Last Saturday I set out over the South Downs through gale force winds to the annual show at Uckfield. I've found in previous year's that this show has a record of high-quality layouts, some from far afield, making it well worth the trip, and this year's billing looked just as promising. The venue is not large, but the emphasis is on quality rather than large layouts, and covering a variety of interests - including some narrow gauge. In addition the show attracts some specialist traders that don't do many shows. Anyway, enough waffle, here are some of my favourite layouts...
Denton Brook (O & O14) by Giles Favell, a layout I've watched develop on the NGRM forum. On the face of it the layout is simple, though well executed, however it is brought to life by the working features - working hoist, radio control lorry, and even fully working mobile crane.
These are fascinating to watch and reflect Giles' superb skill in making them work so well, and look so good at the same time.
Arun Quay (Finescale O) by Gordon & Maggie Gravett. Well known for their superb scenic modelling skills, they have returned to Sussex for inspiration to their latest, superbly detailed layout. I like the neat trick of showing the quayside from the landward side, with the river and distant scenery painted on the misty backscene, which is hung an inch or so beyond the quayside "edge" of the layout. Not only does it look natural it saves modelling the water I guess...!
Bridport Town (O16.5) by David Taylor is a convincing and characterful freelance narrow-gauge layout. I've admired David's work since I saw pictures in Railway Modeller years ago, and it was a pleasure to see it close up.
Another characterful layout that is part of a well-thought-out freelance line is Moorton Bottom Yard (009) by Paul Windle, and as well as the brooding warehouses and last-of-the-summer-wine terraces it features a working wagon hoist. Paul is of course an accomplished 009 modeller well known for his locos (I have a few) and scenic layouts.
Six Quarters (OO) by Oliver Turner captures a bleak, winter's day, depicting an NCB coal yard, and is a refreshing change from so many layouts. Everything is weathered and toned down, and the scene just really works. This is another layout I've seen develop online on Oly and Chris's blog, and it was good to see it in person.
All good layouts, worth seeing if you get the chance. And that's not all, I ran out of space here but there are more photos and layouts over on Flikr.