Not popular but looks fun as heck!

traingeekboy Jun 28, 2021

  1. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmmm. I'm getting a "Content Not Available...." message.
     
    Mike VE2TRV likes this.
  3. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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  4. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    The first like didn't work for me as well. The video and second link worked. It must be rather small for HO.
     
  5. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Sometimes, you just need a simple fun layout to run!:D
     
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  6. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    You got that right!:cool:

    Makes the big kid in me want to bounce off the walls and jump up and down on the bed.:D
     
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  7. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    This looks like @RThomas from here on Trainboard, here's his layout build thread: https://www.trainboard.com/highball...history-of-bnsf-layout-pictures-w-i-p.117403/ I haven't seen him around here in a while, so it's good that he's still working on the layout.

    I was reading through some modeling books in my collection, like The Complete Book of Model Railroading (David Sutton 1964) the other day, and I got the same feeling. Seeing all those 'over and under' layouts is just so nostalgic. The layout design style pushed in all the railroad magazines these days is so focused on around-the-room running with staging yards, seeing a Plywood Pacific or a Spaghetti Bowl is like looking back on a different era. This book had tons of old-school techniques and photos in it, and while they would have limited use on a modern layout, they are still fun to read through.

    Seeing older layouts or freelanced layouts is so fun because they take imagination to create. If there is one thing the hobby has lost, it's imagination. We all used to be kids on the floor with an oval of track, but today, I feel like we fall into the trap of model railroading being a science rather than an art.
    I can't tell you the last time I worked on a model without researching the time period or looking for prototype photos. Sometimes it just makes me want to go back to a 'simpler time' where I was running a Bachmann DC controller and just having fun with whatever train cars I had.
     
  8. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    I have David Sutton's book and have to say you're right. The photos in the book bring back memories of the old issues of Model Railroader that interfered so much with my education in junoir high school. My about to be started layout features one of those old school track plans that winds through stretches of hidden track, crisscrossing the layout and climbing all the while to gain mileage. In short, it's an excercise in nostagia. It violates all the rules of modern layout design, but I like it. I like the scenic possibilities and the length of mainline run and yes, the imagination involved.

    A few weeks ago, I posted a couple of construction photos of a previous uncompleted layout. (they can be seen in weekend photo fun, June 4th) It mostly followed the rules of modern layout design, with the main line making most of a lap around the room, passing over a liftout and disappearing into staging. After posting the photos, I started thinking about it, wondering if I had been too quick to dismiss the plan. I spent considerable time on CAD replicating the original plan (a paper drawing which had long since been lost) and correcting the things I disliked about it back then. I found space for a turntable at the visible terminal and developed an operating scheme that involved starting the session with trains in staging and ended with them returing to staging. Some of the features I did like about this plan included good switching provided by industrial trackage that threaded its way under the elevated track, a small town featuring the usual suspects (grain elevator, lumber yard, small factory) and a stretch of rural scenery backdropped by the Pere Marquette line crossing a wooden trestle inspired by a real place in Michigan's thumb where the PM once crossed Rock Falls creek. Sounds like just about the most fun to be had in 8-1/2' X 9', right? Maybe part of it's nostalgia, but fact is, it doesn't please my mind's eye nearly as much as the old school, convoluted plan I've been working on.
     
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  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I wonder just how many of us have a copy of that book? :D:D:D
     
  10. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    I concur with the observation that model railroading is an art more than a science.

    There is science in the materials and how they're used, applied, etc. But my experience so far with the building of my own layout is that art and inspiration are #1 on the bill of materials. I tried to design a layout for years using planning, realism, prototypical-ness, etc... in other words, science. In plain terms, what other people would think.

    Then I realized that the layout was for me, no one else. I share what I've done, where I'm at, etc., but it's all for my own enjoyment. What I share is my enjoyment.

    When I stopped planning and started inspiring, that's when my layout started being built. Instead of trying to be bigger and better, I concentrated on how much fun I could pack into the space I have.

    My Mom was an artist in her spare time. I have paintings of hers on my walls that are beautiful, one dating back to when she was 16... in 1943. She did it for the pleasure, not the profit. In fact, she gave away most of her paintings. She liked painting, period. I shifted my mindset from the technical to the artistic. I left the technical stuff for the structure, the actual putting together, wiring, structure support, the base, etc. The rest is just plain art. Like Mom, I just like doing the art, right from the heart.

    That's where I really started having fun. I didn't want another job, I wanted a hobby.

    I believe I won that bet.:cool:
     
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  11. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Question for you, Mike. Having seen a few of your layout photos, I wonder if you visualized the different small vignettes that show up in them (Yard and engine terminal, main street, etc.) during construction or just kind of found them along the way. When you posted the overall view, I was surprised the layout wasn't 2 or 3 times its actual size. You've packed a lot of interest, potential for some decent switching operation and a lot of rich scenes in a comparatively small space. Very nice.
     
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  12. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

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    You should see the layout designs in "Model Railroading in the Paleolithic Age" they were lightyears ahead of the "old" roundy-round layouts . . . primarily because round hadn't been invented yet.
     
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  13. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks!:)

    99% spontaneous inspiration.

    Once I determined what shape and size I could fit into the available space, I drew up a checkiist (more of a wishlist) of what I wanted - engine terminal, small yard, town, some woodland, a large industry, etc. Sometimes I just stood there looking at the blank foam base and pictured in my mind how I can arrange everything. I thought about having a second parallel main going around, then changed my mind because I figured it would reduce the size of my already compact yard and engine facilities. The scrap yard spur was a pure spontaneous addition, just like the small pond (Amy's Pond, maybe some Dr Who fans will see the pun).

    I had accumulated a lot of track, turnouts, buildings and other structures I bought used at train shows prior to starting construction. Even while I was in the construction phase, I stalked the train shows for more things that tickled my fancy.

    Engineering challenges were about the same. There's a cliffside along the southeast corner that I'm rather proud of. I thought about buying some molds, but had an "eureka" moment after I had removed the aluminum foil from something I warmed up to eat. I looked at the foil, how it was crinkled, and right away saw my mold. A unique one, dirt cheap, and with no repeating patterns. That worked like a charm.:cool:

    Same for running power wires under tracks to whatever destination I needed to power. An apple corer (while I was preparing a small batch of apple sauce... see the pattern? There's usually food involved...:D ). It was fantastic at boring tunnels in the foam base to run wires through.

    There's why I had so much fun. Food, coffee, power tools and trains.

    And still having fun, because there's always something to do.
     
  14. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    It was a 4 X 8 plywood AMERICAN FLYER circle of track connected to a figure 8 inside the circle with turnouts that actually WORKED!!! Steam Engines for power. And I ran it till the wheels fell off. THANKS DAD! Started my love of trains and Model Railroading. Also have to include that ride on #4501 when it made it's maiden runs/trips. That sealed my fate.

    MODEL RAILROADING IS FUN!!
     
  15. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have a roundy round with big diesels, long cars and a few sidings thrown in and am extremely happy with it. I may be well on my way to grumpy old man status but still a kid at heart :)
     
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  16. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    I'm one of those that can thank my Dad for getting me addicted. Some great memories of running trains together, watching him paint and decal rolling stock (he was a huge ATSF fan), just a lot of good times.

    That should be our motto:

    Fun.jpg
     
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  17. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Yes! :)
     
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  18. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like my first Lionel layout. It was a hand-me-down from an older cousin. As I got a little older, I started experimenting with running on the roundy round and using the figure 8 as a place to set cars out. Athough my dad was not a model railroader, I have him to thank for retrieving the layout and getting it running again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
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