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GMRC Series 2 - Episode 6 - Semi-final 1 - 'Myths, Monsters, Legends and Fables'

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3 hours ago, Not Jeremy said:

And I really liked the crochet trees too, I'd never have thought of that. While they may not have been meant totally "seriously" I think they actually looked pretty good, and they certainly raised lots of smiles. 

To be fair - the crochet trees had a purpose. The rules stated that there were supposed to be additional points available for trees that were hand made but I think Kathy deducted rather than added points for them. The ‘points’ were the reason I persisted in making them .... long past the stage where I was bored by the process. 

 

I was so pleased Tim talked to me about my dads boat. He died many many years ago, but would have loved this show. He had a wicked sense of humour.

 

Say hello to Neil from us when you see him. The Cambrian Coasters were good ‘neighbours’  to have in the contest!! In fact you are right, the atmosphere between all the teams in our heat was excellent. 

ADBB5DD3-56A4-4404-90F9-966C145BE784.jpeg

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6 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

Thomas the Tank Engine?

 

I saw the original at the MRC exhibition in Central Hall with the Rev Awdry operating. I asked him had he based the station on anywhere in particular. The REAL ONE he said. So he didn't treat it as fantasy.

 

Although it had faces on the locos etc. He did run it in a proper railway like manner.

 

Don

 

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13 hours ago, jools1959 said:

I must admit that the GMRC is very much a “Marmite” thing and we (the Corby team) jumped in knowing that it wasn’t to everyone’s tastes but we took the view that some positive outcomes are better than nothing at all.  To a certain extent it does promote the hobby and what can be accomplished with some imagination (some very left field).  We also wanted to promote the Corby club though unfortunately, one did it for ego and personal glory but I think you get one in all teams.

 

It does somewhat annoy me to hear criticism from what I would call “armchair” modellers who berate the blood (in the case of Rail Riders), sweat, tears and most of all, sheer hard work that’s put into building the layouts.  All I’m going to say if you don’t like it or think you can do better, get off your bums, form a team of six and apply for the next series and we can all have a pop at your efforts.

 

I do think there is a fine line not to be crossed here. Would anyone want to see Come Dancing make a comeback, I doubt it. But when Strictly Come Dancing started did anyone think ballroom dancing would become so popular.  Strictly does push the boundaries and I guess upset some of the purists, but on the whole its about the execution of the discipline rather than what goes on around it

 

GMRC must be applauded in the programs they are producing, and yes to some extent they do need to push the boundaries, no one can doubt the skill and craftsmanship which we are witnessing and this is one program out of six where some of us are querying how far away from the hobby the themes should go. Having said this I expect many enjoyed the program, and its themes. I did enjoy ihe program and the model making within it, . 

 

I think this years series has developed positively from last years, on the whole the format is improving. To be quite honest to better the previous weeks show was going to be very hard. And I am still looking forward to the next two episodes and hopefully a third series 

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19 hours ago, Huw Griffiths said:

A number of people make interesting points about the themes the teams have to work to - and how much (or little) they seem to have in common with the sort of "hyper-reality in miniature" themed purist's layouts you might normally find at shows.

 

I'm not arguing with this - "left field" themes aren't to everyone's taste - for all I know, they might not even be to the tastes of the teams taking part, or even of the judges, for that matter.

 

However, does this stuff even matter?

 

No - I don't think this question is quite as crazy as it might sound - from what I can see, the real objective of these challenges seems to owe rather more to ensuring that the teams are forced well out of their "comfort zones" - well, that and trying to generate a load of TV that a number of people who've never been interested in our hobby actually choose to watch.

 

I think they've succeeded in this - and I hope there's plenty more where this lot came from.

 

OK - so effectively using some model locos to operate a large turntable in one challenge might seem slightly offbeat - the same might even be said for using a similar form of propulsion for a rocket launch pad in one heat (which I've been led to believe has also been done in real life) - but is this any more crazy than using locos on rails alongside locks on the Panama Canal to move ships? For that matter, is it any more crazy than using a trainset loco, wagon chassis and track to move small objects around at a nuclear power plant (yes - I seem to recall being told about that one being real, too).

 

As for whether these programmes (and the non standard themes) are working, well I know that some people with no interest in the hobby are going out of their way to watch the programmes (my mother for instance)  - whilst some other people (also with no previous interest) have started visiting model railway shows.

