THE MODEL SHOW incorporating RAILEX POYNTON is our annual and primary event.

History of The Model Show

As far back as 2009 conversations had been taking place between a few avid enthusiasts, suggesting a new event at which a diverse range of modellers could come together and present their work. So you could look at each genre, discuss and learn skills from each other and present the best attributes of each. Novices and long standing modellers alike might then take away a renewed interest, new directions or methods and skills to help develop their own modelling. Enquiries were made as to timings, costs and locations and Poynton Leisure Centre was subsequently chosen and booked for December 2013. For our first year we drew exhibits from the local area and known contacts in the national Model Railway and Plastic Kit modelling worlds. The Model Show has since expanded year on year to around 11,500 sq ft (2019) of exhibition space, plus a swimming pool. This allied to the fact that we always cram as much as possible into each show makes THE EVENT one of the larger shows containing model railways and certainly the largest annual general modelling show in the North West of England today. For our 2018 event the numbers of plastic kit and model railway exhibitors had swelled to a point whereby we were justified in laying the show out into specific interest areas. Accordingly the main sports hall is from then on to be solely model railways, publicized under the banner RAILEX POYNTON. The four smaller rooms are now dedicated to: Plastick kit modelling; War gaming and Dioramas; Radio control; Road transport modelling and Garden railways.

Who we are and what we do!

Today the show is organized by “the friends of the model show” which comprises a small but dedicated core of volunteers who work during the intermediate periods to gather exhibits, publicise the event and prepare the signage, equipment and plans to permit its swift and smooth assembly and operation. Assisting these are a larger group of regional modellers, clubs and associations who annually provide new exhibits, lend equipment and help with publicity. Allied to these regulars is an ever growing group of modellers and associations who provide occasional exhibits. Next we have the one off attendees who are booked to display exhibits of specific interest. Lastly but not least we have our ever growing band of model manufacturers and retailers who sell product or provide proffesional modelling services. Those who organize, exhibit, steward or pay at the door to enter, are all supporters of the event and we thank them equally, without which we could not continue this worthwhile enterprise. The show does not look to make a profit; it is budgeted and runs on a break even scenario whilst allowing for its annual expansion and improvement. The whole process eats up an immeasurably large amount of voluntary time. It is our hobby and we enter into such willingly, confident that the event can play a significant part in supporting and perpetuating modelling as a whole for all our futures.

Our Style

Putting on an event which encompasses so many different genres of modelling; some of which have never exhibited publicly before, and the majority of which has its own ideas on what, how and why to exhibit has been a complex process. One requiring much thought and compromises to find an operational methodology and an overall presentation which best suits all, and this aside from the day-to-day organizations and planning. We are not a business; we are professional in our approach however and expect everyone to do their level best to see our show provide a high degree of participant and visitor enjoyment. From the outset it was agreed that whilst remaining accessible to ‘all comers’ The Model Show should not be a ‘toy show’ so to speak. But a bringing together of the best available examples and participants of each subject and that it should not feel a need to apologise or play down the attributes of quality modelling. Our firm belief that there is nothing wrong in being good at what you do and that good modelling is a sufficient inspiration for novices or existing modellers in its own right. A more in depth description of the shows ethos may be found near the bottom of this page titled ‘what is modelling’.

Achievements so far

The Model Show or TMS as more easily remembered, is now a national calendar event with a reputation for professionalism, care for the visitor and exhibitor alike and a ‘can-do’ attitude when it comes to supporting innovations, new genres and ideas. We are committed to both increase the numbers and the inter genre communications of; modellers in the hobby and to stage an exhibition which annually asks of itself, what it can do better? Accordingly we were one of the UK’s first children free entry modelling shows and the first known to offer a serving UK Forces and Service Personnel discount. We provide free downloadable programmes (around 7 days in advance). We have a ‘late afternoon reduced rate’ (usually on Saturday) for those wanting a quick or cheaper visit. Our show includes a range of possibilities for visitors to try out various modelling disciplines and in some instances, to take home the results. Wherever possible we support the smaller independent and specialist traders first and choose these carefully to ensure a good mix of stands whilst ensuring they have some chance of a financial return. Our 2016 show saw the start of what will one day be a truly 2 day programme of events and bring opportunities for national clubs and association to hold low cost mini-exhibitions or meetings and allow individual modellers to sell off any unwanted items. It also marked us as being the first modelling exhibition in the UK to go ‘paperless’, removing the laborious and non modelling use of our valuable times in filling out countless forms, sending numerous emails and letters, to everyone’s benefit! Our 2017 event saw the first national modelling group hold a mini-exhibition (the 2mm Scale Association) within The Model Show. 2018 will see this aspect of the show expand with the inclusion of ‘7mm North’ a bringing together of 7mm/ft railway modelling layouts, specialist traders and demonstrators. To achieve this and for a whole host of other reasons the show moved dates to mid September, whilst venue size and hire rates permitting we remained at Poynton Leisure Centre. “018 sees the POYNTON RAILEX promoted seperatly containg over 25 working model railways and newly including associations and groups from the wider heritage railways world

We would like to thank the following for financially supporting our event.

