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


TEAMYAKIMA
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11 hours ago, Al. said:

Van not hitting a QJ? If it can happen, it will happen...

 

What's the plug in the middle of the loop for? 

 

Al, do think it is work starting a book on how soon after the start of an exhibition it will happen? I take 2-3pm on first day :)

 

As I know my fellow operators, I'd like to bet it will happen on Pauls watch!!!

 

L

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12 hours ago, njee20 said:

How many volumes is the operating manual up to now?! You level of organisation is both impressive and overwhelming!

 

Thanks - I think that's a compliment ;)

 

Seriously though, it's a large layout and if nothing else, we need to find protocols which reduce the time taken to set up and dismantle it - giving us more time in the pub! Too often I spend much of my time answering questions from my team - where does this go? - where is the xxxx which I need? Why is this happening? It's not their fault - if we were a club layout we could practise and practise week in week out, but with a personal layout which cannot easily be set up it's difficult for me to remember things let alone my team who generally see the layout 3/4 times a year.

 

The layout has changed in many ways since our last show in November 2019 and so we need to find the best way to get the best out of the layout. Many of the 'features' which I originally envisaged have never been used at an exhibition yet, because my team want the basics reliable before they take on any 'extras'. I have made as many of these 'features' automatic as I can, but some like the complex Faller move will need operator input and so I have to find a way to make it as easy as possible for them/us. By discovering the easiest way to do something and spreading the word makes my team's life easier and encourages them to try the more complex aspects of the layout.

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1 hour ago, njee20 said:

Makes sense, I admire your precision and drive for perfection! I just hope it doesn't detract from the whole 'playing with trains' bit! See you at Tolworth!

Let's face it, to a very great extent the only fun we have is in the pub in the evenings and I'm not joking. We did Aly Paly a couple of years ago and and they wouldn't give us accommodation and as we all live in totally different directions, we all went our separate ways on Friday and Saturday nights 

And so it was all work and no play and after that we decided that we would only do shows where we had accommodation included. 

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Back in March I received 'harsh' words that my new van and some other trucks lacked wing mirrors and licence plates and I promised to do better next time and return to the issue at some point.

 

van.jpg.fc90913b2fb15bb5542ea4011af1e13f.jpg

 

 

1408197860_IMG_20210327_142020(1).jpg.bc8e9f96b0bb553312f5f4abbcd15e2b.jpg

 

At the time I had other more pressing things to concentrate on, but now, as a '.gentleman of leisure', I'm looking to deal with things which have been on the back burner for too long.

 

I carefully lifted the three trucks which sit by the freight shed and made some wing mirrors for them and some licence plates. Haven't tried anything on the van yet, but tomorrow is another day.

 

2115695210_IMG_20210910_183246(1).jpg.bba40d4cfe7b516e12d590d5200947be.jpg

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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2 hours ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

Back in March I received harsh words that my new van and some other trucks lacked wing mirrors

Certainly wasn't meant to be 'harsh' ;) but just as one can notice errors or omissions on railway items we are very familiar with, I tend to notice things about model trucks - even where & how they are parked on layouts, and whilst they are relatively small, wing mirrors are absolutely vital. 

On a layout like this focussing on accuracy in all areas, it's worth the extra effort - those trucks look much better now!! :yes:  :sungum: :good:

10 out of 10, go to the Front of the Class, and have a red star. 

 

Red star?? Well it is China, after all. See what I did there? :mosking:

I know - taxi is on it's way...... :fool:

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As you all probably know, I have been working on the Faller roadway for four years and whilst it was, in theory, fully installed by our first exhibition (Spring 2018) we have never used it due to reliability issues.

 

Here is an early photo taken in January 2018 .. the roadway design was slightly different then, I have simplified since.

 

379119049_earlyfaller.jpg.01346b35875a3e9bd223aa88220f1cc0.jpg

 

This week I have managed to get the final piece of the jigsaw in place - the stopping magnet by the gates and the time delay to hold the vehicle until the barriers are fully open.

 

 

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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On 10/09/2021 at 21:46, F-UnitMad said:

Just as one can notice errors or omissions on railway items we are very familiar with, I tend to notice things about model trucks - even where & how they are parked on layouts, and whilst they are relatively small, wing mirrors are absolutely vital. On a layout like this focussing on accuracy in all areas, it's worth the extra effort - those trucks look much better now!! :yes:  :sungum: :good:10 out of 10, go to the Front of the Class, and have a red star. 

 

 

I hate you!  I had a dream where an EM was handing out the cup for best in show and he said, "It was a tough decision, there were two layouts absolutely locked together in the the judges' opinion. Then we noticed that one layout's vehicles had wing mirrors and the other layout's vehicles didn't and that was the tie-breaker for us and the cup goes to ...........

 

Consequently, you have got me obsessed with wing mirrors and licence plates - I spent virtually all day yesterday improving just one vehicle, it started with wing mirrors and just grew like topsy

 

Here's a clue as to which vehicle..............

 

IMG_20210911_165038.jpg.a1144a6b664e6a877636fe61b5f3eb11.jpg

 

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18 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

-  obsessed with wing mirrors and licence plates -

 

 

You'll notice the dump trucks on the motorway bridge already have wing mirrors and correct licence plates for the region.

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9 minutes ago, F-UnitMad said:

Thank you!! :thankyou:  :sungum:

 

I hope your licence plates are accurate for each vehicle.... :tomato:  :jester:

 

Oh NO! You've done it again! 

 

"We still couldn't separate the two top layouts when it was pointed out that we were wrong, both layouts' vehicles did have wing mirrors. But then we noticed that  the vehicles on one layout all the same licence plate number and so the cup for best layout goes to ....................."