 

Yes - I think these series have been a success - and also "good for business", as far as the hobby in general is concerned.

 

I hope we soon get to hear about further series being commissioned - I also hope we get to see people from the production company (and possibly even Channel 5) showing up on a sponsor's stand at this year's Warley show.

 

As for them being able to find enough people willing to take part in future series, I don't think there's a problem there - after all, we already know that some teams were turned down (certainly at first - and I wouldn't be surprised if there were also some teams turned down that weren't invited to take part in the "extra" heat).

 

More to the point, would I be prepared to turn words into action and take part in a future series myself?

 

Since I applied to take part last year - and was accepted - before being forced to drop out, due to my parents' health taking a nosedive, I've certainly got no issues in principle about getting involved. Were it not for my parents' health (and if I could find a team willing to accept me at the time), I'd jump at the chance.

 

OK - we might all be able to think of a few things we might like to see changed about these series - but, overall, I think they're still pretty good. I'm certainly not complaining - in fact, some people might draw a comparison with Oliver Twist: "Please Sir, I want some more."

 

Somehow, I think that's more than enough English literature for now ... .

 

 

Huw.

Hi Huw

I'm sorry that you had to pull out from this year's challenge and that your parents are unwell.

 

I find myself agreeing with most of what you say this but it's not so much a question of wanting more - though I look forward to a third series- but somehow letting audiences know that the teams are using their modelling skills but for a challenge that is very different from normal railway modelling. That IS different from Bake Off, Master Chef, One Man and His Dog and various gardening challenge programmes where contendors tend to be trying to achieve the best of what they normally would under intense competition conditions;

A contendor in Bake Off or Master Chef will be aiming to produce the best cakes or meal that they've ever made but that's simply not true of GMRC. The layouts being built for GMRC are not going to be the finest layout the team members have ever built  (though they will be the quickest) so how do we let the general audience know that these are not typical examples of the railway modeller's art even though they use many of the same skills. It's more like a team of aerospace engineers  using their project management and aerodyamic skills to compete in The Great Egg Race.

 

You were not misinformed about railways being used to transport erected rockets from vertical asembly buildings to launch pads. It's been the system used at Baikonur since Sputnik with the structure supporting the rocket running on several parallel tracks hauled by a powerful diesel loco on the centre track. The only thing that seemed incongruous on GMRC was having a steam loco doing the hauling.  Baikonur's internal railway system is reckoned to be the world's largest industrial railway system with hundreds of kilometres of five foot (Russian) gauge track and trains that are just asking to be modelled.

1280px-Soyuz_TMA-16_launch_vehicle_being_transported_to_pad.jpg.ce324a6101119d852997d8dd1380eab2.jpg

(Public Domain Photo of Soyuz TMA-16 launch vehicle in 2009)

As well as launch vehicles, the railways at Baikonur also transport fuel in tank wagons to the launch pads as well as goods in general around the complex. There is even a small terminus in Baikonur City for workers' trains to the cosmodrome.  I find myself wondering how the GMRC producers and judges  would have reacted if one of the teams had come up with an authentic  layout based on Baikonur for the Reaching for the Sky theme.

Cape Kennedy also has a lot of railway lines running around its launch complexes so I've never been sure why they used caterpillar tracked crawlers to move Saturn Vs and Shuttles from the VAB to the launch pad; railways have the obvious advantages of precision and smoothness. 

 

To be really pedantic, the Panama Canal "mules"  don't actually tow ships. They're there to guide them with great precison through the locks with very tight clearances and to brake them but the ships are propelled by their own main engines. There was a towing railway through a canal lock system in Belgium, and another for 70kms along the Teltow Canal near Berlin from 1906-1945 but these were dwarfed by the thousand or so kilometres of electric towing railways that, between the 1920s and  30th Nov.1970, towed unpowered barges along a linked series of canals between Dunkerque and Mulhouse plus branches  in North & East France.  

1426917485_CPAhalagenrtunnel.jpg.dbd7038330441f8f6ff7975d914f3a56.jpg

 

This scene is particularly busy as it's near a longish 870m tunnel at Lay St. Remy  on the Canal de la Marne au Rhin so, as well as the unpowered barges on the right normally hauled by rail tractors, additional tractors are needed to haul tows of two or three powered barges, like those on the left, through the tunnel where they can't use their engines.

