Thursday, 21 May 2015

Exhibitions, are they worth it?


This is something that has been on my mind for quite a while. I thought it would make a good post to make, especially as I am off on my hols very shortly and it would be interesting to see what (if any) replies I get.

Highclere (the layout) was a bit of an afterthought and originally wasnt planned but as the layout has evolved its ended up at a small seletion of exhibitions, not big show but small ones where its perfomance hasnt been critical. I remember the first time it went out at a 2mm expo in Oxford, a guy there really laid into the layout gleefully pointing out all of the faults in the design and differences from the prototype. He made numerous comments like...
"You cant call it Highclere because it isnt Highclere, you need to call it an Impression of Highclere" 
"If it was me, I would scrap it and start again, but thats just my opinion"
Now for a first show that has left an everlasting impression on me. All the subsequent shows have been a bit stressful setting up the layout, making sure everything works, and making sure things are running. It feels pressurised, especially as I am not really that interested in operating it, all the enjoyment for me comes from building things.

So why the post? Browsing the interweb forums I always stumble across people critising layouts that are out and about at shows. The trend these days seems to be that people are almost demanding that layouts run faultessly and have a contunuous flow of trains passing by throughout there time infront of the layout as its their right to see this because they have paid to see it.

To me as a layout owner who occasionally takes it to shows it scares me rotten. It applies even more pressure to a situation which is quite stressful anyway. The thought of someone publishing critisism online about my layout because I didnt run trains constanly or a wagon derailed makes me think is it worth all the effort. To get the layout to a show, set it all up, and try and keep things running throughout is not an easy thing to do.

I built the layout because I enjoy it (well, most of the time anyway!). If it gets invited to exhibitions then great (and it does!) but if what I read on some forums it the general mentality of exhibition attendees then I cannot see that its worth the effort. I wish I was thick skinned but I am not, should I need to be anyway for doing something I enjoy?

So, what do you guys think?


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Whats brown and sticky?


Its been a while hasnt it! Like many things, hobbies come and go as interests change. This time its been a result of the change in weather and my attention has turned towards the continuing conversion of my van into some sort of camper type thing. Its been ongoing for a number of years now and its really time it was finished off. The warm weather has once again given me the ability ot get outside and do some more bits and pieces to it. Anyway I digress....

Work hasn't stopped on the layout. The previous post showed a small forest which had appeared towards the front of the layout, the following problem was an appropriate floor around the area of the trees. After quite a bit of thinking I made a plan to use some chopped up plumbers hemp purchased from Pendon museum on one of my sporadic trips to the place. This was PVA'd in place and coloured with a small selection of acrylics to give a more realistic tone to it. Once I was happy with the overall colour the whole lot was blended in with the adjacent field bit with a collection of various static grasses.

I am very happy with how its turned out, especially as I kind of made up how to do it on the layout and tweaked it throughout until I was happy with the result. Sometimes you just need to experiment and have a play to get a feel for colours and textures. Please let me know what you think....

Julia :o)