Once again first weekend of June came around and that means DEMU’s premier event Showcase, showcasing the best of Diesel & Electric modelling (sometime termed Modern Image by some, though personally I hate that term).
Layouts in attendance this year included:
- Acton Parkway (4mm OO)
Alderford (4mm OO)
- Cripple Sidings (4mm OO)
Deadmans Lane (4mm OO)
- Fenwick TMD (4mm OO)
- Hewisbridge (4mm OO)
- Lofthole Oil Terminal (2mm N)
- Loftus Road (4mm OO)
- Lymebrook Yard (2mm N)
- Sheepcroft (4mm EM)
- Shelvington (4mm P4)
- The Sidings (4mm OO)
- Troutons (4mm OO)
- Vopak Terminal (4mm OO)
- Werrington Road (4mm OO)
The two above crossed out layouts were booked to attend, but unfortunately due to the General Election being called, the Council at fairly short notice denied use of one of the rooms planned to be used for those layouts. They have been provisionally booked for next year instead.
Most years that I’ve attended Showcase in the past I’ve usually only attended the one day, usually the Sunday. This year I booked a hotel to make things a bit easier.
For Natalie and myself Burton is dead easy to get to, by following the A444 all the way there from Coventry/Nuneaton. A simple drive of less than 30 miles. I could have driven back each day and back again the following morning, but as I though, I was exhausted by the end of the Saturday and in a lot of pain, so last thing I wanted to do was drive back home.
As Update Editor (DEMU’s quarterly magazine) I had hoped that Update issue #84 would be with members in good time prior to Showcase. Unfortunately printer delays meant it started arriving on the Friday afternoon prior. Not ideal, but out of our control sadly. However at least one member had a copy with them for members to have a look through as well as copies of Updates #80-#83. Feedback about Update from members was positive.
On getting to the show on the Saturday Natalie and myself helped Neal with taking membership renewals during the morning until the Membership Secretary arrived that afternoon. The rest of the day was spent looking at the layouts, talking with other members about society matters (primarily Update). I also spent some of the day taking photos ready for an Update article to follow after the show, hopefully they come out well enough to be useable! I was suffering quite a bit with shaky hands on the Saturday (Sunday being little different, getting Natalie to go around taking some more just to be sure).
Sunday was – as is usual for most model railway shows – a lot quieter and the rooms felt cooler for it (on the Saturday the room which housed Shelvington got very hot to the point I couldn’t cope with being in there for more than a couple of minutes). This allowed me to have a bit more of a leisurely look around the show and talk to traders and members alike about a variety of things.
One highlight on the Sunday was getting a chance to have a proper chat with the owner of Shelvington about the layout and stock. This proved helpful and insightful as i am also planning to do 3rd rail P4 layouts so discussion with others is useful in that context. We were offered the chance to have a play with the layout’s control system as well (see below).
One of the items discussed was the 3D printed 313 unit produced by N-Trains, due out at some point (not to be confused with another 3D printed 313 project by a fellow DEMU member). It looked pretty good, capturing the shape pretty well. I might well be tempted to get one (or the other one, though that is resin from 3d printed masters) and do a 508 unit at some stage. If they branch out to other Southern Units I’ll definitely be interested!
I ended up spending a fair amount this weekend, though I hadn’t quite intended to. Having had a recent birthday I had a bit of spare funds available for a change. Several books were purchased from the second hand stand, and a Blacksmith Models Bulleid 4SUB etched kit was picked up for a good price (it will go nicely alongside the BR EPBs I’m working on). Also picked up were a trio of Hornby units (2 of 2-BIL (1 Green, 1 Blue), 1 2-HAL (Green)) which will be perfect for the P4 layout (we still have yet to give it a name!) we’ve pretty much finalised the plans for now.
Layout highlights have to be Shelvington once again, I always have a fondness for 3rd rail electric layouts and Shelvington doesn’t disappoint. I had previously seen it at Scaleforum last year, and this time on the Sunday Matt and the team let Natalie and myself have a play with it, the system used for control is rather good (Railroad & Co with an ECOS DCC system). It allows for route setting of trains, and once set the trains move to the route automatically. Inspiring and interesting stuff. Other highlights were Loftus Road, Vopak Terminal and Acton Parkway. The other layouts were all of a high standard though so it really is more a personal feeling rather than ‘x is better than y’. We all are drawn to different things after all.
As I expected the show was great, with a lot of members in attendance, and I think others agreed with me when I said it was one of the best I’ve attended. Thanks to all the Showcase team for putting on such a fantastic show.
I look forward to next years Showcase, which is provisionally booked for 2nd/3rd June 2018.
I have yet to process my photos from the weekend, but I hope to by the weekend. The post will be updated when I do with links as usual to flickr.
Photos on Flickr: