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A New Hope - Great Model Railway Challenge benefits


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It doesn't matter who likes it and who doesn't. It's a TV program on a mainstream (ish) channel that features our hobby. If ever something was going to be divisive...

 

It doesn't matter one jot if "serious" modellers hate it. It doesn't really matter if people outside our hobby hate it too. But it does seem to be getting decent viewing figures so has a chance to inspire some people to have a go.

 

Maybe they'll be inspired to build a theme park of a layout like the one from the first heat, or a dinosaur & sci fi based layout like from heat 3. Or maybe they'll decide that a cookie cutter GWR BLT is the way to go. If any of those things happens and they show up here, then we should simply welcome them to our community. It's all good if people are enjoying what they do.

 

And if anyone doesn't like a TV program then they're entitled to that and don't have to watch it. I can't stand "The only way is made in Geordie shore" type programs, so I don't watch them. But I do quite enjoy the genre that GMRC is part of, so I watch quite a few of those.

 

Not sure what point I'm making now...

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It doesn't matter one jot if "serious" modellers hate it. 

I don't think it is as simple as that. Serious modellers who want to encourage new people to the hobby should (IMHO) embrace the programme and build on it. It's the only game in town.

 

Of course if the "serious modeller" wants to limit the hobby to the existing members only ...

 

...R

Edited by Robin2
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I like the show

although the way some of the modellers are made to come across as weirdos by the producers for entertainment is wrong just watch back from ep 2 with the wok UFO or the presenter referring to it as a train set until terry put him right don't get me wrong the exposure the hobbies is getting is good but don't portray modellers as nutters not help full

 

In all honesty I do not think that the producers have in any way patronised/humiliated/denigrated the participants or the hobby in general.

 

I have not seen any posting from any of those who took part, on this or any other thread about the programme, that suggests that they were in any way looked down on or laughed at. In fact everything posted so far as given the impression that the programme makers were helpful/supportive and that participants would gladly go through the process again.

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One of the reasons for using (ostensibly) non-expert presenters for such a programme is so that they can act as an audience surrogate. Things can be explained to the audience by explaining to the presenter. Hence the "it's not a train set" set-piece, for example.

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I can wholeheartedly report that a lot of effort was made to show everything in a positive light, and any suggestions were taken very seriously. The production company took a lot of advice, and as on here most of it was completely contradictory! Might be nice if they took the competitors as the definitive source of good practice methinks and not the armchair brigade.

 

There were a lot of serious modellers taking part, and I will be doing my serious modelling fest this weekend at the NMRA-BR convention in Derby exhibiting a reasonably large (by UK standards) North American layout with full CTC control of the signals which can show about thirty aspects (makes UK signals look a bit tame!) from a remote panel, just like the prototype.

 

I like a challenge, and having something that can be completed in three days (with a bit of planning) is a breath of fresh air compared to the four years or so other, perhaps more serious, projects can take. I certainly look forward to having another go next year if we get the chance when we will be taking on board what we learnt this year. Next year's programme should be a step change in what you will see completed as long as the format does not change too much. Hopefully the audiences' experience will still be stretched with some scenes that are rarely modelled - I would hate for the programme to become too formulaic with all layouts featuring the first world war! Can't wait for the theme so I can work out how to include a bit of Woodhead...

 

 

 

.

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One of the reasons for using (ostensibly) non-expert presenters for such a programme is so that they can act as an audience surrogate. Things can be explained to the audience by explaining to the presenter. Hence the "it's not a train set" set-piece, for example.

 

It's fairly common practice across TV (and even radio) to have at least one non-expert presenter or commentator who will ask the right questions that an expert may not think to ask because they already know it! Bake Off had Mel and Sue, and now Sandi and Noel (my mother always thought Ready Steady Cook wasn't as good once Ainsley took over presenting duties from Fern Britton as he was too 'expert'), and there's a long list of what I would term 'gentleman' sports commentators and presenters who never competed in their sports at professional level (from John Snagge and Brian Johnston through Murray Walker and Harry Carpenter and on to the present day).

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I have watched a few of the episodes aired so far. Overall I've enjoyed it, with some cringe moments.

