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GMRC Series 2 - Episode 2 - 'Classic books'

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3 hours ago, whart57 said:

Yes, but they still had a gunboat on the lake though - which is rather Edwardian.

 

Worse, as I mention in the summary, the Thunderchild is destroyed in the book and the layout is set in the second Martian invasion so either the MOD thought "That one worked well, let's build another", or the modellers GOT IT WRONG

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16 hours ago, MarkSG said:

If a team chooses a theme for their layout that is best served by setting it in a particular time period (including, of course, the present day), then I'd like to see some marks for stocking the layout with appropriate traction and rolling stock.

 

13 hours ago, john new said:

Agree regarding your comment on a bonus point for best use of appropriate rolling stock.

 

3 hours ago, whart57 said:

Having been a team captain and thus seen what teams could get in terms of rolling stock I suspect pre-Group stuff might have been a problem. Teams were restricted to what suppliers like Hornby and Bachmann had available at the time of order.  While there are lovely Edwardian locos and stock advertised on websites that doesn't mean that was in warehouses available to ship. I certainly had to scale back on what I envisaged through lack of availability.

 

55 minutes ago, noiseboy72 said:

Quite true. We had to modify our wish list somewhat to fit the available stock. Don't forget also that teams get to keep the stock and layouts, so I'm quite certain that some buying choices are influenced by this. Not us, obviously, the Wickham trolley and Sentinel shunter were key to our layout and don't fit at all on my depot scene...

 

This sounds very much like the position in the first series. There seemed to be an expectation that a lot of the locos and stock would come from the teams' existing "stashes".

 

Certainly, the vast majority of the budgets made available to teams in the first series were ringfenced - "x" amount from Peco - "y" amount to Hornby - that sort of thing.

 

However, I don't think the teams would have been able to do a good job of "populating" their layouts using these budgets - partly because the prices quoted bore little resemblance to what you'd pay at a box shifter - partly because the selection of stock available was somewhat incomplete.

 

In other words, the teams really needed to provide a lot of the stock they used themselves - and this is where any suggestions of judging teams on the suitability of their stock would start to break down.

 

It might not be too much of a problem for members of a large, well resourced club, especially if other club members happen to be in a position to loan a wide selection of stock.

 

It might also not be too much of a problem if team members happen to be able to "tap" some suppliers for loans of stock.

 

However, a number of teams might not be in this sort of position - so they would be at a serious disadvantage here.

 

This is especially the case when layouts have to be built to deliberately "off the wall" themes - so there probably needs to be some acceptance that at least some of the stock used might be slightly less than ideal.

 

Is this a problem? I don't think it needs to be - after all, the teams aren't building layouts for museums - and the series probably aren't targeted at "purists".

 

Perhaps it might just be best to accept that "rule 1" probably applies on a lot of challenge layouts ... .

 

 

Huw.

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3 hours ago, whart57 said:

Yes, but they still had a gunboat on the lake though - which is rather Edwardian.

 

Worse, as I mention in the summary, the Thunderchild is destroyed in the book and the layout is set in the second Martian invasion so either the MOD thought "That one worked well, let's build another", or the modellers GOT IT WRONG (screws up fists, has a tantrum) AND HAVE PERVERTED HISTORY!!!! (Gets out a green pen, writes a stern letter to the editor of the Railway Modeller). Down with this sort of thing!

 

Incidentally, did anyone notice the music for the layout was based on the Jeff Wayne album?

 

Actually, with my pedant head on:

  • Tripods are rubbish as fighting machines. As soon as you lift a foot, the thing falls over. The makes of the BBC series The Tripods had a real issue with this and invented some sort of anti-gravity device to make them appear to work.
  • Tieing some one to the tracks as at the start of this show, never actually happened in a silent movie.

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All the stock on our layout with 1 minor exception came from the competition suppliers. Apart from anything else, we repainted or weathered every item, so we would not have wanted to use our own stock!

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42 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

 

Worse, as I mention in the summary, the Thunderchild is destroyed in the book and the layout is set in the second Martian invasion so either the MOD thought "That one worked well, let's build another", or the modellers GOT IT WRONG

 

The navy has had five different Ark Royals. There's no reason why, in the alternate reality where Mars is inhabited by malevolent invaders, the navy might not have had several Thunderchilds. In fact, the real ship on which Wells based Thunderchild, HMS Polyphemus, was one of several ships with that name.

 

Re-using names of previous well-known ships does seem to be something of a naval thing. So it's not at all implausible that a modern frigate or destroyer might be named Thunderchild, if that had ever been a real name in the first place.

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7 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

 

Incidentally, did anyone notice the music for the layout was based on the Jeff Wayne album?

