Player, or Builder?

There’s a question….

I took Shelfie to the Warminster show last weekend, a round trip of 430 miles just to show the layout for one day. I don’t often do one day events, but occasionally there’s a show where I will do a one day trip. So that must make me a ‘player’. The one day shows I do attend however are pretty focussed on people whom are known as ‘builders’, i.e. they make stuff and layouts. The one day shows like that that I’ve attended are Larkrail, Warminster, and earlier this year the first Define day, the reason to attend those shows is twofold, to show the layout, be it Shelfie/Albion Yard or Bawdsey and to see what other ‘builders’ are up to.
On the blogroll there’s two recent additions:
Chris Mears’ https://princestreet.wordpress.com/
Rick DeCandido https://fillmoreavenueroundhouse.wordpress.com/

Today was one of those days where I was at a crossroads of builder/player, and a Facebook post of Chris’s on layout design lead me to Rick’s page and his thoughts on staging cassettes. I was testing one of the locos I’d run at Warminster to improve the electrical pickup, the 08 pictured above. Both Chris and Rick’s postings immediately struck home and I went from player to builder, or at least ‘imagineer’. One of the layout elements that always has me challenged is the fiddle yard/staging area. It is always an interesting use of space and can take up quite a footprint. With Albion Yard the fiddle yard is hidden behind either a curtain, or view blocking by buildings and trees.

Overview of fiddle yard/staging on Albion Yard

Albion Yard. No photoshop, this is what the exhibition visitor gets looking into the fiddle yard/staging.

On Shelfie I didn’t want to have the same sort of footprint, the staging is very much in the vein of both Chris and Rick’s staging idea’s, and Ian Rice has referred to them as a flying fiddle yard, as it just sticks out of the end of the layout, rather than a conventional board. This breaking into my though process has put the brakes on a current project, because its making me re-think the staging to perhaps a flying fiddle yard idea along the lines of Rick’s staging.


This view is looking toward the staging area at the far end, it opens up the possibility of doing something entirely different with the presentation, hence calling a ‘time out’. So I need to think about how the staging and layout fit together and the presentation challenges that’ll bring in disguising the join, whether I still retain the wrap round backscene idea that I’ve used effectively on both Albion Yard and Shelfie, the lighting rig, size, height, overhang etc etc. Here I am sitting at a crossroads. Again.

Fortunately its not something that bothers me.

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This entry was posted in 2017, Airfix, Bachmann, blog, British Rail, Cameo, Cameo layout, canada, DCC, dcc sound, Exhibition, finescale, Friends, HO, hobbies, Hornby, iain rice, Ian Futers, Inspiration, laramie, Layout, life, LMS, LNER, media, Midland Region, Model Railroad, Model Railway, Model Railway Journal, modeling, Modelling, Modelu, n gauge, Narrow Gauge, Nevard, O Gauge, o scale, OO Gauge, Railex, research, shelfie, social media, toy fair, toy train, Toy trains, toytrainset, train set, trainset, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Player, or Builder?

  1. Phil says:

    Crossroads eh? We mostly all know what happened to that ‘programme’! How about being both a builder and a player, much as you are already?
    Bog Cart.

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