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GMRC Series 2 - Episode 4 - 'Uncharted territory'

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3 hours ago, Captain Kernow said:

As with all previous episodes, I did enjoy it but my wife and I would have chosen the 3 Millers layout to win, in terms of 'traditional' model railway layouts, it had the most integrity and consistency, in my view, at least.

 

We do understand why the WCR layout won, though.

 

However, I'm beginning to find less and less credibility in the Scratchbuild Challenge. I do understand the raison-d'etre behind it and how it challenges one's ingenuity and inventiveness, but I think it's being done the wrong way round. I'd now prefer to see the judges say 'build us a whatever', whatever that might be, and let the individuals choose the materials they need to make the best quality model of a whatever that they can in the time.

 

Perhaps a range of materials, both traditional (eg. plasticard, card and wood) can be provided, together with some less usual stuff, such as kitchen utensils, items of clothing or garden furniture.

 

The skill would be in producing the best quality model. The way that this would reflect 'real life modelling' is that if I wanted to build (say) a model of a detached house, I would choose the most appropriate materials I could obtain, in order to build the best quality model I could manage. I wouldn't limit myself to (say) a sink plunger, a wooden clothes peg and a harmonium.

 

The formula of having sufficient animations to impress the judges seems to have been taken up by all teams, but sometimes at the expense of good, solid basics, such as well-laid track, robust electrics and reliable or suitable rolling stock. That's ultimately neither here nor there, provided everyone has some fun and the show continues to attract good audiences and promotes the hobby.

 

I do wonder, though, if it should perhaps be called the GMR&AC.

 

I would prefer if they had a dozen or so items and each team was allowed to select any three for the scratch build challenge..

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13 hours ago, Captain Kernow said:

However, I'm beginning to find less and less credibility in the Scratchbuild Challenge. I do understand the raison-d'etre behind it and how it challenges one's ingenuity and inventiveness, but I think it's being done the wrong way round. I'd now prefer to see the judges say 'build us a whatever', whatever that might be, and let the individuals choose the materials they need to make the best quality model of a whatever that they can in the time.

 

Perhaps a range of materials, both traditional (eg. plasticard, card and wood) can be provided, together with some less usual stuff, such as kitchen utensils, items of clothing or garden furniture.

 

 

I stand accused of "throwing" the Scratchbuild Challenge, so may be I should be allowed an opinion.

 

I would have liked the producers to think a bit more deeply about the potential of the items they hand out. In other heats the materials the items were made of had some potential, in Heat 4 I couldn't see any. The plastic sword was made of that flexible polypropylene style plastic that is hard to cut neatly, impossible to sand and doesn't take glue well. Likewise the shuttlecock, an old-style feathered jobbie would have been better. You might have thought the parchment of the tambourine skin would be useful - i thought it might - but it doesn't fold or do anything really. I did, with the help of a lot of glue, manage to make a very bad effort of a tarpaulin covered load, but that was it. As for the jingles ......

 

Young Harun from the Thunderbolts did a damn good job in my opinion with what we were given. But I would make the plea of give the competitors things they can disassemble and reuse in other ways, then it becomes a meaningful challenge.

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I have to agree with Captain Kernow and whart57 regarding the scratchbuild challenge, the objects just seem to be chosen for their ridiculousness (and even more so in Episode 5). Again, of course the programme is not aimed at railway modellers (specifically), but whart57's suggestion would IMHO produce more meaningful results, and more equitably judged scores (although given what the word jobbie means, here in Scotland at least, I would not recommend using one of them !)

 

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On 05/10/2019 at 10:03, Dunsignalling said:

I did watch the first series and I've been trying really hard to get into this one. However, ten minutes in last night, I lost all interest and switched over to a repeat of Train Truckers on the Yesterday channel.

 

Sorry, but I'm beginning to think that one series of the GMRC may have been enough. All I can see on the horizon is ever-weirder items being thrown in to perplex the scratch-build challengers and teams coming up with increasingly arcane animations/gimmicks to amuse the judges. The railway aspects seem to be in danger of becoming an afterthought.

 

Next week, instead of watching,  I'll be starting to saw up half a dozen old Hornby coaches (not clerestories) for an arcane project of my own. It definitely won't be a spectator sport, or finished in three days but, if it works, I'll start a thread about it on here.

