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Saturday, 12 March 2011

BNHMS expo review

rowlands castleJust returned from the BNHMS model railway show, which runs until 4pm tomorrow. The exhibition is spread over 5 large school rooms interconnected by a rabbit warren of corridors. I completely missed one of the rooms at last years show because of this, despite having a floor plan to hand. This year I made sure I found everything.

Trade stands were in abundance, especially RTR stock and kits. It only lacks the more specialist traders seen at shows like expoEM. I'm in the process of changing my Lima Mk1 coaches for the finely detailed Bachmann versions and managed to pick up a new MK1 SO in BR Green at a bargain price. Especially pleased about this as Bachmann themselves are currently out of stock!

As for the model railway exhibits there was a wide range of gauges, countries and historical periods on show. As a southern fan and partial to finely detailed landscapes the layout I most wanted to see was Rowlands Castle and it did not disappoint. Wartime Britain with military activities much in evidence. Finely detailed landscaping with military models including soldiers in various poses undertaking military manoeuvres.

Very few layouts were well lit and styled for display. Most were open with backscenes not much in evidence. One that stood out for public display was the EM layout 'Cornwallis Yard', viewed through its black proscenium arch with intense stage lighting. At each end the railway tracks exit stage with an unlandscaped, wide, circular sweep meeting at the rear open fiddle yard. To some extent they unfortunately dwarf the scenic model - more scope for landscaping there I feel.

The most surprising layout was the gauge 3 'Warton Road'. Not often do we see such large scale (half inch to the foot) for a table top layout!

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