Liralau had its last outing for the year (quiet year this year) at the Adelaide Model Railway Exhibition this weekend.
Having completed wiring the new setup tracks last Wednesday night, i'm glad to say the layout performed flawlessly - which made my weekend enjoyable as for a change I didn't have to spend the whole weekend under the layout or behind it trying it keep trains on the move. I would like to thank my crew for yet another great weekend - my brother Nick, Pete Semmel (who came from Melbourne for the weekend again), Ash Bennett, Brad Turner and my long suffering partner Sarah for putting up with the mayhem prior to the show (again).
There was alot of fun had this year (probably helped by the fact that Allan and Dwayne (running Stewarts) were next door), and we had the innaugural appearance of the "little man in blue" who brought the planking craze to the exhibition - all in the name of fun - he also appeared to become a little randy at times, taking a liking to the cows and sheep (where comments were made - something to do with modelling the New Zealand railways), not only on our layout, but also Paradigm, Stewarts and Florey Springs.
The dinner on Sunday night was also an enjoyable social aspect of the show which keeps us coming back year after year.
Now onto my favourite hate...
Once the layout was put to bed, dog fed, dinner prepared and eaten, I sat down to review some photos of the weekend, and see what people thought of the exhibition - reading a few of the various forums, yet again, there have been many comments made regarding the usual "same old" layouts turning up year after year. Well, perhaps its time for these folk to "put up or shut up", Adelaide only has a reasonably small modelling community, and of that small modelling community, theres only a small ammount of people who have the ability to build, maintain and exhibit a model railway layout.
Its interesting to watch these forums, particuarly with the "armchair experts" who feel they have "seen it all before" and therefore deserve a show with new layouts every year. Well, let me tell you something - each year, I throw a few thousand dollars at the layout to keep it running, and its not always that the changes are evident to the casual observer. For example, new stationary decoders, point motors, re-wiring, re-laying track etc - I had a number of punters come up to me over the weekend and ask "is anything new?", my answer being "yes, we've rebuilt the rear staging tracks" - at which they mumbled about the show being a "waste of money" and wonder off. I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly can't afford to build a brand new layout each year (don't get me wrong, i'd love to though - and plans still exist for Liralau's eventual replacement layout deep in the back of my mind).
I don't want this to tarnish my enjoyment of the weekend (or peoples opinions of me, as a member of the modelling community) but I feel it is important to voice the exhibitors side of the arguement for a change.
I'll put some photos online soon,
Until then, happy modelling!