Category Archives: Scenery

Scenery related topics

Site seeing – The ‘Barmouth Junction’ edition

This video came to my notice thanks to a post on the Australian Model Railway Magazine’s (AMRM) Facebook account. And while not Australian in any way shape or form, Geoff Taylor’s Barmouth Junction layout is a visually stunning model.


Barmouth Junction

Well worth the time to travel over the line and listen to it’s creator tell you about the layout. It’s a masterpiece and while not a small layout it is so well modelled and I imagine it is just as good to operate on that I wanted  to share it with you.

Well done Geoff and the thanks also to British Railway Modelling (BRM) magazine for showing us the layout.

Site Seeing – The David Barrow fan boy edition – September 24, 2018

We moved back to Australia in 2006. So, I have to live through others when they visit David Barrow in Austin Texas, my wife’s hometown, and where we spent 10 years from 1997. Trevor Marshall visited recently and came away with a great post on the man and his layouts – including his new small (comparatively speaking) O scale layout which really piqued my interest.


David Barrow’s layouts

Hi – my name is Andrew – and I’m a David Barrow fan boy tragic…

I first remember reading about David Barrow’s Cat Mountain and Santa Fé layout in the 1980s in Model Railroader magazine. As a young man, dreaming about my large future model railway plans, David’s layouts (there were at my last count about 17 versions of the Cat Mountain) were my ideal. While I dream of those massive layouts still I took another path to small layout designs.

Recently David Barrow has followed down that rabbit hole, this time in O scale, with a new layout. You can read more about that in the second link below by Trevor Marshall.

David’s layout design and presentation skills are unique in the hobby. Not to everyone’s taste I’ll grant, yet having seen and operated on the layout once in 2005, I did not notice its minimal scenic treatment. I was too interested in the operational side of things.

Image 1: Davids Barrow’s entire O Scale layout – battery-powered and operated by radio

Once again the layout design is the centre of attention and the scenic treatment is classic David Barrow – minimalist. However, you can use the design and then scenic it to your heart’s content. Hmmm – now let me see – I have 3 boards in the garage on which that layout design would fit perfectly…

You can out more on this layout in the Model Railroad Planning 2018 publication from Kalmbach.


Resources

Site seeing – the Second Hand Inglenook edition – September 20, 2018

I admire modellers who can get to the meat of a project, quickly and with vigour. Gazmanjack (Gary) on RMWeb used second-hand track, wood and other parts from his modelling left-overs to create a stunningly good small layout for operations. Read on for more.


Linden Ford – the second-hand layout

Gazmanjack (his handle on RMWeb) back in 2014 built an outstanding layout from left over bits and pieces, as an adjunct to his current layout, to give himself something to operate on during the other layout’s longer build. I’ve only just found it and wanted to share the forum post with you.

And what a cracker this layout is. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I think the adage of a picture telling a thousand words is true on this occasion. There is plenty of information in the post too on the build including scenery, tree armatures, and so on.

Image 1: Linden Ford – an outstanding small Inglenook layout

I hope that you find inspiration in the post. So much with so little that turned out so well. Well done Gary!


Resources

Site seeing – the oil soaked track edition – April 15

Mike Cougill over at OST Publications is an inspiration when it comes to modelling track. His work is in O scale sure, his techniques however can be used in any scale to spruce up, or in this case make a mess of, otherwise perfectly good track.

His recent post about modelling oil soaked track is a point in case. Simple, presented in a straightforward style and always willing to experiment Mike’s technique provides a great result.

Image courtesy of Mike Cougill

Mike’s site is full of great articles and ideas. Very well worth the time taken to visit.

Site Seeing – January 1 – The new Everard Junction version

Everard Junction was a great finished model railway filling the loft of Richard Warren’s home in the UK (his YouTube channel can be watched here). However, he was unhappy with several key elements to the underlying baseboard design and issues with the loft space itself  that were causing running issues due to temperature and moisture. So he took what I consider to be a brave step and decided to start again from scratch.

With the loft area now completely reworked, insulated and ready to go, the work to build the new Everard Junction (Mark II?) is underway. As I write there are four videos in the current build series with more to come. With much detail each shows what ideas and issues Richard is solving as he builds the new layout. Richard’s baseboard design shows the very serious thought he has put into the new build. A couple of his ideas will make it into my next baseboard design, specifically allowing a removable backscene within the body of the baseboard.

Click the videos below to being watching, and if you find them interesting head over to the YouTube channel and like and subscribe. There’ll be more content about the build shortly and Richard is very good at presenting his ideas and showing his working method. Now onto the videos.

Videos

New Layout Build – Baseboards

Layout Update – November 2017

New Layout Build – Backscenes

New Layout Build – Fiddle Yard

There are a heap of videos on his channel that should be watched for their ideas and his modelling is outstanding. Enjoy Richard’s work; I do.

Site Seeing – March 18 – The ‘other’ Glendale freight layout edition

It’s been a while since my last post and that is thankfully due to being fully employed for the first time in two and a half years. A full-time job is a very satisfying thing. But I digress.

As I wrote in my March 6th post I’ve worked up another idea for the Glendale Freight layout. Let me say from the outset, that this is not one of my better ideas; especially after seeing Bruce Petty’s original layout. There’s merit in the ideas expressed in the design certainly – it just doesn’t have that vibe going on as Bruce’s layout does in spades. Before I go on to tear my work apart let’s take a look at a 1/12th scale model and why I find them so useful for designing a layout.

So what’s wrong with this layout idea?

