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  1. I've just had the air dates for the next series of the Great Model Railway Challenge: Friday 30th August for 8 episodes in total. Can't wait! Kathy
  2. Laurie I'm really upset to hear you were told this. The production company loved the idea of sci-fi and I like modelling sci-fi as much as model railways. I certainly thought the layout made excellent TV and showcased a different slant entirely. I want to reassure you that the sci-fi/steampunk theme had no bearing on the decision. When I look at a layout, I don't look at the theme they have chosen but at how closely they achieved it. I certainly leave any personal views on favourite types of layout or theme on one side. For example, I don't watch Eastenders or Blackadder and I'm a rabid Doctor Who fan but I judged each layout on how well it represented their stated show. As you say, the production company also okayed your theme. Theme is just one of four criteria, the others being functionality, quality and creativity. None of those are affected by the theme chosen. I hope that helps and I know I spoke to your team about why they didn't win at the time and gave them my reasons, none of which were around the theme being too extreme. Regards Kathy
  3. I have the joy of watching them 3 times each plus I was there for all of them. I watch them with friends on the Friday, with my Mum on the Saturday and again on the catch up... You can tell if trains have been slow in getting going when Tim makes a comment asking if anything is going to run or words to that effect. It's subtle, really subtle. Kathy
  4. Their layout had a very unfortunate computer crash at the start of judging and nothing ran for most of the judging period. The most important criteria that we have is that the layouts must run. It's a shame as it was a lovely layout otherwise. Kathy
  5. I can see there’s been some confusion about why Fawley won this week. It was very clear when you were there but not so much when you watch the programme. Ignoring any merits of the layouts themselves, they have to run to win. That’s the number one criteria. The Diesel Dynamos were using a computer to run their layout that unfortunately crashed just as the judging started meaning that nothing ran for a long time. It was long enough to put them out of contention. Fawley’s layout ran flawlessly so that outweighed any deficits in their interpretation of the theme. Hope that clears it up. Kathy
  6. I thought I would shed some light on why all the layouts are OO. It was originally envisaged by the production company that the heat layouts would join up in the final to one long layout hence they needed to be the same gauge. It became obvious to them that this would require a lot of ripping up of work and no one had the heart to do that. That means the requirement for them all to be the same scale wasn’t needed but the teams had already started planning by then so it was too late to change. Kathy
  7. It's been fascinating to see what people think of the show. The production company did film loads of pieces on static grass, ballasting, weathering etc but unfortunately, they didn't fit in the 45 minutes running time. They also visited all the teams beforehand but again, time was against them in the final cut. It's amazing how little you can get into the time and they had 3 cameras running continuously for around 10 hours each for 3 days on each heat plus the pre-visit footage. I am so glad I didn't have to edit that down! For those of you wondering about Missenden's backdrop, I've added some of the photos I took at the time to my behind the scenes post: https://www.kathymillatt.co.uk/blog/2018/10/05/great-model-railway-challenge-movies/. I believe that the terraces were Scalescenes that they changed the door colours on and resized into 5 different decreasing scales. The backdrop itself was photoshopped from google map views and was several layers deep of cut outs. It was also lit as all of the terraces were. The whole lot was made so that when you stood in front, all the pieces seamlessly melded into each other with perspective lines. It was truly a piece of art and I am looking forward to seeing it fully completed at a show soon. Kathy
  8. I had an exciting afternoon - I went to visit the TV production company making this programme. They’re really keen to make this work and show what can be achieved with a model railway. They’re thinking how best to make it work for TV and the teams who are taking part. We had a great time bouncing round ideas and debating what can be achieved in the timescales. If you are interested then I encourage you to get in touch with them. It’s going to be a lot of fun! Kathy
  9. Hi All I saw this in BRM and was intrigued. I normally model North American but have been hankering after building a small layout based on Bryn Mawr from Railway Modeller in March 1985. It was an early inspiration and I do fancy paying homage to how much it inspired me. It's a small Welsh slate quarry. I am therefore thinking of doing this challenge based on a small section of a slate quarry. I'm still percolating ideas but I think it's going to be raining... it is Wales after all! Kathy
  10. Hi All I am the Convention Chair for the NMRA 2022 convention and I am so excited to be able to show off both our modelling and our country to the rest of the world. The convention will probably be in the last week July 2022 in Birmingham. That gives us plenty of time to organise something really special. We will be showing off all modelling not just North American because in most other countries, the NMRA is not prototype specific. We will also run tours to prototype locations and preserved railways as well as tourist destinations. We're also planning on running a public exhibition at the end of the week with the best of British, European and global modelling we can find. This is not just aimed at existing NMRA members and there will be something of interest for every modeller. Kathy
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