DEFine Modellers Day 2018 – The Review

As previously reported, due to the success of the DEFine Modellers Day in January 2017, it was decided to hold the event again in 2018.  The format of the event had received a favourable response from those who attended the first Modellers Day so we stuck with a similar format. The idea of the DEFine Modellers day is to provide an event for serious modellers to get together in a social vein to display and demonstrate their handiwork and to share information with like minded souls. So with that in mind , how did we do this year? We once again managed to fill both halls with differing and interesting exhibits and demonstrations. We are indebted to those who agree to come along and volunteer their time in order to make the event a success. It is THE event run by serious modellers for other modellers irrespective of ability.

So it was at 7.15am on a very cold Saturday morning that Pete arrived to open the hall and get the heaters on and get the urn on the go. Pete was swiftly joined by Bill and set up started. Paul and Dave arrived shortly afterwards with their excellent layouts “Splot” and “Underhill Road”. Whilst Dave and Paul commenced building their layouts up the others were laying out the floorplan of tables and chairs in anticipation of the other layouts and exhibitors arriving from 8am. In no time a steady stream of bodies and boxes of all sizes started to fill the room and very quickly it started to look like the event was taking shape. Next to arrive was Sylvia (MrsD) who was in charge of refreshments and she set about arranging the kitchen area and making up the delicious filled rolls.

At 10am our first visitors were ticketed through the door and we were off and running. A steady stream of visitors then followed throughout the day. It was great to see so many friends and familiar faces, as well as some people who were attending for the first time. With all the DEFine members either demonstrating or showing layouts, and all the demonstrations having no empty seats in front of them the hall soon had a buzz that confirmed the event was going well. Some people stayed for many hours and chatted which is what we aimed for. You cannot help but learn things or get enthused about something through talking to other people who are open and willing to share their expertise.

By 3pm we were almost out of refreshments but the tea and coffee were still flowing as people still congregated in the hall chatting. By 4pm closing the hall was still busy so we had to start clearing up around people! At one point we were going to have to ask the lads on “Enigma Engineering” to put the lights out when they left, as they were fully engrossed.

Having said all our goodbyes to friends and all those who helped make the event a success it was time to clean out the hall. Bill did a sterling job as Mrs Mop whilst Bertie took a truly systematic and methodical approach to sweeping the floor. Last thing to do was have a DEFine get together to analyse how things went. Our treasurer reported that we had almost the same number of visitors through the door as 2017 but taking everything into account we had made a £5 loss on the event. However that loss was immediately turned into a £7 profit by auctioning off the rolls, milk, crisps and cans to the group. We can therefore say the event was a financial as success!! With that done it was over the road to The Risley Inn for a celebratory beer.

A big thank you from everyone in DEFine to all our visitors, exhibitors and demonstrators for making the event a real success. We got great feedback on the door as visitors were leaving. We will post up in due course what our plan is for 2019. The challenge is for us to find new demos and small layouts for the event so we are on the look out now.

We will close out with some pictures and captions from the event.

The more observant visitor will have noticed Mr Whitchurch sporting his DEFine Spanish Area Group shirt

The shunting enigma that is “Enigma Engineering”

Roomey’s “Underhill Road” gets lots of admirers

Brian discusses all things etching with visitors

Deep in discussion at Ashley Toone’s “Field Lane”

Scary, the operators Richard Coleman had with him on “Down Sidings”

Dave Wright’s excellent demo on creating back scenes

Bill and Mark discussing the coach scene in Scotland in the 70’s and 80’s

Lots of discussion going on, with a few laughs

Phil discussing DCC wiring of his layout

Bertie and Mark discussing Rumney Models chassis construction

Another appreciative audience sharing in Dave Wright’s help and advice

A view along one of the boards from Paul Spencer’s “Splot”

Picking up some wagons on Dave Roome’s “Underhill Road”

The hall gets busy and the free mags have certainly started to disappear

Howard discusses how he builds his excellent P4 track work

The Mickelover Mafia in deep discussion

Clive strikes a serious pose whilst Richard gives it big grins

Last but not least, Sylvia, who kept us all fed and watered throughout the day

 

 

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DEFine Modellers Day 20th Jan 2018 – Final Line up

With less than two weeks to go now its time to let everyone know the final line up for our DEFine Modellers Day on 20th January. As before, this is not intended to be a traditional exhibition, more of a forum for modellers of all capabilities to meet and discuss projects and maybe pick up or share a tip or two, whilst at the same time see some excellent layouts and examples of modelling. We are indebted to the layout owners and demonstrators who have volunteered to come along to make our day a success. There will be no traders present other than a few small traders who are providing demonstrations of their products.

