Dunedin Model Train Show convener Trevor Buchanan, of Mosgiel, says model train enthusiasts are bringing 20 layouts from between Christchurch and Invercargill to display at the annual show next weekend.
A layout was “a three-dimensional art form”.
The show was being held at Taieri Bowling Club and it was at capacity.
Exhibitors had to be turned away.
“It’s not easy to say no but we don’t have enough room.”
His wife, Daphne Buchanan, said a layout she was looking forward to seeing was a model railway on the Kaikoura Coast in the 1960s.
“It’s a beauty – it blows you away.”
Most of the layouts were different from what was shown last year, she said.
Mr Buchanan said something which was constant every year was children crying because they did not want to leave.
“We know it’s been a success when we hear a kid’s screaming as they leave because they don’t want to go home.”
The show was designed to encourage people to have a go at the hobby and show how a layout could be built cheaply.
But he warned it was a hobby which could easily “snowball”.
“I built a room on top of our house for a layout and when that room wasn’t big enough I cut the roof open to extend it out.”
“And the layout’s still not done,” Mrs Buchanan laughed.
A Thomas the Tank Engine layout would return to the show so children could control a train as it travels past a smurf village and a volcano billowing steam.
Any profit from the show would cover travel expenses for exhibitors and the rest would be given to the American Modular Group in Mosgiel to build new layouts.
The Dunedin Model Train Show will be held at the Taieri Bowling Club, 12 Wickliffe St, from 9.30am to 4pm, Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12. Entry is $10 for adults, $1 for children under 12 and $20 for a family.