Exhibiton Layouts

 
  Junior Rodgie Dodgie

Location: Allansford
While I know there are varying sizes of Exhibition layouts. What is about the normal size for the larger layouts? About 8mts x 3mts? Just I haven't been to many expos but keen to know about what size some of the larger ones are?

Sponsored advertisement

  Thumpa Chief Train Controller

Location: That's on a need to know basis.
Your question is like asking; how long is a piece of string?

Could your elaborate more why you want to know sizes? Are you planing to build a large layout? Organise an exhibition?
I've seen layouts vary from 6 metres to 16 metres in length and then some.

Thumpa
  lrbam Chief Train Controller

Location: The Great South West
Hi Junior,

The longest layout at the Warrnambool Exhibition in January next year will be 30 foot long. It will be new to the exhibition circuit but is currently being finished off by a very prolific modeller.

For me personally, I am rather taken with smaller layouts as they seem more achievable for the average modeller. (Also probably a lot cheaper to build, maintain and transport). It depends on scale/guage a bit of course but I have seen some wonderful, nicely detailed HO layouts just a couple of metres long, full of charm and interest.

If you Google (or use the search engine of your choice), micro model railway layouts, you come across a whole world of fascinating ideas in small (and inexpensive) spaces. Just the sort of thing that can be built in a reasonable time frame and easy to transport. Then, if you wish, you can build something bigger with the experience you have gained.

Just my 2 bobs worth!
  UpperQuad Locomotive Fireman

Location: 184.8 miles to Sydney
The average exhibition layout these days is a trade stand selling RTR locos.
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
While I certainly appreciate the gargantuan layouts on the 'scene', the super-super detailed micro/smaller layouts are certainly worth looking at too. They do however, seem to be looked over by the masses - I guess most prefer roundy-roundy compared to point-to-point with shunting. Certainly the case from what I've seen standing at layouts at shows.

The balance is always hard to get right, there's always going to be a differing opinion of what the balance should be. I wonder if anyone has actually though of running a purely trade show, and actually having no layouts at all... I do have a couple of local locations 'round here in mind for just such a show and have been thinking seriously about it! SmileSmile

Shameless self-promotion, but another option could be Free-mo AU modules, can be a few modules (IE: mine at the moment are about 4.5m long, with a freshly built 2m long 90deg extension out to the side - almost a lower case t shape, without the lower curve) at a show or (eventually) take up a whole basketball etc stadium in itself... Mine do need a lot of work still, but they've been out to a few shows over the years.

By the sounds of it though, new layouts are certainly getting rarer, I suppose fewer people are/are able to build them now, so you do get a bit of same-yness to exhibitions.

Wolfpac
  Junior Rodgie Dodgie

Location: Allansford
Thanks for your reply guys. Yes im talking HO. Im looking at Building a shed in the near future to house a Exhibition layout. Want something that I can put up in modules. Maybe take down every so often for a Expo. But mainly have at my own house. For myself and others to enjoy. Im going to have the room so feel a bigger but not too big of a layout is what suits my needs best.

And to add to that. Is there anyone who can build them. Currently I don't have the time with work and other things going on.
  anzac1959 Chief Commissioner

I know of one guy who builds layouts, a very good modeller but I suppose he wouldnt come cheap either. send me a PM with your details and we will go from their.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The average exhibition layout these days is a trade stand selling RTR locos.
"UpperQuad"
Correct!
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
Thanks for your reply guys. Yes im talking HO. Im looking at Building a shed in the near future to house a Exhibition layout. Want something that I can put up in modules. Maybe take down every so often for a Expo. But mainly have at my own house. For myself and others to enjoy. Im going to have the room so feel a bigger but not too big of a layout is what suits my needs best.

And to add to that. Is there anyone who can build them. Currently I don't have the time with work and other things going on.
"Junior"




Hi,

I am currently building a layout that I hope to exhibit one day. That will depend on what the thing looks like of course! My layout is based on a real location which has basically dictated the size of the layout. Unfortunately this has resulted in a what will be a 12m long layout (diarama area). Although long the base boards are only 0.65m deep. Although this does not equate to a huge square meter size it has been very time consuming trying to get things right. Personally I have found this to be a huge job. Moving 2m long modules with full curved back scenes by yourself while constructing can be very awkward.

There is also the problem of how to transport a large layout to an exhibition. I think I will have to hire a small truck ha ha.

Having some idea of what you want to model will help you determine the size of a layout. I single line with passing loop is achievable, Cootamundra is not. That is based on what I find achievable however I do spend a lot of time contemplating things, walking around the shed scratching my head.

Good luck with it. It would be great to see some new layouts on the scene.

Regards,

Linton
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
And to add to that. Is there anyone who can build them. Currently I don't have the time with work and other things going on.
Junior
Try the local cabinet or joinery businesses. woodworkers, and the like. after all a  model train baseboard is a simple light table, perhaps with removeable legs.  You might have to show them some picture of some baseboards.  One ref is the model railway benchwork by model railroader.

After all you ar enot into finish, looks or shine, whack em together mate !


