Saturday, 4 April 2015

Saturday ramble

... on a Saturday no less.
I think I've been in a generally reflective mood since Christmas, as far as modelling is concerned. I'm probably repeating myself, but it's good to take stock of what you are doing and why from time to time. Last year got a bit silly in places with too many exhibitions and I've now made a conscious effort to keep the shows to the ones that I wanted to do and also a lean toward the one day variety (more on this later). Obviously exhibitions are a bit like the Masons - you can only turn up if you are invited (as well as having some dubious characters). It's not possible to decide which ones you want to do and when; it is only possible to edit this by saying no. There is also the aspect of forward planning; I find it awkward to consider taking bookings a long way in advance, and no matter how hard I sell the idea, exhibition managers seem completely blind to the advantages of my suggestion of ringing me the week before if someone drops out -  a sort of modeller's subs-bench. I have no idea what I will be dong in May 2017, but if you want a gap filled at short notice I can give a very fast yes or no.

It's a bit full steam ahead on the card project. The bridge above is now finished and I can start filling around it. For those who didn't guess, this is in 3mm scale; not my usual home turf, but one which I've always though had distinct possibilities. This little project gives me an excuse to do something without committing too much, but still with a target of May which is creeping up fast.
Cardboard and brickpaper... it's the future.

I got asked to do a show in Surrey during the SDG Member's Day. I asked the usual questions: when. where, would there be cake, that sort of thing. All was going fairly well, until I asked if it was two days. The reaction was as if I'd requested a couple of hours in a hotel with his wife, and then he walked off in disgust when I turned it down purely on the basis that it was two. Sorry, but I just don't want to spend a whole weekend shuffling stock up and down. Is there any benefit to anybody by spreading the game over two rather than one day? Does the gate double? I doubt it. And does the balance of setting any extra income play well against all the extra B&B costs etc?
Taking part in a model railway exhibition can be fun, entertaining, inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable, but I do have a life.

Lastly I was rather amused to read in the national press the the Epping Ongar Railway is getting an undeserved amount of flack for hiring the line to a Canadian film company who used it to shoot a mucky flick. The report was blind to the fact that preserved lines are absolutely strapped for cash and will take anybody's money. The complainants have a problem that they could follow this with a Peppa Pig weekend. I'm sure if there were a choice...


  1. The advantage of a 2 day show is that it takes very little more organising but you get two chances to bring a crowd in. Also, many layouts simply won't do a 1 day show as it usually involves an early start, set up in the morning and pull down and drive home in the evening. If the layout is any size and the trip takes an hour or more, that's a very looooong day.

  2. Fair point. I think I tend to view exhibitions as one who designs to be set-up in 30 mins and out in 8 so the long day angle is minimised. I think it also depends on who the people are that you have to spend two days with; on one occasion last year I was ready to go and buy a gun.