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Author Topic: Good Layout Presentation  (Read 5886 times)

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Offline PostModN66

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2013, 08:17:07 AM »
Some good notes there although I have to disagree with the following:-

Paul

Well - it took a bit to get going, but eventually aroused some interest!  :)

To answer your points Paul -

I'm guessing that people advocating  "Do not touch" labels is because they are seen as a necessity rather than an experiencing enhancing thing - No-one has ever said "the effect of your layout is spoilt by the absence of a "do not touch" sign!   ;)  As I have said, no-one has ever touched mine, and if they did I have designed the layout so that it would be unlikely to do any damage if they did. Place your fragile details towards the back of the layout! They probably don't touch because I am at the front and because of my barrier described above.

By the way - I hate those Perspex screens!  I have walked away from perfectly nice layouts because they have them!  (And I guess few people have ever thought - "that's a nice layout but I wish there was a bit of Perspex in front of it"!)

Operator round the front - needs to be designed in at the planning stage.   Perhaps a small panel to operate the goods yard - that kind of thing.  It certainly seems to make a big difference in being able to chat to people without holding a conversation over the layout that detracts from the experience for other viewers.

Audience involvement - well, optional of course! And varied - it doesn't have to be driving trains.  I have a few switches and controls of scenic items (most notably a little digger) that children can operate.   Some people are interested in the signalling which tries to be authentic as possible, and some people have been invited round the back to help with the fiddle yard.  At the recent High Wycombe show one long-suffering father said "of all the layouts we have seen at all the exhibitions we have been to this is the best experience we have ever had".  Cool!  8)

By the way - on the topic of layout height, Lofthole is roughly 4' to rail height.  This provides a good viewing experience I would suggest for people between 4'8" tall to around 6'2", which includes most adults, and in fact, most wheelchair users can see it albeit at a flat angle.  I take the needs of wheelchair users (and potentially  people with dwarfism, although I have never seen one at an exhibition) seriously; my periscope is light, professionally built and has a really wide field of view; a few wheelchair users have been more impressed with the periscope than with the layout   :(

Cheers   Jon   :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

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Lofthole http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14792.msg147178#msg147178

Deansmoor http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14741.msg146381#msg146381

Offline Only Me

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2013, 08:39:53 AM »
By the way - I hate those Perspex screens!  I have walked away from perfectly nice layouts because they have them!  (And I guess few people have ever thought - "that's a nice layout but I wish there was a bit of Perspex in front of it"!)

It is unfortunately a sad sign of the times but the need to protect things from being stolen prevails these days, a perspex screen is far easier for the layout owners to see the wandering hands brigade leaning over to "lift" something than having no front at all.  Yes it can, if not done correctly spoil the look but there are unfortunately some sc*mbags out there who won't hesitate to steal from the layouts on show, we were having a discussion during a curry with a group of owners/operators at the Newark show and I heard one chap mention the possibility that said sc*mbags were going to shows to "steal to order".  Horseley fields when fully loaded up can have over 8 full trains on it, if you cost each loco at £100 each then add the stock, thats close to pushing the £2000 barrier of moveable items easily lifted....
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 08:42:03 AM by Only Me »



Offline Sprintex

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2013, 08:54:19 AM »
Audience involvement - well, optional of course! And varied - it doesn't have to be driving trains.  I have a few switches and controls of scenic items (most notably a little digger) that children can operate.

The only decent "interactive" element I've seen was on a large scale layout. There was a cameo right at the front of two men digging a hole in the road, and a push-button nearby on the front of the baseboard that said "Push me". When pushed a squirt of water came out of the hole just at the right height to get the little so-and-so >:D


Paul

Offline PostModN66

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2013, 08:55:58 AM »
Any chance of a photo please?


I don't have a photo of the whole set-up, but here is one of the brackets.  It connects to a leg of the layout via the Velcro (so if it was kicked it wouldn't bring the layout down), and the pole which is about 15mm diameter goes in the notch.  The bracket is about 18" long overall.



