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Sunday, 15 May 2016

expoEM 2016 Review

I spent much longer at this exhibition than expected, 2 hours to see 14 layouts. But, it was not so much the layouts that demanded my attention but the plethora of specialist trade stands that serve the serious modeller. This is what makes expoEM special.

I was able to get all but one item on my shopping list, a Peco turnout would you believe. None available from the trade stands and perhaps not surprising considering the focus on EM and finescale.

Another feature of expoEM is the demonstration stands manned by the Society members. There were quite a number of modelling demonstrations generating much interest among visitors.

And so to the layouts. Narrow Road (EM) is noted for its busy London Terminus Station scene of 4mm scale people milling about with many obscured by the overall roof to the station platforms.

Ynysbwl (EM) captivated my attention due to the amazing modelling of gardens at the rear of a terrace house row. A lot of thought and craftsmanship had gone into modelling the gardens in a most naturalistic manner to depict 1920s passion for livestock and food.

The garden shown below features a birdcage populated with 4mm scale budgerigars (I assume), so small and yet plumage colours could be distinguished.

My best in show was a toss up between Ynysbwl and St. Merryn (P4) the latter being a finely detailed yet uncluttered layout. Although fictitous a lot of care had been taken to reflect the countryside of  North Cornwall and the practice of early British Railways with people and vehicles from that era.

No wonder that both these layouts won awards at the show.

Finally, a mention of something only enthusiasts who were active in the 1960s and 70s will connect with. That is, the Automatic Crispin, the brainchild of Peter and Stephen Denny. Their mechanical computer (in effect a virtual human train controller) was on display. Now just a jumble of strange mechanics and cables that would be a quite a challenge to get working again.

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