  • Axminster Tools & Machinery
  • The Association of Large Scale Railway Modellers
  • Armorfast Models
  • Gripping Beast – Wargaming figures
  • Regal Garage Doors, Poynton
  • Bulls Head, Poynton


We would like to thank the following for annually assisting us with materials, equipment, advertising or exhibits.

  • Modelshops directory.co.uk
  • Merseyside IPMS Group
  • Airfix SIG IPMS
  • Brit modeller forum
  • Poynton Railway Modellers
  • Arrow business centre Poynton
  • Association of Large Scale Railway Modellers
  • International Plastic Modelling Society
  • Scale 148
  • 3mm Scale Association
  • The 2mm Scale Association
  • RM Web.co.uk
  • N Gauge Forum
  • New mills and district railway modellers
  • Rainhill Model railway club
  • Poynton Leisure centre
  • Peco publications
  • Tomlinson Parbans Ltd
  • Yahoo groups
  • Graham Beckwith
  • Richard Brady
  • SMTF model shop Poynton
  • Hopewall Diary
  • National Association Road Transport Modellers
  • East Manchester Historical Games/Mailed Fist Wargames Group


What is modelling?

The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that modelling is: The activity of making three-dimensional models. This is a question we have been asking ourselves since we started this venture: in wanting to be able to define what the show should include and more recently, to place onto this page a narrative that will explain such to the uninitiated and qualify the questions of ourselves and other modellers.

By modelling, we are suggesting: any three dimensional facsimile of a fictional or real item in a scale greater or less than its original size, e.g. an expanded scale model of an item as commonly used in manufacturing and scientific study to aid clarity of minute details. Or a reduced scale model such as may be used by architects or town planners to permit large items to be presented in the office or home environments. This latter option being that most commonly seen in modelling today e.g. a 1:10th scale model of a Route-Master bus etc. To explain our reasoning here: was ‘the bus’ a sketch, painting or computer model; or a full size three dimensional copy? Then it would not be a model. Expanding the theory further it might be argued that a 1/4 size or 1:4th scale model of a Toby Jug would be a model (even if made from clay, in the same manner as the original) whereas, were it a full size example it would be an example of pottery and not modelling. By this conclusion a host of full size and artistic subjects such as painting, needlework, basket making, metal and wood-turning and pottery to name but a few are concluded to be arts or craft-work and not modelling. This accepting that these methods of construction; may be used in some way within our models.

Next we refine our modelling parameters. Here we are saying that we expect the displays at The Model Show to be the work of the individual or group presenting them and that they have either:
a/ Altered a proprietary item to give greater accuracy, representation of another item, or improve the detail and level of finish.
b/ Assembled their models from proprietary kit or components.
c/ Created it from scratch using pre-formed or raw materials.

In some instances some or all the previous suggestions may be employed into the model? We also accept that in some instances, the use of specialist professional services for: design, casting, machining, and finishing of; components or whole models, may be included. But we retain the desire that ostensibly the modelling undertaken will be the work of those displaying it.

The Model Show is therefore a bringing together of modellers and their work into one venue, encompassing as many genres of modelling as we can muster. Taking the above paragraphs into consideration we have over time learnt that it is far easier to conclude what isn’t modelling; than what is and that despite our wealth of knowledge and experience within the modelling world, we are presented with new and innovative modelling examples upon a regular basis. Ensuring us that the diversity of the shows content will be expanding for some time if not forever? Additional to which we occasionally include some mediums to a lesser extent; which do not specifically meet our requirements for modelling, but which have great merit regardless, as either introductions to the wider modelling world, or as they suggest a wealth of knowledge and skills which are worthy of understanding by modellers. I.e. Landscape painting, Lego, Meccano; Computer Aided Design or CAD; White Metal or Resin Casting and Three Dimensional or 3D printing.

Benefits to existing modellers

A final thought for the existing modellers consideration is the benefits that may be had by looking at genres and scales of modelling you have not been interested or involved with before. In essence ‘modelling is modelling regardless’. We have since the first show had modellers telling us how useful and interesting it has been to see at first hand the various modelling mediums and to have been able to discuss with experts in each filed the materials, methods and skills each employs. As modellers ourselves we whole heartedly recommend that; even if for no other reason? You should attend the event to benefit from the boundless opportunities presented to develop your own modelling; either through actual example or mere inspiration?.

Publicity, information and future events

Although this website is our primary source of instruction and updates, we may also be found on Facebook and Twitter, or on one of a countless number of internet modelling forums and specialist modelling Facebook groups. On this site are examples of our all colour: A6 flyers or hand bills and A4 posters; which may be downloaded and placed in your local model shop, clubroom or anywhere you think may attract visitors to the show and for which you have our thanks. If you can assist in the distribution of flyers to a specific event or group we would like to speak to you. We hope that this page has been informative and that it settles some of the questions we have been presented with. If you have any queries or can assist in any way with content, contacts, assistance, sponsorship or suggestions? Please feel free to contact us via this websites email facility. TMS