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Author Topic: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions  (Read 11511 times)

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Offline Caz

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2016, 11:22:22 am »
Lovely stuff Steven, I've got the new tooling railcar on order (if it ever arrives).  I used to live at Stalham just down the road from Wroxham when I lived in the UK, just couldn't hack the weather.   :)

Offline midsummerend

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #46 on: August 15, 2016, 12:08:51 pm »
Thanks caz. Yes inave the new one on order too.  I have done 3d prints of the parcels ones and twin set too.

Cant wait for thr pannier and autocoach to arrive from cr signals now though.

Offline belstone

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2016, 11:14:51 pm »
Nice to see this layout at Bressingham today.  It really is as pretty as it looks in the photos, and the Pannier tanks with DCC sound, lighting and firebox glow were awesome.

Offline midsummerend

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2016, 12:57:28 am »
Well it's been almost 2 months since I posted last in this thread and wow, has a lot happened and changed in this time.  I attended the J50 locomotive group's exhibition back in Mid-August and purchased a pack of 10 Incandescent bulbs for 3.  Drilled holes under the buildings and wired them in to illuminate the buildings.  That started what became a mammoth 2 months for Midsummer End.  I'm sure some of you follow us on facebook and have even seen us at shows, but for those who haven't, here's a recap of what's happened in the last 2 months.

Following return from the J50 show, 2 weeks later, I had a show at Bressingham Steam and Gardens.  This was the 1 year anniversary for Midsummer End on the exhibition circuit, having launched it's exhibition career at the same show the previous year.  And what a difference a year makes.  Between the J50 group exhibition and the show in Bresingham, I not only fitted working lights into the buildings, but also replaced the station and cattle dock lights with working lights.  I also fitted Dapol working lower quadrant signals, however, not with out trials and tribulations.  Firstly the signals where too deep under the baseboard to fit so additional framework had to be made to raise the layout up enough to give clearance for the signals.  50 of wasted signals made sure this happened as I accidentally caught the first 2 signals as soon as they where fitted to the layout - ouch!.  Still, onwards and upwards.  The second pair where fitted and operate from the Train-Tronics decoder via my NCE powercab.  So, new working signals and working platform/yard and building lights saw the first improvement.  Not bad for a 2 week period in which I also went away for a weekend!

Here is a picture of Midsummer End as she appeared at her first show in September 2015 at Bressingham:


And how she appeared this year:


Time has flown and it's been a great year with 6 shows in the first year.  Another vital change between the first year and the second year at Bressingham came with thanks to CR signals.  My first locomotive with sound was returned ready for the J50 group exhibition and this was a Farish 64xx Pannier and Dapol Autocoach set.  A lovely eye catching bit of work, however I couldn't stop there, so a Dapol 57xx and Farish Toad brake van was sent off next, returning in time for the Bressingham Show.

Here is a video of the 2 filmed at home, but still very impressive even at shows.


The layout really impressed at Bressingham and was even featured as part of the local BBC radio "treasure quest" having the clue blue-tac'd to the layout for the Local BBC presenters to find.  Midsummer End was given a brief mention on the show as part of the exhibition and the general Bressingham Steam Museum in general - A big thanks to the organisers at Bressingham for choosing my layout to put the clue on!

A couple more photos of the layout from Bressingham for you all to enjoy:





Continued...

Offline midsummerend

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #49 on: October 10, 2016, 12:58:06 am »
Bressingham over and done with the layout was returned home, however with no time to put it back up at home, it was left boxed up, with stock in the boxes and no cleaning done on it.  My plans where to visit the International N Gauge show the following weekend to help with Apa Park and Callum Sutherland, the layout which started it all for me, however, fate was not to allow as a family emergency meant that Callum had to unfortunately cancel his appearance.  So at the 11th hour a phone call between me, Callum and the organisers at TINGS on the Thursday morning, saw Midsummer End, still packed up from Bressingham, whisked back into the car and heading off to Leamington Spa.  Totally un-prepared for the weekend the layout was set up on the Friday and a few repairs done, not replacing a point decoder with one which could be powered from an aux power source due to the sound locos drawing a little too much power.  A big thanks to Fiona at DCC supplies for her wonderful help on the friday and throughout the show with both advice, and also spending a couple hours under the layout with me fitting the replacement decoder and programming it in!

