Saturday, August 02, 2014
Modular modeling meet
We are all accustomed to traditional model railway societies that meet up in their clubrooms on a regular basis to drink tea and occasionally do some modelling. Like me, you've probably visited a good few model railway exhibitions, full of individual or group layouts set up for display. Well, last weekend, I saw something very different.
Based around Daventry MRC but drawing members from the Slim Gauge Circle, a group of modellers have been meeting up at irregular intervals with the aim of doing something very un-British.
Running a modular layout.
Each modeller brings along his own module - a section of layout that is designed to be combined with other modules by virtue of a common end board design. These are linked up and combined with some boards owned by the club (the Y-shaped ones front and back in the photo) to make a layout. The overall design is partly determined by the number of modules present. The layout shown is 21 by 24 feet but if the space were available and enough people took part, it could be many hundreds of feet long.
No public were invited to this session. The "layout" isn't really exhibitable as it lacks lights, curtains and all the other fripperies of a good display. That wasn't the point. This was all about bringing people together for a pleasant days model railwaying. Cost of the venue was split between those who attended as far as I know but as it's a working mens club, this will be very reasonable.
Operating was haphazard - trains ran but the owners entertained themselves so stopped for beer and sandwiches as they felt like it. Each admired the models produced by the others, chatted and exchanged information and encouragement. It was all very friendly.
All in all, a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday. None of the pressure of an exhibition. Just turn up with your module and have a go. You can produce your own model and as long as it shares the end board design, link it to others so there's none of the politics sometimes found in larger group projects.
I wonder if it will catch on?