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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Crawley MRS Expo. 2014

Bit of a stretch to visit this exhibition in Horsham but with family living nearby the opportunity was ceased to pop in. A smaller number of traders and layouts to what we see at Basingstoke and Aldershot but still a good mix of gauges, eras and locations.

My favourite layout was Alton (00) because it was BR Southern Region Steam, is based on a real location and nicely modelled.

In reality railways are a thing of length. It is length that is compromised when building a home layout but here on Alton not an issue at all. It is very long with the countryside each side of the station being longer than the already long station complex. This resulted in prototypical long express and goods trains that took some time to traverse the layout. For the visitor It was like looking down on a real landscape from an aircraft. A single photograph cannot do it justice but here is one anyway.

Another favoured was a very small 009 layout mounted on a coffee table. It is called 'The Trench', a supply railway set on the western front during World War 1.

It is closely based on historical fact and whilst small was entertaining because of the approach taken by the owner in interacting with the public. He was keen to present, unprompted, the documented evidence for what he had modelled, drew our attention to cameo scenes on the layout and explained his techniques for scratch building just about everything including the modification of proprietary model people into different poses. Because of his interactive approach his layout attracted an enthralled audience who lingered a little longer than other small layouts may have experienced. A lesson for other exhibition layout operators perhaps?

Traders were a bit thin on the ground for variety of stock and I only obtained one of the items I needed, 12 x N gauge bicycles. I may eventually need 50. Why I need so many will become clear shortly on our other Blog.

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