Diorama Display, Invercargill 2008

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More Photos from Southland's Displays in the Gallery at the bottom of the page


The Whole Shebang!

On the evening of 24th October 2008, members of the Southland Branch met at The Great Little Train Show '08 to build the Club's display. After a kerfuffle over tables and space they  finally managed to mount the display of approximately 135 models. Member Owen Dickson took along his motor show diorama — all 2.6 metres of it — flashing lights and all!

Those involved included David Peipi, Fred Hawkes, Owen Dickson, Brett Dronsfield, Alan Graves, Barry McCorkindale and Roger Larsen.

This is an event that has drawn large numbers of the public in the past and this year they were in attendance again. Good, sunny weather seems to be a factor which pulls the crowds in. The Model Engineers Club put in a large number of hours planning and preparing the multiple displays, with a diversity of themes, which are mostly under cover, but ultimately whether the show is a success or not hinges on the weather.

Obviously the big railway set-ups dominated the two large halls as this is what the Model Engineers are all about, but boating, motoring and flying segments were all represented as well as the diorama displays contributed by diverse outside clubs such as our own. There was generally something somewhere that caught most peoples' eyes and the big drawcard, as evidenced by the numbers passing through the show, was that it was rightly seen by the public as a family day out. The area assigned for the sale of model cars and trucks also had quite a selection to choose from.

For the modellers in out club it was a chance to go along, away from the formal monthly meeting with its emphasis on club matters, to a show where they were free to spend their time looking at the models, discussing aspects of modelling and rubbing shoulders with like-minded people. There was little chance of boredom with the continuous motion of the public passing by, some asking questions on the displays and others passing on their own tips and tricks of the trade.

The Southland Branch display comprised 1:18 scale model cars from Brett; earth moving equipment and 1:18 and 1:24 scale cars on turntables by Barry; Mercedes Benz models of all eras and scales plus a range of Ambulances from Fred; 1:18 scale 1930s and 1940s American coupes and convertibles by Roger; and a selection of Chopper Bikes and Street Rods by David.

Another shot of the diorama Little and Large The Auto Show Hot Rod with wonky rear tyre!


Altogether this itself made a great presentation from the Club, even without Owen's masterpiece. This has been described by a member as

“basically a very, very big, scratch-built diorama holding 50 or so cars in different showroom and garage settings with an in-scale, fully functioning TV set run from a DVD player. There are lights everywhere! The whole thing is a multi-layered, multi-faceted, multipiece diorama.The base is huge - as big as some of the model railway settings, but the diorama itself breaks down nicely into sections for quick set up or storage. It attracted a lot of onlookers, helped no doubt by the sight and sound of the tiny TV going continuously on the ground floor level of the diorama”.

Owen himself says:

“I built the display stand to attract interest from people who did not take much notice of our displays at a previous Great Little Train Show. The idea for it is taken from the train layouts and it is part diorama with spaces available to put in different models so that it is not the same at each show and can be changed at any time. It is 2.68 metres long by 1 metre wide and about 700mm high at one end, 400mm at the other. The whole thing is made up of 6 separate base parts and it fits in the back of a station wagon when broken down for moving. There are 308 LED lights (flashing) and one 10w halogen light. The TV screen is 2.5 inches and is actually the screen of a video camera that is plugged into a DVD player hidden under the base. Sound comes from computer speakers; two on the stand in full view, and one base speaker hidden behind. There are 7 separate dioramas containing 7 cars and 14 people, with space for up to 52 cars to be included. As the primary aim was to make the base changeable for each display, it may end up bigger yet”.

A hot racer — the car I mean! The Show — and TV in the corner. "Hey guys - are you sure that part goes there?"...
Do you think this motor is big enough? "Now where did I put my keys?" The Workshop.