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Andy Y

Great Model Railway Challenge - Channel 5

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Callum’s team was miles ahead of the competition, pure and simple. It’s a good thing that Bob Syms is no longer with us, he must be spinning in his grave. Lightweight presentation and ignorance should not be the format, if we the modelling public are to be taken a little more seriously, and not seen as “little boys that haven’t grown up. It seems to me, at least that real ignorance is championed, rather than educating and informing in today media rich (sic) world. As for the other competitors, too many gimmicks, school bit errors and an overall lack of imagination, a bit like the shows format. The idea that , it must be good it’s on tv at least, should rather be, nice try, but, needs much improvement. Slapdash production, must not be footnoted as quality! That my opinion anyway. We, as they used to say, will have to agree to disagree.

Edited by Stanier16

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It would be nice if more material could be shown on-line - they must have used a fraction of what they filmed.

 

Knickerbocker have assured us that the backstory filming they did at our houses and clubs will be used in online available videos shortly. I hope so, as some of our best stuff was there lol. 

 

Laurie Team Steampunk (with dinosaurs). 

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Well if you go to the Rainhill show at the end of the month you’ll see my rail served chocolate factory. In practice a souped up inglenook, but certainly an odd-ball. My previous layout featured a broken biscuit repair factory!

 

One of the 'Strangers' also has a layout featuring a rail-served chocolate factory (which gives out free samples!)

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 ...Did the others have more than a circle or two of track? Maybe I didn't pay enough attention?

 

 

We had points, and signalling, and two stations. It was a passenger railway so all the fun of operation is obeying the signals, stopping at the stations, making the station announcements (the trains all had specific special announcements for each station), and the bus (had we got it running again) would have been automatically controlled and pulled away from the station bus stop when the trains departed. The bus did run a treat until we put down the road surface! The points had to be set for the correct platform (like Harrow on the Hill) since we had dual running of underground and network rail trains on part of the layout. It was fully signalled with LMS 'New Lines' signalling as was used on the Watford/Bakerloo and Upminster lines. There was no room for points or another viaduct platform on the inner line so we just pretended the junction was off scene (5' x 10' really is a tiny layout in my book).

 

Team Sci-Fi had points too on the lower level line.

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And I have to say, I still don't know how they got that little man to fly out of the Queen Vic! 

 

Adam - RVD  

 

Here is 'The Animator' :-

 

post-31590-0-62804700-1539384371_thumb.jpg

 

The Queen Vic was still under construction here so I have not added the 'Water Tank' where the figure is dropped in. The flap on the servo sits under the water tank, and when the servo is activated the figure yells 'Weeeeeee' and goes down the slide before coming out the front door. I am sure it will be a real ride when they build the Eastenders theme park.

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As I said, it was a close thing, but even we have to admit ours was still a bit rough around the edges (as the judges pointed out!) a little more so than TLNs. Yes all of our trains ran perfectly, we got lucky as it was VERY warm inside there, and TLNs track suffered unfortunately. 

 

And I have to say, I still don't know how they got that little man to fly out of the Queen Vic! 

 

Adam - RVD

 

Hi Adam,

What is the budget that you have received?

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It's bound to be like Bake Off. It's the same company that's made it. The initial letter that came round introduced themselves as the company that makes Bake Off. (CJL)

Oddly it reminds me more of Scrapheap Challenge

It's bound to be like Bake Off. It's the same company that's made it. The initial letter that came round introduced themselves as the company that makes Bake Off. (CJL)

Oddly it reminds me more of Scrapheap Challenge

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Adam

 

It wasn't simply that it ran well, it had points and several locos able to operate at the same time, and a narrow gauge and... and ...Did the others have more than a circle or two of track? Maybe I didn't pay enough attention?

 

OK so you didn't have a dinosaur, Fortunately, there were enough samplers for next week to let us know the dinos are back.

True yes we did have the most advanced track plan, though Team Sci-fi did have a couple of sidings on their layout too, even if a train did go running into it when it wasn't meant to! 

 

I'm sure if we had our time again, we could've incorporated some dino fossils on the layout somewhere! 

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Total budget was about £3000 per layout and baseboard was provided. Sounds like a lot but does not go far - and we were not expected to buy any stock with that budget. a 4-track Gaugemaster DC controller was provided - but if we wanted DCC we had to bring our own.

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Hi Adam,

What is the budget that you have received?

Budget for each team came to a total of about £2700 split between the manufacturers - Peco £900, Hornby £500, Bachmann £500, Gaugemaster £450, Deluxe Materials £200. Metcalfe were added a little later, and I don't remember their exact budget, was either £200 or £250 I believe. This plus the extra £100 each team was allowed to spend on other items, I don't recall whether this was bumped up a second time, I do remember it was originally just £50! 