The event opens to the public at 10 am and entry is a flat rate of £3. There is parking available on-site or on the main road and refreshments will be available. The venue is as per directions attached in this link;

Risley Village hall directions 2

The confirmed line up is as follows:

“Down Sidings” – Richard Coleman. This excellent OO layout depicts an engineers yard, circa 1990, taken over by Signal Engineers.

“Enigma Engineering” by Paul Gittins. Paul is keen to have people engage with his layout and have a go at shunting if they wish.

“Underhill Road”. Dave Roome will be debuting his almost finished latest layout and rolling stock he has been working on.

“Field Lane” by Ashley Toone. Ashley attended last years event as a visitor and is happy to return this year with his layout.

NAG Test Track. The Nottinghamshire Area Group of the Scalefour Society will be in attendance with their test track. The track work incorporates the major 4mm gauges of OO, EM and P4. The NAG group will also be happy to discuss S4 Society membership and what NAG get up to.

“Splot” by Paul Spencer. Last year Paul brought along one of the boards from this WIP layout and this year he will be bringing the other board to tempt us as to what it will finally look like.

Demonstrations:

Track Building – Howard Bolton. One of the best track builders in the hobby, Howard will be available to discuss and instruct you on building track.

Wagons in P4 – Tom Silsbury. Tom will have a selection of wagons to display and explain his conversion to P4 methods.

Penbits Bogie Assembly – Ian Penberth. Ian will be demonstrating the construction of the sprung bogies he has designed for many D&E locos, and will have a selection available for sale.

Buildings and Landscapes – David Wright. A well known and acclaimed modeller of buildings and landscape work, David will be available to demonstrate his techniques and help with any questions you have to help your projects get moving.

Wagon Kit Building – Robert “Bertie” Austin. Robert has built up a lot of experience in building Rumney Models chassis kits and will be sharing his work and methods on the day.

Extreme Etchings Clinic – Brian Hanson. Anyone with any questions on putting together Shawplan/EE etchings, glazing etc have the opportunity to have a chat with Brian and get some pointers on etching construction

“DCC Wiring” – Phil Eames will be bringing along one of the boards from his excellent “Calcutta Sidings 2” but will be showing off the underside and available to discuss how he wired it all up for DCC.

Thats it, small but perfectly formed. We hope you can join us on the day for a cuppa and a chat with like minded friends on our great hobby.

Some images from last years event.

Colin leads the discussion at Alex’s OMWB demo with “Farkham” stock on show.

Chris and David look interested in the “library” are we provided with a selection of old magazines

Bertie deep in discussion with Tom on the “Shirebrook” progress so far

Dave and Alex Photobomb my pic of Alex’s demo by trying to advertise some event in May

The hall gets busy whilst Howard chats with another visitor to his re-wheeling demo

The DEFine Team

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DEFine Modellers Day ** Update**

In addition to the line up previously published in the previous post on our blog, we are pleased to announce the addition of some more items to the line up for our Modellers Day on 20th January 2018.

Additional Layouts:

“Down Sidings” – Richard Coleman. This excellent OO layout depicts an engineers yard, circa 1990, taken over by Signal Engineers.

“Glasgow Queen St” – Bill Wilson. Bill will be bringing along another of the boards he has constructed for this major project, as well as some research materials

Additional Demonstration:

“DCC Wiring” – Phil Eames will be bringing along one of the boards from his excellent “Calcutta Sidings 2” but will be showing off the underside and available to discuss how he wired it all up for DCC.

We are pleased with the new additions to our line up and hope you can come along on the day.

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DEFine Modellers Day 2018

Following on from the success and great comments we received after last years event, we have decided to do it all again in 2018. The date for the event is the 20th January and will once again be held in Risley Village Hall. The event will run from 10am until 4pm. The venue is easy to find, its just off J25 of the M1 (DE72 3SY).

