Saturday, April 19, 2008

Derby 2008

Derby Crowd
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker.
Some things don't happen at model railway shows. They aren't populated by nubile young women. You'll have a better than average number of people who will know what a flange is and why you'd want to care about it. And by lunchtime you won't have to queue to get in.

As the photo shows, the last one was wrong. At twenty minutes to twelve there was a line of people that took 15 minutes to work through and even then it was back to the same length behind us. Once in though, there was little sign of them. Luckily Derby Civic centre is large enough for you to move around reasonably freely in most areas.

To be honest while it's a nice show, Derby isn't one I worry too much about. In the middle of the show season it's perilously close to York so I'm fairly well supplied with bits and pieces already. The trade is good but not usually enough to make me want to trek up the line.

One feature that sets the show apart from other is the use of a suite to show foreign railways. This display alternates between European and American. This year it was stetsons on for a display of the USA. With an American model beckoning it made the trip worth the effort.

This was borne out when we spent over an hour in just this section of the hall. There was lots of chat, especially with the excellent NMRA guys, and some new (to me) trade. Despite not planning to buy any loco kits, Unit Models enticed some cash out of me for an interesting On30 conversion kit for a Bachmann HO model.

I know this would be a good show though when the first layout we saw was Port Foxdale, one of the smallest and cutest Isle of Man layouts out there. If I was being picky I would say it's over detailed now and looking a bit too busy but the public love this sort of thing and I liked the new original signs that enlarged the display.

Another highlight was my own clubs N gauge layout "Meacham". I'd only ever seen this in the clubrooms before now where it looks average. In a dark hall with the operators concentraiting on keeping things running and it really comes into its own. The crowd got a good show and hopefully there will be a few bookings received from this. It deserves to get out and about a lot more.

Layout of the show for me though was Idleway - 5 feet of OO. With Peco track and Wills buildings you might not think it sounds impressive but for me this is the sort of layout that needs prominence in the hobby. The sort of model anyone could build. It's not too big, nor complicated. It's just very achievable.

Derby, for some reason I've never understood, has a display of model boats. Once upon a time they were interesting but I didn't worry too much. Now I'm into the hobby more attention is paid. I loved the steamboat photographed as I have a similar hull and plan awaiting attention. All I need a steam plant to put in it.

The show moves out to an out of town venue next year and changes date to mid May. While I understand why this is happening, it's a shame for those of us who don't want to drive. The train journey is nice and you get to see around the town as well. I wonder if a little atmosphere will be lost too.

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