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Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

London Model Engineering Exhibition - Alexandra Palace

Friday 18th - Sunday 20th January 2019

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Gray18/01/2019 20:26:37
1038 forum posts
13 photos

Went to the show today, was one of the first people in and the first thing that struck me was the amount of free space compared to previous years. The only machine tool supplier with a significant amount of machines and accessories was as usual Warco, Both Axminster and Chester had seriously downsized their stands from previous years. Allendale (Machine DRO) had also taken a much smaller stand with limited stock available to walk away with. RDG have their usual extensive range and large stand as in previous years. The club stands also appear to be a little smaller although still some very impressive work on display on all of the club stands. Managed to pick up a new DRO from EMS-I which is a four axis LCD type allowing two of the axis to be either combined or displayed separately, just what I was looking for to replace the iffy unit on the big turret mill. Already have one of their 3 axis heads on the lathe, very gooed piece of kit.

All in all still a worthwhile visit and a show worth supporting, it got quite busy by mid afternoon. The steampunk is definitely interesting but, as with Mike, the artistic side somewhat evades me.

Old School18/01/2019 20:47:59
352 forum posts
30 photos

I haven't been to the show for a couple of years, definitely smaller and a lot of model boats some were superb. I didn't have a shopping list picked up a few files. What made it an enjoyable day was meeting up,with old friends

Halton Tank18/01/2019 22:30:12
95 forum posts
56 photos

Spent the day at show as a steward on the Northolt MRC stand. Here are some photos of the club stand and others. Will load some more piccys tomorrow.

Regards Luigi


Chris Trice19/01/2019 00:05:49
1362 forum posts
9 photos

I went today too. I generally agree that it felt a little thin. Quite a few dealers I expected to be there were absent. I probably spent the least I've ever spent at any show. I also left earlier than any previous year. Made up for it by dropping in to Hannant's near the RAF Museum in Hendon on the way home to top up my "fix" for the day.

Clive India19/01/2019 09:46:45
213 forum posts
Posted by Chris Trice on 19/01/2019 00:05:49:

I went today too. I generally agree that it felt a little thin. Quite a few dealers I expected to be there were absent. I probably spent the least I've ever spent at any show. I also left earlier than any previous year. Made up for it by dropping in to Hannant's near the RAF Museum in Hendon on the way home to top up my "fix" for the day.

Oh dear, it does look a bit thin from the photos. I would normally say to negative comments "It's just a day out," but it wasn't even that for you, but not all lost.
Giving it a miss because I have been too many times and it's a bit SOS for me.
But everyone to their own taste.

Soon be Manchester though, or is it Oldham? Hoping to see something different.

Sometimes people take an exhibition as an indication of the state of the hobby - it isn't - it's the state of exhibitionswink

Chris Trice19/01/2019 10:11:44
1362 forum posts
9 photos

Don't mistake my comments for not enjoying it as I managed to restock with virtually everything I wanted to. I think HT's photos were taken during a quieter moment because it was populated more than this. It might also be the case that the weekend will yield a larger footfall. It just struck me as a little more spaced out than usual.

John Haine19/01/2019 10:20:03
3328 forum posts
176 photos

Went yesterday with a friend, a nice half day out. Took the opportunity to collect a 6.7 kg chunk of CI bar from College Engineering for the bob of a synchronome pendulum I'm making. Now working out how to machine it! But I agree that the show looks thinner and thinner, maybe it's the larger area of the venue but seemed even fewer exhibits and traders than the Midlands show also run by the same people.

Paul Kemp19/01/2019 10:28:44
559 forum posts
18 photos

I went yesterday too with three fellow club members. Seemed a similar amount of people around as last year, many carrying bags and boxes indicating money was being spent! Do agree though that with the exception of RDG, Tracey Tools, Warco, myford, Polly and Blackgates some of the traders had pulled their horns in further. What did strike me is the balance between 'engineering' and 'ship' models seems to be steadily shifting towards marine. Very few traction engine models at all. There were some cracking models in both classes and some of the steam powered boats combined both disciplines. Also good to see more of the less than gold medal standard, polished within an inch of destruction models around! Personally I think it's good to see things that are less than perfect on display, gives those aspiring or just starting out some confidence in what they can achieve too. It's good to see clubs supporting the event and putting on a good show and variety of members work, it's not easy to get members inspired to support a club prescence, well done.

All that said and despite being able to pick up most of what was on my shopping list I think all in our party (who have all been regular attendee's over the years and various venues) came away feeling a little flat. Not easy to really put a finger on why. Three of us up until a couple of years ago used to make the trek to the Midlands Show too, with increasing costs and a similar feeling for that show we haven't made the journey since 2016, I suspect that London for us will go the same way.


JasonB19/01/2019 16:10:45
18868 forum posts
2069 photos
1 articles

Rather than post them all again I have posted my photos starting with this post on MEM.

