Tuesday 4 April 2023

Danish Model Railway Union Exhibition 2023

The Danish Model Railway Union's annual model railway exhibition was held no more than 1000 m from my doorstep. Usually I pass exhibitions like this. This year a broken finger kept me away from my main railway activity: the 1/1 scale 700 mm gauge Hedeland vintage railway. So for the first time ever I was going to visit the DMJU exhibition.

 A Danish themed modular layout exhibited showed a famous industrial facility well known from a movie in the Olsen Bande-series. Also a location I have lived quite close to for the first 20 years of my life.

The DMJU is a society organising most Danish model railway societies. As their main public event the DMJU hosts an annual model railway exhibition. Some traders are invited, but the exhibition i centered around layouts and modelling rather than trading. As expected no 16 mm gauge layouts showed up, but I could enjoy som great German narrow gauge modelling of a high quality. A short length of industrial railway with a skip was also spotted on a H0 layout.

The layout 'Unteres Pressnitztahlbahn' in H0e was my favourite of the exhibition. Simple, well designed and executed model of a charming prototype.

The style of buildings was particularly well captured. That included railway buildings as well as the area's general architecture.

Another H0 layout included a lovely scene with a charming DDR-era Barkas B-1000 van. 

Despite the absence of anything scale and theme related to my own railway modelling the visit was enjoyable. I got to see some layouts 'live' that I had previously only enjoyed online and had a chat with modelling friends that I usually only communicate with on different online platforms. I took a few ideas with me from exhibited layouts as well. Just because a layout isn't industrial narrow gauge in 1/19 scale on 32 mm gauge it can be good and inspiring after all.

An integral part of the DMJU's annual exhibition is a diorama contest, where the audience gets to vote for what they think is the best diorama. The vote I cast was for this little gem in 1/32 scale. The text in Danish says: "The little coal thief".

Apart from the diorama's qualities of choise of shape, use of space, placing of objects and use of text to set the scene, it employs a wide variety of modelling methods. In the small scene we see resin casting, 3D-printing, laser cutting as well as old fashioned modelling with wooden sticks and brushes combined with use of material from the aquarium hobby trade.

Model locomotives in 1/32 scale are impressive and particularly when they are weathered. Here a Danish State Railway class E.

As Denmark is surrounded by 7.400 km of coastline a habour is not an unusual thing on a Danish layout. But the boats are seldom as detailed and well-built as this H0 scale one. Although still in primer this hand built model is a pride to any harbour it visits.

With more than 4.000 visitors the exhibition is a nice attraction for local businesses supplying food and drinks. The local mayor turned up and opened the exhibition saturday morning, mentioning that Taastrup more or less owed its existense as a modern community to Denmark's first railway opened in 1847. Carrying on how much railways, both large and small, have contributed to the municipality I was glad to hear the Hedeland vintage railway mentioned as well.

Many modellers use a lot of money at the traders' stands. I only used a small sum on a few tools and materials as well as some books for my railway library.

Kurt Scheelsbeck, the mayor of Høje-Taastrup municipality, handing over a price to a manufacturer for good services to the Danish modelling community.

Four halls were in use during the exhibition. Here is a view over one of them illustrating the nice turnout.

Will I attend another DMJU exhibition? Perhaps. Going to exhibitions will probably never become a favourite activity of mine. Railway wise I'm more interested in running a real vintage railway and modelling wise I take more pleasure from modelling than exhibiting or being a spectator, 

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