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David Bigcheeseplant

RAILEX 2017 27 & 28 May

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I am 6' and thought that a number of the layouts were too low to view comfortably.

 

Regrettably, what suits one viewer won't always suit another.

That's good to know for the next time a class 40 derails at the back of Leeman Road!

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Thanks for the beer and curry recommendations, Dave...

Which pub was that ?

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Anyway photo's and Videos below:

 

Great videos - thanks for sharing them. I'm sorry I missed what looks to have been a great show.

 

Just one question - is there a reason why so few operators seemed capable of bringing locomotives to a realistic stop? There are so many examples in the videos where locos stop dead from 10mph or more. And it's across all scales that were represented at the show, with the 3mm Sentinel and the Pannier tank on Horfield at the extreme end of the scale.

 

Is it simply operator fatigue (tired/bored of running a shunting sequence for the umpteenth time)? Or is it a DCC thing, where CVs don't allow for a speed below a certain level? Or a DC thing, where the control simply isn't smooth enough? It is so widespread across both videos that the handful of layouts that did it well (e.g. the delightful Harlyn Pier) really stand out for me. Any ideas?

 

David

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Just one question - is there a reason why so few operators seemed capable of bringing locomotives to a realistic stop? There are so many examples in the videos where locos stop dead from 10mph or more. And it's across all scales that were represented at the show, with the 3mm Sentinel and the Pannier tank on Horfield at the extreme end of the scale.

Is it simply operator fatigue (tired/bored of running a shunting sequence for the umpteenth time)? Or is it a DCC thing, where CVs don't allow for a speed below a certain level? Or a DC thing, where the control simply isn't smooth enough? It is so widespread across both videos that the handful of layouts that did it well (e.g. the delightful Harlyn Pier) really stand out for me. Any ideas?

David

On Kirkmellington it would simply be operator related, everyone has different approaches and different experience of our set up. We run DCC and our shunting fleet is all fitted with Digitrains Zimo with activedrive sound files. This means you can remove all power and the loco will coast until you apply brakes. This takes time to get used to but if you get distracted can result in a heavy shunt (not untypical in an NCB colliery yard mind you). As each loco reacts slightly differently, we had remarks from the other operators that it was hard to judge every time but I thought we did ok over the 2 days. Personally, I Ike up exploit the technology (its mine so I understand it the best) and ease the loco up then apply a short busty to buffer up. We can play with the throttle to keep the chufff rate realistic too.

 

Cleanliness of track & wheels can play its part and we did realise late on Saturday that dirt had built up but we rotated the locos and soon had smooth running restored.

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As a newcomer to railway modelling, with Devil's Bridge being only the second layout I've built I'm sure it must be frustrating for the public when not a lot is running or working correctly. When we exhibited it in April at Trainwest we had no issues but between us taking it apart then and setting up at Railex on Friday something has happened to the electrics. We still managed to move locos and stock, just not in correct operating style!! I hope the public still enjoyed the layout and even without much happening on track it has taken more invites including one to Holland.

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As a newcomer to railway modelling, with Devil's Bridge

 

 I hope the public still enjoyed the layout and even without much happening on track 

I liked it, never would have guessed you were a newcomer.

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As usual an excelllent weekend. From an exhibitors point of view we were wonderfully looked after - many thanks to David and his team. To continue the theme above, we went to the Bengal Blue on Friday for a fine curry and a couple of pints of Kingfisher and the Old Millwrights on Saturday for several more pints and a great spread layed on by the pub - and something I always look forward to - a ride on the vintage bus.

 

Good friend and fellow 2mm member Simon Grande stood in for an hour on Sunday afternoon so we were able to have a look round the show and I can only add to what others have said - a superb collection of layouts.

 

Hopefully we will be back next year!

 

Jerry and Kim

Edited by queensquare
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Hi All,

 

I would just like to say a hearty well done to all who organised the show. A small contingent from the No. 4079 gang and myself went on Saturday and we really enjoyed ourselves. The layouts were great, the selection of traders was likewise and the whole atmosphere was, as always, excellent. I got to put a few more names to RMWEB faces, meet up with some old friends and a good time was had by all.

 

All the best,

 

Castle

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I wasn't overly impressed with one layout operator, who was more interested in watching the Monaco practice on a tablet than running trains Tomorrow's race should result in no service at all.

 

On a bright note, the quality of Fencehouses, Westcliffe and Gordon & Maggie Gravett's masterpiece puts those responsible firmly into Demigod status. First class.