 

It is clear that the presenters and producers didn't really understand their subjects enough and that has reflected in how it comes across. If it is done again next year then they'll have learnt a lot from it I'm sure and make changes as appropriate.

 

The choices for themes seem a bit bizarre, but do encourage the teams to think outside of what they normally would do, which aides the entertainment aspects.

 

The judges have been pretty consistent and are at least well respected in the hobby.

 

Could it work as a yearly show? Possibly with some extra polish and changes. It certainly hasn't been as terrible as I first thought though. Will it encourage people to have a go? I'm not certain, but it may encourage more people to go to some of the bigger or even smaller shows and have a look. Whether that turns out to be more people joining the hobby is something that is difficult to predict.

 

One aspect that is important at the shows is child interaction, some layouts do great, others not so much, even p4 layouts can, such as mostyn, with a DCC controller at the front with a team member showing how it works and letting them shunt etc whilst supervised.

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When I first saw it advertised I was skeptical about the program and how it would show the hobby

I didn’t enjoy the one with the model train going across Scotland but that was down to the people on the show and probably the editing .

But I think as a show about model railways this new show could have been a lot worse ,yes I wasn’t impressed with the missenden captain.but the rest has been enjoyable

Good mix of young ,old and woman from the hobby ,it does show decent modelling in very shot space of time in modelling terms and throws in elements of interest with the scratchbuild challenge ,I think the fact they’re throwing just about anything at them to use makes it more interesting

Kids will love this program and non modellers don’t mind it or are getting into it

Yes it can be improved on but it’s doing what it’s supposed to do

It’s whats needed for the hobby it sticks fun back into it without making fun of it too much

 

Brian

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The point people who say "it won't do anything for the hobby" are missing is that it already HAS done things for the hobby. There are reports from several shows that people have come in because of the show, and Missenden have gained at least one person on one of their courses. 

 

So, if you say "it won't do anything for the hobby", you mean "I don't want it to do anything for the hobby" and I'm afraid you are too late.

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We might have to ask BRM what their intention is. I suspect that the DVD is not there for "us" but to encourage newbies to buy the magazine.

 

But I accept what you say. I was only commenting about the format of the programme. I  agree that what one chose as subject matter and the script used might not be the same when trying to appeal to 1m+ non-specialist viewers.

 

And of course, the competition element does appeal to viewers. Perhaps they should organise a phone-in vote?

 

The DVD is aimed at newbies, but mainly because they make up the vast majority of the hobby. We do cover more advanced techniques but do our best to make them accessible to everyone.

 

It is of course, also a sales tool to encourage people to buy the mag - and in that respect has worked very well. An unintended, but welcome, side effect is that the DVD player tends to be in the lounge with the main TV and lots of non-modelling members of the family also watch. I know this because they stop and talk to me at shows and comment how much they enjoy it. This then makes it easier for the modeller to justify time and money spent on their hobby. Everyone wins!

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It's fairly common practice across TV (and even radio) to have at least one non-expert presenter or commentator who will ask the right questions that an expert may not think to ask because they already know it! Bake Off had Mel and Sue, and now Sandi and Noel (my mother always thought Ready Steady Cook wasn't as good once Ainsley took over presenting duties from Fern Britton as he was too 'expert'), and there's a long list of what I would term 'gentleman' sports commentators and presenters who never competed in their sports at professional level (from John Snagge and Brian Johnston through Murray Walker and Harry Carpenter and on to the present day).

 

Having used Editor Andy as a "foil" for a couple of BRM films, I can say that it does make the whole process a lot easier. The non-expert can ask a question which allows the "expert" to launch off explaining things. I think it looks a bit more natural and friendly too.

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The point people who say "it won't do anything for the hobby" are missing is that it already HAS done things for the hobby. There are reports from several shows that people have come in because of the show, and Missenden have gained at least one person on one of their courses. 

 

So, if you say "it won't do anything for the hobby", you mean "I don't want it to do anything for the hobby" and I'm afraid you are too late.

 

I think its more a case of "It wont do what I want it to do for the Hobby". 

