Tag Archives: corio

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.

 

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Show report – January 23 – Corio

The Corio model railway club hold their exhibition each year on or about the Australia Day weekend at the tail end of January. This year it was on the 23rd and 24th of January at the Geelong West Town Hall. It is a very good location with plenty of parking locally and some great food and shopping close by. Close to public transport and easy to get to as well for those coming from out-of-town (like me).

As this is usually the first show I get to (unless i can get down to Warrnambool or Philip Island for their show at the beginning of January) my expectations are riding high and these are usually met on arrival.

This year however the show seemed to be a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good

When it’s good, it was very, very good.

  1. Jackson’s Creek (Gallery view)

Jackson's Creek-01

This layout is a On30 layout showcasing the narrow gauge railways of Victoria. There were others apart from Puffing Billy though they all used the same or similar equipment to deliver their service. The presentation was outstanding. Well lit, presented and displayed (although a little more action would have kept people around a little longer) this was the outstanding large layout of the show. There are more pictures in the gallery available from the link above.

2. Murri (Gallery View)

Murri04

Based on the Victorian South West, Murri provides a very well displayed layout for big trains running through typical Victorian countryside. I particularly liked the West Coast railway set running on the Saturday morning. For such a big layout though, there was little action happening and that downgraded it from best large layout for me. There are more pictures in the gallery available from the link above.

3. Micro Layout (Gallery View)

Tucked away in the back corner of the show, was what I consider the best layout in show.

Micro01

Well presented, with a high standard of work throughout and ideal to help get people into the business of building small and interesting layouts this unnamed layout deserved much more attention from the club than it received. There were two other Micro layouts (and they’re in the picture, but they were put in the shade by this little beauty as you can see by the presentation, and the attention of the young man in the extreme right of the photo. The more you looked into the layout box, the more you got. The track plan was very simple but the level of presentation completely overwhelmed you.

What let the presentation down though was that it was not operating, and the builder was not there. The person minding the store had no idea and could not talk to you about the layout at all. Come on Corio, you have a real gem here, and this should have been shouted from the roof tops!

The bad

When it was bad, it was awful.

Rather than point fingers and show photos let’s talk about the standard of presentation. An exhibition aims to publicly display works of art, craft or other items of interest or provide a display or demonstration of a skill.

I am not sure that simply running a train on a layout is enough though. Especially when these were at very low height; which while perfect for 4 year olds do nothing for grumpy 50 year olds to whom they are of the greatest interest.

One layout in particular was very low in both height and presentation standard with cars derailing and operators not noticing. Talk about embarrassing? It was in a dark area of the hall and had no light rig to focus attention on the layout areas. I’ve seen this layout before and by comparison it looked old, dusty and tired. And not in a good way.

The ugly

I was disappointed to note the layouts at the show that were not ready to exhibit. Among the problems were layouts still being set up an hour after the show opened, very poor lighting on many of the layouts, and what appeared to be constant derailments on one of the vendor’s layouts already mentioned.

More so was me apparently missing out on a range of layouts and vendors tucked away in a part of the hall – according to the exhibition guide – that was neither signed nor pointed out by club members. That was a real disappointment when I reviewed the day on my return home.

Takeaway

Being one of the closest non-Ballarat exhibitions the Corio show is one of my favourite exhibitions and it really starts my railway exhibition year. It’s still a 190 km round trip to see it by car but normally is well worth the effort. I’ve written an email to the club about my views and while I don’t expect a response I hope that there is a change next year – for the better.

You can find out more about the club and the next show by visiting the website at: http://www.coriomrc.org/.