Exhibition Presentation

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Postby DCRfan » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:25 am

Prof Klyzlr wrote:
Apologies for the mess, but here's an overview of the legs under "Brooklyn : 3AM"

Image



I do like the pessimism of things electrical - a soldering iron permanently attached under the layout :P

I agree, the perceived reduction in transport bulk seems to be overated and introduces additional risk and complexity of staging.
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Postby Rowley » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:11 pm

As one who hasn't exhibited, but sometimes takes a wheelchair bound friend to local shows, I do hate it when you have to wait while the exhibiters spent time sorting out which is the next train in the sequence. About the height of viewing I prefer being able to see from above. (a) because my friend has more chance of seeing a bit more of the layout than just what is at the front, and (b) looking down onto the layout gives one a chance to see the backs of the buildings (backyards, gardens etc').
Most of the layouts I have seen have a lot of minute detail that would be missed if looking at it nearly eye height. As for couplings, well considering there has to be compromise in all things, I would rather see an auto coupling (kaydee, spratt & winkle or at a pinch Bachmann autolock) than see the proper three link couplings and the big hand in the sky doing the deed
When I take my friend, I usually take a videocam with me so I can hold it above the layout with the owners permission so he can see the hidden bits on the viewfinder but is far from ideal
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Postby Jez kirkwood » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:50 am

Rowley wrote:As one who hasn't exhibited, but sometimes takes a wheelchair bound friend to local shows, I do hate it when you have to wait while the exhibiters spent time sorting out which is the next train in the sequence. About the height of viewing I prefer being able to see from above. (a) because my friend has more chance of seeing a bit more of the layout than just what is at the front, and (b) looking down onto the layout gives one a chance to see the backs of the buildings (backyards, gardens etc').
Most of the layouts I have seen have a lot of minute detail that would be missed if looking at it nearly eye height. As for couplings, well considering there has to be compromise in all things, I would rather see an auto coupling (kaydee, spratt & winkle or at a pinch Bachmann autolock) than see the proper three link couplings and the big hand in the sky doing the deed
When I take my friend, I usually take a videocam with me so I can hold it above the layout with the owners permission so he can see the hidden bits on the viewfinder but is far from ideal
Rowley



Inspired by the videocam idea maybe an option for those of us with high level proscenium style layouts who don't wish to compromise height but at the same time don't want to discriminate against small children and wheelchair users could be to fit a small webcam/digicam to the front of the layout plugged into a laptop/monitor displayed at a lower level? I realise this would only work for small layouts where the whole length of the scenic area could be viewed but it could be one solution.
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Postby Prof Klyzlr » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:57 am

Dear Team,

RE Camera Relay of on-layout action

Totally logical idea, with the following caveats

1 - Use a CCD videocamera, NOT a CMOS camera.
(CMOS cameras, esp the newer "HDV"cams by Sony and suchlike,
are functionally incapable of handling "low light" conditions,
and grain up horribly! :( )

1a - :idea: Adjust your camera's whitebalance, so it actually works correctly with the layout lighting.

(You work damn hard to make your model's color and weathering work under the specfic layout lighting system,

but then hapily accept a poorly-configured camera,
which reacts to the layout lighting "color temperature",
and renders the models as a gaudy sideshow presentation? :( )

2 - :!: webcams are totally ineffective under such conditions,
due to resolution limitations, and focus/depth-of-field limitations.
(They also don't handle low light well)

2a - :!: we're looking at the trains, we don't want to see the edges or taskbar of a Windows install or webcam app...

3 - :idea: turn off "auto-focus" and "autoexposure",
and set these values correctly, manually,
lest the passing of each train in front of lense cause visual havoc while the camera "hunts" the moving image...
(Ever had "seasickness" when standing totally still?)

4 - Consider: How to mount the camera in a "suitable position" that gives the monitor viewer a "decent viewpoint", without sticking it in the sightline of a person actually trying to view the layout directly :?: :?: :?:

4a - RE adaptable/positionable camera mountings: I use and Reccomend looking at something like the Manfrotto MagicArm + SuperClamp. Cheap, and bulletproof :idea:

http://www.manfrotto.com.au/LightingPro ... _Number=37

5 - even (especially) with small layouts, forcing the viewer to move around to catch all the myriad incuded details is inherrently part of the presentation. A fixed camera can never hope to capture this...
(leave aside the inability for the average "handicam" to achieve the required "macro focus" over the above-mentioned depth-of-field)

6 - I have seen "remote monitors" used to broadcast the view from a "nose-mounted onboard camera" with some success, (and a huge appreciation from the kids BTW! :D ),

However,
- it doesn't automatically "fade to black" when heading "offstage",
(thus shooting most of the theatrical presentation in the foot),

- It can suffer from radio or wheel-track interferrence
(making watching it a headache-inducing task)

- and funnily enough actually forces one to look at the layout "as a scale human would", thus occasionally making for "cringe-worthy" footage as the trains runs past the <insert "would look very odd in 12"/1' scale model or scenery effect" HERE> ...

