What is the VNSC?
The Victorian N Scale Collective was formed in 1991 by a group of modellers interested in Australian prototype, and Victorian in particular. The aim of the group is to promote and encourage the participation in and enjoyment of modelling in N Scale, and it currently has in excess of eighty members across Australia and one member in the USA.
How is this aim achieved?
The Collective conducts regular meetings on the second Saturday of each month that normally start at around 10.00 am and conclude at approximately 5.00 pm. These meetings are held at members' homes across the Melbourne metropolitan area and occasionally in country venues as well. Interstate members are of course welcomed when the opportunity arises.
The meetings are aimed at fostering friendship and camaraderie between modellers of like interest and facilitating the exchange of information. Meeting agendas are varied and largely informal, with plenty of time for discussion on all manner of topics of interest. "Show and tell" sessions, which give members the opportunity to display projects they are currently working on or have recently completed, are always an enjoyable feature of most meetings, and the exchange of ideas and help with projects from the experience of others is a valuable part of each day.
Modelling clinics are also a regular feature. These clinics are valuable not only for the knowledge gained but also for the opportunity of trying new techniques in a hands-on experience.
Other activities include occasional running days on members' home layouts, updates on new products, film sessions, barbeques, prototype information updates and a Family Day excursion in November.
For interstate and other members who cannot attend meetings on a regular basis, the Newsletter, which appears every two months, provides the primary link to the group, and the members only Groups.io website is also a valuable forum for regular communication and the exchange of information.
Does the Collective have a layout?
Over time the group has put together the layout Laidlaw based on the AusTrak N scale modular system, as detailed on our AusTrak page. Five modules are owned by the Collective with many others owned by individual members. The modules are powered by DCC.
Laidlaw is displayed at one or more model railway exhibitions each year. See our News page for details of upcoming exhibitions. Members are encouraged to attend the exhibitions and actively participate by taking the opportunity to run their own rolling stock on the layout and share in its operation.
Several members have their own private layouts, some of which are also displayed at exhibitions. There are two main types of layout—those constructed in the “traditional” way using flextrack or the like which requires a certain amount of time and effort to achieve trouble-free trackwork, and those using the preformed Kato Unitrack to produce T-Trak modules, a fast, easy way of building a layout, and ideal for less experienced people to start their model railway hobby.
Most members’ home layouts can be seen at monthly meetings, on which attendees are invited to run their own or the owner’s rollingstock. Several have been written up in the Australian Model Railway Magazine, including:
- West Merredin - Issue 215 April 1999
- Wallan - Issue 279 December 2009
- VR in the ‘50s, Pt 1 - Issue 285 December 2010
- VR in the ‘50s, Pt 2 - Issue 286 February 2011
- Emu Creek - Issue 316 February 2016
- Forest Creek - Issue 338 October 2019
The Club is at present in the process of building a new modular layout, Gadgerrie West, representing a typical Victorian rural locality in the wheatbelt district. Various members are contributing to the construction and scenicking of the layout. In addition a purpose built trailer has been purchased to store and transport the layout.
New members are always welcome.