Cheers  Jon   :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

My Postmodern Image Layouts

Lofthole http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14792.msg147178#msg147178

Deansmoor http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14741.msg146381#msg146381

Offline PostModN66

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2013, 08:59:52 AM »
The only decent "interactive" element I've seen was on a large scale layout. There was a cameo right at the front of two men digging a hole in the road, and a push-button nearby on the front of the baseboard that said "Push me". When pushed a squirt of water came out of the hole just at the right height to get the little so-and-so >:D

Paul

Hi Paul - You didn't like my little digger then when you saw it at Royston!  :(

Cheers   Jon   :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

My Postmodern Image Layouts

Lofthole http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14792.msg147178#msg147178

Deansmoor http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14741.msg146381#msg146381

Offline Sprintex

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2013, 09:02:24 AM »
Didn't remember it being interactive that's all Jon, memory isn't that good :D


Paul

Offline H

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2013, 09:19:46 AM »
I prefer a 'higher' display level for layouts. Bending causes pain these days (I've got a prolapsed disc now) and I wouldn't like to collapse on a layout trying to get a better look with a back spasm. Also most exhibitions offer (either to rent or loan) 'hop-ups' or periscopes for kids these days.

With regards to theft at model railway exhibitions I think it's fortunately still quite rare (although obviously not unheard of), but eternal vigilance is required. Usually known thieves are spotted and the word quickly goes around the exhibitors.

I'm not a fan of Perspex/glass screens - they are often scratched and soon get grubby during a show (with finger marks, snot from kids with their noses pressed up against it, and atmospherics) making it hard to see through. But there is a problem of touching and potential damage caused as a result which is very real - I've experienced it on my layout when exhibiting (several times) which has caused damage. Usually it is kids with wandering fingers who want to grab but not exclusively. Sometimes adults will want to poke and prod.

That's why I like a barrier at the more family and community oriented shows (whereas enthusiasts scale shows are less problematic as attendees are more likely to understand the delicate nature of scale models). However, the barriers needs to be set back as parents often lift kids to sit on it and then their swinging legs are in range. But I do like those proper firm barriers that you can lean on to watch. It's difficult and there is no quick and easy panacea.

H.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2013, 09:27:27 AM »
If ya want to see "interactive" done to perfection, Hamburg is the place to go!

Bealman's Euro adventure comin'  :sleep:
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Offline silly moo

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2013, 11:14:26 AM »
Our club layout has been running for nearly 20 years and we have found that sometimes even barriers and signs don't stop people from touching so when we are at large exhibitions we put up perspex.

Unfortunately some of the culprits are too young to be able to read the "don't touch" signs and some are old enough to know better. Our signs read "children, please don't let your parents touch the layout"

At smaller shows we leave the perspex off but have to watch very carefully for children who try to put their fingers in front of a train to cause a derailment. You can usually spot the naughty ones and then have to watch them very carefully. It's easy to see which children (and adults) have been well brought up and those that haven't.

I might add that our audience is mainly members of the general public and not railway modellers so there is an almost complete lack of rivet-counters but we do encounter lots of people who have no idea that model railway items are still available as none of the larger stores stock them.

We always generate a lot of interest wherever we go and on whole people are very well behaved but as my mother used to say "there's always one!"  ;D

Offline Portpatrick

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2013, 12:06:25 PM »
I have used perspex fronting on 3 of my 4 exhibition layouts (Morfa Nevyn, Abersoch and now Portpatrick Town).  Essential in smaller more cramped locations where robust barriers are not available.  Yes it gets finger, and worse, marks but these clean off easily enough.  Main concern is children hanging on it - possibility of breakage.

I do use those springy door stops for a lightweight barrier - partly to delineate the width required for the sector plates.  But I have screwed large eyes into the ends to take the rope.  Height is always debatabe. My first layout,  Gramsere was on a pasting table, Morfa Nevyn and Abersoch not much higher.  Portpatrick is a little higher still.  Low layouts good for wheechair users and small children (saves the backs of parents and as I now am, grandparents).  But fair point about bending - my own back is not what it was!  That said I have taken my grandchildren to shows where  some layouts were so high even the typical step was not high enough - which is annoying.  And the 3 older ones are too heavy for me to lift much these days.

Offline portland-docks

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2013, 12:30:41 PM »
When i did wylam and gateshead, i had non stop people touching.

