well designed and yet highly operational layout for the single operator at home or at an exhibition.

The track plan is clean and has no major needs apart from two switches and some flextrack. You could even use this to get into building your own track work. Operationally there is much to work with. Trains may arrive and depart from either platform. Heading to the fueling depot means that you need to either shunt back onto the main, then into the second platform road prior to running back into the fueling/storage road. Planning your moves here would be very worthwhile in the smooth operation of the layout.

The fueling/storage point on the bottom left of the plan gives options for storing stock on the layout without over crowding the scene. Scenically the station building hides the end of the platform roads and gives the layout a greater depth than would otherwise be the case.

I think this would be a great design to work with not only in the short-term, but for the longer term by adding all the bells and whistles (such as automated announcements, details, more scenery and upgraded ready to run models.

I’ve tried finding anything else by the blogger but have been unsuccessful. I’d love to see more of this layout and what it became. No luck however. So we’ll just have to enjoy the layout as it would have been. If you know anything about the layout, the author or have contact details for Simon, let me know in the comments.

2017 Corio Model Railway Club show report (28-29 January)

The city of Geelong (of which Corio is a suburb) is just over 90 kilometres away from home, that’s around an hours travelling time each way in the car. I may be getting fussy in my old age. I find myself considering the costs of getting to and entering shows versus the enjoyment gained as a criteria for attendance. The Corio Club’s show is still one of the best large non-metropolitan Melbourne shows going, although I find that my fascination with the ‘BIG’ exhibition layouts diminishing, and the desire to find and watch small layouts is growing rapidly. Don’t mistake that I am only interested in small layouts. What I want to see at exhibitions are more layouts by individuals, for individuals. That is people who’ve built a layout, who can show others how to build a layout for themselves. The large club layouts are fantastic to me but I know that they are beyond my personal reach, and I am sure that when the punters who come through the door so full of enthusiasm get home, take a long hard look at the price of trains, track, baseboard, effort, blah, blah, and blah are left with a hollow feeling. That is the feeling of not being able to achieve. I’m hoping to reverse that trend with my own small layouts this year. More on those for later posts; during the meanwhilst let’s on to the exhibition report.

Exhibition report

The 44th MR Exhibition was very well attended. So well attended in fact that it was very warm inside the location and packed to the gills. Moving around was difficult to achieve, photography even more so. The site this year was larger than in previous years, moving from Geelong West out to Belmont, near Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus. It appeared easy to get to by public transport and by car. Well supported by the local and national vendors including Broad Gauge Models, Outback Model Company, SDS Models, Kerroby Models, Train World Pty Ltd, Road and Rail Hobbies, and many more. This year there did seem to be more vendors than exhibitors though. I understand that you need vendor support, yet I felt crowded in by vendors and struggled to see enough layouts.

One brighter note was the layout bought by, and showcasing the models of, Phoenix Models and Hobbies. Not only the best layout at the show (small of course), even though it was not listed in the program. I was impressed by the central idea which dovetails nicely with other layout ideas I’ve been working on for some time. Now let’s get into the images.

Image Galleries

There were several layouts of note. Some I’ve shown on the blog before, others new.

Yendys

The first is Yendys from the ACT Model Society. A large layout imagining a section of the leafy outskirts of the Sydney are. As a Sydney boy born and bred it reminds me most of the main western line between Stanmore and Ashfield. It could just as well be the Bankstown line between Sydenham and Hurlstone Park. If you’ve ever spent any time in Sydney’s inner city by the railway you can smell the brake dust and diesel fumes the moment you see this layout.

Alexandra

This HO scale layout displays the area around Alexandra in Melbourne’s north-east as it was in 1947, prior to the closure of the timber tramway. The track plan is the original Victorian Railways (VR) track plan. Buildings are scratchbuilt from photos with the Broad Gauge (5’3″) VR line coming in from the left side of the layout and the narrow gauge tramway coming in from the right. Each has its own fiddle yard. You can read more about the tramway by visiting the museum’s website. If you look closely you’ll see on the model the green Kelly & Lewis 0-6-0DM of 1935 in the images.

Phoenix Models and Hobby display layout

This layout was the standout of all layouts at the show. Yet it was not in the Exhibitors program. I hope they’ll bring it to many more shows in the future. There’ll be more on this layout and it’s features in another post soon.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope that you enjoyed the layout tours. This is not all of them mind you but the standout ones I wanted to share.

 

Site seeing – 10 September – All you ever wanted (or needed) to know about Inglenooks

Since we’re on somewhat of a roll with the Inglenook this week and it’s uses in small layout design let’s go to the source of all things Inglenook.

Site 1: Adrian Wymann’s “The Model Railways Shunting Puzzles website”

If you’ve not heard of Adrian’s site before then you are in a for a treat. This site has everything that you ever wanted to know about shunting puzzles, including the Timesaver and the Inglenook.

Image courtesy of Adrian Wymann
Image courtesy of Adrian Wymann

Of interest for those of us thinking of building a layout using the Inglenook design is the discussion on the design of operation and movement for the layout. Additionally there is the mechanics of designing and building the layout also. Very well worth the look.