 

So, the programme will be encouraging some modelling after all.....https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_rolleyes.gif

 

John     

could not agree more.

 

This series has shown a greater regard for gimmicks and effects than for the actual modelling.

 

Not to detract from the efforts of the modellers themselves in all cases good but the actual model railways have taken second place to cheap and easy tele entertainment.

 

The first series showed some element of that, proper modell railways took second place to tricks and so on but on the whole modelling was put first,this time maybe not so good. The athletics and the rugby have been way better.

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2 minutes ago, robert17649 said:

This series has shown a greater regard for gimmicks and effects than for the actual modelling

 

This just gets boringly repetitive and I would suggest it's insulting to many of the participants who put their time and efforts in. Plus I would challenge you to say that if you observe last night's winning entry. 

 

It's just so easy to make these glib statements, something I tackled face to face with someone talking rot yesterday. 

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Posted (edited)

Dont usually rise to such as this , but how does "the efforts of the modellers in all cases good "reflect an insult.

 

If you are going to quote as an admonition then pleae quote whole entry not just an out of context bit

 

referring to series so far  have just watched last nights and agree that winners was excellent.

Edited by robert17649
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23 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

Well said that man! EXACTLY the ethos behind Team Grantham's involvement in this year's competition. Judge for yourself tonight how well we did in that context...

Same for Missenden Modellers last year. Of course it was us that got trashed at the end, not the layout (it's doing fine at exhibitions, still attracting crowds), but we had a great time participating, just as we had hoped, and got to build a lovely layout on camera. I think the show needs a dose of serious layouts, even if they don't win, just to show people what's possible and inspire them in the hobby, just as much as it needs entries by plucky teams of complete beginners to give it a go.

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19 hours ago, andyram said:

The person you were referring to was Kevin. 

 

 

I did see the final score chart you referred to, hence my comment. At the end of the final day we were told by the director that it had been the closest heat and we had missed out by a point hence why I mentioned the difference with the scores shown on screen. We were also told that a team from an earlier heat had accumulated a higher score. At the end of the day it makes no difference we were beaten by a better team and I wish them well. They were a good bunch of lads.. 

Sorry Kevin. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, robert17649 said:

This series has shown a greater regard for gimmicks and effects than for the actual modelling.

The thing is that the 'gimmicks' (or the 'various animations', if you prefer) also constitute modelling and in most cases, a bit of engineering (mechanical and electrical) as well.

 

One person's 'gimmick' could be another person's essential feature (eg. working signals).

 

What I think could be going on here (speaking as a non-participant, of course), is that the emphasis on the animations in the shows as finally broadcast is coming from the producers and 'others in charge behind the scenes', who are also providing the remit for the judges.

 

Given the level playing field that all teams have right at the beginning, the ability to judge exactly what and how many animations the team can pull off must also be a kind of 'skill', in order to show the team's abilities and competence and also satisfy the judges and those setting the judges' remit. It must be a fine balancing act to get it right.

 

What is clear is that, time and time again, good old-fashioned model railway skills, such as track laying and wiring, continue to be essential and continue to have the potential to trip folk up, if they don't get these basics sorted out.

 

Also, many of the skills required to make some of these 'less traditional' animations function can also be found on more traditional layouts, such as being able to make signals work, make turntables rotate, make level crossing gates open and close, make Faller road vehicles move on a 4mm layout in a convincing fashion etc. I take my hats off to all of them, I still don't understand how servos work!

 

Ultimately, I think this show is still doing nothing but good for the hobby. I don't think it matters if some families go to their first model railway exhibition and don't find any layouts with exploding volcanoes or aliens invading etc. What it does do is raise the profile of the hobby and gets new people through the door. Once they're in that exhibition hall, or model railway shop, the rest of us can get to work on them and persuade them of the benefits of a GWR branch line terminus or a diesel depot!

 

Edited by Captain Kernow
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Agree with all you say Captain Kernow except part of the last sentence - I remain to be convinced that there are any benefits of a GWR branch line terminus !

 

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10 minutes ago, caradoc said:

Agree with all you say Captain Kernow except part of the last sentence - I remain to be convinced that there are any benefits of a GWR branch line terminus !

 

Eagle-eyed viewers will note that I did not mention the LNER.

 

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13 minutes ago, caradoc said:

Agree with all you say Captain Kernow except part of the last sentence - I remain to be convinced that there are any benefits of a GWR branch line terminus !