 

 

It was very cleverly written to sound like the Jeff Wayne version, but without actually infringing his copyright!

 

7 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

 

 

Actually, with my pedant head on:

  • Tripods are rubbish as fighting machines. As soon as you lift a foot, the thing falls over. The makes of the BBC series The Tripods had a real issue with this and invented some sort of anti-gravity device to make them appear to work.

 

Well, a biped (eg, a human) falls over if you lift one foot. But we manage to walk because we balance on the one foot while the other is in the air. A three-legged dog or cat can walk without falling over, too.

 

The earliest illustrations of Wells's book show a much more flexible design of tripod with legs that resembles those of humans or animals, and presumably walk in much the same way with a combination of inertia and balance keeping them upright when not standing still. The very rigid, mechanical design, as reproduced in this episode, actually comes from the Tripods book and TV series.

Edited by MarkSG

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2 hours ago, MarkSG said:

 

Well, a biped (eg, a human) falls over if you lift one foot. But we manage to walk because we balance on the one foot while the other is in the air. A three-legged dog or cat can walk without falling over, too.

 

Apparently, if you investigate terminology, all animals are bipeds. Those that have four appendages touching the ground have, at their front, shoulders, arms and elbows!; cats, dogs, cows, horses, sheep all have two legs and two arms! A three-legged dog or cat would be an interesting quirk of nature!

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4 hours ago, noiseboy72 said:

All the stock on our layout with 1 minor exception came from the competition suppliers. Apart from anything else, we repainted or weathered every item, so we would not have wanted to use our own stock!

What was the minor exception?

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3 minutes ago, Professor Yaffle said:

What was the minor exception?

Spoilers... Can't say as it may be part of the show.

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Here’s a spoiler alert, watch those nearest the layouts when they announce the winners...........

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The navy does reuse names a lot. Not inconceivable that had there been a real one there would have been more than one over the years. The kit was the right scale and if we had used something else the rivet counters would have moaned that it was the wrong scale or overwhelmed the layout. 

 

The music was an original piece composed and recorded by Bruno Grife who is a well known Israeli music producer. It is intended to invoke the Jeff Wayne music without being a copy. The full piece can be heard here: 

 

 

Just remember that most of what is filmed gets left on the cutting room floor.  Rolling stock was a mix of what we had that was guaranteed fault free running.  There are not prizes for trying to be a hero with unreliable stuff and failing. 

 

I wanted pre grouping but was outvoted. But in the words of Monty Python: “it’s only a model” 

Edited by Jenny Emily
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22 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

 

 

Seriously, a Pacer?

 

Perhaps they were hoping that the Martians would destroy it with their heat ray. Good riddance to it. 

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4 hours ago, JohnDMJ said:

 

Apparently, if you investigate terminology, all animals are bipeds. Those that have four appendages touching the ground have, at their front, shoulders, arms and elbows!; cats, dogs, cows, horses, sheep all have two legs and two arms! A three-legged dog or cat would be an interesting quirk of nature!

 

That's not entirely true. All mammals have two sets of two appendages, front and rear, and the front two are the same basic structure whether used for walking on or not. But not all animals are mammals, and those that are not don't have anything equivalent to mammal forelegs/arms.

 

A three-legged dog or cat is one that has lost a leg as a result of disease or injury. But they can still walk on the remaining three legs, without needing either prosthetics or crutches (which a human would do). A tripod would probably need to adopt a similar gait.

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Incidentally, if you go to YouTube and serch for "War of the Worlds", then at least a couple of the first page of results will be related to this GMRC episode.

 

How many you get shown will depend on a number of factors, including your own browsing history. But I've just checked it with a clean (no cookies) session and there were two in the first set of results. So it's clearly getting plenty of views.

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22 hours ago, MarkSG said:

 

 the real ship on which Wells based Thunderchild, HMS Polyphemus, was one of several ships with that name.

 

 

As Polyphemus was, in Greek mythology, the son of the God of Storms, I suspect Wells was showing of his Classicism.

 

Polyphemus was also the cyclops (one eyed giant) blinded by Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey

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My wife's observation (which I agree with) was that the war of the worlds layout was some very good modelling but the operating railway part felt like an afterthought to the scene, whereas on the other two the railway was integral to the whole.

 

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2 hours ago, brack said:

My wife's observation (which I agree with) was that the war of the worlds layout was some very good modelling but the operating railway part felt like an afterthought to the scene, whereas on the other two the railway was integral to the whole.

 

I'd agree with that, too. I was a bit disappointed with the War of the Worlds layout in that respect, and not just because they didn't go for a Victorian timeline - a decision I can fully understand - but because even as a modern-image layout it wasn't consistent.