Regards,
David Head
  BOLIVIA Station Master

Junior
Dont get to tricked into going down the wooden framework path a sheet of 100mm thick expanded poly styrene  will carry itself over 6 ft centres of supports .Cheap ,light ,not affected by weather changes ,easy to work with .Take a look.
http://bolivanswgr.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/layout-construction-in-21st-century.html
  TrainTree Train Controller

Location: Eltham
Looks good Junior,

I'm also looking to build a small modular layout at some stage and I am contemplating foam or wood. Foam on a large scale needs a steal or metal frame to support it and this example you provide does just that.

This is fine if you have welding skills and I would consider it, but unfortunately I've not got the time to learn to weld just yet. So wood frame for me and I suspect for must of us... But I am looking at foam over the wooden frame..

Cheers

TrainTree
  BOLIVIA Station Master

Traintree
You dont need a steel frame with foam a 900 x 2100 x 100 sheet is very strong.I dont know why you would build a wooden frame,when the styrafoame is its own frame.Get 1 peice and have a play with it.All you need is a venier to go around the edge maybee and a joining method for the modules.
Leave the timber in the forest.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I have 100mm foam sheets supported on a simple timber structure (and mostly cable tied at that), spans of four feet with no sags, and it's held up like that for five years. The narrower you make your bench work the lighter the support structure can be.
  ALCO4401 Train Controller

Location: On the Branch waiting for a train order, west of Tarana
Guys,
Easy steel frame is the "Bunnings Pallet Racking", although not cheap, you can buy it in stages as you can afford to. I have my exhibition layout sitting on it in my garage, although we used timber tressals at the show this year in Perth. As we exhibited 3 layouts together (Tarana, Oberon and Hawkesbury River Bridge).
Tarana is of Timber baseboard "L" girder construction of 600mm x 2000mm in size. We transported both Tarana and Oberon together in a furniture trailer, stacked on top of each other supported by timber braces. As Hawkesbury is over 12 meters long, it had its own trailer.
We had to rig up two curves and a intermediate piece to join the three layouts together once we got to the show.

Regards
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
You can build an exhibition layout as big as you want (or think you can manage, and finish in time to actually exhibit the thing), but perhaps one of the first things to consider before you even make a start, is how, and what, are you going to move it with?  For example, I have a 7'x4' trailer and a small station wagon...that is my space guide, so if it can't fit into that, it doesn't go to exhibition.  Unless you are prepared to add in the extra costs of larger vehicle/trailer hire every time you want to exhibit that is.  Often big layouts in big trailers have custom shelving fit outs, so its not always as simple as just hire a big trailer to stick it all in.  Another example, my former Dolly Varden layout (built with fellow modeller John Hunter) was transported locally with two trailers, however when we took it to Sydney to show, we added in the cost of a large moving trailer to transport as one unit, and had to make our own aluminium stand alone stacked storing module to fit inside the back of the trailer first.  The fuel consumption on such a big trailer was an absolute killer, and in hind sight, may have still been more cost efficient to take the two smaller trailers with less weight and drag.  

If you have a big shed, you could always design a portion of a bigger layout to be an exhibition section.

Dan Pickard
  xdford Chief Train Controller

Hi there

You could check out http://xdford.digitalzones.com/quicklayoutconstruction01.html as a possibility for a quick model rail base if time is a real problem for you... good luck in any case

Trevor
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
As previously pointed out, there are several ways of "skinning the proverbial layout cat". At the 2013 Modelling the railways of South Australia convention, Gavin Thrum presented an inspirational brief on a small layout that is easily transported and easily expanded. His brief was well detailed on how he built his layout and also inspirationally, he had it on display at the convention.

I recommend you get in contact with the MRSAC organisors and see if you can get a copy of his notes.

In summary, the layout he presented is a three-part modular layout that are permanently joined and bi-fold onto each other for storage and moving. Each module was about 1metre long and about 0.3m wide and had gas struts to hold the legs in place. Extremely clevely and elegantly designed layout. When set up, the layout was 3 (or so...) metres long. Using the same design principles, you could extend this layout virtually infinitly.

I really recommend following this up as a thought on how to achieve (or modify) your layout aims.
  chesterfield Station Master

Glad someone acknoledged Gavin's effort in this forum. His work both on the layout he displayed at the convention in 2012 and his presentation in2013 was outstanding. In 2012 he had Bolton Great Moor Street  ( a UK outline layout ) I heard on the grape vine that our Australian mags were not interested in publishing an article on it , as it was a British layout ( might just be a nasty rumour) . With Commercial Street Shunt , a SAR layout , perhaps his work will be seen by more than the SAR convention attendees
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

Junior
Dont get to tricked into going down the wooden framework path a sheet of 100mm thick expanded poly styrene  will carry itself over 6 ft centres of supports .Cheap ,light ,not affected by weather changes ,easy to work with .Take a look.
http://bolivanswgr.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/layout-construction-in-21st-century.html
BOLIVIA

Sounds good in theory but how do you mount your under track turnout motors? How do you stop the edges and corners from being damaged? How do you stop your legs from punching through your foam. How do you make accurate grade changes? How do you join 2 modules together? The answer to all of these questions is to use plywood, in effect a wooden frame and track base. A 100mm foam board on it's own will fail at worst, at best deflect to much if some one leans on it heavily.