 

You're almost right about what must have been the world's smallest working industrial railway. It wasn't at a nuclear power station but was at the Atomic Energy Authority's Radiation Research Laboratory in Wantage and appeared in a short piece in the September 1960 Meccano Magazine 

1354266480_Wantagenucleartraincrop.jpg.6b0192b80c07c9a7f94cfefbdce0089d.jpg

 

Researchers needed to collect samples from a liquid plastic being subject to a very intense radioactive source inside a cell and move them about 45 feet to where they could be safely handled (presumably with the remote manipulators commonly used in such situations) After considering a specially designed transport system the low tech solution they came up with was a Hornby Dublo 2-6-4 tank loco rail loco ( 80033 a BR 4MT) towing an open wagon in which a sample beaker was set.  The train was observed through a system of mirrors and the movement of the  train controlled from outside the test cell. The MM article - which reads like a newsagency report- says that the researchers bought the train from "a local toy shop" but ISTR that it and the track actually came from Howes in Oxford.

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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Many thanks for the kind comments, re my parents. Although it was actually last year's challenge I had to pull out of, the stuff about their health still very much applies. Certainly though, the kind comments / sentiments are greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks also for your fascinating (and very informative) post.

 

As for the atomic energy research establishment, I wonder if this was the one (very close to Culham railway station) that became known as Harwell. I suspect that Howes would probably have been their local hobby store. 

 

To be honest, although I was only vaguely aware of this setup, I also read yesterday about model trains being used in a similar way at another establishment (in the USA, I believe).

 

I also couldn't remember exactly how the "mule" locos were used with the Panama Canal - I just remembered seeing pictures of them on Quest, Yesterday, or another "factual" Freeview channel. Excellent idea, though. The same goes for the use of locos to pull barges along those canals on the European mainland.

 

Ultimately though, there seems to be a common thread running through all of these non standard applications for railways - they offer / offered a very effective way of moving things around - so there was no point in anyone "reinventing the wheel".

 

Stuff like this also makes for fascinating reading - but I'm not sure anyone here is in any rush to hear from Oliver Twist again ... .

 

 

Huw. 

Edited by Huw Griffiths
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1 hour ago, Huw Griffiths said:

Many thanks for the kind comments, re my parents. Although it was actually last year's challenge I had to pull out of, the stuff about their health still very much applies. Certainly though, the kind comments / sentiments are greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks also for your fascinating (and very informative) post.

 

As for the atomic energy research establishment, I wonder if this was the one (very close to Culham railway station) that became known as Harwell. I suspect that Howes would probably have been their local hobby store. 

 

To be honest, although I was only vaguely aware of this setup, I also read yesterday about model trains being used in a similar way at another establishment (in the USA, I believe).

 

I also couldn't remember exactly how the "mule" locos were used with the Panama Canal - I just remembered seeing pictures of them on Quest, Yesterday, or another "factual" Freeview channel. Excellent idea, though. The same goes for the use of locos to pull barges along those canals on the European mainland.

 

Ultimately though, there seems to be a common thread running through all of these non standard applications for railways - they offer / offered a very effective way of moving things around - so there was no point in anyone "reinventing the wheel".

 

Stuff like this also makes for fascinating reading - but I'm not sure anyone here is in any rush to hear from Oliver Twist again ... .

 

 

Huw. 

Hi Huw

There were several sites associated with nuclear research in that general area using former miliary aerodromes and benefitting from its proximity to Oxford .

Harwell, built on the site of RAF Harwell three or four miles S.W. of Didcot just off the A34 was the Atomic Energy Research Establishment later part of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the site of various experimental fission reactors. Major nuclear research projects finished at Harwell in 1990 (it is no longer prohibited air space) and is now a public/private innovation and science campus with a number of organisations and companies working there. Its most noticeable feature is the Diamond Light Synchrotron. 

The Culham Science Centre, built on the site of HMS Hornbill, a Royal Naval Air station that closed in 1953 , was opened in 1965 as the UKAEA's centre for fusion and plasma research. Though the centre is now also occupied by various other organisations it is still the home of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy which is owned by the UKAEA  who run the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion reactor  and the new Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST)

Part of  RAF Grove in Wantage (west of the  route of the Wantage Tramway) became a satellite of Harwell from 1955 when the RAF moved out  until the late 1960s so included he UKAEA Radiation Research Laboratory and it 16.5mm gauge industrial railway. 

UKAEA have established a Materials Research Facility at Culham and this "enables industrial and academic researchers to analyse the effects of irradiation on materials" so presumably this is the successor to the Wantage laboratory.

