This week, as promised in last week’s post, I will share with you some photos and videos from the Southampton Model Railway Society’s Exhibition which was held at Barton Peveril College on the 24th and 25th of January 2015.
This was a fairly big show and had twenty four layouts, twelve demonstration stands and lots of traders, all spread out over several big halls. The layouts were all British, except one, and covered all the major scales. As I was only at the show on Saturday I didn’t get a chance to see it all properly but I was very impressed with what I did see. This exhibition is also a very popular one and draws big crowds which meant that it was very hard to photograph several of the layouts. So if some layouts have more or better photos than others it is by no means a reflection on the layout.
2mm/N Gauge layout built by Stan Potter from Swindon.
The layout is compact without losing the sense of a much larger railway; it reflects the EWS depot at Barton Hill as seen a few years ago.
The backdrop was also nicely painted giving sense of realism with a cloudy sky, typical for the UK.
Botleigh Old North Raod
4mm/00 Gauge layout built by Ian Corps of the Southampton Model Railway Society.
This is a fictitious engine shed on the Southern Region set in the 1960s.
4mm/EM Gauge layout built by David Smith from the South Hants Model Railway Club.
EM Gauge stands for Eighteen Millimeters. Although the scale is 4mm to a foot (1:76), the same as traditional OO, the spacing of the rails has been increased to 18.2 mm (0.717 in). This is an accurate representation rather than the OO track at 16.5 mm (0.65 in). The reason for this dates back to the early 1930s when manufactures had trouble fitting electric motors in small steam engines in the popular, now called HO, 3.5 mm to a foot (1:87). The manufactures increased the model scale to 4mm to a foot but left the track gauge at 16.5 mm (0.65 in) and OO was born.
The layout is set between 1998 and 2003 on a Southern Region rail terminus.
The hospital in the background is having some work done and the modeling of the scaffolding was a great detail.
Right at the front of the layout was a construction site scene which was also very nicely modeled.
7mm/O Gauge layout built by Fareham & District Model Railway Club.
This layout is again set in the Southern Region and depicts a through station with a goods yard.
As well as very well modeled track work and scenery the attention to lighting nicely finishes the layout. The gentle glow coming from the signal box was very believable.
Hebble Vale Goods
4mm/EM Gauge layout built by Karl Crowther form Chitheroe.
This layout is also an EM layout so all the track had to be hand-built as well as all the rolling stock requiring wider wheel sets. I think the extra work was well worth it as this layout was superbly finished.
All the stone work was wonderfully done, I could not see any repetition in the stone pattern suggesting that commercially available wall panels hadn’t been used, neither could I see any joints. If there were any joints they were very well hidden.
3mm / TT Gauge layout built by John Thomas from Cirencester.
This layout set in a fictions setting in the South-West Cotswolds represents a small rural branch line in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I particularly liked the track layout, it was very different for an exhibition layout.
Everything on the layout was scratchbuilt, although it was hard to see, all the tiles on the roofs of the buildings were hand laid, one at a time.
Leicester South GC
4mm / OO Gauge layout built by the Shipley Model Railway Society.
This was a big layout and was a big crowd pleaser with lots of trains running up and down the main line as will as in the big yard.
It is set between 1948 and 1963 and is modeled on an actual location a few hundred yards south of Leicester Central Station.
An interesting feature on the layout was the large goods warehous; not only was it a fantastic model but the tracks around it all worked.
Normally working tracks is not such a big thing but in this instance the builders had managed to model a working section where, in real life, box vans full of goods would have been moved by hand using pinch bars and the small turntables you can see in the photo below.
And to show you this working here is a video of a box van being moved from the back track to one of the front tracks.
As this was a big layout it needed a big yard, and as with all the trackwork in the front, all the trackwork in the yard was handlaid.
Here is a video of a passenger train leaving and a freight train entering the yard.
Another clever section of this layout was the engine shed link. As well as the main lines and yard there was another through track that in real life connects the engine facilities with the Lester Central Station where express engines were often changed, so on this layout locomotives running light would often trundle through.
Here is one more video of nice long trains running on this layout.
7mm / O Gauge layout built by Norman Cronan from the Southampton Model Railway Society.
This fictional layout is set in the West Country and depicts a branch line in the 1950s to 1960s.
4mm / OO Gauge layout built by the Southampton Model Railway Society.