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I think its more a case of "It wont do what I want it to do for the Hobby". 

 

To be honest, I feel like there are a few people in the hobby who in theory want more people getting involved, but in practice don't. They want the hobby to keep going, but they'd rather these new folk quietly provide injections of cash and physical labour and otherwise defer 100% to the Will of the Elders when it comes to what they model and how they do it.

 

Obviously these people are in a minority, but it's that kind of attitude, where anything other than finescale scratchbuilt grubby black locomotives running through yellowish-green scenery is not doing it right, that puts people off. It's the same for any hobby. In gaming, they call them the stop-having-fun guys.

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The DVD is aimed at newbies, but mainly because they make up the vast majority of the hobby. We do cover more advanced techniques but do our best to make them accessible to everyone.

 

It is of course, also a sales tool to encourage people to buy the mag - and in that respect has worked very well. An unintended, but welcome, side effect is that the DVD player tends to be in the lounge with the main TV and lots of non-modelling members of the family also watch. I know this because they stop and talk to me at shows and comment how much they enjoy it. This then makes it easier for the modeller to justify time and money spent on their hobby. Everyone wins!

 

For those of us returning to the hobby the DVD's are a helpful reminder of how to do things we'd forgotten and in some cases how to embrace newer techniques

 

PS I too thought this was a Star Wars thread.....very misleading :laugh:

Edited by chuffinghell
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I have always had a particular irritation with exhibitions filled with tiny terminus plank dioramas for want of a better phrase built that size and way "because it fits in the back seat of my fiesta". You really need to have something a bit bigger with a bit of action to engage youngsters with something happening that is a bit interesting and also a bit contemporary, and show those (often simple) techniques like scenic breaks that make the whole thing seem a lot bigger than it is.

 

I've had an enjoyable time at a few exhibitions chatting to the lone operator of a very simple layout...they generally aren't too busy to talk and some of the layouts have been quite fascinating. Maybe not so thrilling for children though.

 

For me, the disappointing thing has been the lack of adverts related to the Hobby during this programme. Hornby, at least, has done TV advertising in the past, and it surely would have been a good investment to get your advert in front of your 1.3million target market?

 

TV advertising has got cheaper, but it's still a lot of money. For a start, you have to make the advert, and there are high standards you have to meet for broadcast. Our video team did explain some of it to me and basically, you better have a 4K camera and be able to jump through a load of hoops to ensure the formats match the TV companies requirements. There are plenty of companies that can do this, but they don't come cheap.

 

Then you have to buy the airtime. It used to be £1k a second, but prices for Ch5 will be lower. Not that much lower though. My guess is that Hornby could throw a few hundred thousand pounds at it, but probably don't want a hole that big in their marketing budget at the moment.

 

I think it's easy to fail to appreciate how small the 'giants' in modelling are compared to the sort of mainstream companies we see advertising on television. 

 

I like the show

although the way some of the modellers are made to come across as weirdos by the producers for entertainment is wrong just watch back from ep 2 with the wok UFO or the presenter referring to it as a train set until terry put him right don't get me wrong the exposure the hobbies is getting is good but don't portray modellers as nutters not help full

 

My impression is that they have gone out of their way to present modellers in a good light, though perhaps in a slightly clumsy way at times. I saw the 'train set' discussion as a way of gently getting across the idea that calling a layout a 'train set' often doesn't go down well. They didn't have to show that clip and doubt they would if it was just showing up the ignorance of the presenters.

 

One of the reasons for using (ostensibly) non-expert presenters for such a programme is so that they can act as an audience surrogate. Things can be explained to the audience by explaining to the presenter. Hence the "it's not a train set" set-piece, for example.

 

Quite. Rather like the way judges (supposedly) sometimes ask what seem like stupid questions so that the answer is in the record.

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To be honest, I feel like there are a few people in the hobby who in theory want more people getting involved, but in practice don't. They want the hobby to keep going, but they'd rather these new folk quietly provide injections of cash and physical labour and otherwise defer 100% to the Will of the Elders when it comes to what they model and how they do it.