 

 

Here is 'The Animator' :-

 

attachicon.gifSNB16539 - Crop.JPG

 

The Queen Vic was still under construction here so I have not added the 'Water Tank' where the figure is dropped in. The flap on the servo sits under the water tank, and when the servo is activated the figure yells 'Weeeeeee' and goes down the slide before coming out the front door. I am sure it will be a real ride when they build the Eastenders theme park.

All is revealed! Quite simple really, I had visions of some extravagant throwing system! 

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This is turning into an enjoyable series, even without the gentle controversy of the first episode. I thought all three layouts were good, ( the derailing on a couple of the layouts was highlighted, an inevitable consequence of working against the clock, and happens to mine, and I guess many of us, frequently, until the problems are ironed out over a more generous period of time.) I think the use of train mounted cams highlighted this a lot. The sci-fi layout was a lot of fun, evoking the iconic film “Plan 9 from Outer Space” with the flying saucer suspended from a fishing rod. I also enjoyed the momentary raised eyebrow of Steve Flint, about 7 minutes in, as the Ninjas discovered their lack of track clearances, and the look on Tim Shaw’s face as he was dismissed by the leader of the Sci fi team, being told to go and bother someone else! All in all, an enjoyable episode, with worthy winners and worthy adversaries. Friday night viewing has become much more interesting.

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We had points, and signalling, and two stations. It was a passenger railway so all the fun of operation is obeying the signals, stopping at the stations, making the station announcements (the trains all had specific special announcements for each station), and the bus (had we got it running again) would have been automatically controlled and pulled away from the station bus stop when the trains departed. The bus did run a treat until we put down the road surface! The points had to be set for the correct platform (like Harrow on the Hill) since we had dual running of underground and network rail trains on part of the layout. It was fully signalled with LMS 'New Lines' signalling as was used on the Watford/Bakerloo and Upminster lines. There was no room for points or another viaduct platform on the inner line so we just pretended the junction was off scene (5' x 10' really is a tiny layout in my book).

 

Team Sci-Fi had points too on the lower level line.

Sorry just showing my prejudices. I was brought up on the SR -2 BIL, 2-HAP 4-EPBs , used to travel on Clerestory surface line Underground trains, and the North London lines and never took a photo of a single one of them - saved my film for the wagons. https://paulbartlett.zenfolio.com/stainescentral

 

Although they showed the three and four rail construction there wasn't much mention of it, and I cannot see how special signalling could be presented on a TV programme. I don't know enough about Eastenders to understand some of the nuances - I'll admit I hadn't realised any of them lived in a block of flats. They all run in and out of their terraces when I see the adverts for the show.

 

Paul

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This is turning into an enjoyable series, even without the gentle controversy of the first episode. I thought all three layouts were good, ( the derailing on a couple of the layouts was highlighted, an inevitable consequence of working against the clock, and happens to mine, and I guess many of us, frequently, until the problems are ironed out over a more generous period of time.) 

 

... and of course the well-known rule that a layout will operate faultlessly until someone points a camera at it! ;-)

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The block of flats is mentioned in a few episodes and is named Walford Towers in Eastenders - some of the characters (I think the Beales) lived there at one time. It can be seen behind the car lot usually. We included it because there is mention in the rules that credit will be given for height (Paul even modelled the mast on top with the illuminated beacon) and we thought that 18 stories would make us the tallest layout, that is why we included the gradients too having one station in a cutting (Walford South) and the other (Walford East) on an embankment.

 

We modelled most of the terraced houses that you see people running in and out of including Dr. Legg's surgery for which Mark had to add basements to a row of terraces. Even the roofs had the correct Velux window on one of the houses (which we could have left off - it disappeared when they rebuilt the Eastenders set for HD!) While we might have started with Metcalfe and Superquick buildings they were mostly modified to look like and be identifiable as the 'real' thing.

 

New Lines signals do look a bit different to most colour lights being searchlights with splitting junction signals. They have an automatic extra yellow light to allow permissive working of closely spaced trains. All very subtle really and lost on most of the audience!

Edited by Signalist
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... and of course the well-known rule that a layout will operate faultlessly until someone points a camera at it! ;-)

We would get the trains running and then the code 60 conductor rail would heat up and buckle while waiting for the camera to come back and foul on the bogie detail. I have been recommended to use code 40 rail for the conductor instead next time to allow a few thou of extra clearance.