So what have we in store for next January’s event? Those who attended last year will know that this is not sold as a typical Model Railway Show, we call it a Modellers Day. The intention is to bring together railway modellers of all competencies to talk, learn and share experiences with others. There will still be a few layouts to look at though but we wont have any trader stands. There will be some small traders there doing demos and they may bring along some of the products they are demonstrating for sale. It is also a good opportunity to pick up any orders you have placed with them.

Layouts so far:

“Enigma Engineering” by Paul Gittins. Paul is keen to have people engage with his layout and have a go at shunting if they wish.

“Daves Layout”. As you can guess Dave hasn’t given it a name yet but from what we have seen of it being built it is well up to Dave’s usual standard

“Field Lane” by Ashley Toone. Ashley attended last years event as a visitor and is happy to return this year with his layout.

NAG Test Track. The Nottinghamshire Area Group of the Scalefour Society will be in attendance with their test track. The track work incorporates the major 4mm gauges of OO, EM and P4. The NAG group will also be happy to discuss S4 Society membership and what NAG get up to.

Other layouts TBA, including possibly some more of DEFine WIP status layouts

Demonstrations:

Track Building – Howard Bolton. One of the best track builders in the hobby, Howard will be available to discuss and instruct you on building track.

Wagons in P4 – Tom Silsbury. Tom will have a selection of wagons to display and explain his conversion to P4 methods.

Penbits Bogie Assembly – Ian Penberth. Ian will be demonstrating the construction of the sprung bogies he has designed for many D&E locos, and will have a selection available for sale.

Buildings and Landscapes – David Wright. A well known and acclaimed modeller of buildings and landscape work, David will be available to demonstrate his techniques and help with any questions you have to help your projects get moving.

Wagon Kit Building – Robert “Bertie” Austin. Robert has built up a lot of experience in building Rumney Models chassis kits and will be sharing his work and methods on the day.

Extreme Etchings Clinic – Brian Hanson. Anyone with any questions on putting together Shawplan/EE etchings, glazing etc have the opportunity to have a chat with Brian and get some pointers on etching construction.

This is what we have so far, it may be changed slightly if problems arise etc, but we will endeavour to keep people updated via our blog. Entry fee is being held at a modest £3 per person and refreshments will be available all day. The hall has its own parking but on-street parking is no problem if it overflows. If you want to see how last years event went look for it further down the blog. We hope you can join us.

 

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GCR Diesel Gala 2017

Having missed the 2016 Diesel Gala at the Great Central Railway due to forgetting all about it, we were back on track this year. First on the platform at Loughborough were Bertie and Pete. Bertie had kindly offered to give Pete a lift to the event this year, so we left in plenty time to enable us to get the 9.45 Griddle car service. No sooner had Bertie hit the platform he was up to his “Cabinit” antics with D5343.

Bertie “Cabinit” Ausitn doing his thing

Pete and Bertie quickly proceeded to the Griddle car and did a land grab on a few seats for the guys arriving to catch this train. We were quickly joined by “Bachmann Steve” and Brian and his mate. Once assembled we duly proceeded to order up the infamous GCR Diesel Gala all day breakfast.

Heaven on a plate

This is a superb feast and highly recommended. With food delivered the train was off for the first run off the day to Leicester North. On the way back down the line to Loughborough we alighted at Quorn to let Bertie get under some wagons and meet up with 37714 “Cardiff Canton” resplendent in its new triple grey livery.

After a few runs up and down the line behind various traction, by which time we had lost “Bachmann Steve” it was time to visit the sheds and the bridge. It was noticeable this year they had done a bit of a tidy up in the yards hopefully in preparation for exciting new developments at the site involving the “Bridging the Gap” project. We stood at the gates and viewed progress in the distance of the twin girders installed last week preparing the way for the GCR line to pass over the Midland Main Line.

Once back up at the station Bill had now arrived to join us ( and scoffed and all day breakfast) and we partook of some fine ale namely the Nottingham Sooty Porter which was very nice.

After a few more train runs it was time for Brian and his mate to depart for another engagement. Apparently they were giving up a day on diesels to go on a photo shoot with some big kettle things up at Butterley. As Bill had not seen the bridge installation Pete, Bertie and Bill made a return visit to the bridge.

