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The Model Engineers Exhibition

News and Newsletters > News / Reports > Jan 2016

The Model Engineers Exhibition
Alexandra Palace
15 to 17th January 2016
(Southern Area BMFA report)

This year the Southern Area and the London Area supported Manny Williamson to help the BMFA and assist the Head Office staff at this years Model Engineers Exhibition, Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally). Not all could attend but in the end the S. Area contingent comprised of Tony Butterworth, Roger Newman, Ken Gale, Terry Weeks and your author Steve Warren. Tony, Roger and Ken attended Thursday afternoon to help set up the stand and nearly froze to death. To get all the large engineering exhibits into the massive main hall the huge roller doors at the end, adjacent to the BMFA stand, had to be full open access fork lift trucks and trolleys. This was one of the coldest days so far this winter and to exascerbate the discomfort the wind blew straight into the open doorways. The S.Area crew reckoned they were half way home in the car before they thawed out.
Ken, Terry and Steve attended on the first public day, Friday, and though it entailed an 0500hrs start and a 2000hrs finish all had an enjoyable time manning the stand with Manny Williamson and his team from H.O plus the team from the BMFA London Area. Due to it being a work day there were hardly any children or punters of working age but the OAPs were there in droves ( at 71 I felt quite young at times) and they were very interested in the modern side of aeromodelling. Some did not believe Ken’s turbine driven helicopter or the flexibility and precision of modern RC gear.
The London Area manned the stand with the H.O team on the Saturday and reported that they also had an interesting day. Tony, Roger and Ken attended on the Sunday and also helped with the dismantling of the BMFA stand. Due to its position they had to get the stand down early (1530hrs) to allow access and removal of the other exhibits. Apparently the Saturday and Sunday were very well attended and Fridays missing children and working adults were very much in attendance. All those manning the stand were hoarse by the end of each day.
The Southern Area provided a total of12 models for the stand which represented a broad spectrum of the many disciplines covered by the BMFA. We could have provided much more but the stand was totally full with what we had. The flight simulator in the right of the photo above was in great demand and now consists of two large screens with four transmitters using the Horizon Hobbies “Pheonix Version 5” progamme which is excellent. A team from Horizon Hobbies provided a flying display of indoor radio controlled models of all types throughout the exhibition days and were watched with great envy by many of the attendees.
This exhibition is aimed at every aspect of model making and for many of us who adore all forms of miniturisation it is a great day out. Attached are photos of just a few of the model exhibits including boats, trucks, engines, trams etc. There were a large number of traders present displaying and selling anything from a can of paint or raw metal to computerised lathes plus milling machines and anything in between.

A ¼ scale traction engine. Fully operatonal with a 5hp engine

Yachts by the lakeful. The scale detail is excellent.

This tank looked right, sounded right and smelt right too from its smoky exhaust pipes

Just a small selection of the hundreds of beautifully detailed and working warships.

Starship Enterprise from Meccano

Another very dedicated modeller looking after her charges.

High speed tethered hydro-planes. Not seen very often these days but still thriving.

For some reason working models of cruise liners are quite rare. This one was superb. Incredible detail.

If I am honest, the best layout / demonstration of large working models was by the model truckers. These diggers cranes and bulldozers were captivating to watch. Punters were 3 deep at times.

Trams from around the world. Huge layout.

Working “Lego”? displays were a great attraction for the few children around on Friday.

To sum up, in the Southern Area’s opinion it was a very worthwhile exercise in PR for the BMFA with lots of interest in the sport and all its disciplines. It was noticed that the same modellers and public returned repeatedly to the BMFA stand throughout the days. The Dart building area was fully occupied throughout Saturday & Sunday with lots of interest and genuine questions being asked by young and old. There was a large takeup of the BMFA literature and BMFA membership forms were being filled in continuously.
Rumour has it that the charges for the traders floor space is quite high but even so there was enough traders present to keep most punters happy and I learnt that some expensive new CNC machines were purchased so somebody is doing well.
The Southern Area would like to give their sincere thanks to Terry Rounce and Martin Dilly for the warm welcome that they extended to the S.Area team and to the other London Area members whom we met over the long weekend. Thanks also to the S.Area guys who turned out to help.

Steve Warren 18-01-2016


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