Site 2: Adrian Wymann’s layout “Little Bazeley-By-The-Sea

Putting the Inglenook to work Adrian’s great little layout deserves a look. Well designed, well executed and well presented Adrian walks you through the design and build process and provides a lot of insight into the process.

Image courtesy of Adrian Wymann
Image courtesy of Adrian Wymann

Head on over to the websites and do a bit of reading – you’ll not be disappointed.

Site seeing – September 09 (the follow-on Inglenook folio edition)

Yesterday we looked at Yandilla Sidings, an excellently presented Australian Inglenook exhibition layout (read more about that post here). Today we have another Inglenook that jumped out at me on the Micro/Small Model RR Layouts group on Facebook.

Site 1: Ben Gray’s “Rozelle Street” layout

First we need a little context before we get to the layout’s brilliance. As a Western Sydney boy, I regularly saw long and short freights during the 1970s come through Blacktown in Sydney’s west before and after school. Living in Marayong on the Richmond branchline we had regular freights to and from the Riverstone Meatworks, and further up the line to Richmond itself.

In the inner west (when I could wrangle a train trip into the city) I saw several locations that I always thought I’d like to model. The Mungo Scott flour mill siding for one as shown below seemed ideal. It was inner-city, working class, railway grit that has had me fascinated all my life. Here’s two examples from that location.

Image courtesy of Rob Cook
Image courtesy of Rob Cook

8042 at Mungo Scott

Image courtesy of Trent Nicholson

So now that you have a visual context of the type of layout that I’d always wanted to build let’s take a look at Ben Gray’s vision of inner city railway industry in a small space (not that you’d notice).

Image courtesy of Ben Gray
Image courtesy of Ben Gray

The image above caught my eye immediately. First, I loved seeing these 46 class electric locos working freight and passenger traffic around the Sydney network. Designed for heavy freight drag work out of the Sydney basin and over the ranges to our west, these locomotives were built by Metropolitan-Vickers and its partner Beyer, Peacock and Company in England for the New South Wales Government Railways. For many years these were the most powerful locomotives in Australia with a one-hour rating of 3,780 horsepower (2,820 kW) and the ability to deliver more over short periods. They are to me the most beautiful locomotives (electric or diesel) built and look fantastic on this Inglenook (if only there were overhead wire – sigh).

There are some very clever uses of visual trickery here. The layout is just an Inglenook but it is so much more because the focus is not on the Inglenook; rather the focus is on the concept of the viewer’s experience of the layout. You have to be an inner city kid, who saw locomotives similar in appearance, doing what locomotives do with freight cars. And how it worked on me. Good one Ben and well done on taking me back 30 years with one photo.

Enjoy another view of the layout. Follow the links above and if you’re a Facebook user head on over to the group and join in the small layout love. Finally see if you can work out some of the clever tricks used in the design of the layout.

Now for a little more 46 class locomotive weathering porn (model first, prototype last):

Image courtesy of Dean Bradley

And

Image courtesy of http://nswrailrambler.blogspot.com.au/
Image courtesy of http://nswrailrambler.blogspot.com.au/

The lovely old 46’s were notorious for getting and staying grubby, but really what’s not to like eh? All the best see you over the weekend.

Site seeing: August 31 – Winter is going (at least down here)

Winter is over, although where we live in Ballarat at 420m (1370 feet) above sea level, you’d be hard pressed to tell that change of season has arrived. Our mornings are still cold, the winds are still lazy (they go through and not around you), and the weather is not shiny or happy. However, my seasonal allergies have kicked in, and the Wattle has been in full bloom for about 3 weeks now. I’m sniffling, my eyes are streaming and I look like I’ve gone five rounds with the late, great Muhammad Ali. My allergies and the weather are not the reason for today’s end of Winter post…

Site 1: Croft on the ScaleFour society’s website

Built as a shunting puzzle (Inglenook) and based loosely upon the real Croft goods (Darlington, NER, not Leicestershire LNWR), Croft is a magnificent example of simple effective display and operation. The image below courtesy of RMWeb and Steve Taylor.

I could go on at length about this layout, or I can let you soak up the atmosphere of this image and then follow the ScaleFour link above.

Site 2: RMWeb’s Croft Gallery

Go, look, mind blown.

Hope that this gets your creative juices flowing. Looking forward to the Southern Spring.

Site Seeing – April 7 – Small O scale layouts 4

Ian Futers’ layouts seem to get around more than the builder himself. Probably because he manages to build great small layouts with plenty of operating potential that remain popular year after year.

Site 1: Glen Bogle

Ian Atkinson and Chris Towers’ of Broadford Model Railway Club own the layout presently. The layout, built originally in basic form by Ian Futers, is in the process of being enhanced by the present owners. A Scottish 1950-1970s era layout with a station, goods facilities and just four turnouts comprises two 4′ 6″ scenic boards and a 4′ 6″ fiddle yard with a three road traverser board.