A braced plywood box frame using glue shell construction over a thin support structure of foam is the cheapest lightest method of portable layout construction I have come across, and it can all be done with simple hand tools.

Terry Flynn.
  ALCO4401 Train Controller

Location: On the Branch waiting for a train order, west of Tarana
Guys,
I have noticed over the past two years, both attending the Liverpool show in 2012, and watching a few videos of this years Liverpool event, that there seems to be quite a large number of quality layouts, all lacking a back scene or having back scene's that a plain blue. Seems to be the standard that they are no more than 300mm high. Most of these seem to be operated from the rear as well.
I also noticed this year there seemed to be a few layouts that were still under construction! Why were they there? Bare baseboards and snow scenery don't do anything for me at all.
In Perth we have a problem where some groups continuilly exhibit the same old layout every year. You hear it from the public, "same old smeg again", the group I am a apart of have been exhibiting every year since 2001, and in that time, we have had a "New layout" every time. Yes we all work, and money is not an issue. The standards should be such that a layout can only be brought out every 5 years, this in itself would drive up the standard. In 5 years, the finer detailing would be greatly improved in that time, again driving up the quality.

The lack of or pretend back scenes really distract from what is other than quality. I know that here in Perth, judging points for back scenes makes up 20% of the points. We also tend to operate from the front of the layout, which promotes interaction with the public. It makes it a lot easier to communicate in a very noisy environment, without having to shout.

The other "BUG" that is disappointing is the operational speed which a great number of layouts operate. Warp speed may be great for the kids to watch, but scale speed seems to be mostly confined to shunting only. Send the kids along to the Thomas layouts if they want to see race cars zooming around. Clearly there seems to be a lack of "prototypical" modelling. More plonk and run with the controller turned up.
A lot of operators should watch a couple of video's of Ray Pilgram's "Bylong" layout for what should be standard practice.

If an exhibition is to showcase our hobby, we should all promote it in the best possible way, this would drive up the quality and the effort be rewarded as such.

Thats my rant for the day.
I would be interested in comments from other serious modellers.
  kingfisher Chief Train Controller

The standards should be such that a layout can only be brought out every 5 years, this in itself would drive up the standard. In 5 years, the finer detailing would be greatly improved in that time, again driving up the quality.
ALCO4401

It's hard enough for organisers to get layouts to their exhibitions as it is at the moment. Your way we will end up with exhibitions of trade stands only.
  Lazarus Train Controller

Location: Missouri, USA
Sounds good in theory but how do you mount your under track turnout motors?
NSWGR1855
This is something I've been curious about. I've been looking at doing an aluminium frame and foam modular layout, but this is one of my stumbling blocks. If anyone has any info on how this is best achieved, please post it up.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
This is something I've been curious about. I've been looking at doing an aluminium frame and foam modular layout, but this is one of my stumbling blocks. If anyone has any info on how this is best achieved, please post it up.
Lazarus
Hi Lazarus,

I see that you are in MO, so you are in the correct location to probably see how it is done!

My reading of the US Model railway press is that many people use slow motion turnout motors with these high density foam baseboards. I suggest that you search the online forums on Model Railroader as well as the "free" model rail magazine... Model Railroad Hobbyist.

From what I've seen, there are two methods, both are a variation on the same theme. First attach tortoise (or similar) to thick styrene (say 2-5mm) or gatorboard or MDF (you get the idea).

The first variation is to rebate into the top of the foam the thickness of whatever you have used so that the assembly sits flat under the turnout. Obviously a bigger hole underneath for the motor. Put assembly into hole and secure with a suitable glue. Lay the track as per normal with a suitable hole for the throw bar rod.

The second variation is to lay track as per normal, drill a hole through the foam for the throw bar rod. Attach the assembly to the bottom of the foam with suitable glue. My recollection is that most use 25mm foam for yards and the 100mm foam for "the country".

The above are my recollection, but you will be better off looking into those resources for "proper" instructions as opposed to my memory!!! Smile

Good luck!
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
Junior
Dont get to tricked into going down the wooden framework path a sheet of 100mm thick expanded poly styrene  will carry itself over 6 ft centres of supports .Cheap ,light ,not affected by weather changes ,easy to work with .Take a look.
http://bolivanswgr.blogspot.com.au/2011/11/layout-construction-in-21st-century.html
BOLIVIA
Actually expanded polystyrene foam is affected by water as there are spaces between the "balls" and water will seep in but this is not really a problem for our use as not many layouts would be out in the rain. Extruded polystyrene is solid and does not absorb water.
One thing you do have to look out for is the effect styrene foam has on wiring insulation, precautions must be taken to prevent this but that is as easy as just slipping it into some cheap sprinkler tubing.

Tony

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: miktrain, NSWGR1855, prewett, wolfpac

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.