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Z Ambassador Dieter Nolte's report from Hamburg show, Nov 16-18, 01

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  • Jeffrey MacHan
    Hi Gang, Dieter Nolte sent along this wonderful report of the Hamburg hobby show where he presented his layout to the public. Let s read what he has to say...
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5 4:30 PM
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      Hi Gang,

      Dieter Nolte sent along this wonderful report of the Hamburg hobby show
      where he presented his layout to the public. Let's read what he has to
      say...

      Jeffrey

      *********************

      I have renamed my layout.
      Instead of 'Texas Railroad' I now call it 'Red Rock Canyon, Texas'.
      So I am more free to use other road names of trains passing by.

      Hamburg

      The fair took place from 16th to 18th of November 2001 in seven halls of the
      Hamburg Exhibition and Fair Center. More than 180 exhibitors were spread
      out over an area of 325,000 sq.ft. All segments of modelling were covered as
      general plastic models, cars, trucks, boats, airplanes and helicopters. And
      of
      course model railroading. So, a big crowd was flocking in as you may
      imagine.

      Hall 5 with an area of 55.000 sq.ft. was dedicated solely to model
      railroading.
      Beside many exhibitors and manufacturers many layouts were shown from scale
      Z up
      to scale II (1:22,5). Layouts from other European countries like the
      Netherlands
      were there also.

      However in scale Z, only three layouts were present, the lay out of the
      'Friends
      of scale Z of Hamburg' (who had invited me to this show), a smaller layout
      of
      one of the 'friends' and my little layout.
      Their large layout showing a scenery in northern Germany, consists of 10
      modules
      with double tracks and two end or turning modules consisting of three parts
      including 'shaddow stations' or fiddle yards. The overal length of the
      layout
      was about 80 ft. Up to 9 trains were running at the same time, each pulling
      up
      to 17 cars. At least 4 operators were busy to handle the traffic. Additional
      operators compiled new trains to be fed in.
      It was a very interesting operation which draw many visitors to this place.

      The other smaller layout was about 47 x 32 inch, showing a North American
      scene
      with a small Western village and a switching yard. The owner was also busy
      to
      coordinate a through train and the switching operation. A very fine piece.

      As I said earlier I was guest of the 'friends' and so my little layout
      (47x16
      inch) was next to the two layouts mentioned above.

      The two new gadgets I added recently to my US-American layout worked
      flawless
      and were attracting the people.
      The typical Texas windmill driven waterpump was spinning nicely. Only very
      few
      visitors detected immediately why the windmill was whirling around. Some
      sneaked
      behind the booth to get the solution and laughed when I showed them the
      small
      aquarium air pump which created the 'wind' on the layout to turn the blades.
      Also the spinning rotor blades of the helicopter which sits on a helipath
      with
      blinking boundary lights was drawing the attention, especially this of the
      small
      kids.

      A few months ago, I asked a manufacturer from Stuttgardt to add to two of my
      cars (a box car and a tank car) blinking end-lights or FREDs, as they are
      used nowadays
      in the USA. The converted cars arrived just prior to the Hamburg show. Well,
      they worked fine, blinking nicely at the end of a train. However, only three
      insiders of scale Z realized this novelty.

      I have build a special exhibition booth to
      present my layout in a more attractive manner. It is 60x24 inch and 75 inch
      tall. The layout is positioned at a height of 47 inch, so it is conveniend
      for
      the older people to study the scenery (even if they forgot their glasses).
      I also have added very bright spotlights behind blinds. So even small
      details
      may be recognized. And we scale Z railroaders do have many details on our
      layout
      which are worth to be seen!
      The lower part, the sides and the back part of the booth are closed with
      artificial plywood sheets. The upper front part however is closed by an
      acrylic
      glas plate.
      It looks like an aquarium. Instead of fish, small trains are passing by.

      In my experience this configuration is very attractive for visitors,
      especially the kids.
      They can look from a very close distance - nose to nose with the little
      figures
      and trains - on the layout. The smaller kids have of course to
      get a lift from their parents (or from me).
      And I do not have to be afraid that visitors (especially the kids) may
      demolish
      the scenery or may take away a loco or car. And our little gems are so easy
      to
      be taken away undetected.
      I believe the normaly used protective fence which is an absolutely necessity
      for
      'open' scale Z layouts at fairs is some sort of a barrier. People do not see
      the
      details. And they have to see them, which is in my opinion of great
      importance
      for us scale Z fans!

      In the lower closed part of the booth I put all the equipment necessary to
      run the layout (I need 7 transformers, one airpump and a switch board for
      the
      automatic operation and the relevant cables - a spaghetti bowl!). In
      addition I
      place my personal belongings in this small lockable closet.
      So, if I am alone at an exhibition (which is the normal case), I may leave
      my
      booth unattended with 4 trains operating automatic.

      This new presentation seems to be a success. Sometimes up to 18 (!) people
      crowded at my 60 inch wide booth! Just the two flags, one of USA and one of
      Texas, which I fixed on top of my booth indicated to the passing visitors,
      that
      there was a booth behind the crowd. It was amazing!

      I enjoyed the fair (and also the fine time, I was with the nice team of the
      'friends') very much. Introduced by Kai Wuestermann, the 'friends' included
      me
      in their team immediately like a member. It was great. And this team is
      great.
      There is a vast knowledge of matters of scale Z available. And they give it
      away
      to the public on their home page.
      For 2003, at the next fair in Hamburg, I am already invited again. And I am
      glad
      to accept this invitation!

      Pictures of the fair, of the team and also of my layout are available on the
      home page of the 'friends': http://www.z-spur.de . My layout is pictured on
      the German
      version of the home page under the heading 'Anlagen' and then 'Red Rock
      Canyon,
      Texas'.

      Dieter Nolte



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