 

But, on the other hand, the Seven Pillars layout had some serious operational problems, and the Agatha Christie layout suffered on build quality. Plus, WotW won the scratchbuild challenge, and it's hard to disagree with that.

In fact, when it came down to it, it was the scratchbuild challenge which was the difference. Had those two points gone to Agatha Christie, that would have won.

 

WotW won fair and square according to the judging criteria, though. And the team's scores were consistently good all through the criteria - of the four judging categories, they had top marks in three of them. So they were deserved winners. Had the criteria included marks for railway-related authenticity or consistency, then I'm sure they'd have made sure to score there too. In the end, you just have to know what the rules are, and play to them. 

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4 hours ago, MarkSG said:

WotW won fair and square according to the judging criteria, though. And the team's scores were consistently good all through the criteria - of the four judging categories, they had top marks in three of them. So they were deserved winners. Had the criteria included marks for railway-related authenticity or consistency, then I'm sure they'd have made sure to score there too. In the end, you just have to know what the rules are, and play to them. 

 

Sounds like fair comment to me.

 

Based on what was shown in the programme - and stuff that's been said since - it's apparent that this team went about this challenge in the right way.

 

Jenny's comment about using stock etc of proven reliability was particularly telling in this regard.

 

They knew what they were trying to achieve - knew how to achieve it - worked effectively (both as individuals and as a team) - and basically got on with what they were doing and got things done.

 

Although I don't doubt that there were lots of other good teams in this year's challenge (and there were also a lot of rather good teams last year), this team don't exactly look like they'd "beat themselves".

 

Far from it, in fact.

 

I suspect they'd be a serious threat to any other teams they come up against.

 

I also wouldn't be surprised if teams in any future GMRC series were to use their basic approach as a template.

 

Obviously, time will tell ... .

 

 

Huw.

Edited by Huw Griffiths
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it has been interesting reading comments from both viewers and fellow competitors.  As a team we recognised at an early stage that we had to think differently, we were making a TV programme; the challenge was to make our model to a limited budget, often with materials that we had not used before and within a very tight time frame. To be successful, we had to 'complete the challenge' to our own satisfaction and the product had to work and look good to both the judges and a TV audience. This required us to use our modelling skills quite differently to the way we normally operated when building our own layouts. The enjoyment came from the having the opportunity to design and produce a presentable layout which met a design brief that was quite different to anything we had  tackled before or were likely to do in the future. 

 

It was a unique opportunity to think and work "outside our box". 

 

Tom

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51 minutes ago, Pteremy said:

Is there a repeat during the week? If so when is it?

I'm not sure it's repeated, but it's available on catchup and My5.

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9 hours ago, LMS29 said:

it has been interesting reading comments from both viewers and fellow competitors.  As a team we recognised at an early stage that we had to think differently, we were making a TV programme; the challenge was to make our model to a limited budget, often with materials that we had not used before and within a very tight time frame. To be successful, we had to 'complete the challenge' to our own satisfaction and the product had to work and look good to both the judges and a TV audience. This required us to use our modelling skills quite differently to the way we normally operated when building our own layouts. The enjoyment came from the having the opportunity to design and produce a presentable layout which met a design brief that was quite different to anything we had  tackled before or were likely to do in the future. 

 

It was a unique opportunity to think and work "outside our box". 

 

Tom

I second this. You will have to wait until Episode 5 to see our full layout, but it featured in a trailer, so you get some shots of it and an idea of the colours and themes we went for. We put operation at the centre of our planning, along with making the layout visually appealing and ensuring we could pick up the bonus points for having more than 1 train running at any one time, points operating, animations etc. 

 

Some might suggest that we were "playing the numbers" in this respect, but looking at the winners so far, we were not the only ones to read the rules :)

Station2.jpg

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9 hours ago, LMS29 said:

it has been interesting reading comments from both viewers and fellow competitors.  As a team we recognised at an early stage that we had to think differently, we were making a TV programme; the challenge was to make our model to a limited budget, often with materials that we had not used before and within a very tight time frame. To be successful, we had to 'complete the challenge' to our own satisfaction and the product had to work and look good to both the judges and a TV audience. This required us to use our modelling skills quite differently to the way we normally operated when building our own layouts. The enjoyment came from the having the opportunity to design and produce a presentable layout which met a design brief that was quite different to anything we had  tackled before or were likely to do in the future. 

 

It was a unique opportunity to think and work "outside our box". 

 

Tom

 

I think this is what many detractors miss - railway modelling comes in many different forms and it doesn't do any harm to push the envelope a little sometimes. I'm sure there are techniques and ideas we can all take away from this, and ones we wouldn't touch with a bargepole. This last one is just as important though, someone else can make the mistakes you get to learn from!

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