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David Holman


I may be wrong, but looking at the ‘My Layout’ pages, most contributors have what might be called ‘home layouts’ – in other words, non-portable ones. Well done the Wexford crew though - a nice surprise in the latest RM.

Arigna Town was designed from the outset to be a portable, exhibition layout [as indeed have all my previous efforts] and, aside from the obvious issues of needing to be taken apart & put together again for shows, there are various other aspects, such as transport and presentation, which need to be considered. Therefore, thought it might be worth sharing my experiences of taking layouts to shows over the last 27 years. That last number is a bit scary, but it was 1987 that I first tried exhibiting, with a little EM gauge layout at the Chatham Show.

Arigna Town is made up of 4 identical baseboards, each a nominal 120cm x 60cm. Curved and/or irregular boards may be ideal for some, particularly in portraying a specific prototype, but for me, baseboard size & shape is all about transportation and storage and this size is about the biggest I can manage on my own.

However, when you exhibit a model, there is a lot else that needs to go with you. Legs, trestles or whatever, for it to stand on; power supply, controllers & such, your stock [which needs careful protection], plus a host of sundries including tool box and items for presentation – in particular lighting. Most exhibition halls will not be bright enough to show off all your hard work & indeed may not even be the right sort. I do my painting under normal household bulbs, so when seen under fluorescent lighting, the colours look all washed out.

In recent years, have settled on ‘clip-spot’ type lights, set on gallows type brackets, bolted to the rear of the layout. The clip-spots [i have 8 in all] provide good light, but the gallows brackets were a pain to both store and transport – it is surprising how much room they take up. Hence, have now made some folding brackets, which will hopefully solve that problem. The gallows will also hold the layout pelmet – more of which later. Hopefully the pictures help.

In the coming week, I will be having a trial run to see how everything fits in the car, so will let you know how I get on.

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Hi David


Excellent tip for display lighting a layout- we never thought of it for the Modular Layout System featured on this forum. I have to put on the thinking cap and prepare a drawing. You've sparked an idea...





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