 

Apparently, towing barges along a canal from a canalside electric railway is the most energy efficient form of land transport there is and requires a quarter of the energy of a self propelled barge for the same  (slow) speed. Even horses are less energy efficient as carrying their feed reduces cargo capacity. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

Apparently, towing barges along a canal from a canalside electric railway is the most energy efficient form of land transport there is and requires a quarter of the energy of a self propelled barge for the same  (slow) speed. Even horses are less energy efficient as carrying their feed reduces cargo capacity. 

 

 

 

And their farts contribute to global warming...…..

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A barge on a canal would make an interesting animation on a future GMRC layout. There is an interesting method used on a layout based on Amsterdam's trams where one of the famous tourist boats pootles along the grachten. The water surface is in fact a continous loop of clear plastic driven by rollers. The join in the plastic is made vee-shaped so it is disguised as the bow wave of the boat and the boat itself is in three sections so that it can bend round the rollers, go back along the underside and then reappear and do the trip again on the surface. The wake of the propellors is painted on the underside of the plastic. From photographs it appears quite effective.

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There was a Hull MRC layout (it may have been one of Paul Windle's) which used the Faller system to make boats move over plastic water.

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17 minutes ago, jwealleans said:

There was a Hull MRC layout (it may have been one of Paul Windle's) which used the Faller system to make boats move over plastic water.

its a narrow gauge layout of the top of my head

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7 minutes ago, mozzer models said:

its a narrow gauge layout of the top of my head

How do you power that?  heat from the top of your head?, I take it's N gauge or less for that size turning circle... 6 7/8ths ?

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Faller actually make a boat using their system. What I liked about the roller approach is that it meant the wake and other water surface changes caused by a boat passing can be represented, which can't be using the Faller system.

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There is also a system (Dutch IIRC) that uses what looks like a plastic bicycle chain that pulls the object being moved by magnets. This has been used with real water to move model boats.

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11 minutes ago, PhilJ W said:

There is also a system (Dutch IIRC) that uses what looks like a plastic bicycle chain that pulls the object being moved by magnets. This has been used with real water to move model boats.

Chrissy used a similar system for the lifeboat on our layout. Sadly because the water was still slightly sticky it didn’t show to its best advantage and they didn’t use the footage of her showing it in the final edit. You will be able to see it working properly if you visit us at Warley NMRE. She created it from scratch by the way. 

BAF15C01-55E6-416D-9F7A-7D7B319B657E.jpeg

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Thats the problem with real water. Its 12" to the foot scale and stays that way.

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11 minutes ago, PhilJ W said:

Thats the problem with real water. Its 12" to the foot scale and stays that way.

 

But sometimes it works better than the plastic stuff supposed to represent it at smaller scales

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3 minutes ago, Barry Ten said:

Here's a working Dutch barge based on the Faller system:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JLhgX9kAeA

 

It's described in a recent Continental Modeller.

 

That is a very nice model. The trouble is that the barge leaves no trail in the water. Neither does the swan but that is less jarring. And nor does this sailing barge suffer from variations in wind speed. I mention these points to stress that perfection, particularly when trying to model motion, is an ever-receding target. And that is on a layout built to P87 standards with an exact 12.26mm track gauge.

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42 minutes ago, Barry Ten said:

Here's a working Dutch barge based on the Faller system:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JLhgX9kAeA

 

It's described in a recent Continental Modeller.

 

That is very good modelling. Those kind of animations carefully done are much more to my taste but probably not practical within the show format.

 

Don

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16 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Cape Kennedy also has a lot of railway lines running around its launch complexes so I've never been sure why they used caterpillar tracked crawlers to move Saturn Vs and Shuttles from the VAB to the launch pad; railways have the obvious advantages of precision and smoothness.  

Railways were looked at, but the cost of the trackbed and the complexity of the switching mechanisms required made the crawler-transporter cheaper overall.

 

54 minutes ago, PhilJ W said:

Thats the problem with real water. Its 12" to the foot scale and stays that way.

You can address that problem by scaling time as well, but then you wind up trying to make an hour's operation happen in 6 minutes 52 seconds, and you have to make all the DCC sound effects go all squeaky.

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1 hour ago, PhilJ W said:

Thats the problem with real water. Its 12" to the foot scale and stays that way.

