Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Safety first

One lesson learned at Hartlepool with Clayhanger Yard, was that the fascia panel hiding the lighting rig is a bit low. As we didn't have the protection of a barrier at the front of the layout, punters would often stick their head underneath to chat. A barrier would have held them back and provided something to lean on which brings their head down a bit.
The bigger problem came from people walking along and hitting their heads on the edge. It appears that all the marvelous modelling on display distracted them from LOOKING WHERE THEY ARE GOING.
Now, I'm not exactly sympathetic to this since grown-ups should pay attention but I also think I can make life a little less uncomfortable should this happen again. Originally the corners of the panel were square. Obviously even in 6mm plywood attached to a structure with a bit of give in it - more than in the average forehead - a square corner isn't an ideal target for headbutting.
With a bit more time, the fascia was built on the morning of the show last time, I've curved the corners. Drawing around a paint can provided the shape and keeps things consistent on all corners. A few minutes with saw, surform and sandpaper followed by a lick of varnish finishes the job. It is a very light bit of wood after all.
Despite this, we'll still set the model back a bit when possible. Ideally I want the fascia line about 6 inches behind the barrier line. We want the punters to enjoy the show after all.


Anonymous said...

Phil--You might consider a solution for a valence that Trevor Marshall and Pierre Oliver came up with for Trevor's S scale Canadian prototype layout. They use a short Masonite valance with a cloth valence suspended from it. This was inspired by Pierre's work in live theatre.

Steve Lucas.


Phil Parker said...

It's a nice idea but I don't like curtains because they blow around with crowd movement unless very heavy.

Ideally, I'd go for a letterbox format for this layout but as a demonstration piece, I don't want to hide anything away from the audience - they need to to see how it all works. Also, I want to operate from the back not the front as this moves the model away from the crowd to let me walk along the front of it.

Having said that, for a permenant layout, I can see how this idea works a treat. The concepts are very good and the page behind that link is great, even the tea towel!