Modelling is a Compromise, I think most modellers would agree with that.
However, sometimes you gotta make your compromises, and stick with them. Compromise everything, and you'll likely end up with M.O.R. Beige... :wink:
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Postby Gavin Sowry » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:18 am

DCRfan wrote:Rather than black cloth what about weed mat?

    It's black
    Not opaque
    Doesn't hold or show creases
    Needs a fair breeze to blow around
    Cheap
    Available in a number of 'heights'


:roll: Found what you were on about in the Red Shed... alongside the 'shiny' weedmat, was some 'matt' weedmat/shelter stuff. Must admit, I had previously thought of using it too.
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Postby DCRfan » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:31 am

Modern kids probably more at home watching a layout digitally and layout signs probably now must include cell phone number so they can text questions to the exhibitor :P
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Postby Glen A » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:49 am

Gavin Sowry wrote:
DCRfan wrote:Rather than black cloth what about weed mat?

    It's black
    Not opaque
    Doesn't hold or show creases
    Needs a fair breeze to blow around
    Cheap
    Available in a number of 'heights'


:roll: Found what you were on about in the Red Shed... alongside the 'shiny' weedmat, was some 'matt' weedmat/shelter stuff. Must admit, I had previously thought of using it too.


I have heard that type referred to a 'landscape fabric'.
It is much different to the common weedmat the it usually available, (and much easier to use in the garden too!)
It is one flat sheet with tiny holes punched in it, rather than the woven strips of shiny plastic you get in weedmat.

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Postby Rowley » Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:06 pm

Thanks for all the interesting ideas to help wheelchair bound, and small children to get a better view of the layouts. However if some of the exhibiters do decide to have a go at this, it might be better to have the monitor at a higher level otherwise to see it means that the viewer would have to be at the front (not always possible in a crowded hall) and children grouped round the monitor would impede the viewing to other spectators. Anyway thanks for trying to come up with suggestions to help that section of the population who can,t see at the same height as the rest of us
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Postby Oztrainz » Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:32 pm

Hi Rowley,
The display shelf above Yallah was also designed so that a laptop or similar could be positioned there facing the crowd to show the activities of the real rail, thus assisting the "promotional aspect" of the layout. This has yet to be tried in action - The daughter won't lend me her laptop that she uses for Uni :( -Smart Lady that :D, but I am still working on her and a promotional DVD/video and/or Powerpoint presentation that can be put on continuos loop. Given the ambient noise, levels in exhibition halls, sound will probably not be required or will be turned off.

Just another idea, already thought about, designed into the layout, but still in development.
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Postby michael » Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:03 am

I would rather see an auto coupling (kaydee, spratt & winkle or at a pinch Bachmann autolock) than see the proper three link couplings and the big hand in the sky doing the deed

I have been thinking about this for a long time. When I was knee high to a grasshopper I spent too many hours to recall watching the shunting operations at the large yard in Acton W3. The small diesel shunter had a wagon attached that a couple of chaps would hang onto and they had a wooden pole that was used to hook or unhook the three link couplings, this was a constant job of back and forth work that doesnt seem too far removed from the big hand in the sky....really!
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Postby Will Vale » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:25 am

Bit late chiming in here, but as a guilty party on several counts at my first show:

* Layout on exhibition-supplied table
* No backscene
* Stuff under the table
* Changing stock live (no fiddle yard!)
* Probably others I forgot

I feel like I ought to make more of an effort next time! I can definitely see that well-presented layouts can look really smart, and allow you to concentrate on the modelling rather than the fluff.

On the other hand, row upon row of morbidly black proscenium-arch efforts with hidden lighting and ominous dark curtains lead me to expect some kind of Grand Guignol horror show! A little variety in presentation and clutter level is charming and makes the whole thing feel more accessible - "maybe I can do that - it's just bits of wood and a workmate after all" rather than "coo, you'd have to be a professional to attempt that".

