BMF 2015


Bishop Druitt College, North Boambee Rd, Coffs Harbour

21st -22nd November 2015

Another Branchline Modellers Forum (BMF) is being held, this time at Coffs Harbour on the north coast of NSW. The first of seven forums was held in 1994 at Sydney’s Macquarie University. Fourteen years have passed since the last was held in 2001. The forum led to the publication of Branchline Modeller which morphed into the Australian Journal of Railway Modelling.

The 2015 BMF will follow a similar format to the previous events, except that it will run over two days rather than one.  All attendees must bring something to put in the modelling display. THIS IS A NON-NEGOTIABLE CONDITION OF ATTENDANCE.  The item for display doesn’t have to be a model; it could be plans, photos or something else that is relevant to modelling and/or of interest to other modellers. The resulting display, the size and diversity of which a feature of the forum, is an important element of the entertainment on offer.

The theme for the 2015 BMF is pre-cast concrete railway buildings.  This provides a focus for some of the lectures and demonstrations and is a suggestion for those who may be undecided about what they bring for the modelling display. Plans or photos of concrete era infrastructure, especially things that no longer exist, would be particularly relevant.

A range of different activities are provided and attendees are free to choose how they entertain themselves.  A theatre with tiered seating is the focus for group presentations. Attendees are able to go to all of the lectures, or if they choose they can undertake other activities instead. Most importantly, there will be plenty of opportunity for attendees to talk to each other.  People who identify items of interest in the display are encouraged to seek out the person responsible and talk to them about their work.

Because the venue has a limited capacity, the number of people able to attend the 2015 BMF

will be capped at 100.

Lunch and morning tea will be provided on both days as will afternoon tea on the Saturday.  There will be a three course buffet dinner (an additional cost) at the venue on Saturday night.  After

dinner, Keith Jones Managing Director of the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum will talk about the history of the Dorrigo line and the past and future of the museum. No question about the museum will be off-limits.

Activities at Coffs finish after lunch on Sunday when you can either head for home or drive to

Dorrigo (65km and a 1 hour drive) for a guided tour of the Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum.

Activities for partners:  Coffs Harbour is a well-known tourist destination with plenty of activities to keep partners entertained. Recommended however is a visit to  Bellingen (35 km and a 30 min drive) where there are cafes and galleries that mix rural village atmosphere with cosmopolitan culture.

The very popular Bellingen community markets will be held on the Saturday from 9 am to 3pm.

Accommodation in Coffs Harbour: Options for accommodation and other activities in Coffs Harbour are available from the Coffs Visitors Centre.

The program:

Master of Ceremonies:  Andrew Hayne


Paul Horder – The history of concrete station buildings in NSW

Graeme Henderson – Pictorial overview and discussion of concrete era infrastructure

Keiran Ryan – How to make models with a computer

Darren Lee – Designing a NSW layout with prototypical operation and realism as the goal

Stephen Ottaway – A modeller’s guide to NSW goods yard cranes


Ian Black – Closing the gap between corridor connections on passenger cars

Geoff Burns – Modelling trees

Brendan Canning – Soldering – featuring assembly of brass signal kits

Tom Rogers – Concrete structures – prototype and modelling

Keiran Ryan – 3D printing in action

Ian Millard – Modelling track and building realistic and reliable points

Aaron Denning – Weathering with acrylic pastel powders and isopropyl alcohol


Rohan Fergusson – ‘Bolivia’ – the next section under construction

Alan Tarrant – ‘Bullenbung Creek’ – a concrete era rural branch line


Andian Models Casula Hobbies Stephen Johnson Models
Keiran Ryan Models AR Kits  

Layout visit:

For those getting to Coffs Harbour early, there is an opportunity to visit a local NSW outline layout about 5km from the venue on Friday afternoon or Friday evening.


The cost for the two days which includes convention registration, lunches and morning / afternoon teas and the tour of the museum will be $130.00 per attendee. This will be discounted to $120.00 for those who register before 10 October 2015.

The dinner is an additional $35.00 per person.

Partners not participating in the program can attend the venue for $20.00 per day (this covers the cost of food and insurance).  The museum tour will cost $10.00 per additional person.

More information:

More information about the program will be provided upon registration. Please email if you have any questions.

Registration form

BMF registration form