Update 3

Here is the 3rd and final posting for whats on at this years forum.


Prof Klyzlr – Layout Sound 101

Sound is the next frontier when it comes to adding realism to a layout.  Prof will describe how sound can be incorporated into a layout; from the best sound sources for layouts, to suggestions for locating speakers, through to creating customised sound files.

Panel Discussion

An opportunity to discuss the merits of the various baseboard modules on display.  Builders of the different modules will provide a brief summary of the reasons behind, and what they see are the advantages of, the method they used to construct the baseboards of their layout or module(s). This will be followed by questions from the audience to allow participants to decide what suits them best.


Darren Lee and Brendan Canning – Module construction:  Darren and Brendan will be demonstrating different methods of module construction.


Ian Phemister – Ian will have his latest, partially completed layout at the forum.  It is based on the North Coast of NSW at the time the main line was being converted to CTC signalling.

Prof Klyzlr – Prof will be bringing his latest logging layout ‘Wood’n DAYS’.  Built for the recent Narrow Gauge Convention in Geelong, it is unusual in that the trains run on wooden rails.  This layout is fitted with sound and it will be used to demonstrate how sound can be incorporated into a layout.  It also features a baseboard constructed from light weight foamcore in an aluminium frame.



Stephen Johnson Models

Other Attractions:

The model display is guaranteed to provide something of interest or inspiration to every attendee.  All participants must contribute to this display.

For those who didn’t attend the 2015 forum or those who want to hear them again, a video of the talks from the 2015 forum will be played in auditorium when it is not being used for other activities.

Lucky door prizes – Rather than paying for their space, commercials are required to contribute some of their products to a pool of lucky door prizes.  First attendee drawn out of the hat gets first pick of the pool.

On Saturday night there will be a dinner followed by a trivia quiz prepared by quizmaster Ian Black.  There will be prizes for the individuals at the winning table.

A tour of the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum has been organised on Sunday afternoon for those interested.  This will provide an opportunity to see parts of the collection that were unable to be covered in the time available in 2015.

2017 Registration form

Below is a link to the registration form for the 2017 convention, the format is the same as in 2015 were it was an editable PDF. The form can be filled out through a PDF reader and then saved and emailed to the e-mail on the form or printed off and posted to the listed address.

At this stage we still have one final release of information on what will be on during the forum, this should be announced in the coming days.

2017 BMF registration form

More information on the 2017 forum

Following on from the first posting about what will be happening at the 2017 forum, here is some more information about what’s on; the registration form shall be released in the next couple of days followed by the third and final release of whats on.


TALK:  Storage and staging of trains – James Dalton

Trains move passengers and freight from one place to another.  A layout represents just part of that journey with trains having to enter and leave the scene.  An important aspect of layout planning is deciding how this is best done.  James will discuss the various options available for storing and staging trains along with their pros and cons.

DEMONSTRATION:  Modelling the terrain and landforms – Andrew Campbell

Andrew will show how realistic landforms can be carved from extruded foam sheets.  He will also show how to apply a basic ground cover to the foam in readiness for more detailed scenery.

DEMONSTRATION:  Detailing scenery – Geoff Burns

Geoff will use his layout ‘Splitters Swamp Creek’ as a stage to explain his scenery techniques and also how he has used LEDs mounted on a light weight pelmet to illuminate the scene.

DEMONSTRATION:  Researching the prototype – Bill Phippen representing the ARHS Railway Resource Centre will be able to access the ARHS photo archive and intranet on the day.  He’ll describe what information is available from the resource centre and how to get it.

LAYOUT:  Splitters Swamp Creek – Geoff Burns

‘Splitters Swamp Creek’ is an exhibition layout of a fictional NSW branchline.  Those who have seen the layout at exhibitions in and around Brisbane and northern NSW have seen the level of detail progressively increase over time.  This is an opportunity for Sydneysiders to see this fine layout.

LAYOUT:  Peak Hill – Kieran Ryan

Keiran will have two modules of ‘Peak Hill’ at the forum.  These modules will feature a grain shed and a bulk depot.  In addition showing how he built the modules, Keiran will also explain how he adapted the track plan so he could fit in these large structures.

TRADER:  AndIan Models

TRADER: Ray Pilgrim’s Signal Branch

TRADER: ARHS Bookshop – A limited supply of relevant books will be available.

First update on the 2017 forum

Update on the 2017 forum

As previously advised, the theme for this year’s forum is ‘Building a layout’. As we have been organising the program it has become clear that all aspects of layout construction can’t be covered in one year. It’s therefore likely that this will be the first of a number of conventions that follow this theme.

Building a layout starts with research, planning and design, however we are mindful that many forum attendees will already have layouts. While the program for the 2017 forum will cover the basics, including aspects of planning and layout construction, it will also include activities relevant to those who already have layouts.

The forum will follow a similar format to previous years, being a mix of talks and demonstrations with plenty of opportunity to pick the brains of other modellers. Again, the contribution of an item to the modelling display is a mandatory condition of attendance. The model display has always been a basis for modellers to share their work and ideas with other attendees.

Over the next few weeks we will progressively release details of the talks, demonstrations, layouts and traders and other activities at this year’s event.

TALK: Infrastructure for an era – Stephen Ottaway

The first talk will cover how railway infrastructure evolved over time and the advantage of having stations, goods sheds, stockyards, cranes, loading banks and other infrastructure consistent with the era in which the railway was built. This consistency is the basis for a realistic and authentic layout.

DEMONSTRATION: Track construction ballasting and weathering – Ian Millard

Ian will be demonstrating the use of splined roadbed and laying track using Central Valley Ties (sleepers). Central Valley Ties are relatively new and offer significant advantages over traditional flex track. He will also demonstrate how he ballasts and weathers the track.

DEMONSTRATION: Drones as a modelling tool – Ian Phemister

Ian will have two drones on display and can discuss their operation and the possibilities they offer for researching the prototype be that a location or rollingstock.

LAYOUT: Ebor – Stephen & Andrew Ottaway

Consistent with the theme of building a layout Stephen and Andrew will debut EBOR, an exhibition layout which is currently under construction. The layout is based on a fictional station on the proposed line from Guyra to Dorrigo. It is built on plywood baseboards and roadbed which incorporate some innovative design features. Hand laid track and points (including operating catchpoints) have been used while the landforms and scenery are still under construction. The intent is to show attendees how the layout is constructed prior to completing it for the 2019 forum.

TRADER: Kieran Ryan Models

TRADER: Mechanical Branch

More information will follow soon. Feel free to share this with others you think may be interested.