 

Brian

Hi Brian, I think you're referring to my best friend (and other operator) who has a bit of a 'butterfly' mind with a short attention span....on Sunday, I operated from 12:55 to 2pm so he could watch the race sitting behind the layout. Sorry about that, but I'm not a member of a club and have to call upon friends to help at exhibitions.

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On behalf of the Sidmouth team I would like to thank David and his team for looking after us so well. We had a most enjoyable time.

 

In response to DavidB I would say that we try our damnedest to to run, stop and start at realistic speeds. We also make every effort not to 'ram' shunt our stock. Sometimes under exhibition conditions (particularly when it is very warm) engines do not perform the way we would like. If we disappointed you we apologise. 

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Once again, an excellent show. Some excellent layouts on display and managed to get a number of items I wanted from the variety of traders.

 

Looking forward to attending again next year.

 

Will hopefully get around to sorting through my photos from yesterday next week after DEMU Showcase is over with (as I won't have a decent internet connection until then).

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I am 6' and thought that a number of the layouts were too low to view comfortably.

 

Regrettably, what suits one viewer won't always suit another.

However you do at least have the opportunity to look down and see them even if it's not ideal 

 

Shorter people (including children of whom there were a pleasing number in attendance) do not have the chance to view them easily at all. My wife tried hard to, it had cost £9 for her to to get in after all but she was forced to just move on and therefore I was too. She stood by Fencehouses and simply asked why??

 

I know the reasons that are given for it - so called eye level viewing (as long as you are over a certain height) and comfortable for operating but surely the most important criteria for an exhibition layout is that it can actually be seen by as many people as possible??

 

Roy

Edited by Roy L S

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Until the world sets the standard height for a human being we will always have an issue with the viewing height of layouts. I will book a layout on the quality not the height the region or modelled period. We had periscopes people could borrow from the info point if they were too short to see.

 

A layout builder will build to what ever height he or she wants, all we could do in future at Railex would be to put on our website what height the rail level is and it is then up to people to decide if they want to attend or not.

 

David

Edited by David Bigcheeseplant
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 The issue of layout height will always be subjective, because it is of course down to the 'eye of the beholder'...

 However, if a layout is pitched low, then you are generally going to get a high level view - fine if it is modelled that way. When we view the prototype, it tends to be either platform level, or at most, from over bridge height, so many modellers try to replicate that, which equals above 'table top'.

 For taller layouts, the easy option for children is one of the small, plastic, fold flat stools, sold by Tiger and other retail outlets. Many clubs offer 'hop ups' of various kinds and even periscopes. Anyone in a wheelchair is obviously going to be restricted in terms of viewing higher pitched layouts & for this, we should all sympathise, of course.

 Nevertheless, when one is visiting a show, the chances are certain stands will always be a bit low, or a bit high, so for the visitor it is surely a case of going prepared for this - a bit like taking a brolly if you know it is going to rain. Or am I being over simplistic?

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Although the majority of comments were positive, some people thought there needed to be more layouts, in fact there were more layouts this year than previously as they were smaller, but as will any exhibition we need to work to a budget so more layout mean more expence, at Railex this year the cost was just under 50 pence a layout if you divide the £9 entry price. Having more layouts means less traders and therefore less trade income so the cost of entry would need to be increased unless cheaper local and smaller layouts were invites which sort of defeats the idea of what Railex is about.

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Until the world sets the standard height for a human being we will always have an issue with the viewing height of layouts. I will book a layout on the quality not the height the region or modelled period. We had periscopes people could borrow from the info point if they were too short to see.

 

A layout builder will build to what ever height he or she wants, all we could do in future at Railex would be to put on our website what height the rail level is and it is then up to people to decide if they want to attend or not.

 

David

 

Hi David

 

The issue is not confined to Railex, but this year there were five or six layouts out of the total that my wife couldn't see, meaning I didn't stop at them either. I hoped that my comments would be looked upon as constructive given the disappointment of my wife who wanted to see them..

 

Yes of course a layout builder will choose the height for their layout, that is nobody's decision but theirs and yes it is the Exhibition Manager's choice whether to book a layout (or not) and what considerations they apply. However I must say to suggest that an able bodied person of just over 5ft tall should use a periscope feels disappointingly dismissive.

 

I will leave it there. I accept that others will feel differently.