One of the problems with real water is that it has a lot of surface tension so really doesn't scale well. I wonder though if anyone has used it for model water by adding a wetting agent. The traditional drop of washing up liquid breaks the surface tension for one of the more traditional ballasting methods so might that work? (so long as it's not enough to create suds) There may also be more sophisticated wetting agents around. You'd still have the problem of wave propagation speeds being too fast and I know that in the cinema one traditional way of handling scale was to use the largest practicable models (Gauge O or 1 for trains) and overcrank the camera with the action speeded up so that when it was projected at normal speed some of the jerkiness was taken out.

55 minutes ago, whart57 said:

 

That is a very nice model. The trouble is that the barge leaves no trail in the water. Neither does the swan but that is less jarring. And nor does this sailing barge suffer from variations in wind speed. I mention these points to stress that perfection, particularly when trying to model motion, is an ever-receding target. And that is on a layout built to P87 standards with an exact 12.26mm track gauge.

I was actually more aware of the lack of wake from the swan than from the barge as that was moving very slowly and an unpowered vessel creates relatively less disturbance.  I see both swans and narrow boats on the local Grand Union Canal and am more aware of the far shorter wavelength disturbances from swans (as well as ducks) than from the boats. I think we can grant Mr. de Bode's sailing barge a steady light breeze as it's certainly not enough to ruffle the trees!   The only way round this that I can think of - with no idea how- would be to use some kind of lighting effect under the "water" surface to give the illusion of very slight moving waves.

de Bode's model is sensationally good but does suffer from one major flaw. Everything is 1/87th of its real size so it can never look quite real.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_2P2mFT_ac

 

 

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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If I remember rightly, the guidance arm for the barge is at the back of the boat, not the front, so that it takes corners as a real boat would. I lived in the Netherlands for about 20 years and the modelling on that layout really evokes the atmosphere of a sleepy canalside scene to perfection.

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Most people on here have never been on television, let alone worked on actual progs so have little idea what goes on 'behind the scenes'......

 

The prog is purely for entertainment, if there was sufficient interest to raise revenue from advertising for a prog about actual railway modeling....and by that I mean the sort of layouts you would typically see at a show, then it would have happened.

 

The fact that it hasn't tells us volumes about the public interest re railway modeling.

 

The prog has been made, it was popular and successful enough to generate a second series......a third might be in the offing?

 

Take it for what it is.

 

If you want a channel on 'real railway modelling' do your own thing.....its easy enough on YouTube and many are indeed doing just that.

 

Look at the number of subscribers in some case....to see exactly how 'popular' these are.

 

Even BRM TV couldn't keep going.

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2 hours ago, BlackRat said:

Most people on here have never been on television, let alone worked on actual progs so have little idea what goes on 'behind the scenes'......

 

The prog is purely for entertainment, if there was sufficient interest to raise revenue from advertising for a prog about actual railway modeling....and by that I mean the sort of layouts you would typically see at a show, then it would have happened.

 

The fact that it hasn't tells us volumes about the public interest re railway modeling.

 

The prog has been made, it was popular and successful enough to generate a second series......a third might be in the offing?

 

Take it for what it is.

 

If you want a channel on 'real railway modelling' do your own thing.....its easy enough on YouTube and many are indeed doing just that.

 

Look at the number of subscribers in some case....to see exactly how 'popular' these are.

 

Even BRM TV couldn't keep going.

 

You are quite right of course. The issue is whether the program is doing us a service  by promoting railway modelling, a disservice by suggesting it is full of gimmicks and the like or whether it matters one jot either way.

I have an image in my mind of someone having seen the program coming along to the local club and finding the members involved in a discussion of whether a cetain loco had riveted or welded tanks and when did the GWR change from red to grey for wagons. 

Perhaps we need to lighten a little and maybe channel 5 could follow up by showing more of what we do.

Don 

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On 15/10/2019 at 23:43, jools1959 said:

 

I have to say that the Hornby ordering was really poor, because we ordered stuff which was claimed to be available, suddenly wasn’t.  We had to then source alternatives which again shown as in stock but wasn’t, so we went for a Class 08 which like Jenny’s order was supposed to come directly to Fawley, only to arrive after filming.


we had so many issues ordering for the finals for the same reason. We kept getting told something wasn’t available, when their website was still saying it was available to buy. After three attempts to order locos got knocked back we asked if they could confirm what was actually in stock they just sent us the same copy of the full price list we already had which was no use. 

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