Saturday, July 10, 2010


This is a subject that is wide and varied. Bowen Creek is a tall layout, I am the first admit that, it stands at 1530mm from floor to track level. This was brought about because Ian and I are just over 6' tall and we want the track brought up to eye level. Now for some, this will be too high but it was done for us to test a theory for our home layouts, and I think that people at exhibitions may find it a different view point and think about the height of their own layouts. For too long, in my opinion, layouts have been built far too low. Why?
  1. Because that's the way it has always been done, perhaps.
  2. so the kids can see.
Point one may be the only reason because people have in their head that there is some unwritten rule that says, this is how you do it. Now at exhibition there will be those that whine that it is too high, but hopefully we can make them think outside the square. A lot of us, including manufacturers, are doing underfloor detail, but what's the point if the layout is 3 feet off the floor. Besides, we do it because you see that before you see a roof.

Here is another way to look at it, if I go to a railway yard and stand next to the rail, my eye level is six foot above the rail. Even an S truck is still taller then me. So with Bowens' rail height at 1530mm and my eye level at 1730mm, I am still 57 scale feet above the rail. Which means I can still clearly see across the roof of the goods shed.

As for the kids, I find the ones that are interested are only interested in the train. Their attention span isn't all that long and the detail in buildings and scenery aren't of much interest to them. Even my boys don't stay for more then a lap or two. I don't want to sound like I'm anti kid here, but honestly I find the first question that gets asked is "How fast does it go?" or "Can we crash em!". They will have much more fun on a U-Drive then spending time at Bowen Creek. We did have one little five year old at Epping 2009 that blew our socks off with his knowledge and I will gladly lift him up and spend time with him, but to date he is the only one. I guess this is why I build my layout for me and not the kids. Matt (my eldest) is 12, and he now will stand and be interested for maybe 15 minutes but he has a little step ladder and he is fine.

 This bodgey photo of some likely looking lads should give an idea.

 In conclusion, my opinion is to build your layout to the height you choose and be happy with it, and don't conform to anyone else's opinion. It's your layout and you will spend more time at it then anyone, so do it for you.

Happy Modeling.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

News Update

Hi Everyone

Just a quick post for some upcoming events.

Bowen will make an appearance on the exhibition scene again, This time it will be at the Our Town Hobby Show in Newcastle. This will be held 4th and 5th September at the Newcastle Jockey club. Before the year is out we will also be displaying Bowen at the New England Model Railway Club Convention in Armidale on the 6th and 7th of November. I am particularly looking forward to this one as there will be some fantastic presentations from well renowned modelers. Please read the website for details.

For all of you who are interested in P87 and want to learn more, Ian and I have started a new Yahoo group. This is dedicated to Proto 87 modelers in Australia. Regardless of where you model (NSW, VIC, SA, USA etc) or what era, this is for Aussies to get into the same room to discuss the development of P87 and to problem solve. It doesn't matter if you are new or experienced, none of us know everything so this could be very exciting for this avenue. To join there is no hiding behind fictitious names or credentials. You will be asked to understand the rules of the group and to fill out a CV (curriculum vitae) so everyone on the group knows each other, what they have done and what they are involved with.
I know it seems a bit formal but we believe this will help create an atmosphere of  friends discussing our hobby around a dinner table.
Go to the group by clicking on this LINK.

So now I will disappear for a while as there is much to do.
Happy Modelling,