After much rushing about friday afternoon and Saturday morning, the track was quickly cleaned - I really should have paid more attention to the cleaning of the layout as it was to cause a few headaches during the weekend!

So 10am came and the show opened.  Midsummer End had stepped up to appearing at the International N Gauge Show with just 48 hours notice!  Not bad going really, and my expectations for the event where somewhat low if I am honest.  The plan was to start running the layout, then leave my father, who was helping me during the weekend, to run the layout while I had a mooch around the stalls and other layouts.

Before I continue, I better show you a photo of the layout all set up and ready for show opening time:


As I say, show opening time arrived, the first visitors came in through the door.  Midsummer End had the unenviable honour of being on the very end right next to the Bachmann stand during the weekend,my thoughts to this being that Bachmann's stand and the goodies on show (including that lovely new Castle!) would mean a lot of visitors not noticing my tiny layout behind them.  How wrong I was to be.  Within a few minutes of the show opening the first visitors where crowding around Midsummer End (and the many other layouts too of course).  A good start I thought and I continued to perform the layout and entertain the viewing public, chatting to lots of people, many members of this forum, and many people also not members.  After what seemed like an hour or so, I looked at my watch to see what time it was.  Gasp! It was almost closing time!  Where on earth had the day gone.  Running almost faultlessly troughout the first day the viewers had been constant and no time had been allowed for going to visit other layouts or traders.  I managed a quick visit to PD Marsh to acquire a water crane for the platform and some other bits for the layout including a post box, water tower and telegraph poles.  All part of the grand scheme of improvements planned for Midsummer End.  The post box and water crane where ready to plant so where placed onto the layout almost immediately, but the rest wasn't so was tucked away in the bag to bring home.

The Sunday was almost as busy for viewers as the Saturday, but fortunately I managed a quick look around on the Sunday morning before opening time.  Lesson learned for future shows is to clean the track thoroughly prior to the second day of running as by lunch time the track cleaner was being used all over the layout to keep trains running, alas had I spent a bit of time in the morning before opening time cleaning I'm sure it would have been much better - I guess they say you only learn by doing..

Well enough of my ramblings about the N Gauge Show, however one last thing before the photos that I must say, is that I appreciate every single person who came over and commented on Midsummer End.  The various comments about the detail and such really made the hard working on the layout worth while and to hear people say it was one of their favourite layouts was just the icing on the cake - I honestly don't think it compared to some of the other lovely layouts myself, but I guess it's the critics eye that I just won't be happy with the layout as I know what I can do better.

Sorry to those of you who appear in these few photos - I tried my best to capture your good side as you admired the layout...









Those few photos where taken during one of the few quiet periods of the day when I had chance to get out from behind the layout and mingle.  One thing which did come from the N Gauge show was a lot of interest for future shows and hopefully a few more shows next year will come as a result. 

Of course the show also gave me chance to introduce the layout to Neil from Dapol, the Marketing Manager, who was organising the club open day 3 weeks later.  I had already been in touch and booked my place on the open day as a club member and offered my services with the layout as a demonstration for the event, which had been gratefully taken up.  A big thank you again to everyone who spoke to myself and my father at the International N Gauge show and all the wonderful comments.  It really is what makes exhibiting worth while for me.

So, back home after the show what was next on the agenda?  As I said above, for me, the layout was not quite right.  Lots of wonderful comments, but for me there was some glaring issues.  Firstly the backscene, sky, sky and nothing but sky...  No rolling hills, no atmosphere..  It's not the West Country with out rolling hills, so an order to Gaugemaster was placed and a Ross-on-wye backscene was delivered.  Ideal for a Great Western Branch, this has certainly done something amazing to the layout as I'm sure you'll agree in the next series of photos coming up.  The water tower kit purchased at TINGS, was also built and installed on the layout not long after returning, however for me, probably the biggest change, was the removal of the Seep point motors and the installation of Servos to operate the points.  A big thank you again to Fiona at DCC supplies for the help, advice and speedy service of getting the servos and new decoder sent down to me.  A big thank you must also go out to CR signals as at TINGS, they came along and collected a pair of steam locos from me.  An N Class to be fitted with steam etc and also a 14xx.  No project existed for an autocoach fitted 14xx, but they did wonders with Wheeltappers to get one created!  Cheers guys.  So yes, another change before dapol was fitting of 2 more steam locos with sounds. That's 4 in the fleet now including 2 dapol and 2 farish locomotives.