Bazyle19/01/2019 22:06:10
5463 forum posts
206 photos

It did seem a little thinner than previous years but still quite busy until about 3pm today. I met people coming from Leeds in one direction and Newton Abbot (who started out at 5am) in another direction and the other side of Cromer (East Anglia) so I hope they did find enough to make it worth their while.
Axminster had a small stand, about 1/3 or less of the size of Warco and shaped as an L using 3 blocks of an island. The fourth block about 8ft square was occupied by Chester with room for only one lathe and one mill. They are really cutting back.

Halton Tank20/01/2019 08:04:38
95 forum posts
56 photos

Sorry I didn't get the chance to upload more photos to thread, but they can be seen in my album. If it seemed that it was a bit thin of people in my photos, that was because they rwere taken before the public was admitted.

Regards Luigi

John Haine20/01/2019 08:39:27
3328 forum posts
176 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 19/01/2019 22:06:10:

....and the other side of Cromer (East Anglia) so I hope they did find enough to make it worth their while...

Blimey! That's in the North Sea!

Emgee20/01/2019 09:48:32
1709 forum posts
225 photos
Posted by John Haine on 20/01/2019 08:39:27:
Posted by Bazyle on 19/01/2019 22:06:10:

....and the other side of Cromer (East Anglia) so I hope they did find enough to make it worth their while...

Blimey! That's in the North Sea!

When I read it my thoughts exactly, I live in West Norfolk.


martin perman20/01/2019 12:12:04
1873 forum posts
78 photos

Two friends and I spent the day at the show, only disapointment was it took us over three hours to get back to Sandy Beds as a train was cancelled but the Railway did get another fast commuter train to do all the stations it would not normally stop at, I found the event pretty busy, most of what was there last year was there this year except with smaller stands. I managed to get virtually everything I went for except some metal I needed, a good day out.

Martin P

Howard Lewis20/01/2019 17:36:42
3605 forum posts
2 photos

Four of us travelled by train, (stopper) from Peterborough, yesterday, so got a Group discount (£12.20 each).

With advance tickets we were soon in when the doors opened at 10:00. The "buy on the day" queue was serpentine, like Disneyworld!

Yes, I thought that most traders has downsized somewhat; and that there seemed to be a greater marine influence than previously. Was pleased to see friends from Hereford S M E on their stand..

Some traders were absent, ( cost saving / high rents?) hence more space for RC trucks, flying, display, Steampunk etc. Few of us are throwing money about these days.

The Big Boy chassis was impressive. He hopes to have run it on air, by next year.

Lots of interest by youngsters on the Imagineering stand, which can only be good for the hobby..

SMEE and the London Meccano stands seemed to attract a fair bit of interest..

At least the aisles are wider than the Fosse, so moving about is easier!


martin perman20/01/2019 17:41:23
1873 forum posts
78 photos

What was the steampunk, chances are I walked past it.

Martin P

Bazyle20/01/2019 19:00:03
5463 forum posts
206 photos

Martin, The steam punk was a collection of helmets, dresses, and sculptures down at the organ end where the junk tools stand used to be. I did take one photo, (for my niece as it reminded me of her wedding dress which she made).

martin perman20/01/2019 19:05:21
1873 forum posts
78 photos


I did walk around it, the Tardis was amongst it, I thought it was something to do with Dr Who.

Thank you,

Martin P

Martin Kyte22/01/2019 09:29:25
2057 forum posts
37 photos

Well I enjoyed the show but I agree that it was a little slimmed downon the exhibits side and the trade stands. I feel that the organisers have shown great wisdom in developing the child-centric end of the hall. I went down with a mate and his grandson which also involved bringing his wife to help out with looking after the 7 year old lad. Without the lego and the trucks and the flying machines it would have just been me and my mate. The grandson having been for a couple of years is also now taking an interest in the models to some extent. So as a policy you can see the rewards. Personally steam punk does nothing for me but I don't object to it at the show.

If you imagine the hall with the child-centric stuff stripped out it would indeed seem half empty. So here's to the organisers for showing some initiative in keeping things viable.

regards Martin

Bazyle22/01/2019 17:34:08
5463 forum posts
206 photos

Perhaps the hall was a little less crowded
ok cheating there a few minutes before opening. Stand GG did prove to be well worth a visit and had 3, albeit small, traction engines probably half of all the ones at the show.
sadmes stand2.jpg
In the background it the SMEE stand with their mini-lathe demo at this end and half way down a clear plastic box that is a cnc wire erosion machine. Next door was the Ornamental Turners stand with a simple looking rose engine. Quite a small footprint and light weight making it easy to take to shows.
However the demonstrator pointed out that actually mass is an advantage in this type of lathe as it damps down the movement so the big chuck was an advantage. Otherwise quite simple with a bar bed as long parallel cuts are not needed and a saddle off an old lathe for holding the standard OT design rotating cutter head.
Myford had a stand with standard spare parts and accessories. It occurs to me that no other lathe manufacturer or importer has ever done this. Why not?
myford stand.jpg
A few people expressed interest in the Princess Marina.
princess marina.jpg
A build stand helps a lot in assembly and you see some interesting a versatile ones, but even a quick wooden arrangement is better than nothing.
wooden loco stand.jpg


Edited By Bazyle on 22/01/2019 17:44:44

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