Small/minimalist layouts

traingeekboy Jul 23, 2004

  1. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Some of you may think i'm a nut, but I really like smaller layouts. The pictures I see of smaller layouts just seem to show more character than most large layouts because of the amount of time spent modelling per square foot compared to larger layouts.

    With that said, can some of you guys who have smaller layouts post pictures and trackplans for the geeky one? I am looking for some inspiration for some track planning I am doing for my small 3x4 N scale layout. I also have a Ho scale timesaver i'm about to build but that's gonna be just for switching without scenery, and there isn't much you can do to a time saver, track plan wise, that wouldn't ruin the original concept.

    Thanks
     
  2. jasonboche

    jasonboche TrainBoard Member

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    If you like small layouts you should check out Z scale!!!!!!1111 [​IMG]
     
  3. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona TrainBoard Supporter

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    OK, I'll start out, as I'm sure I'm one of the smallest of the small.

    My layout (some you must be getting tired of this shot, I must make a new one soon):

    [​IMG]

    My trackplan with the Kato Unitrack radii noted. I believe the easements are a big part of getting good appearance, I'd tried other track plans without the easements, and they looked much less realistic:

    [​IMG]

    And a shot:

    [​IMG]

    Along with how it was taken:

    [​IMG]

    And I'll repost here what I posted over on another post about some good small layout inspiration at the St. Louis Gateway NMRA club. They have a great website that has many great small project layouts they've done for exhibition over the years, at:

    http://www.gatewaynmra.org/

    Specifically:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    http://www.gatewaynmra.org/project09.htm

    The large buildings divide the layout into separate scenes without the need for a scenic divider. The facing and trailing point sidings, and three crossings, give a "big time railroading" feel in only 4'x6' (their layout is HO).

    At that website above, as you follow the train around the loop in these four photos, you'll see how the structures and trackwork arrangement help create and reinforce a number of small scenes.
     
  4. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    See my dinky little Hickory Valley RR; July 1995 MR (with track plan). N scale 18" x 36", and loop-to-loop at that. Not really 'minimalist' in approach, but half the size of John Sing's masterpiece!

    [​IMG]

    Now, I have WAY more equipment than track, with the pair of 2-6-0's, the Heisler, the 28-ton shay, the Alan Curtis log cars...... an Atlas shay on the way........
     
  5. Yucan

    Yucan New Member

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    John Sing,
    the way you use your camera, I thought your layout was about 20 foot by 8 foot! Great work!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant TrainBoard Member

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  7. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks guys.

    John S, I know your layout pics real well from over on the Atlas forum. Actually, come to think of it all you guys snuck over here from the N scale section. lol too funny.

    That gateway layout is along the lines of what I am interested in.

    Jason, Nooo ZZZZ scale toooo smalllll.

    there have been some decent smaller ho layouts in MR recently. And they have re inspired my hunt for the perfect smaller layout.

    jon i will check out those links, thanks
     
  8. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    Geeky,

    I like smaller layouts too. I bought a house 4 months ago with five bedrooms. Since my wife and I don't have any kids (or plan to) we each took one of the rooms for our hobbies. My train room is also a music studio but the music gear doesn't take up too much room. I started out designing an around the room layout but have gone back to a 2'x4' with removable staging. I'll post picts this weekend for you. Also, my track plan was inspired from this page: http://www.naisp.net/users/mfischer/m_train2.htm Check it out. There are loads of great plans.
     
  9. JeffShultz

    JeffShultz New Member

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    I don't know if it qualifies as a "smaller layout" but my HO layout is nominally 2'x8' with a 2 foot long (and 3-4 inches wide) extension off one end.

    Space availablilty constraints dictated how bit the layout would be. Getting it out of the 2nd floor apartment sometime next year should be interesting as well.

    http://www.shultzinfosystems.com/gallery/W-P-Model-RR
     
  10. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    Jeff thanks for the link. I like the progression from pink mars to green earth.

    Not to be critical of HO. (I just essembled my ho scale time saver last night on a 2x8 that's 6 feet long.) You sure could do wonders with that size space in N scale. Twenty car trains, multiple diesels, double track mainline. hint hint :D
     
  11. JeffShultz

    JeffShultz New Member

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    I'm clumsy enough in HO. I could do serious damage in N scale...
     
  12. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    You mentioned minimalist layouts......

    While not small by any stretch of the imagination, David Barrow's latest HO scale creation (CMSF Lubbock District) is pretty spare, with no ballast (heck, no scenery) outside of the buildings. His work is excellent, but with all due respect to Mr. Barrow, it's way too spare for me. I do realize that his layout concentrates heavily on industrial switching, though.
     
  13. theskunk

    theskunk TrainBoard Member

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    oh come on now, who's the Geek here? i put a model railroad in my DORM ROOM!!!!

    i rest my case! [​IMG]

    this is my 2x4

    [​IMG]
     
  14. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Skunk, me lad, you're not alone- I had an N scale layout in my dorm room my freshman & sophmore years (1975-1977).
     
  15. ilovetrains

    ilovetrains E-Mail Bounces

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    Since we are talking about layouts.. I was thinking of doing a 5x9 footer, using Atlas #25 track plan, and adding a few extra lines. LOL. I stated using Atlas's POS track layout software and couldn't even get their #25 track plan to work using their own software, go figure, so now I might just be forced to try something else.. Something small?? but yet large..
     
  16. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have just erected the baseboards (re-used ones from my N scale layout)! and they measure about 8ft x 6ft, L shape. I roughly planned out the trackplan on the last night, and it seems to fit ok. It will be a switching/shortline layout.

    Pictures and track plan will follow as things progress. [​IMG]
     
  17. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

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    Hey, Friscobob, there's more "Dormers" than you think. The Hickory Valley was exactly 18" x 36" because that was the size of the dresser top in the Dorm! Same period of time - 75-77! That mongo plywood case/cover I built was handy for going 'undercover' on what was REALLY going on in the box... RA always thought it was a hotplate under there somewhere and the railroad project was a ruse....
     
  18. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    (chuckle) I lived next door to my RA for four years, and he broke more rules than I did. At least we were allowed to have small toaster ovens and hot pots- only things we weren't supposed to have were alcoholic beverages (this rule was, to quote Shakespeare, "honored more in the breach than in the observance") and, er, recreational pharmaceuticals. :rolleyes: I had lots of the former :D , NONE of the latter [​IMG] .

    The trains stayed home my last two years of college, and never came out again until I left home to go to med tech school, by which time I had gone into HO scale, and was working on a diorama. Plus, that's also when I got into detailing my diesels in a big way.
     
  19. theskunk

    theskunk TrainBoard Member

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    the dorm layout with me was done on a whim, and i then became involved with the North Raleigh Model Railroad Club, which means i get to run on big layouts, like the capitol limited. the 2x4 will be back, as it is still at a friends apartment, i am thinking about donating it to a local youth rec area or something as soon as i get some scenery on it. i really have no use for it seeing as i just finished the mainline/wiring on my 2.5x6 at my parents house.

    anyways, yeah, more dormers than i thought, and yes, i have broken my share of rules, from roller hockey in the hallways, all the way to paintball, ultimate frisbee, but had to stop football, the fieldkicks were good for more than just the extra point (like knocking out glass/lights!) ah the good ole days..... which start again in 2 weeks!
     
  20. JeffShultz

    JeffShultz New Member

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    That dorm room layout beats (in size) the HO scale layout I had in my barracks room....
     

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