Nothing like a pressing deadline to give you the giddy up, having completed the layout scenically attention has turned to the presentation of the layout. I have always felt there is a need to illuminate layouts at shows – hall lighting can be variable at best. Some are good and your layout needs little lighting – others can make you feel you are exhibiting in a cellar.

In the past with all my exhibition layouts – Brushford, Spotland Bridge and New Hey – Ive  used “traditional” lighting,  bulbs in the case of Brushford, and daylight tubes on Spotland and New Hey. On Brushford I alternated blue bulbs to give a richer tone to the scenics, but the  use of daylight tubes negated that for Spotty and New Hey. One of the parameters for North Ballachulish was that the lighting had to be lightweight as at the corner the gantry has to cover over 4 foot from back to front. The gantry is pretty substantial but I didn’t want to risk straining it, so the pelmets are from 3mm hardboard with 2″ by 1/2″ strip wood to strengthen the pelmets. I also went for the very lightweight LED tape solution, which has given negligible weight to the units.

The LEDs are arranged in 3 strips: the top one is on the underside of the top strip to project a warm light down onto the front of the layout. The second strip, about 1:1/2″ under the top of the pelmet is blue. This has two functions, first it projects a brighter blue to the top of the sky backscene to give a feeling of depth, and secondly to tone down the warm white LEDs a tad. The third strip is another layer of warm white.

As yet the full run of units has not been put on the layout – we will be using the local scout hut hopefully next weekend to have a test run and final fix of the backscenes, fiddleyards and lighting of the layout.