For those who were at Railex, the presentation on Kerosine Creek is very good - it's very carefully arranged to look like weathered wood and fit in with the subject a bit more, so presents a very coherent picture. Even their barrier ropes and stanchions looked good.

One other point about the necessity of backscenes - I've never been a huge fan of them, especially for small layouts, because they're usually the thing which looks least real. I can accept that a model is a small slice of real life, but then adjusting that perception to accomodate the big flat thing at the back is tricky. I guess if you can control the sightlines that helps a great deal, but for small layouts display in the round might be a good approach. Like edgy modern theatre on an intimate stage rather than set back from the audience framed by curtains and sets - ever been to the Crucible in Sheffield and compared it to the Lyceum?

Cheers,

Will

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Postby Sir Briand » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:56 am

A very interesting subject and one dear to my heart :D . Suffice it to say that the standard of layout exhibiting here in Canada, at least the Toronto area, is abysmal. Notable exceptions are seen at The annual Narrow Gauge Show and the biannual Great British Train Show. Am I biased :?: Of course not :roll: .

On the subject of backscenes I have a dislike of straight tops. They are ugly especially in photographs. Years ago, with Camelot, I gave my tops slightly irregular curvilinear edges. If you visit my website and look at Camelot, Knotts Wharf and Red Fox you can judge for yourself.

Meanwhile, for instant gratification, here are 4 images of Red Fox.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Even the support for the light is curvy :shock: .

Mention was made of scruffy operators. Agree :lol: . The first time Camelot was being set up at a show I took photos as we went along. One of them showed my partner behind the backscene with his red hairy chest showing :shock: . I stopped at a store on the way home and bought long sleeved black turtle necks for the crew to wear the next day. What a difference that made to the look of the whole presentation 8) .
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Postby DCRfan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:37 am

The fellow obviously hasn't been reading this thread. Quick where the blackout material :shock: :shock: :shock:

Go down to the pictures at the bottom of the page.

http://feldbahn.forumieren.com/feld-und-kleinbahn-im-modell-f8/modellfeldbahn-in-1225-t193.htm

It is FANTASTIC
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Postby scott b » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:13 pm

Wow. er ist schön.
I can`t imagine fitting that in my trunk and backseat though.
I tried the big black arch thing and it does not seem to translate for me. I like the blending in with reality that this V-tip layout gives. But that is easy if the models are fantastic as well.
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Postby rue_d_etropal » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:23 pm

Love the tipper wagon supporting the end of the layout :lol:
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Postby martin » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:34 pm

Will Vale wrote:
On the other hand, row upon row of morbidly black proscenium-arch efforts with hidden lighting and ominous dark curtains lead me to expect some kind of Grand Guignol horror show! A little variety in presentation and clutter level is charming and makes the whole thing feel more accessible



I'm also grave digging this thread!

Personally I think we can dress up these things too much, I like the accessible nature of the GN15 layouts i've seen at exhibitions in the UK and the photo at the start of this thread seems fine to me, it makes it genial, alive and very much more tangible than the pomp and circumstance of dressing it up in undertakers black!

I'm not saying all layouts in prosceniums look dour... just some ;) It would be interesting to see what visitors really think. The last exhibition I attended included a Gn15 Layout that attracted a huge crowd... yet it was presented in the same way as the photo at the top of the thread. In the same exhibition a 00 layout presented in a monolithic, faceless proscenium despite being a lovely model didn't attract nearly as much attention.. too intimidating!

As for TV monitors for the disabled... I know applying the Disability Discrimination Act (UK) to temporary exhibitions of model railways is overkill... but while providing TV monitors is in no way in contradiction of the DDA I think some would take the view that it's not in the "spirit" of it, afterall they might as well stay at home and wtach it on youtube, some would say it's just as degrading as not being able to see the layout in the first place. Kind of the equivalent of having to access your local restaurant from the alley round the back while all the "normal" people get to go through the shiny revolving door.
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Postby Gavin Sowry » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:54 am

:shock: There's a group of us fellas from Gn15 and Scrapbook that have invited ourselves to the Masterton Exhibition in August. We discussed presentation, as we will be grouped together. :idea: What we (I) decided was, for this show, we would go 'flat bottom' for all our displays. The organiser is providing standard tables, which we will clothe with a matt black fabric on front and top.... instant skirting, and table top contrast for the layouts.
I think it will work (it better :oops: ).
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Postby Jon Randall » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:01 pm

