I very rarely post on forums these days unless I’ve got an unpinned hand grenade to throw in, which is always worth it, if only for the entertainment value of seeing the somewhat naive and insular world of model railways  get its collective knickers in a twist.

My attention was drawn by a friend to a posting today on a forum by a self-styled model railway pundit and authority. He’s also a moderator on that forum, so its pointless throwing a hand grenade in there because he will only moderate (ie delete) it. The subject was about setting up layouts at shows and how exhibition organisers should send out advance warning if the show hall was carpeted because it made the layout hard to set up. Now I’ve done a fair few shows over the years with my own, my clubs, and other people’s layouts in all the 4mm gauges, 7mm, 2mm finescale and N and I can honestly say we have never had any problems setting up at shows because of the surface. Even the brilliant and enjoyable 2013 Liverpool show https://newheymodelrailway.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/good-show-old-boy/ on which we set up on an uneven stone floor (which we weren’t warned about) we managed more than adequately despite only two of us setting up.



In this photo of the Liverpool show you can see some one the baseboard end protectors at the far end used to pack up where the flags totally fell away – in the rest of the set up, the adjustable legs coped admirably. Once the “lead in” board is erected and level, the rest follow quite easily.


Hopefully in this photo you can make out the adjustability of the legs in one of the most trying floors I have ever set up on – yet it only took 2 of us an extra 15 minutes or so over what a team of 6 usually do.  The really observant will also note the carpet we lay down when putting the layout up.

A good supplier of adjustable feet – and I thorough recommend them as a trader are Rural Railways  http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/shops/546-Rural_Railways – they only do show sales but well worth popping along to a show which they are present at.

The secret of course to easy layout set ups, is sound baseboard construction and building in adjustability to the sub frames  – even a modern sports hall floor isn’t always level (Stoke Mandeville has a few ups and downs),  but if it takes two hours to get your joints set up right then it points only to one thing,  piss poor baseboard construction. Either that or someone is making vast exaggerations about the set up.

Its suggested in the post that Exhibition Managers send out specifications of the floor surface in their joining instructions. Thinking about Manchester we have enough surveyors in the club with access to laser equipment. We should be able to detect a rise of one midges dick in floor levels, so I can rest easy that future shows will be fully acceptable to even the most pernickety of exhibitors.