  • Firstly the central theme of the design is not the freight station, it is the entrance from staging onto the layout.
  • I wanted to have the train enter through a portal of buildings, cross the street and then go about its business. It’s a pretty skimpy idea right? There’s no meat on the bones though.
  • Why this means to enter onto the layout instead of some other way? Is there some missing story about this means of entrance; did the city grow up around the freight station for example? But isn’t this supposed to be Glendale CA, right? Well, is it?

The layout is overall 8 feet long (2400mm) and each square is 12 x 12 inches (300 x 300 mm). It is 2 feet (600mm) wide. And it’s very linear.

So what would I do different now that I’ve built this mini layout?

  1. Angle the entrance onto the layout,
  2. Angle the buildings and the street to the long axis of the layout,
  3. Cluster the switches near the end of the run around, and finally
  4. I’d make a transition between the industrial area on ‘main street’ at the entrance end and the other end of the layout – making it more suburban

And having had a while to think on how I’d make those changes here’s a rough drawing of the layout that ‘could’ spring from this thought experiment.

This design has gravitas. It is the last bastion of railroading in the inner city, and the edge of the suburbs. Sure there are some strange curves, and I’d rework the industry lead and the industry back wall too. But it is much more interesting and tells much more of a story than the first layout.

This layout could be setup as is with the industries, it could be modified for a single industry layout (say an industrial workplace such as a foundry), or it could be something that I’ve not considered and that you already have swimming around in that pool of ideas in your head. As an aside, I videoed the first layout build process. If interested in seeing that video let me know in the comments and I’ll post it here over the next week or so.

Site seeing January 16 – The Bart Van Doorn edition

Back in very late December 2015 I showcased Bart’s then pretty new O (1/48th) scale layout – 33rd Street. It’s been just over 12 months and he’s been making improvements the entire time. And they’re very, very good improvements.

That was then:

DSCN4104

This is now:

33 Street yard at night fall

Image 1: Bart’s eye candy

See what I mean?

Site 1: Bart’s flickr stream

Click over to Bart’s flickr site and get acquainted with his work. Some really good stuff here for the model builder, especially those of us bitten by the O scale bug to see what can be achieved in a relatively small space.

In addition since I last visited his site he’s extended the track plan somewhat giving himself more room to play in. Enjoy and keep a watch on his stream. He updates his images fairly regularly.

Site 2: Bart’s YouTube page has updates too

This is just one of his posted videos. There are more available after the jump -just click the YouTube logo to go to Bart’s YT page.

Take a look around and enjoy. It’s a great idea for a layout in any scale. Looking forward to giving his street light a go.

Site seeing: August 31 – Winter is going (at least down here)

Winter is over, although where we live in Ballarat at 420m (1370 feet) above sea level, you’d be hard pressed to tell that change of season has arrived. Our mornings are still cold, the winds are still lazy (they go through and not around you), and the weather is not shiny or happy. However, my seasonal allergies have kicked in, and the Wattle has been in full bloom for about 3 weeks now. I’m sniffling, my eyes are streaming and I look like I’ve gone five rounds with the late, great Muhammad Ali. My allergies and the weather are not the reason for today’s end of Winter post…

Site 1: Croft on the ScaleFour society’s website

Built as a shunting puzzle (Inglenook) and based loosely upon the real Croft goods (Darlington, NER, not Leicestershire LNWR), Croft is a magnificent example of simple effective display and operation. The image below courtesy of RMWeb and Steve Taylor.

I could go on at length about this layout, or I can let you soak up the atmosphere of this image and then follow the ScaleFour link above.

Site 2: RMWeb’s Croft Gallery

Go, look, mind blown.

Hope that this gets your creative juices flowing. Looking forward to the Southern Spring.

Layout Builders of Note – Chris Gilbert

Introduction

I’ve known Chris Gilbert for many years thanks to the Internet, specifically RMWeb. Chris has always managed to be a great mentor on things model railroad, even if he was not aware of his mentorship. He’s been successful in building, exhibiting and publishing a range of model small exhibition layouts over the last several years. What gets me is how quickly he puts these model marvels together.

Florida Springs (V 2.0) – An HO Scale exhibition layout

Chris in his own style said that he started the layout on Tuesday the 10th of February with a trip to his local hardware store.

Within five days he was at this stage:

As if that was not enough to make me feel like I need to pick up my game, his detailing is exquisite. If you take a link at post number 5 (link here) you’ll see what I mean.

Every time I see what Chris can do in so short a time, I am simply bowled over. He thinks about something and then he gets it done. It’s something that I am going to aim for in my modelling this year.

Before I can get there though I have to complete some other modelling projects to finish for my local model club show in April (you can read more about that on the Modellers of Ballarat blog (link here).

I’ve listed other sites in the resources section below. Enjoy having a look at Chris’ layouts. They really are magnificent works of art.

Resources

· You can find out more about the O scale Fort Smith Railroad layout (External Link) here.

· You can visit Chris’ YouTube channel (link here) – and watch his videos of Haston and North Haston – great stuff.

The difference that trees can make to a scene

The difference that a few trees can make to a layout scene should never be underestimated.

Over on the Port Rowan layout blog Trevor has just completed the planting of trees at St Williams, where (unlike the original) the layout bends around the wall.  use the link below and look at the two pictures on the page. There is certainly more than trees going on here, there’s light and shadow and a fence and some other additions to the scene.

But Wow! What a difference has been made by the addition of the tree armatures.

Check out that post: Link Here

But wait, there’s still more. Check out his second post from a couple of days later: Link Here

Trevor now goes into the scene and really shows some of the visual differences the trees make. I’ve never met Trevor, and we live on totally different sides of the planet, but I feel tied to his style of modelling.

Hope that you are having a good evening where ever you are.