Mainly due to the snow effect, people wanting to know what it felt like and if it was stuck onto most places of thr layout.

Then with locos sitting in sidings they try pushing them to see if they move.

I had no signs up but i think next exhibition i may have to as i dont want to be going down the perspex option. Too many occasions trains were knocked over just by someone touching the layout and budging it hard enough to knock stuff over.

Standing around the front is a no go for moorside, as its constantly operating the control panel, swapping locos and rolling stock we physically cant stand round the front. If theres enough of us operating i will make myself available to chat but we dont have time most of the time.

Visit my heritage Railway "moorside Valley Railway"

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=9280.0

see first post for exhibition dates

Offline johnlambert

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2013, 08:28:17 PM »
Interesting topic.  I've just been invited to show my layout at a small show next year and it is interesting to hear what people have to say.

Whilst I hate to admit it I am worried about the possibility of locos or stock going missing.

Also I need to think about getting some proper legs for my layout, I've been using my ironing board as a temporary stand but I need something a bit more sturdy and stable and I'll need to get the height right.

Offline PostModN66

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2013, 10:03:55 PM »
Hi John,

I really wouldn't worry about theft too much.   It's one of those things that goes round exhibitions and causes a flutter, but doesn't seem to happen in reality too often.   I reckon gangs intent on large scale organised crime are more likely to go for diamonds or drug dealing than toy trains.  A full load of trains for Lofthole is 14 trains, plus plenty more in the stock boxes, sometimes with minimal supervision, and nothing has ever been nicked, as far as I can tell.   I just keep my less replaceable locos (CJM 92!) under slightly closer observation! 

Anyway, in extremis, the exhibition should be insuring your stock (including, I believe in transit to and from the exhibition) - worth checking.

I would look into sturdy legs though; or make sure of a suitable barrier between you and your ironing board. Getting the height right = impossible as everyone has a different view  (....4ft....4ft......he whispers...sublimally......)!

It would be a shame to let worry about any of this spoil the enjoyment of the show, or create a siege mentality!

Oooh - and don't forget lighting!

Cheers   Jon   :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

My Postmodern Image Layouts

Lofthole http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14792.msg147178#msg147178

Deansmoor http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14741.msg146381#msg146381

Offline The Cuckoo

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2013, 11:08:18 PM »
I must admit that if there is a sturdy barrier in place I do use it to lean on if veiwing a layout for any amount of time (thats me just being lazy) however I would see bending down to get a better view of a lower set layout as being purley an extra option (if your back allows) however layouts set too high for kids or people in wheelchairs and their only option to view it at all is to use a hop up or periscope respectively then I would find this to be very off putting.

I don't like to see perspex fronts but I do thoroughly understand why people use them.

Do not touch signs don't bother me at all, again I understand why people feel the need to display them, in fact sometimes I have to bite my tongue when I see a member of the public reaching out about to touch a layout when all I want to do is shout  GET OFF IT!  :veryangry:
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 09:18:33 PM by The Cuckoo »

Offline Cooper

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Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2013, 11:39:53 PM »
Some really interesting views on here.  :thumbsup: I think there is no hard and fast right or wrong answers here, just what works for you, and as I'm designing the next foray into exhibiting (hopefully) at the moment I'm interested to see the collected experience here.

Cards on the table, as a helper on Jon's Lofthole Oil Terminal and with him helping out on my Horseblock Lane, you'll be unsurprised it 's 4 foot high!

It sits on a table with B&Q legs and I have found at exhibitions the tables can be wobbly. However, experience has shown that enthusiastic operating of switches, (yes, they're on the front to encourage audience participation from children) can lead to layout wobble also and a mod for bracing the legs is in hand.

There is no sign or barrier and it's operated from the front. Being only 54 inches long it's easy enough to keep an eye on stuff, and we've only had one grabbing incident, this from a child being held exceptionally close by his Mum who fancied the cement lorry parked tantalisingly at the front. No harm done but a light barrier along the lines of Lofthole wouldn't go amiss for next time out.

Lighting is a simple daylight effect fluorescent tube. It is worth considering the impact of your lighting on those around you as at shows if you're not parked in a corner it can be quite intrusive for other exhibitors.... Don't ask me how I know. ;)

 

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