Wednesday, 2 November 2011

EXPO-NG: The other layouts

I did manage a little time to look around the show, and as always there were so many superb and inspiring layouts it is difficult to pick out favourites. However here are a selection of my better photos, for the full set click here. EXPO-NG is also the place to find all the specialist traders for narrow-gauge modelling, but I didn't have so much time for shopping!

Charlie Insley's St Etienne-en-Caux is definitely a favourite of mine, even though French narrow-gauge is not something I take much interest in the quality and detail of the layout draws you in, and the interesting rolling stock adds to the character of the setting.

Garreg Wen (009, Matthew & Helen Kean) won one of the awards (The Reinier Hendriksen Trophy IIRC) and it is easy to see why, it looks so "right" for a moment I was wondering where in Wales the prototype was! Better lighting would have helped it though. The other award (David Lloyd Memorial) was won by Corris 1930 (009, Rod Allcock), another superb layout that was hidden by crowds much of the day - that and the fact that I have seen it twice recently meant I didn't get any photos.

Grossbierdorf was an 014 layout by the Group Escradrille St Michelle, set in East Germany just before the fall of the wall it had just the right care-worn appearance of an industrial line, while avoiding the overly-decrepit look. It was well detailed and ran well too.

I had been looking forward to seeing The Loop (0 and 0-16.5) by Giles Favell, after seeing photos on the NGRM forum. It is the careful attention to colours and textures - especially the ground cover and details - that make this layout feel so real when viewed close-up.

I has also been looking forward to seeing Peter Kazer's latest model, of Boot on the "Owd Ratty", in 1/4in scale, and as expected it was finely detailed and of the highest standard. However there was so little modelled beyond the boundary fence that it seemed to lack a sense of place, a little more depth of scenery would have made a lot of difference. Now I know this is being picky, and it was a great model - but for me Peter's model of Corris a few years back was the most inspiring of his work. Nonetheless, Peter shows that standards of Narrow Gauge Modelling can be as high as any, and it is great to see a serious model of an attractive but obscure prototype.

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