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Permanent Layout Vs. Exhibition


tmcg1959
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I'm in two minds as to whether a layout should be built with exhibition in mind or made permanent in a shed. I'd imagine that there is quite a bit of risk of damage with travel and setting up that comes with the exhibition circuit and nowadays with youTube you can exhibit your layout globally on the internet. Anyone any thoughts on this?

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You just can't beat taking your work to an exhibition and chatting to people while running trains. Its great to see peoples faces as they watch and the youngsters getting excited as trains go by. Sometimes I let youngsters have a drive which always goes down well. I find interaction with visitors is most rewarding. Social media options are good but not the same.

 

I would say the big difference between an exhibition layout and a permanent layout is what they are trying to achieve. A primary requirement for an exhibition layout should be to entertain paying visitors. For me that is having things moving, maybe having a few little scenes to create talking points. A permanent layout is primarily for the builder's enjoyment. For me this means less round and round and more proper operation of a railway with end to end running, locos running round trains at the end of the line, shuntng etc.. In my experience a layout which is really absorbing to operate for a few hours at home is really just too much like hard work for two whole days of an exhibition. Likewise a nice exhibition layout which is easy to run and entertains the paying public tends to get a bit lacking in interest when operated for a couple of hours at home. Everyone of us is of course different in what they want out of a layout and there is no right or wrong.

 

Damage shouldn't be a major issue if you design the right packaging.

 

Why not have one of each?

Edited by Chris M
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With the most sympathetic respect Tony, it does seem a little late in the day to be making such a fundamental change decision after the shed has been built, the baseboards already made and the track plan already done.  An exhibition layout usually significantly impacts the design of the baseboards and the track plan.  The viewing angle for a personal layout is usually the opposite for an exhibition layout (e.g. inside looking out instead of outside looking in).  Putting the cart before the horse after the horse has already started the race could be difficult.  Old Chinese proverb - "keep it simple and just get started."

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With the most sympathetic respect Tony, it does seem a little late in the day to be making such a fundamental change decision after the shed has been built, the baseboards already made and the track plan already done.  An exhibition layout usually significantly impacts the design of the baseboards and the track plan.  The viewing angle for a personal layout is usually the opposite for an exhibition layout (e.g. inside looking out instead of outside looking in).  Putting the cart before the horse after the horse has already started the race could be difficult.  Old Chinese proverb - "keep it simple and just get started."

 

 

Which is why it's good to ask questions......

 

'Measure twice, cut once' - an old Tyrone proverb!

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I have cut all my baseboard tops to the dimensions I need, I think I'm quite happy to go with a permanent layout. Basically I have 350mm wide baseboard tops that run 2.9metres in length each side of the shed and 1.6m across the width. I went for 350mm because it allows me to do wider radius curves. Although the layout is based on Omagh, I have decided to take the liberty of not following the track plan exactly since it would never work in a small space. Instead I have used some ideas from Kierans superb layout to make things work.

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It doesn't have to be 'either or', it can be 'and', by making a small part of a permanent layout demountable to take to exhibitions, thereby giving all the satisfaction that goes with that, for only a portion of the effort.

 

Which is exactly what I've done.

 

If you're going to have a loco she'd scene on the fixed layout, make it something that unplugs, and can be shown as a small exhibit, for instance.

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I would always design the layout construction to be portable, then you always have the option of exhibiting it. Also means it will survive house moves better.

My current layout has only been exhibited once but has moved house twice and had a period in store without any damage.

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Advice appreciated.

The plan was to install the baseboard supports as a permanent base, screwed into position. The actual baseboards will be individual units resting on the supports, more for any emergency - I don't imagine i'll move house and if I ever do it will be off to Oz!

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I have to agree with Neils WRX.

 

My layout was planned to be an exhibition layout.  Thankfully, since it has had to endure 2 house moves (not foreseen) and 3 countries.  Whatever you plan for your future and the future of your layout, life can come along and bite you on the b u m.  So plan to be portable, which means you can exhibit if you want, but more importantly futureproofs against unexpected house moves.

 

Personally I do agree about the crack to be had between exhibitors at exhibitions (post 2)

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So plan to be portable, which means you can exhibit if you want, but more importantly futureproofs against unexpected house moves.

Another option is to be transportable, so you can move it if necessary. It may also be possible to exhibit it occasionally, but would be too much effort to do so very often.

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Spent several hours in shed today building the framework that will support the baseboards. Using 44x32mm planed, screwed frames together and screwed to inner shed walls using 25mm right angle metal brackets. I'll make the actual baseboards themselves in sections of 750mm approx to fit the 2.9m runs. Whats an average amount to raise the trackbed to form an embankment? Our local railway bridge used to display a clearance of around 12feet from memory.

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Today at 'work' I made up all the actual baseboard frames from 60 x 22 redwood all glued and screwed together, it is starting to really come together and I have a real vision on what I want to portray. The layout will feature Omagh coming in from the Derry Road end through the station and out the Dromore Road in the direction of Enniskillen. The Portadown line which was proving to make the layout so difficult will be featured but running into some sort of scenic disguise, possibly the end of a coach showing going into the background. For now I am concentrating on building this as an end to end layout with storage yard and fiddle yards at either end. As things progress and if they work well I can connect the line at either side to make a full circuit. 

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