Well, it’s thanks to Allan and Ron for entertaining us for the past month with pictures of Switzerland, and giving me a break from blogging. I’ll try and get back into the swing of things now, starting with two quotes from Model Railway Journal.
From Jerry Clifford’s editorial….
The experience got me thinking about exhibiting in general and the expectations of paying public in particular. We are in the entertainment business but, for me, the role of the exhibitor is to educate and inspire, as well as entertain. The flora and fauna of the social media are regularly full of comments and complaints about the running, or lack of it, on exhibition layouts, and whilst I agree that those of us who put ourselves up in front of the paying public are there to entertain, I do feel that many see that entertainment in only one dimension – the trains. Setting the scene and creating the context through which our trains, both historical and geographical, can perform, is every bit as important as the trains themselves. I, like many others, put a huge amount of time and effort into the research and realisation of my miniature slice of reality and would hope that it could hold a spectator’s interest, for a few minutes at least, while they await the next bit of action.
Another view on the ‘entertainment .v. scale modelling’ discussion. As ever, I’m convinced that the best exhibitions have some of each type of layout.
And Richard Ellis on how to make manure – ‘O’ scale that is!
No scene where real horse-power was used would be complete without a smattering of fresh manure. This is really fun to do, simple, yet effective. The raw ingredients are sieved sharp sand, sieved soil, a blob of PVA and a dash of washing up liquid. Mix them all together into a paste and leave for a few minutes to start to go off. Then apply in manure-like deposits to the road surface, being careful not to overdo it and keep it to scale. Now drop a very small amount of superglue in one or two places at the edges and sprinkle some sieved soil over it. The addition of some straw (brush bristles) is also effective for adding texture. Now leave it all to dry, preferably overnight. In the morning, take a scriber or similar blunt instrument and abrade the surface of the now rock-hard manure. This will have the effect of knocking off any loose bits but also where it has scraped the surface the colour is instantly transformed to a much lighter shade – almost gingery. If you make a habit of studying real manure, you will see that it is far from a uniform colour and high in texture. This method, I think, gives a passable [Ed: Hope this wasn’t meant as a pun] representation.
If any readers can do this in ‘N’ gauge, I’d be most interested – and probably slightly in awe of the modelling skills involved.