The addition of planes and boats to the model train show at Whangaparaoa Hall last month was a crowd pleaser, according to organizer Philip Wrigley of the Auckland Marklin Club.
The show drew more than 1000 people to the hall on July 23 and 24.
Philip says bringing members of the Hibiscus Coast Radio Fliers and the Scale Marine Modellers Society on board gave people a richer experience than at last year’s inaugural train show, and more variety. “People stayed longer, and there was lots of positive feedback about the show,” Philip says.
Families enjoyed the action of trains speeding around tracks – the biggest track was 24 metres long, with multiple trains operating – and were able to view scale model boats and planes up close and talk with those who made them.
A model that included trains from Thomas the Tank Engine was a drawcard for the youngsters and families also enjoyed watching the speedy German Inter City Express and the more sedate chuffing of the one-guage Marklin trains as they traversed a European mountain scene made by Andrew Holt of Auckland.
The boats included a fishing boat skillfully made of cardboard, a selection of naval ships – accurate down to the finest detail – made by experienced modeler Graham Beeson of Gulf Harbour and a model of the sailing ship Jolie Brise, made by John Stubbs of Whangaparaoa. John made his model a couple of years ago – he says it took him nine months, doing a small amount each day. The ship dates from 1913 and is still used as a training vessel in the UK. Jolie Brise was the last boat to carry the royal mail under sail and won the Fastnet Race three times, including the inaugural race in 1925. In 2015 she was the overall winner of the Tall Ships Races.
John says he has no idea what scale his model is in relation to the real ship – he simply scaled the plans up to a size that he could fit in his car so that he can regularly take the ship out for a sail on a lake with other enthusiasts.
His model is made of a mix of mahogany planks with kauri at the waterline and teak handrails, like the original.
There was a lot of interest in the radio controlled planes owned by members of the Hibiscus Coast Radio Fliers, which included a kitset Striker, made of polystrene and a Lazy Bee, made of the same material. Member Neale Baird says the Striker can reach up to 200km/h – “They go out of sight very fast,” he says. Returning them to the flier requires skill and, according to Neale, this can include expertise in tree climbing!
He says that the Lazy Bee, which is easily made and light with an electric engine, is a lot of fun to fly and great for beginners.
The Radio Flyers operate from the Wainui Pony Club grounds, 900 Wainui Rd on Saturdays and Sundays, 8.30am–12 noon. Info: email email@example.com