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... and of course the well-known rule that a layout will operate faultlessly until someone points a camera at it! ;-)

Didn't that used to be the Tomorrow's World Effect?

 

I haven't seen Eastenders for years - does anyone still go to the allotment? I remember it being Arthur Fowler's pride and joy.

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Again, I think the best team won, though I did notice some Portillo-style editing when the black ROD 2-8-0 kept turning into a brown 43XX mogul and back again!

 

 

Would have been fun to see someone doing a model of the Fawley Hill Railway with GMRC as the TV theme.... :-)

Yes, but that would have run the risk of tearing a hole in the space-time continuum :D.

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A bit rough around the edges ? Its a battlefield! Good choice of theme....

 

Phil

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Enjoyed it more this week and thought the layouts had a better link with the subject matter this week. Loved the blackadder scene which underlined the link with the program. I felt the sci-fi layout looked a bit bare in parts but maybe that was for the tank to wiz around. Glad there was no pantomime villain this week and it did underline the judges comments in week one about the bare boards in the missenden layout as it looked like all the layouts at least had painted surfaces.

Is the female judge as serious/ harsh as she comes across on the program?

Mark

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Nice to see some explanations of the Faller, sorry "RTR bus" and static grass too. OK, not much depth, but better than nothing. 

 

not enought time, there is already a lot of stuff cut out to bare minimum so i doubt they would then put in some little explanations or tutorials, and the name was wasnt mentioned because we were not allowed to use product names, weve got the same thing in our heat

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I found it interesting how little mention the sponsors got, though it was very noticeable that the word "Faller" didn't appear. 

 

I remember a Simon Kohler article about the Brian James May longest model railway programme, where he said that Hornby were happy to provide all the track without any mention on-air because people would just think Hornby anyway when they saw a model railway. I'm not sure the same applies to Peco or Bachmann, and while one might recognize the rolling stock later on (if it's still available!), most people wouldn't be able to tell if the track was Peco or Hornby.

 

Oddly it reminds me more of Scrapheap Challenge

 

One difference, I think, is that in this program the participants had a free hand in what they built unlike scrapheap challenge where I have been told by someone who appeared in it that both teams are actually told what design to use (which is why one team often appears to choose a rather silly approach - it makes better television).

 

Is the female judge as serious/ harsh as she comes across on the program?
 

 

I couldn't say, but looking at the quality of her work on YouTube I'd say she's earned the right to be critical.

 

We had points, and signalling, and two stations. It was a passenger railway so all the fun of operation is obeying the signals, stopping at the stations, making the station announcements (the trains all had specific special announcements for each station), and the bus (had we got it running again) would have been automatically controlled and pulled away from the station bus stop when the trains departed. The bus did run a treat until we put down the road surface! The points had to be set for the correct platform (like Harrow on the Hill) since we had dual running of underground and network rail trains on part of the layout. It was fully signalled with LMS 'New Lines' signalling as was used on the Watford/Bakerloo and Upminster lines. There was no room for points or another viaduct platform on the inner line so we just pretended the junction was off scene (5' x 10' really is a tiny layout in my book).

 

It's a shame for those of us on here that this really didn't come across. Entirely understandable that the program concentrated on the Eastenders aspect given the intended audience, but it just looked to me as if the underground and overground trains were mixed up with no logic. I suppose there's a lesson there if there's a second series. 

 

(Edited as I don't know my James's from my Brian's)

Edited by Coryton

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 about the Brian May longest model railway programme, 

 

Did he build one on the roof of Buckingham Palace?

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I used to avoid such "done in a week" layouts because they'd have usually ended up twice as good if the builder had had a whole fortnight available, but nobody has an infinite amount of modelling time, and the naysayers could do with watching to see and think how their own efforts could be speedied up when under such time constraints.

 

None of the participants seemed to be spending valuable modelling time on RMWeb...

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The issue there with that was that when we were filming all the close ups of the train, all the ROD liveried locos were DCC with realistic acceleration/deceleration, the City Class (from the Bachmann Ambulance set) was just DC. The camera wagon that they had wouldn't fit though our tunnel mouths into the fiddle yard, so we needed to be able to stop quickly before the wagon hit the tunnel! 

 

Pleased to see people have enjoyed what we created though. On the day itself we knew it was close between us and Walford, if theirs hadn't had the problems, they would've won for sure! 

 

Looking forward to seeing the final now! 

 

Adam - RVD

 

Well done Adam, and the team. You packed a lot of effort and content into that. Lot of pressure to deliver that, even with some preformed elements, in “24 hrs”. All three teams did well and played the challenge correctly - although a few moments of “professional fouls” can sometimes add to the spice!

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