This layout represents a goods yard somewhere in the West of London in the 1950s and early 1960s.
The high line at the rear of the layout carried the local electric suburban trains that you can just see disappearing in the photo below.
Maindee East Shed
4mm / P4 Gauge layout built by Steffan Lewis from Barry, Glamorgan.
This layout was my favorite of the show, it was simply wonderful.
It is set in 1961 at Maindee East service area in Newport, South Wales.
The level of detail on the whole layout was amazing and it was finished off with a fantastic painted backdrop showing a really overcast cloudy day.
The layout also had its own lighting which helped create the gloomy effects.
Having worked on real steam engines I can confirm the level of dirt that comes with them and this layout has captured that perfectly.
And as it is set in 1961, when steam was approaching its zenith, the engines would have been worked hard and not cleaned as preserved locomotives are today.
This layout is P4 Gauge. It stands for Protofour and has a track gauge of 18.83 mm (0.741 in). Like EM Gauge, it is at a scale of 4mm to the foot (1:76). P4 is currently the most accurate fine scale for 4mm to the foot (1:76).
The layout also featured an integral smoke system which releases smoke all over the layout depending on where locomotive are at the time; sadly I was so mesmerised with the effect I forgot to take any pictures.
The painted backdrop also gave a great sence of depth to the scene.
Even the brambles and weeds encroaching on the edges of the site are fantasticly modeled.
The coal shoot at the back of the layout certainly looks like it has seen better days but the lights in the lower room really help bring it to life.
3mm Finescale/14.2mm Gauge layout built by Peter White from Salisbury.
This layout, similar to the EM layouts, is based on the TT Scale but with a correctly spaced track gauge of 14.2mm. With a scale like this everything has to be handmade.
The layout is set in Masham which lies in the lower reaches of Wensleydale in North Yorkshire. The scene is set in 1922.
3mm/TT Gauge layout built by Paul Hopkins.
This layout represents the proposed terminal of the Great Western Railway as it would have been at the end of the Yealmpton branch in South Devon.
4mm/OO Gauge layout built by John Smerdon from Tadley.
This layout is a fictional terminal on the Southern Region set in the 1970s.
4mm/OO9 Gauge layout built by Chris Ford from Lewes.
The layout was built in a hurry to fill an exhibition space but was very nicely done. It is set in North Wales and influenced by the Tal-y-llyn and Ffestiniog railways.
4mm/21mm Gauge layout built by Andy Cundick from Pewsey.
This layout was is set in County Kerry, Ireland. It depicts the end terminus of the line from Farranfore on the Mallow to Tralee. It was said to be the westernmost railhead in Europe. Although the scale is 4mm, the track gauge is 21mm because Ireland run on a broader gauge railway; theirs is 5′ 3″ instead of 4′ 8″1/2.
4mm/N Gauge layout built by Salisbury & South Wilts Railway Society.
This layout is set in North Cornwall between 1955 and 1959.
4mm/009 Scale layout built by John Bruce from Ludgershall.
This layout had to be the smallest here. It measures 21″ by 18″. But it didn’t lack in anything for its size. The scene is set in Southern Cornwall and was built as a shunting (switching) puzzle. The operator has a set of cards which are shuffled, one is picked and the operator has to arrange the wagons in the correct order shown on the card. Then another card is picked and the wagons are re-sorted. It sounds easy but when space is limited it can be a bit tricky.
Yes Tor Junction
7mm Finescale/32mm Gauge layout built by Graham Hatton from Eastleigh.
This huge layout is O scale but again with the correctly spaced track gauge of 32mm. Once again this means all the track had to be handmade and the rolling stock had to have wider wheel sets fitted.
The actual station is fictious but the viaduct is modeled on a real one although at two-thirds the size, the viaduct is now a cycle way.
Here is a short video of a medical train rushing on with supplies after a quick stop at the station.
This lovely layout was very popular but I did manage to get a videos with something crossing that huge viaduct.
And lastly I want to give thanks to my friends at Model Railway Solutions (the baseboard people) for letting me use their stand throughout the day. Here is a short video of part of their display stand showing one of their helixes for N scale. This video has not been speeded up either, that poor little class 33 diesel was zooming up and down all weekend!
In next week’s post I will be getting back to the drawing board, well mouse and keyboard, and showing you the designs for my next big N Scale locomotive which will be coming out in a few months.
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