One thing I forgot to mention above is that on the way back from TINGS, my fathers car decided it wanted to have a rest at Oxford services and be given a lift back, so it burst the water pump.  Fortunately it happened very close to the services and no further damage was done, but it did mean that a run up from Essex to Chirk was pretty much out of the question so soon after a breakdown.  Coupled with my mother going into hospital for an operation, my brother stepped up to help out with the layout at the Dapol Collectors Club open day on 1st October, and so we hired a van and off we went up the M6 heading towards that scary place where 2 l's makes a c sound, or something like that anyway...  We turned up friday night into the hotel over the road from Dapol for a lovely nights sleep followed by a good hearty cooked breakfast before heading over to the Dapol factory.  We soon set up the layout ready for doors opening.  I will admit that the club book which came through the door just before, unfortunately, had a picture of the new layout I'm still bulding (Model Heritage Railway), but alas, Midsummer End and it's stock of collett coaches, 57xx panniers, 14xx locos and other larger GWR locos, was ready to be shown off to collectors club members.  For me this was a truely magnificent achievement, being granted permission to show off my layout at one of the big manufacturers which helped to sculpt the layout into what it is.  If it wasn't for the range of stock for the Great Western, which is produced by both Dapol and Farish, then things could have been vastly different for Midsummer End.

Again, I am rambling on so I'll stop now on this part, except to say that yet again, the work done by the guys at CR Signals on the 14xx and the Panniers impressed everyone and we have almost certainly achieved some more show invites from this day.  Of course, I also spent some money which is never good.  So to the pictures:









Oh and thanks to Tank for letting the Forum 2015 tour coach come for a visit to Dapol and Midsummer End!




As always it was a true pleasure to exhibit the layout amongst so many enthusiastic and complimentary people and to hear the comments about the layout and how it's inspired people and given them ideas, is just wonderful.

So then, the day came to an end and the layout was packed into the van to return to sunny Essex, (along some extremely wet roads I must add!) but it was not to be unloaded from the van as the van wasn't to be returned until the Monday morning.  So what could we do on the Sunday with a layout and a hired van?

Well we could set it up at the East Anglian Railway Museum's Small Trains Day of course...  Why not exhibit 2 days in a row over 200 miles apart!

One thing I should mention, is that after coming back from TINGS and before the trip to Dapol, the black outter surfaces of the layout had become very tired, so a coat of Chocolate and Cream had been applied with a couple coats of Yacht varnish.  I'm very happy with the finish and it certainly makes the layout stand out a little more again.

The Small Trains Day at the East Anglian Railway Museum was a lovely day, albeit a little quiet for numbers, but still had plenty of people enjoying the layout, spotting the various details all over the layout, and it gave myself and my brother chance to "play trains" more than run the layout.  We did run some "out of era" stock during the day just for fun, which is always nice to do.  It also gave me chance to get some more photos of the layout and it's variety of detail, so once again, I'll shut up rambling and let the photos do the talking:









































Well if your still reading this rather epic post from me, then congratulations.  You've nearly reach the end of my 2 months worth of ramblings about Midsummer End - who'd have thought there would be so much to say about a 4ft long scenic layout??

So after completing the East Anglian Railway Museum exhibition the next show was 6 days later in Thetford in Norfolk.  I'm pleased to report that being a closer show and with more good running locally from the car, that my father was able to come out again to help with the layout, although it's a pleasure having my brother or father helping me, but of course, much less costly if it's my dad with his own suitably sized car.

So for the 11th time, Midsummer End headed to exhibition, the 4th show in 4 weeks!  Nothing was done to Midsummer End beyond a good clean up between shows.  Yet again we had lots of lovely comments and met some lovely people as we always do.