Bill gives Bertie the low-down on the “Bridging the Gap” project, with the new bridge in the distance

Time was now getting on and soon it was time for an evening meal. The options for the late run Griddle Car meals didn’t look too appetising so Pete and Bertie decided it just had to be another all day breakfast.

Round 2, let eating commence

We had agreed to stay for the next run as it was 37714 but just before it was due to meet up with its coaches it turned in a sick note. Luckily there was an able deputy in Class 20 D8098. We may have been denied the class 37 but at least our last run would be on English Electric traction. We secured a seat just behind the engine and opened the widows full,  and so with full thrash the 20 pulled us away to Leicester North and then a non-stop run back down to Loughborough.

A great day was had by all. The weather was kind to us and we were well fed and watered.

Bertie listening to EE thrash after ADB No 2

D8098 carried this “Depot Plaque” headboard on its last run. I want one

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Midland Railex 2017

Once again, as in previous years,  DEFine agreed to provide a modelling demonstration at the Midland Railex held at the Midland Railway Centre. We were based in the diesel shed as usual which is probably the busiest (and dustiest) part of the Midland Railway complex. The show lasted two days and allowed people to engage with us on our projects and for us to try and help them with any issues they are having with their own projects.

This year we had Pete, Bill, Brian and Bertie doing the honours over the weekend. As Brian had opted not to bring his trade stand this year, this gave him the opportunity to get back to demoing along with the rest of us. This year we had Bill building the final pieces of P4 track work for Glasgow Queen St., Bertie was fully engaged on his wizardry with wagons and doing some great stuff as usual. Pete and Brian were both busy building Penbits suspension units for a Class 37 and Class 40 respectively.

On the Saturday evening we were treated to a nice run on the train being hauled by class 33 and 47 traction. On one of the stops at Butterley we alighted and took possession of the fish and chips ordered. Its lovely sitting at the table in a Mk1 coach eating our suppers on a nice sunny evening. After a few more runs up and down the line it was time for home.

We did it all over again on the Sunday which was a bit more relaxed and allowed us time to see around the exhibition. Bill sloped off at one point for a run on the narra gauge train (I am sure he is narra gauge at heart deep down 😉

We hope we did our bit over the weekend, we enjoyed it, but hopefully the benefiting charities did well out of it too.

Pete’s view along the line up

The full line up

Bertie in full “Cabinit” mode waiting in anticipation.

 

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Goodnight Chris

Today we said farewell to our dear friend Chris Messer. As many of you know Chris has been battling cancer for a few years now and all through this time he has faced his challenge with dignity, selflessness and humour. His strength has been an inspiration to us all and we are thankful for the time we had with Chris albeit too short.

Chris was a true railway man and worked in the industry for many years. This spilled over into his private life and he was keen on railway research mainly in support of our mutual hobby, building model railways. As well as having a deep knowledge of Britain’s railways over the years Chris was a keen modeller of the American scene and had built up many friends on the internet and social media. Chris was always keen to share his knowledge on the subject and engage with anyone who wanted to talk trains.

Chris was in his time a member of the Mickleover Model Railway Club (where is where I first met him in 1997), and has over time been an active member of Diesel and Electric Modellers United (DEMU) and RMWeb. As a member of the local area group of DEMU we would go out with friends and do demos and visit exhibitions. In September 2010 Chris was one of the founder members of DEFine Modellers but unfortunately around that time his illness was beginning to demand more of his time for treatment and regular visits to hospital in London.

We continued to keep in touch with Chris and it was great to see him attend the DEFine Modellers Day back in January. I think he enjoyed it too.

At his send off today, the congregation included a good number of his ex-work colleges and friends from the model railway community. Although sad, it was far from sombre with music from the likes of Queen, The Cure, The Housemartins and ELO being played. I am sure the person in charge of the music made sure “Mr Blue Sky” was turned up a few notches, it was great and very fitting on such a beautiful day.

His family did an incredible job in supporting Chris through this long illness and knowing Chris he would be feeling more sorry for their inconvenience than his own situation. They did an outstanding job and his wife Ellie, children Daniel and Hannah and son in law Steven should be very proud.

We will miss Chris.

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