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3 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

Oh NO! You've done it again! 

 

"We still couldn't separate the two top layouts when it was pointed out that we were wrong, both layouts' vehicles did have wing mirrors. But then we noticed that  the vehicles on one layout all the same licence plate number and so the cup for best layout goes to ....................."

 

Here you go, Paul. The answer to all your woes.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_registration_plates_of_China

 

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Ok, back to reality.

 

Here are a few photos ....

 

The wing mirrors needed to be vertical on the trucks and so couldn't just be superglued to the (angled) cab frame, so I decided I needed to add some wire supports. I didn't have any suitable wire, until I remembered that I had a load of reed switches with long 'tails'.

 

IMG_20210910_172306.jpg.96e90d072ca21a73fbe1508fda614e2d.jpg

 

I added wing mirrors to the MB 207D but then discovered that it had a missing part of its front bumper  and so I had to fabricate a replacement.............. it was still a work in progress at this point .....

 

IMG_20210911_175325.jpg.f1fd30d7aa770d5001665b78a1da8661.jpg

 

 

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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Here is a video I made today as a test/demo. I may have posted something similar some years ago, but anyway it's quite short.

 

The theme of the layout is my friends and I visiting China many times to photograph the last operating steam locos in normal service. In this clip I am sitting in a taxi, I hear a loco approaching, I jump out, take a photo and get back in the taxi once it's gone. YES, that is a 3D printed version of me and a camera, done for me by Alan at MODELU.

 

 

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2 hours ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

Here is a video I made today as a test/demo. I may have posted something similar some years ago, but anyway it's quite short.

 

The theme of the layout is my friends and I visiting China many times to photograph the last operating steam locos in normal service. In this clip I am sitting in a taxi, I hear a loco approaching, I jump out, take a photo and get back in the taxi once it's gone. YES, that is a 3D printed version of me and a camera, done for me by Alan at MODELU.

 

 

Fantastic idea!! :good:   Should it be activated a few seconds sooner, though? He stands up and aims the camera just one second before the loco passes. :scratchhead:

 

Next time, can we see the car door open, too? :jester:   :tomato:

Only kidding - I have given you enough trouble recently regarding truck side mirrors!! :blush:

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2 hours ago, F-UnitMad said:

Fantastic idea!! :good:   Should it be activated a few seconds sooner, though? He stands up and aims the camera just one second before the loco passes. :scratchhead:

Yes, this was just a mock up and the best of 3/4 attempts today - that's because I only have two boards up (hence just a light loco) and so the loco had to start off much closer to the taxi than when the whole layout is up.

 

With the whole layout set up at an exhibition I will appear 5-10 seconds earlier depending on the speed of the approaching train. This will give mums and dads time to call their children over. Trains running clockwise on that single track have a magnet under the chassis, that runs over a reed switch which operates a relay which sends me up. About 18 inches past me there is another reed switch which sends a message which brings me down again so children don't get bored waiting for me to get back in the car.

 

Trains running in the other direction do not have magnets and so do not trigger the action - I've never liked 'going away' shots!

 

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5 hours ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

<snip>. This will give mums and dads time to call their children over. </snip>

 

 

Two thoughts.

 

1. How with the Mums and Dads know to call the children over?

2. Are the being called over to see the steam train (which they can probably already hear) or called over to see you pop up?

 

I would have thought the kids would notice and call the Mums and Dads over...

 

Luke

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27 minutes ago, luke_stevens said:

Two thoughts.

1. How with the Mums and Dads know to call the children over?

2. Are the being called over to see the steam train (which they can probably already hear) or called over to see you pop up?

I would have thought the kids would notice and call the Mums and Dads over...

Luke

 

Luke

 

As you know there are many features (gimmicks?) on the layout in order to broaden its appeal.

 

The layout has always been well received (even when it wasn't perfect by any means) by those who knew China in the 1980's/90's and early 2000's - but they are a VERY small percentage of the viewing public.

 

There will always be a minority who will just walk by muttering, "foreign rubbish" and so it, as a layout. and we, as a team, have to reach out to a wider audience. How we engage with that wider audience is something we will need to experiment with.

 

All these features (gimmicks?) are very subtle (not to offend the serious modeller) and so to an extent they need to be highlighted so that others who would appreciate/enjoy them don't miss them. All I know from my experience in the past is that when the average exhibition attendee has had these 'features' pointed out to them, they have loved them.

 

So, the trick is to make them very obvious to those who will love them without offending the serious modeller. I am aware that some of my team are not keen on these 'features' and so it might end up that when I am operating I will personally point out these 'features' and when they are operating they won't. We will have a better idea of how popular these 'features' are after Tolworth and how best to bring them to the viewers attention.

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28 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

<snip> there are many features (gimmicks?) on the layout in order to broaden its appeal. </snip>

I have no problem with these features. We need to engage the public!

 

As you point out many of them need pointing out as otherwise they may not be "discovered", and you are much the best "showman"! I never saw Chinese steam, Al doesn't suffer from being too tall, etc.

 

Luke

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12 hours ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

Here is a video I made today as a test/demo. I may have posted something similar some years ago, but anyway it's quite short.

 

The theme of the layout is my friends and I visiting China many times to photograph the last operating steam locos in normal service. In this clip I am sitting in a taxi, I hear a loco approaching, I jump out, take a photo and get back in the taxi once it's gone. YES, that is a 3D printed version of me and a camera, done for me by Alan at MODELU.

 

 

Pedant time:

 

Why are you using the driver's seat?

 

Sorry...

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