Operation of the line is in the late steam early diesel period. Coal, Timber and fish traffic somehow still survive along with a mediocre passenger service.

Glen Bogle - as designed by Ian Futers
Glen Bogle – as designed by Ian Futers

You can gather further information on this layout from the club’s website as a PDF download.

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Site Seeing – April 5 – Small O scale layouts 3

With many thanks to David Bromage for sharing photos of his visit to the 2016 Bendigo Model Railway exhibition let’s take a look at a new O scale layout on the Australian exhibition circuit: Filching Road Yard.

Site 1: Filching Road Yard (courtesy of David Bromage)

Photo courtesy of David Bromage
Photo courtesy of David Bromage

New on the Victoria model railway scene is Filching Road Yard. A simple and not overly large O scale of 8 feet (2400mm) by 18″(450mm) wide. The layout is a budget build and was designed to fit into the back of the owner’s car (a station wagon).

With only two turnouts and a cassette fiddle yard this could be the ideal O scale starter layout. To keep your costs down you could also build your own trackwork, a project that I’ll be undertaking later this year as I attempt to increase my modelling skills into trackwork.

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Exhibition report – March 12, 2016 (Kyneton & Sandown – in that order)

Trip Detail

Wondering if we could make two exhibitions at opposite ends of Melbourne with nothing but public transport, boy wonder and I headed off early (07:19 hours) from Ballarat station on a joint VL34 – VL04 (with VL 1234 trailing the consist) to Southern Cross.

Vlocity set VL21 at Ballarat Railway Station Image courtesy of “Wongm’s Rail Gallery”

Quickly moving over to platform 12 we picked up the suburban service and headed off a few minutes later.

Sandown Park railway station is on the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines in the South-East of the city. Roughly an hour out-of-town we arrived at the gates of the exhibition at 09:55 hours.

With the crowds already building and the exhibition opening at 10:00 AM we were pleasantly surprised with how they managed to move the crowd quickly through the racecourse turnstiles; our experience was smooth and speedy.

By 10:10 we were inside and looking around. Now onto the exhibition report.

Sandown

Overall I was disappointed; mainly because I want to see layouts at a model railway exhibition. I understand that vendor support is critical to the running of all shows that want to be around more than once. However, moving to an exhibition model that has few layouts and lots of vendors is not my idea of how to spend 10 dollars adult and five dollars a child, plus fares/fuel and maintenance. Unfortunately this is what Sandown is; a vendor fest. I’ve not been for a couple of years and have no intention of returning until the list of layouts are more numerous.

The verdict: If you want to buy something then you should be there. If you want to look at new and exciting layouts, I’m sorry but this is not the place to be.

Highlights:

  • There were many large layouts, among which boy wonder delighted in the Lego display. Big and well done. Nice one Lego lads and lassies.
  • Neil Cowie’s Northern Pacific – a basic 4 x 8 with two 6 foot wings on opposing corners. This was the first run of Neil’s layout on the exhibition circuit, and what I saw I liked. The group he is a member of will be holding an open day in April I believe. More about that in another post.
  • Leopold – while a roundy-roundy had a lot of interesting track and operational potential. The modelling was very good.
  • Finally; Ravenswood was again another roundy-roundy with excellent topography and scenery and I believe based on an actual location here in Victoria (I’m from Sydney remember).

Sandown to Kyneton

We left the exhibition at 11:30 and headed over to the station, which is a walk of only a couple of minutes. Then a suburban train back to Southern Cross (that required a little work since the train was 9 minutes down and finished at Flinders St). Due to the late running train we missed our connection to Bendigo and had to wait an hour for the next train. On time our Velocity’s left Southern Cross at 13:37 heading for Kyneton. The run down to Kyneton was speedy with few stops, but the track left something to be desired with several kinks throwing the train and passengers about.

Kyneton station is beautiful. An old fashioned bluestone edifice that says Victorian Railways from the foundation up; modernised of course but still lovely. Arriving on time at 14:39 we walked the 1100 metres to the venue (which crosses a river and beside the town’s botanic garden) to the venue.

Kyneton

Kyneton is not a small exhibition, nor is it a large one. Well supported by the vendors it’s the layouts that rule the show. Suffice to say that Kyneton is my preferred long-weekend model rail show. They seem to attract great modellers to the club and have a great selection of layouts every year.

The verdict: Kyneton is the go-to exhibition on the March long-weekend. If you’ve not been before I suggest that you put it in your diary and take a trip on the train out with boy-wonder and I next year.

The Highlights:

  •  Glyn Halt – a simple narrow gauge layout shown on the blog before.
  • Great Colne – a freelanced North British layout this is a work in progress, but it looks like a real cracker. I am looking forward to seeing this finished at next years show.
  • Alexandra – wow – nothing more needs be said, except that this is what Sandown should have had.

Colinsville Riverland Railroad Company – a great little whimsy, with outstanding modelling and imagination.

  • Beechy – an 0n30 masterpiece with great scenery and modelling making an eye-catching package
  • Town and Country – first seen at the Albury (Laverton) show in 2015 still a great layout after seeing it at several shows recently.

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