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Saturday 12 March 2011

BNHMS expo review

Just returned from the Basingstoke & Nth. Hants model railway show. 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 (pictured) 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!

Sunday 6 March 2011

Take a Length of Copper Wire

The platform seat on the right in photo. is a fair representation of an LSWR 9' bench commonly seen on stations throughout the Southern Region of BR in the 1960s. The 4mm scale model was fabricated from thin copper wire hammered flat, each piece carefully formed with thin nosed pliers and soldered. Holding it in a vice as each piece was added acted as a heat sink so that previously soldered parts were less inclined to desolder and fall off. 5 slats for the seat and three for the backrest with the topmost being deeper than the others. I feel that the front to back depth of the seat should be another mm. or two deeper. 

The seat in front is an oddity. It can be seen in photos of Crewkerne Station from the 1950s to - well I photographed Crewkerne in the 1970s and it was still there! 5 slats for the base and 1 for the backrest. No arm rests and a less elaborate sub frame.
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