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BEIJIAO - a large Chinese HO exhibition layout set in the 21st century


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You may have noticed that I didn't post at midnight on Boxing Day ..... not much visible progress to show ........... and even less yesterday!


Have tidied the shed - all of yesterday!! And am now re-aligning the industrial track as it enters the curves into the FY ... this is to allow the removable tenement to go on that board without the track being visible ...


This is noon on Sunday 28th Dec ... before re-alignment ... note how the track would be visible.




Hopefully will get this changed later today.



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So, as you may have gathered by now I have a bit of a grasshopper mind and I'm jumping around a bit between projects.


Here is the railway hotel ...... now (mostly) glued together ...... I wanted to vary the height to give variety ...... I cutting and knitting more than ever with this and I've come a bit to an impasse with the ground floor .....the centre section is temporary and will eventually include the hotel foyer.



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Well the 9 day Xmas break is coming to an end with not as much progress as I had hoped. Some progress on related topics like tidying the model room and the shed and selling redundant OO items on ebay, but not as much progress on the layout as I had planned.


However, the three main foreground blocks of flats are basically finished........... maybe some air conditioners, some weathering and even some interiors and lighting to follow but basically finished....


From an angle (up the layout) the three buildings (hopefully) form a sight blocker .............




And yet when viewed side on you can see the layout through the buildings..............




I have always tried to do things on layouts that no-one else has ever done before with an exhibition layout ........... but often in attempting this I have discovered why no-one has ever done such a thing before!


So it is with my idea to extend the scenery onto the first FY board ...... I just couldn't hide the fact that the track curved off into the back FY. So now the backscene comes at the edge of baseboard # 1 as mocked up here.....



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Just to let you know that I will have a demo/display at the St Albans exhibition on Jan 10/11 ......... probably building tenements or the hotel.


The big news is that my main 'helper' .... Al of Remagen fame .... will be in attendance on the Sunday. Al will bring the motorway bridge for display.... maybe even Saturday if we can manage a meet beforehand.


Al's motorway bridge is worth a visit to the show in its own right ............ can't wait to see it myself!





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  • 2 weeks later...

Last weekend (Jan 10/11) I had the pleasure of demonstrating at St Albans show.....


I made some progress, but the star of the day was my fellow Chinese enthusiast Peter Morgan. Over the two days Peter made this skyscraper under construction ....




This is a kit-bash of two Kibri kits to make a larger more impressive building as the original kit has a ridiculously small footprint - many thanks Peter!


More later about St Albans and in particular Al's new bridge.

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I have dinner guests coming tomorrow night and so have mocked up the l/h end of the scenic section to give them something to look at.


The white foamboard represents the backscene hiding the curves to the fiddle yard.


The buildings at the back are circa 1950 ...... very dirty and run down in this dirty industrial city. The buildings at the front are circa 1985 ... much cleaner.


At the back of the layout, the station for the industrial steelworks system is off to the right on boards 2 and 3 and so you might be able (just) to see that the tenements nearest the station have shops/restaurants on the ground floor whilst the one furthest from the station (building #1) has apartments on the ground floor.




Building # 1 is about 40% finished, building # 2 is 75% finished and building # 3 is 99.9% finished.



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OK........ the full answer is YES, but it's slightly more complicated than that!


I start with the premise that 99% of those visiting a model railway show know nothing of Chinese railways ... and care even less!


So to attract and keep their interest the layout must be 'interesting' and must have 'gimmicks'.


So as a (very) serious modeller I want very serious 'stuff' , but to attract the general public the layout must have 'gimmicks'.


And so one 'gimmick' will be lighted interiors in which over a period of time the lights will 'randomly' go on and off.


So visitors will be encouraged to look out for the woman ironing or the woman reading a book on the sofa or whatever ...each scene will be lit for a period and then go out and another will be lit via some electronic gizmo made by one of my fellow club members.


The next scene may be a mother holding her young son and looking out of the window .... keep watching!

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That's the first post I've wanted to hit at least four Ratings buttons.


I know what you mean and feel your pain!

But seriously, if I can help please ask.




(Who is scheming to make another China trip happen...)

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I guess what I'm saying is that many visitors to a show will like 'average' layouts based on their favourite prototype/region/era rather than 'good' layouts based on something they like/know very little. I remember one old club member who liked anything GWR no matter how average it was and ignored anything else no matter how good.


Therefore, something as 'left-field' as a Chinese layout needs to be entertaining in order to hold the attention of the 'average' show attendee...... the trick will be to be entertaining and 'scale' at the same time.... ie no 'giraffe cars' or wedding groups or blazing buildings with fire engines attending.


Time will tell if I can get the 'right balance'.


Have set a target of two more completed interiors by end of business tomorrow.... will report back on how close I get to achieving that.

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Ok .... it's about 4pm and time to review progress .....


Two interiors have been made, lighted and fitted ............


Here's # 1




And from the outside ............




Getting good photos of #2 has proved difficult  ...


Will try again and report back!



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I have started a new contract at work, cutting my days to four , in order to spend more time modelling.


Which is just as well as this new shop interior appears to have taken all day!


Was watching a Telerail Chinese steam video yesterday and picked up some useful ideas ... Telerail always include a bit of 'local colour'.


One idea was a bicycle repair shop ....




It's a pity that much of this detail won't be seen once the buildings are fitted to the baseboards!  I must be mad!!



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  • TEAMYAKIMA changed the title to BEIJIAO - a large Chinese HO exhibition layout set in the 21st century

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