Scalefour news 204 -mailbag , cameo layouts

junctionmad

Scalefour news 204 -mailbag , cameo layouts

Postby junctionmad » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:19 pm

Bob Essery, as you would expect, makes a plea for prototype practice at exhibitions, bemoaning the compromises that tend to make models differ from the prototype. ( "Cameo layouts" , mailbag , Scalefour news 204 )

I don't agree with his premise that exhibition layouts should be some form of historical reenactment of railway practice. The reality is the compromises inherent in model railways simply force unrealistic operation. Signals are rarely sighted correctly, distances are such that compromises are inevitable ( i.e. a shunt may take you beyond the home in model form that wouldn't happen in real life etc )

He mentions incorrect head and tail light positioning , does he really think we are going to reposition tiny head or tail lights in an exhibition setting?

While signalling aficionados, like myself, will agree with his comments, on many layouts it's quite difficult without dedicated signal operators to run any sort of comphrensive schedule fully signalled , some layouts succeed better then others. Yet there are loads of compromises , the bell and block instruments and their associated practices are rarely modelled, yet they have a huge impact on signalling on the prototype for example

Model railways can never be a facsimile of the real thing , at best they are " representative " , at worst they are merely " toys " , the biggest compromise is often the timetable , with models flying around a typical branch line that in reality would have hours in between movements , does he want shunting to go on for hours , or how much time should we alot to " unloading " all those coal wagons. !!!! . Seemingly bob would like hours to pass while nothing happens , god help if we ran exhibitions on Sunday to Sunday timetables. !

The reality is exhibitions are primarily there to " display " models , they are not museums! , leaving aside the fact that many of those viewing layouts would have no idea of the correct prototype practice anyway

PS. where has this term " cameo " layout gained currency ( mr rice ). The word has no English meaning comparable with its usage in this fashion , surely "Diorama" is a far better fit.

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Scalefour news 204 -mailbag , cameo layouts

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:31 am

Where to pitch things is a fascinating debate and I suspect will vary from layout to layout.

I think Bob Essery's observation that fewer and fewer people inevitably have any sort of recollection of the last day's of steam (let alone pre-grouping) has a deal of validity. Research and reading is fascinating, but watching a well conceived model is I think a complimentary experience with the added fun/interest a model always brings.

I spent a happy afternoon at Pendon recently and was treated to a solo show and commentary of the running of the dartmoor scene ... not only was it entertaining and a lot of fun, but it was amazing how much I learnt about the real thing ...with many questions raised and answers forthcoming which would never have occurred without the physical representation.

Different models and different owners/groups will emphasise different aspects of interest, which is all part of what fascinates me about the hobby.
Tim Lee

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Re: Scalefour news 204 -mailbag , cameo layouts

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:18 am

junctionmad wrote:The reality is the compromises inherent in model railways simply force unrealistic operation.


We will all have out own views on this. Realistic operation is possible and there does not have to be compromise, even if the layout is fictitious and not a model of an actual location. Not only can it be done, but it is done. Plumpton Green, built by Barry Luck and shown at Scaleforum in 2015 has a fully interlocked lever frame and has realistic and accurate operation and the same is true of Eccleston and Minories to be shown this year. 25 years ago the Mid Sussex group did the same thing with Pulborough, which is a real place and the layout is exactly to scale length and there was and is no interlocked frame.

junctionmad wrote:on many layouts it's quite difficult without dedicated signal operators to run any sort of comprehensive schedule fully signalled ,


Not particularly difficult but it does of course need an extra operator who needs to be trained and the operators need to drive to the signals. This is done on Plumpton Green and Pulborough and having observed the operation of Eccleston and Minories, it appears to be done there as well. Come to Sca;leforum and see it in action. I expect it is also done on Cluttion but I have not seen that layout in operation for several years.

junctionmad wrote: the bell and block instruments and their associated practices


Rarely - yes perhaps but they are seen. At Scaleforum this year you will see them in operation on Clutton, Miniroies and I think Eccleston and there are other examples.

junctionmad wrote:does he want shunting to go on for hours


I happen to know that Bob does not support this view. Many years ago I heard Bob give a lecture at Scaleforum, during which he mentioned the development and operation of Heckmondwyke. Bob was involved in the development of the timetable and at its first showing he insisted on something approaching prototype timings. He and the rest of the team very quickly realised that this was not practicable and it was changed. What we can try to replicate is what the prototype does. A loco, be it steam, diesel or electric does not couple up to the train and immediately move off. The brake pipes will need to be connected, the correct working pressure obtained in the brake system, perhaps a lamp to be put on the end vehicle, the reverser to be moved - a delay if it is a screw reverser, whilst on most diesel locos the driver will need to move to the other cab and switch over the "change ends" switch, and so on. All this can be implied by a short pause before moving off.

junctionmad wrote:many of those viewing layouts would have no idea of the correct prototype practice anyway


True, :( and the answer is to explain what is being done, either in the notes in the guide or by a member of the operating team telling people what is happening. You don't see it happening often but it is done - Burnttisland is one example, and it is very effective. How do you find out what should be done? Read Bob's very useful series of books and then follow his advice in your layout building and operation. :)

junctionmad wrote:PS. where has this term " cameo " layout gained currency


It is a term that Iain ha used for a long time, and to many people it describes what those sort of layouts are like. Simple as that. :D

Terry Bendall


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