 

Obviously these people are in a minority, but it's that kind of attitude, where anything other than finescale scratchbuilt grubby black locomotives running through yellowish-green scenery is not doing it right, that puts people off. It's the same for any hobby. In gaming, they call them the stop-having-fun guys.

Hi Tom

I loved that link to gaming, it mapped so well to much of what puts people off our hobby and probably many other pastimes as well. I always liken them to the arts establishment in nineteenth century France who refused to let the impressionists into the annual Salon  "The jury,led by the head of the Academy of Fine Arts, was very conservative; near-photographic but idealized realism was expected" -sounds familiar?

Edited by Pacific231G
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It doesn't matter who likes it and who doesn't. It's a TV program on a mainstream (ish) channel that features our hobby. If ever something was going to be divisive...

 

It doesn't matter one jot if "serious" modellers hate it. It doesn't really matter if people outside our hobby hate it too. But it does seem to be getting decent viewing figures so has a chance to inspire some people to have a go.

 

Maybe they'll be inspired to build a theme park of a layout like the one from the first heat, or a dinosaur & sci fi based layout like from heat 3. Or maybe they'll decide that a cookie cutter GWR BLT is the way to go. If any of those things happens and they show up here, then we should simply welcome them to our community. It's all good if people are enjoying what they do.

 

And if anyone doesn't like a TV program then they're entitled to that and don't have to watch it. I can't stand "The only way is made in Geordie shore" type programs, so I don't watch them. But I do quite enjoy the genre that GMRC is part of, so I watch quite a few of those.

 

Not sure what point I'm making now...

 

More importantly, do they have a better idea to introduce new blood into the hobby? 

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There’s been quite a lot of mentions of having non-expert presenters as an audience surrogate. While I’m not a football fan, I much prefer the way they do it with expert pundits and commentators* who know the game inside out.

 

* people may disagree with the expertness of various individuals but the aim is there

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There’s been quite a lot of mentions of having non-expert presenters as an audience surrogate. While I’m not a football fan, I much prefer the way they do it with expert pundits and commentators* who know the game inside out.

 

* people may disagree with the expertness of various individuals but the aim is there

 

Now there's an idea - you could have one expert and one clueless commentator so the clueless one could ask why everyone has stopped and someone is throwing the ball in from the side, and what the offside rules is about etc.

 

Worth a go, surely?

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Quite. Rather like the way judges (supposedly) sometimes ask what seem like stupid questions so that the answer is in the record.

That’s a pretty standard TV technique in a show and tell piece to allow the interviewee to introduce what they’re doing as they work. In editing the original question/er can be edited out, saving time giving the impression the interviewee is doing a single piece to camera. It has a massive benefit to the interviewee if they use those couple of seconds wisely, but you have to be on your game to do that!

 

Edit: the same technique can be used in simple q&a interviews too, not just show and tell pieces

Edited by PMP
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More importantly, do they have a better idea to introduce new blood into the hobby?

 

Do you? And if so, what to you propose to do about it?

 

There seems to be a lot of suggestion that "serious" modellers don't do anything to promote the hobby. I'd suggest that they fact that they tend to be involved in groups or societies that usually hold specialist shows, etc. which means that the general public don't usually attend. Surely it the "local" shows by local clubs that attract the families and potential beginners where the opportunities exist.

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Hi all,

 

Those of you who have watched this evenings episode may have noticed there are differences in the way the presenters and film team worked with those of us taking part.

 

Whilst this has been shown as the 4th part - it was actually the first heat held.

 

Why?

 

Don't know enough to say.

 

However, whilst The Railway Children took on an awful lot of modelling, they did better than the Diesel Dynamos when it came to the important bit - running the trains.

 

We feel that we didn't achieve reliable running of either the trains or the road vehicles, whereas they did.

 

Over the filming we helped them out when they got into difficulties, indeed some of their scenery is supported by scenic mesh that I gave them to save them time.

 

So - this was a very congenial heat to have been in and it was good to see the broad age spread of the competitors

 

ps - We got to do the tourist run through the centre and a ride on a train down the line and back.

 

Of course, we got to ride on the diesel......

Edited by Scottish Modeller
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