Friday, 30 January 2015
Lady pleasers and compromises 1
The answer to the first question is varied. The angle from where I'm coming from is linked slightly professionally: how do you keep people in front of the layout? Not by chatting to them - that's cheating, that's conversation, but how do you keep them watching the layout for more than say a minute? What's the draw got to be? There are some who will shout that it's my layout and I build for me, and that's all well and good, but if you wave it in public then there has to be more to it than that.
There are really two distinct types that visit model shows and sub sects: Type 1. The modellers visiting to see a particular layout that's been in a magazine or what have you either singly or in groups. Type 2. Non or semi modelling families (i.e. no real interest or something at pure trainset level usually with one or two children in tow). There is Type 1a 'the blinker', those who will only look at layouts that match their company and their scale, and Type 2a the 'matrons not looking'.
What I'm really thinking of are slightly more the Type 2s - the casual visitors. The answer is basically: keep something on scene and moving at all times and create enough visual interest outside of that. The moving is the most important - I noted an RM reader taking a swipe at Warley recently in the letters page and he has a point; the NEC show is supposed to be the best and the best only, not the club shirt/scratch your arse and talk brigade.
How does this link to the above plan? Well yesterday it was dissected... over a four hour plus period, in a full size plan form. The result is it works perfectly. I'm quick to argue Roy Link's original article point about two bogie coaches not fitting the loop as they will. However, allied to the point I make in the above paragraph: if you are happy with the home operation/one engine in steam way of working then it works. The minute that you take it to a show it fails... big time. There is only capacity for one train at a time as while the loop will hold the train, it won't hold the engine as well. The minute the train leaves the station under the bridge after running round etc, so do the audience. Mr. Punch has left the building. Something more needs to be done.