 

 

Or a diesel depot ......

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16 minutes ago, caradoc said:

Agree with all you say Captain Kernow except part of the last sentence - I remain to be convinced that there are any benefits of a GWR branch line terminus !

 


I quite like a BLT

 

24BA0347-D901-44B5-9D79-CF32C34A35D1.jpeg

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Gimmicks have been a part of model railways for a quite a while. Those of my age will remember (with affection) the Triang operating mail coach, giraffe car and battle space whiz bangs. At the same time the pages of the model press had fantastic model making like Garsdale Road and the Stronalachar Saga. Both these things co-existed quite happily, both were an influence on my model making at the time and I suppose, logically, up to the present day too. One of my favourite exhibition layouts at the time was Jack Dugdale's Ortogo, which was packed full of animated features. From memory it was popular with others too. While I'm not one for animations on the stuff I build for myself (no dcc, lights, or sound, no Faller road system) it doesn't mean that this isn't a perfectly valid direction for others to take. If everyone was mandated to make layouts which were to my taste then where would be the surprises, the left field entries that could knock my socks off and where would the risk of trying something different come from? While in principle I'm happy for people to say 'it's not for me' after a while it becomes as pointless as those posts which tell us which shops the latest MRJ has yet to appear in.

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One thing that probably wasn't clear from the edit is that the buildings on Luctor et Emergo were all based on real prototypes. As an example, here are those buildings made by Malcolm that Steve admired and below, a picture of them taken in the mid 1960s

 

baarsdorp_model_1_small.jpg.c2aa76d4338ca2b480cb416e84866c41.jpgbaarsdorp_1965.jpg.5a9cff5ee26039c87c9e9aaaf1f7641b.jpg

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15 minutes ago, Neil said:

Gimmicks have been a part of model railways for a quite a while. Those of my age will remember (with affection) the Triang operating mail coach, giraffe car and battle space whiz bangs. At the same time the pages of the model press had fantastic model making like Garsdale Road and the Stronalachar Saga. Both these things co-existed quite happily, both were an influence on my model making at the time and I suppose, logically, up to the present day too. One of my favourite exhibition layouts at the time was Jack Dugdale's Ortogo, which was packed full of animated features. From memory it was popular with others too. While I'm not one for animations on the stuff I build for myself (no dcc, lights, or sound, no Faller road system) it doesn't mean that this isn't a perfectly valid direction for others to take. If everyone was mandated to make layouts which were to my taste then where would be the surprises, the left field entries that could knock my socks off and where would the risk of trying something different come from? While in principle I'm happy for people to say 'it's not for me' after a while it becomes as pointless as those posts which tell us which shops the latest MRJ has yet to appear in.

I have no problem with animations, and I don't think of them as gimmicks. Animations in general from signals to cranes to cars to workshop static engines are great; the more the merrier, I think. By gimmicks I rather mean the need for a volcano on a suburban UK layout, to give but one generic example, or the need to include gratuitous dinosaurs and ufos. As part of the GMRC show these are fine, I think, so my only issue comes when so many teams start to rely on such devices that they become compulsory and otherwise good layouts end up getting dismissed as "not adventurous enough".

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The little signalman popping up with his flags, too, was utterly prototypical. (Those present at Fawley Hill would have seen an archive picture on the backboard)

 

lineside_cottage_with_flags_prototype.jpg.1d4ce499dc26d4b7cd0b612a559ddf8c.jpglineside_cottage_with_flags.jpg.21a403c67d9e8cb1186fb9739a7a3877.jpg

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17 minutes ago, Neil said:

Gimmicks have been a part of model railways for a quite a while. Those of my age will remember (with affection) the Triang operating mail coach, giraffe car and battle space whiz bangs. At the same time the pages of the model press had fantastic model making like Garsdale Road and the Stronalachar Saga. Both these things co-existed quite happily, both were an influence on my model making at the time and I suppose, logically, up to the present day too. One of my favourite exhibition layouts at the time was Jack Dugdale's Ortogo, which was packed full of animated features. From memory it was popular with others too. While I'm not one for animations on the stuff I build for myself (no dcc, lights, or sound, no Faller road system) it doesn't mean that this isn't a perfectly valid direction for others to take. If everyone was mandated to make layouts which were to my taste then where would be the surprises, the left field entries that could knock my socks off and where would the risk of trying something different come from? While in principle I'm happy for people to say 'it's not for me' after a while it becomes as pointless as those posts which tell us which shops the latest MRJ has yet to appear in.