So here's the photos from the 11th show:











And of course at Thetford we still had the forum coach as seen here behind 868 again:


So that brings me right up to date.  The layout is now back home and awaiting the next stage of upgrades.  I've ordered some replacement static grass which I will be stripping back the current grass and doing again as the current grass is some what patchy, and then I'll be installing the telegraph poles as well.  Other than this there is not a great deal left to upgrade on Midsummer End, but it's transformation during September has been unbelievable and thank you to everyone for there comments, ideas and thoughts as it's been on the exhibition circuit over the last year and a bit.  Our next show is in November at Southend for the Shoeburyness show.

I will try not to leave it so long before the next up date, but I hope you've had a good read and enjoyed the photos if I haven't bored you all by now.

Kind Regards

Steven

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2016, 10:00:48 am »
Good to see you survived having your path crossed by a black cat, Steven!
I have to say the backscene does wonders for the layout and blends in extremely well. I did see you and the layout at TINGS but was being knocked about somewhat so it's good to be able to see all the little details in your excellent pics.
Thank you for advertising the forum as well :)

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #51 on: October 10, 2016, 10:08:12 am »
A fantastic presentation of a lovely layout.

Thanks for sharing! Especially for folks a long way away. :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Chris in Prague

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #52 on: October 10, 2016, 10:32:43 am »
Many thanks, Simon, for this long awaited update which, with all the photos. and information was well worth waiting for. It is really a lovely little layout and just keeps getting better and better.

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #53 on: October 10, 2016, 11:58:27 am »
Thanks for the update.
It does indeed look very good.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Offline MinZaPint

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #54 on: October 10, 2016, 12:01:24 pm »
A lovely layout and the video was excellent good focus and plenty of action  :thankyousign:
Cogito Sumere potum alterum

Offline Tonye

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2016, 04:21:39 pm »
 :hellosign: Very good photographs and video, I`ll be seeing you at Shoeburyness show as my layout Bettws Road will be on show , except mine will be the dull and quiet GWR layout!.See you there!- Tony
Tonye

Offline Mito

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #56 on: October 10, 2016, 09:04:33 pm »
A great and interesting up date on a lovely layout. Thank you.
You know you're getting older when your mind makes commitments your body can't meet.

Offline midsummerend

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2016, 09:54:35 am »
Thanks for all the comments guys and glad everyone is enjoying the updates and those who've seen the layout at Tings and other exhibitions have enjoyed it also.  NewportNobby, I guess you went on the Saturday which was mentally busy at Tings with people pushing and shoving.  I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the show from an exhibitor point of view as I was able to have a scout at the layouts before/after the show, and whilst not necessarily much going on, the level of detail was very good on the layouts on show.

Tony, I will look forward to seeing your GWR layout at Shoeburyness, be good to see how others have modelled the GWR!

If anyone took any photos of the layout with me operating it at any of the shows I'd be interested to see them as well!

Kind Regards till the next update.

Steven

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2016, 11:35:42 pm »
Well guys, We've just completed yet another successful show, the 8th show this year!  Midsummer End has gone from strength to strength this year and I'm really pleased with the feedback everyone has given the layout.  This weekend we spent two days in Southend with the Shoeburyness Model Rail Club and joined Tony from Bettws Road.  Two N Gauge GWR Layouts within shouting distance was fantastic especially as we are both forum members of course.  My own GWR Railcars went out for a jaunt on Bettws Road, and he very nearly persuaded me to buy a Dukedog - I must resist!

Anyway, before I start rambling, I must say that this weekend has been fantastic with all the N Gauge layouts and the comments from public and traders has been fantastic also.  We've got another 2 shows booked in, one in Billericay and one in Clacton (2018!) plus others in the pipeline as well.

For now I'll leave you with a festive image as this weekends show we fitted tinsel to the platform and a Christmas tree as well - that went down a storm!




Oh, and here is the latest promo video on youtube:


Our next show is Bexleyheath on Sunday 11th December.  I'm sure I'll meet yet more N Gauge Forum members there as well!

Cheers!

Steven
Midsummer End

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Re: Midsummer End GWR Layout - Available for Exibitions
« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2016, 11:44:05 pm »
Looks great! The Christmas tree really sets it off.  :thumbsup:
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

 

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