Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Sydney Model Railway Exhibition Report 2010

The Sydney Model Railway Exhibition is over for another year. The 2010 exhibition, the 48th, was another great show with plenty of layouts and commercial stands to keep everyone happy. Moreover, I spent almost all of Saturday talking to people which is testimony to the fact that the exhibition is a great social venue for the hobby. I made a second visit on Sunday to actually see the layouts and do a bit of shopping.

As I said in my previous post, there were about thirty layouts on show covering the majority of scales. The most common scale was HO scale followed by layouts in N scale (including the fabulous Sydney Central Station, and the Japanese Enoshima layout). Particular favourites for me included Eskbank (HO), Tarana (N), Time and Patience (HO), Waterfall (HO), and Wallerawang (HO). The Epping Club once again exhibited Brisbane Waters (HO) and this layout, still popular, must surely be Australia's most exhibited model railway layout over the years!

There was a display of live steam engines from the Western Districts Live Steamers, as well as a couple of G scale garden layouts. In O scale there was the wonderful Muskrat Ramble, and 4mm scale was represented by Bridport South Western layout.  The exhibition is a pretty good indication of what the hobby has to offer; from the popular Lego City display and G scale garden railroading, to live steam, narrow gauge, and the traditional HO, 4mm, and N scales.

There were over 50 commercial trade stands (including scale and enthusiast associations). The major local manufacturers were all there, including Auscision, Austrains, Bergs, Eureka, On Track, Powerline (Train Hobby), Southern Rail, and Trainorama. Specialist suppliers such as Chucks Ballast, Kerroby, IDR and InFront Models were also there, as were retail shops such as Casula Hobbies, Gwydir Valley, Orient Express, and Traintasia, among others. The trade stands were certainly in the majority, something I have noticed more and more in recent times. In addition, there were a number of skill demonstrations, including white metal kit assembly and making trees.

I have included a few photos from the exhibition, but it never quite beats actually being there...

Eskbank features period modelling of the "early days" (1855-1930) of the New South Wales Government Railways and is based on the real Eskbank near Lithgow. This layout is scheduled to feature in the next issue of Australian Journal of Railway Modelling.

Waterfall debuted on the exhibition circuit at the Malkara Exhibition in Canberra in August. Since then, the layout has seen a massive increase in the number of trees plus many additional detail items. The layout is under continuous improvement and the lads from Illawarra should be very pleased with how the layout is progressing. Well done, chaps!

Ross Balderson's iconic N scale display of Sydney Central Station is a beautiful example of architectural modelling. The presentation of the exhibit is also superb. The public will have another chance to see the layout when it goes on display at the Bungendore Model Railway Exhibition on the 16th October.

Muskrat Ramble is a wonderful example of scenery modelling. While trains do meander through the forest, past the waterfront and out to the cottonfields, the main emphasis of this layout is the detailed scenery.

Wallerawang is a typical exhibition layout with a station and yard but the unique feature of this layout is the wonderful station building.

Bridport South Western is a 4mm scale layout based on the London South Western in the 1830s. A highlight of this display is the pre-recorded running commentary that gives a great explanation of both the features of the model and the prototype.

Museum Station is a HO scale representation of Museum Station, part of the Sydney city underground suburban network. With model railway manufacturers introducing a wide range of electric suburban and interurban sets, perhaps we will see more examples of suburban railroading in the future.

Finally, the last three images (below) show the highly colourful and detailed Japanese N scale layout, Enoshima. This layout has plenty of fast train action within a largely packed urban cityscape. In addition, a sample of Japanese pop music is displayed on the LCD screen in one of the tall buildings. The layout is a great example of colour, movement, and sound.

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