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Conventions Vs Exhibitions


Mayner

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The tendency for modellers to organise conventions rather than exhibitions is probably the greatest difference in the way the hobby is organised between the UK and Ireland on one hand and North America, Australasia. The local model railway clubs hosted this years National Convention over 180 delegates attended with American guest speaker Lance Mindheim http://www.shelflayouts.com/, together with workshops and clinics on various aspects of railway modelling including layout planning, operation, scenery, 3D design, and the old stalwarts of scratch and kit building in styrene and metal.

 

Along with demonstration layouts, numerous trade stands the highlights of the convention included a modelling competition with a special section for the local fauna and bird life. .

 

Curiously Irish railway modelling got a look in I volunteered my American-ish garden railway to represent large scale modelling, and with Keadue my Cavan & Leitrim layout moved out to the garage in case the weather broke.

 

The forecast for the weekend was bad with a storm hitting on Wednesday evening finally clearing around dusk on Thursday followed by a frantic track clearing session removing a dustbin load of palm fronds and fallen branches.

 

Friday turned out good with guest operators running steam and on board battery power while I acted as tour guide. Sunday was challenging running a combination of battery and DCC outside between the squalls and running a tour of the workshop and demonstrating Keadue.

 

 

 

In all we had something like 150 people view the garden and workshop. Somehow or other I felt going back to work on Tuesday very relaxing

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Nice one, Mayner.

The Convention idea has much to commend it and is starting to occur in Britain, particularly among American enthusiasts. Fellow club member, Andrew Browne [you may have come across his Fulton Terminal layout] has held a couple and 20+ folk have attended each one. The layout is worth checking for his model ships. A bit of a craftmans to say the least, his latest model is an HO Liberty Ship. Entire layouts have been built is less space and the rigging etc is superb.

The idea of modellers visiting the layout, rather than the other way round certainly avoids a shed load of problems, though UK models do tend to be smaller, which makes life easier. However, if I'm right in assuming that second photo is actually a model and not the real thing, then it a stunning example of what can be done outdoors.

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I used to enjoy the NMRA meets visiting Scaleforum & EXPO EM while living in the UK. The NMRA meets used to be more of a bun fight for the latest kits & rtr while the finescale expos were more about modelling.

 

From an operators perspective the layout tours was a lot less hassle than running an exhibition layout, with a steady of visitors arriving every half hour and more of an emphasis on answering questions keeping something running. The large scale stuff performed faultlessly despite changing between battery RC live steam and RC DCC, the Irish 4mm narrow gauge locos and stock was equally reliable though the Tillig points in the fiddle yard need replacing.

 

The second photo is 12" to 1' Scale the top end of Pukemiro Junction one of my favourite places though some 9 & 3/16 Scale NZR modellers come close in modelling native bush and typical NZ street scenes and archiceture

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