Model heaven takes over the Brighton Centre over three days this weekend. Smells of glue, engines, steam and grease, sounds of whistles, engines, carousels and talk, with lots of painting and the chance to have a go.
The venue’s full of families, children and grown up enthusiasts for everything huge, heavy and complex in the world taken down to detailed miniature scale.
Highlights include …
The biggest – the big Tamiya Truckin arena, the sit-on steam train rides and the Titanic launch, and I loved the western town Broke Brick Mountain display and Turner’s Folly, a beautifully detailed and lit railway world.
The tiniest – Lakeside Park, the smallest train gauge in the world . A tiny vista of finger-length trains in a perfect little landscape, with free magnifying glasses for children.
Lots for Doctor Who fans; a Tardis set that’s featured in a fan film and BBC specials, with a flock of Daleks, an interactive console and 1960s roundels for that authentic look.
My only reservations were with the venue itself, with some occasionally dingy, murky lighting, especially where the odd ceiling light had failed and stands weren’t as well lit as they might be. The catering didn’t impress, so we headed out to Costa’s at the cinema for breaks.
If you want your sons and daughters to get into STEM subjects, this is a great place to start them off, with science and technology all presented as fascinating and fun. Trains and boats and planes, helicopters and cranes, miniature lit-up fairgrounds, dolls houses, caravans, dinosaurs and more trains – there really is something for everyone.
Dramatic sight of the weekend? We happened to be outside on Saturday evening at just the right time to see the traction engine outside steaming off silhouetted against the sunset clouds – a Turneresque finish to the day.