 

Regards

 

Roy

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I tend to book layouts 2-3 year in advance and I did feel when we set up on Friday most were high. When I do book a layout I have to get the first slot a layout which can be a few years away So really until setting up is finished I don't get to see how the hall looks. Normally I feel some layouts are too tall while others are way too low, but I need to work with what I can book and what the builder has constructed the model too.

 

Until a few weeks back I had no idea there was a watery theme on the layouts.

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I thought the balance between trade and layouts was fine. A good balance of types of stall each selling something different. It made a pleasant change not to find every other stall selling the same rtr items (when you then get into the mindset of who is cheapest) albeit one such stall is useful. The footprint of the show is also good. Easy enough to walk around several times if you want to go back to something you eyes up earlier.

 

Layouts? I liked the mix with a spread of regions, scales and eras. As far as I could tell, layouts were internally consistent with no obvious malapropisms such as BR stock pulling grouping era carriages as I've seen elsewhere. Having read the parking critique, I was a bit perturbed to be guided, by helpful stewards, to what felt like a long way away. However, it took us less than 10mims which is no worse than say the Birmingham international platforms to Hall 5.... so no problem at all.

 

On another thread, there was a discussion about the lack of a little blue engine wth a short stubby boiler. Attending with my five year old, we did notice the lack of a specific "child themed" layout. For a small child, layouts don't have to be Thomas themed, they need to be interesting to watch and have things happening all the time. From that perspective Denton Brook won hands down. Previous hands on exhibits that we've enjoyed include the oo live steam demonstrators.

 

Met various RMWebbers. Highlight for me was being told I looked younger than they thought I'd be!

 

A nice benefit of the venue is the excelllent panoramic view from the seating area. We sat and watched from there having our pre drive home drink. An excellent show.

post-22698-0-36286700-1496086527_thumb.jpg

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In response to DavidB I would say that we try our damnedest to to run, stop and start at realistic speeds. We also make every effort not to 'ram' shunt our stock. Sometimes under exhibition conditions (particularly when it is very warm) engines do not perform the way we would like. If we disappointed you we apologise.

 

There is absolutely no need to apologise. In fact, I'm not even sure what you're apologising for. The short clips of Sidmouth on the second of Bluebell Model Railways enjoyable videos don't show any of the sudden stops that I was referring to - in fact I really liked the clip of the tender-first arrival of the WC, which reminded me of many of the real life vacuum-braked arrivals I've experienced: rolling gently along the platform before the brake goes in for a fairly abrupt final stop, with no last minute release to stop the train gently. I've arrived at Paddington many times in the past exactly like that on the VB Oxford non-stops of the 80s. Much more realistic and evocative than the binary ignore-the-laws-of-physics stop-go-stop driving in evidence on many of the other clips on the videos.

 

David

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Although the majority of comments were positive, some people thought there needed to be more layouts, in fact there were more layouts this year than previously as they were smaller, but as will any exhibition we need to work to a budget so more layout mean more expence, at Railex this year the cost was just under 50 pence a layout if you divide the £9 entry price. Having more layouts means less traders and therefore less trade income so the cost of entry would need to be increased unless cheaper local and smaller layouts were invites which sort of defeats the idea of what Railex is about.

 

FWIW, I thought the number of layouts was right for the size of the venue. Yes, you could have squeezed two or three more small ones in, or done away with the seating area just inside the entrance. But I don't think that would have been necessary, or even desirable. One of the things I like about Railex is that it doesn't feel as crowded as some shows, and a lot of that is down to the decent spacing between stands (both layouts and trade). And I'd rather have a smaller number of good layouts that I can spend some time watching than more mediocre ones that I'll pass by with just a quick glance.

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On another thread, there was a discussion about the lack of a little blue engine wth a short stubby boiler. Attending with my five year old, we did notice the lack of a specific "child themed" layout. For a small child, layouts don't have to be Thomas themed, they need to be interesting to watch and have things happening all the time. From that perspective Denton Brook won hands down.

 

Absolutely, my daughter loved Denton Brook - she particularly liked the moving yard gate with an animated gate attendant pushing it! She also liked the "real" tide on Tollesbury Quay - we went back to it a few times just to see it in different states of in/out.

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Can I also say a big thank you to the organisers. We were made to feel so welcome and so very well looked after. It was great to meet so many truly exceptional modellers and to enjoy their masterpieces. As for the height issue I built Devil's Bridge so that you need to look over the embankment to see the station just as if you were stood on the road at the real place. For those people who aren't able to view the layout as intended we have a copy of RM and various photos/videos on a tablet for them to view.

Edited by VoR1213
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