Gavin,
When us Gnorfolkers exhitited together at Dereham last year we were provided with tables and cloth and it worked really well. Visitors straight away realised that we were together and often went up and down the tables asking questions and comparing the various scales/gauges/styles etc.
Have fun and convert the unbelievers :D
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Postby Gavin Sowry » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:39 am

Jon Randall wrote:Gavin,
When us Gnorfolkers exhitited together at Dereham last year we were provided with tables and cloth and it worked really well. Visitors straight away realised that we were together and often went up and down the tables asking questions and comparing the various scales/gauges/styles etc.
Have fun and convert the unbelievers :D


:D Counting down the days, and, yes, we are going with the black cloth idea.. black bedsheets, actually. We did a trial run at the club the other night.
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Postby jimread » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:19 am

Here's my ten pence worth about exhibitions, in the 80's I took 2 layouts around exhibitions for about 6/7 years sometimes two per month.

My main point is this;

I operated from the front - why? I have seen men in tears after a child ran into/tried to climb/shook a layout and knocked the stock off. I would insist on having some chairs along the front so that vistors could sit and watch and have a go, this does provide some measure of protection. This is how I operated both my layouts over the period. If barriers were provided (at the minority of venues) I would still operate from the front.


Coming back to the pastime as I am now I would operate from the rear if barriers were provided and from the front if they were not.

I would not have a backscene or any complicated lighting, reasons for this;

Transport all I've got is a Nissan Micra
Standing at an exhibition to operate is tiring to say the least, sitting is both relaxing and enjoyable
Everything will be hand operated, as simple as possible and easily accessable/repairable, if it can go wrong it will especially at an exhibition
Packing up takes minutes, important if you've a long journey ahead

Exhibitions cater for a wide range of layouts and of course a wide range of interest amongst the visitors. Potential solo/family exhibitors should not be put off by the 10 man team with the use of a pantechnicon, there is room for us all.

My personal interest is in slow running all day at an exhibition without having a loco stall, it took some time to gather the expertise to achieve this but after a few months I was able to do it everytime.
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Postby DCRfan » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:13 pm

Gavin Sowry wrote:
:D Counting down the days, and, yes, we are going with the black cloth idea.. black bedsheets, actually. We did a trial run at the club the other night.


Gavin,

I've just come from opening night Harry Potter. Not a bad movie. Was the second sheet for a black cape each :?: Do we need wands as well :lol:
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Postby Simon Andrews » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:49 pm

we are going with the black cloth idea.. black bedsheets, actually.
I keep humming the theme to Shaft and can't seem to shift the image of a 70s bachelor pad from my mind :!:

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Image

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Postby Prof Klyzlr » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:54 pm

Dear Gavin,

Looking forward to seeing how the "Black sheet skirts" turn out...

FYI, "Brooklyn : 3AM" made it's debut with flat-sheet skitrting and drapes,
and looked something like this

Image

NB the signage was designed such that it could be seen from the opposite end of an average exhibition hall. Given the number of punters who mentioned that "we saw something bright red and flashing up here, so we just had to get up on stage and have a look", it would appear to have achieved the goal easily :twisted: :lol:

Image

Image

For Jim: Check the ambient lighting in the hall pics above.
I understand that lighting systems and "enclosed modules" can eat more space in the transport vehicle if not strategically designed/deployed,
("Brooklyn", all it's acoutrements shown, and 2 crew,
travels in "room to stretch one's legs and arms" comfort in a relatively small '93 Toyota Corolla AWD Wagon... :wink: )

however, failure to provide adequate layout lighting under show hall conditions as shown above,
(which are unfrotunately more common than not,
at least at shows here on the East Coast of Aust),

and your carefully crafted layout and models, which you have spent time and effort in order to present them to the general public, will simply "fade out of view"... :cry:

As for "operating from the front", I've never considered operating any other way :D
Last edited by Prof Klyzlr on Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Gavin Sowry » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:02 am

Prof Klyzlr wrote:As for "operating from the front", I've never considered operating any other way.


8) Same here, and I wrote as such in the Aussie Model Railway Magazine in 1996. :lol:

P.S. Love the barrier. Now, where's that photo of you in a Keystone Cops uniform :twisted:

P.P.S. :roll: You Aussie fellas like that tsunami we sent your way this morning :?:
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Postby Oztrainz » Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:56 am

Gavin Sowry wrote:P.P.S. :roll: You Aussie fellas like that tsunami we sent your way this morning :?:


I had the surfboard waxed and waiting with a couple of Eveready Dolphin torches gaffer-taped to the front of it :wink:
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