Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Presentation is Paramount

nevard_110825_BQ_fascia_IMG_0961_WEB by nevardmedia
nevard_110825_BQ_fascia_IMG_0961_WEB, a photo by nevardmedia on Flickr.

We spend many many hours making our locos, wagons, carriages, track, buildings and scenery look magnificent for that big exhibition. Then, far many too of us are happy to put up with a grotty rather badly painted or home made sticky backed plastic lettering to display the layout name to attract the crowds at exhibitions. This is a real shame, because a layout is only ever as good as the worst bit, so what could have been tip top suddenly becomes very ordinary.

We show off our layouts to paying public who are well aware of the high standards of presentation outside toy-train-land at trade shows the high street etc. Instead too often they get badly presented layouts that shout out 'amateur' in a dusty, squeaky adenoidal voice. Sadly this does nothing to promote the hobby to people that don’t spend their whole life on their own inside dusty, dark damp sheds.

These days there is no excuse for bad presentation, especially for those layouts that get out on the road. Your traditional sign writer has been mostly replaced by the boys with Macs and huge printers, who will print anything on to anything for a palm full of sovereigns or the price of a OO gauge loco. And let’s face it; we all have far too many locos, so the £45 spent on something like the ready-to-attach 4ft x 6 inch name board seen above is money far better spent. No skill is required other than the ability to knock up a quick sketch of what’s required to give to your local print shop and then negotiate a discount for cash if you have a cheeky face.

As already mentioned, modern signwriter-printer-graphics workshops will print anything onto anything , so I asked then whether they be able to print my next home-created photo backscene onto sticky backed plastic – their reply was ‘of course’, so now there is no need for a wrinkly and creased photographic paper backscene any more - just peel and stick.

‘Brewhouse Quay’ seen above, is 9cm high laser cut lettering utilising ‘Stencil’ type face bonded onto a tough high density plastic display board. They even cut it out to my precise dimensions so it it is ready to fix to the proscenium arch with high strength double sided tape. I think you’ll agree it looks better than the usual blobby Tippex painted on to hardboard – though of course those guys do have more locos than me!

I used Gidden Place in Guildford for this example – though every town will have a similar shop.

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