Saturday 20 November 2021

Portsmouth exhibition

Shows coming thick and fast now. This week down to the seaside in Darkest Hampshire with the South Hants MRC show. Like the Uckfield bash this leans toward finescale and arriving a little early I observed the queue: 50+, balding, rucksacks, sensible coats, no children. I don't want to repeat everything I said a couple of posts back, needless to say this applied again. The only 4mm layout that had no problems when I was watching was Copper Wort (code 75 Devon-built small radius points, said with no bias). The showpiece P4 was scoring a 50%+ derailment rate. Beautiful pre-group stock, big watching -the -trains -go -by scene, but mostly bumping along the sleepers... not good. And this is not just a snapshot, I was there for most of the day.

Jerry Clifford's 2mm, stunning. Kinmundy (below) fascinating scenic effects, and Simon Challis' Cheddar got my votes for best of the day, and the 2mmFS Lighterman's Wharf is fantastic. So certainly not under-inspiring.
The food is weird. Shutters come down at 13.00 sharp and that's it. If you want a cuppa after then it's outside to Macccy D's. Why?
The scores:
Show: 7.5
Catering: 5 (would be 9 for quality)
Rucksacks: a finescaley 7
Covid prep: 1 Really packed in the morning and most in masks as a result.



  1. Chris
    For catering we are tied by what the school contract caterers are willing to provide. Normally this is full catering and very good it is too with lunch service until 13:30. With drinks also available at a separate coffee bar until just before the show closes. This year due to continued school redevelopment. We were restricted to the canteen which would not serve beyond 13:00 the coffee bar shut. We are sorry for that but it was beyond our control. We are told for next year we will have the coffee bar back on line.

    With reference to Eastwood this was its first time out in anger since its embryonic debut at Scaleforum a couple of years ago. Whilst you can never condone poor operation, it is inevitably with a new layout that teething troubles will occur and you need exhibition time to find them as they never occur in the club room! Talking to exhibitors a lot layouts were suffering the effects of nearly 2 years in hibination.
    Dave Smith Chairman SHMRC

  2. Dave, thanks for the reply. I was told that the 'the shutters would be coming down at one and we're off home'. Fair enough, but most punters will miss this and I as did last time ending up in McDonalds. With the greatest of respect, my question still stands.
    Eastwood. Beautiful modelling, can't fault it and I couldn't reach that standard. However this is supposed to be the pinnacle of 4mm modelling, but the running was better on Widley out in the hallway. We all get bad days (I've had a few disasters) but it's a public exhibition, it's got to work. Overall though, excellent show and well done for getting it on in the current climate. CF