Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Epping Exhibition - one week on

I am back in Canberra after a week down in Melbourne with a work assignment. I return to Melbourne later in the week and I have plenty to do before then. In keeping with my tight schedule, here are some of the photographic highlights from the Epping Model Railway Exhibition.

First up, we have the award winner for best new layout - Grischun. Greg C.'s Grischun is representative of a Swiss alpine town with main and narrow gauge lines in HO scale. The scenery is superb, as one might expect from a Swiss-based layout. The catenary and running qualities of the layout were also of a fine standard. Grischun is a very good example of  a well-detailed and compact exhibition layout. I was also impressed with Greg's use of a painter's pole and roller for the lighting stands - very ingenious!

The next layout is Geoff Small's Oddwalls - a layout first exhibited earlier this year at the Canberra Model Railway Exhibition. The layout is HO scale and showcases a small rural town in the mid 1960s. This layout is another good example of an effective exhibition layout without taking up too much space. Oddwalls is a very well designed layout with good topography, a busy little town, and a nice parade of trains on the double track main line to keep the exhibition-goers entertained.

Another well presented exhibition layout was Bowen Creek. This HO fine scale layout has a relativiely simple track plan within some superb rural scenery. The layout is exhibitied in the box-showcase style with good internal lighting. The modules are constructed of 20mm square steel tube and the backscene is one continuous length of material used for advertising banners. This is a high quality layout for discerning tastes - a real standard-setter for quality.

Another exceptionally presented pair of layouts was Sunny Corner/Lily Flat. These two diorama-style layouts had some amazingly detailed and natural scenery. Both layouts were On30 and showed how effective the larger scale can with superb scenery and quality modelling.

Wallerawang (HO scale) is another fine layout, based on the station west of Lithgow, and presented by the Guildford Model Railway Group. The layout is 6.5 metres long and 2.8 metres deep, including the 14 track storage yard at the rear. The station buildings are the signature piece of this layout.

A perennial favourite, Jembaicumbene, was on show again. This HO scale NSW-based layout has had a very long exhibition life but still has plenty to offer the crowd. A good range of trains and a nicely detailed townscape are features of this layout

Branigate (or is it Brani Gate?)is a US-prototype layout in HO scale. A feature of this layout is the ability to change the lighting to reflect a particular time of the day. This was an interesting feature that might become more popular in the years ahead.

Turning now to some different track gauges, Duck Creek was also making another exhibition appearance. Duck Creek is HOn30 (i.e. 2.6" gauge prototype railway) based on the famous Puffing Billy railway in Victoria.

One of my favourite layouts, the Japanese N scale Enoshima, was also making another exhibition appearance. Every time I see this layout I find some new and interesting part of the city scene that I had overlooked before.

The Lake and Dale is an O scale narrow gauge layout based on the Lake District in England. It features a fine station scene and bridge with some typical English scenery.

In N scale we had Tarana and Carlo. Unfortunately, my photos of Tarana didn't come out so well. But making a new appearance at Epping was the suburban-electric layout, Carlo. Carlo is loosely based on the terminus of the Carlingford Branch at Carlingford, a suburb of Sydney. In real life, Carlingford was supposed to link up with the Epping to Parramatta leg of the now defunct expansion of the suburban network.  Maybe Carlo will feature an extension next year to show how it's done!

As always, the second-hand store was popular and retailers were well represented.

And finally, this is what the new Australian Journal of Railway Modelling looks like for those of you who may have missed seeing the new issue at the Epping Exhibition.

 Check out the AJRM website for info on how to purchase the magazine.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

AJRM a big success at Epping

I enjoyed the Epping Model Railway Exhibition over the weekend. The event was even more pleasing with the successful unofficial launch of the Australian Journal of Railway Modelling (AJRM). Thanks to the advertisers, retailers and purchasers of the magazine over the weekend. And thanks to the Epping Model Railway Club for a great exhibition.

I was very pleased to see some new layouts and a couple of quality exhibits I'd seen only once or twice before. Glad to hear Greg C. won the best new layout award for his European-styled layout, Grischun. Well done, Coggo!

There was plenty of room to move around at the exhibition, even on the busy Saturday morning. While Sunday was a much quieter day, I understand that the three day exhibition may have exceeded previous attendances. I hear the second-hand stall did well again this year too. I look forward to the exhibition next year.

I am in Melbourne at the moment on a consulting project all week so I won't be posting exhibition photos until the coming weekend (sorry, Trevor).

I do hope to get to a couple of Melbourne hobby shops during any lunch breaks to show them the magazine and seek their support in selling the magazine to Victorian modellers.

Let it be said that AJRM wants to showcase quality modelling of all Australian prototypes. So if you're not from NSW, don't despair - send us some ideas for articles and we can take it from there.

We hope the ideas, insights and thinking from AJRM articles will inspire modellers everywhere.

Friday, 10 June 2011

AJRM is back

I wanted to let you know that the Australian Journal of Railway Modelling (AJRM) issue 11 has just been published. Stephen and I have taken delivery of the magazines. The magazine makes a welcome return after a seven year hiatus.

There is a website at www.ajrm.com.au (with a temporary redirect at the moment) and a Twitter feed AusJRM to keep people up to date with what's happening. The new web pages should be up in the next couple of weeks with details about purchasing, back issues, and subscriptions (with a couple of interesting features). As well, there will be a form for retail vendors to order copies for sale at shops.

Copies should be available from some of the commercial vendors at the Epping Model Railway Exhibition at Thornleigh in Sydney this long weekend. There are some great articles inside, even if I do say so myself.

Check out the cover here:

... and the magazine itself over the weekend.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Epping Model Railway Exhibition 2011

The Epping Model Railway Exhibition is on this coming long weekend in Sydney. The exhibition is on at the Thornleigh Brickpit stadium at Dartford Road, Thornleigh. Full details here.

The exhibition promises to be be bigger and better than last year. It's no secret that the lads from the Epping Club have their sights on having Australia's best model railway exhibition. I understand this year the exhibition will have more layouts and commercial vendors than last year.

I also hear that it's possible a former Australian model railway magazine might make a long-awaited reappearance at the exhibition. After seven years, the Australian Journal of Railway Modelling will be making a belated return to the model railway scene. The website details the magazine's progress. The website has a temporary redirect on it but will be upgraded soon. The new issue (No. 11) is currently at the printers and expected to be ready by the weekend.

I will be at the exhibition on Saturday morning and most of Sunday. I hope to catch up with lots of people over the weekend, and I will certainly be interested to hear what you think about the the new issue of AJRM. I think people will be suitably impressed.

See you on the weekend.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Toowoomba Model Train Show 2011

The Darling Downs Model Railway Club have their annual model railway exhibition this weekend in Toowoomba (Queensland). The exhibition is being held at the Founders Pavillion, Toowoomba Showgrounds, Glenvale Road, Toowoomba.

Opening hours are 9-5 on Saturday (4th June) and 9-4 on the Sunday.

I hope the weekend is a good one for both the organisers and the visiting public.