 

At various times I've given consideration to using such Triang 'technology' to achieve other aims - raising and lowering a pantograph (giraffe wagon), token exchange (Royal Mail coach - can figure out the pick-up but not the set-down) and emptying coal wagons on a coaling stage (hopper wagon - idea aborted when I discovered there was a baseboard frame directly underneath...).

 

Of course, the animated features can be incorporated into the pre-built items (like Joddrell Bank was), so not taking up much time during the layout build itself.

 

Other animations can be installed quickly and easily if operated by hand rather than electrically - I've built two cranes capable of rotating and raising and lowering  - simply by having a length of plastic tube with a chain inside extending below the baseboard - turn the tube to turn the crane, pull the chain to raise the hook. Things like level crossing gates, locks, water cranes etc can all be operated in a similar manner - all you need is an operator sat under the baseboard! (Or the items sufficiently close to the edge of the board that an operator can reach them). 

 

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The flooded farm that Martin built was inspired by this archive picture

 

flooded_farm_archive_picture.jpg.696bf82b1aa711bfd6ead661cb3f93c5.jpg

flooded_farm.jpg.4f2be6b6388f0b0ffed6c66e8f57c21a.jpg

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Neil said:

Gimmicks have been a part of model railways for a quite a while. Those of my age will remember (with affection) the Triang operating mail coach, giraffe car and battle space whiz bangs. At the same time the pages of the model press had fantastic model making like Garsdale Road and the Stronalachar Saga. Both these things co-existed quite happily, both were an influence on my model making at the time and I suppose, logically, up to the present day too. One of my favourite exhibition layouts at the time was Jack Dugdale's Ortogo, which was packed full of animated features. From memory it was popular with others too. While I'm not one for animations on the stuff I build for myself (no dcc, lights, or sound, no Faller road system) it doesn't mean that this isn't a perfectly valid direction for others to take. If everyone was mandated to make layouts which were to my taste then where would be the surprises, the left field entries that could knock my socks off and where would the risk of trying something different come from? While in principle I'm happy for people to say 'it's not for me' after a while it becomes as pointless as those posts which tell us which shops the latest MRJ has yet to appear in.

I agree with all of that and, according to friends, I missed some cracking modelling that I would have appreciated in Saturday's edition. I think it gets repeated so I'll catch up then.

 

My comments were solely based on an increasing realisation that, whilst I find bits of it entertaining, the concept of the series doesn't really "float my boat". That's no criticism of the motivation or abilities (some well in advance of my own) of those involved. My own modelling activities restarted as a form of relief from deadlines and targets, so it's not surprising that aspect of the GMRC doesn't appeal, or that I'd run a mile if invited to participate.

 

Each to his own, though as an existing enthusiast, I am perhaps one of the converted who doesn't require preaching to anyway. I'm not averse to a "challenge", and spent most of this morning 90% dismantling a Hornby Britannia in a quest for the origin of the limp it has developed. I usually enjoy a good tinker but wasn't really in the mood, so found it a bit of a chore, relieved by getting to the end of it and finding that Peter's Spares have the bit I think is causing the trouble.

 

The afternoon got much better with a visit to the WSR Gala. Tea and cake with TMRG and the magnificent sight and sound of D7018 immaculately turned out in her proper livery. 

 

John 

 

 

P1260035 reduced.jpg

Edited by Dunsignalling
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2 hours ago, whart57 said:

The more you're showing us stuff like this, the more I appreciate your layout. Some of this is top modelling. What a pity the judges, stern Steve especially, didn't pick up on this and give it more credit?

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Steve did, but most of it didn't make the final edit.

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The Dutch one was my favourite of that episode. It was actually great seeing a train working through flooded rails, I’d wanted to do something similar on a layout so it was nice to see people take the PLUNGE AHAHAHAAHAHA.

 

 

 

Seriously, though, well done all.

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8 hours ago, hicksan said:

Sorry Kevin. 


Kevin was the captain you were referring to. My involvement was purely the silent Andy of the two in the team.

 

I have to say, although I agreed with the result from Heat 4 in terms of the way the competition worked, I admired the Dutch layout and its prototypical approach. The flag man was excellent.

 

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