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!
Good day readers wherever you may be, and whatever you may be doing. It has been a while since my last post. That’s mainly down to my work schedule being all-consuming, and the days being long and the start times being all over the clock face. Nine months into my new role as a tram driver I’ve just managed a couple of weeks off and needed every moment to recover.
While recovering and looking around for some layout baseboard design ideas today I stumbled across Rick De Candido’s Fillmore Avenue Roundhouse blog.
His section of layout concepts (click this link to open a new window) has several great ideas. He really thinks outside the box on many of his designs. There is such creativity from this space starved modeller.
POST UPDATE – August 8, 2019 It appears that Rick’s WP site has been removed. I’m trying to contact him through multiple sites to see if there is a new site for this layout. I’ll do my best to keep this post updated.
His terminal layout is something to see too, and can utilise up to 6 operators on the layout during each 2.5 hour operating session. Well worth the time to visit the site and take a long read through the many useful posts there. Thanks to Rick for sharing his passion.
Unfortunately I have no contact details for Rick, and there is nothing on the site where I can post a comment to let him know that I’ve profiled his site. If any of you can help with getting me in touch with Rick would you please reply to this post?
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.
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.
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.
Landforms going in
Good old pegs used as clamps to help hold the foam while the glue dries
An overview of the layout design
A view down the layout
A view of the freight station area
The street scape near the freight station
Looking up the main street to the grade crossing
A slightly higher view of the station area
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?
Angle the entrance onto the layout,
Angle the buildings and the street to the long axis of the layout,
Cluster the switches near the end of the run around, and finally
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.
While searching for ideas recently I came across a now very old set of posts from 2001 onwards about the building of a narrow yet long passenger station layout. Onto today’s site of interest.
Site 1: Simon Martin’s Shelf Layout project
This appears to be an orphaned site, and I cannot find any information or updates beyond the 2005 update on the page. Which is a real shame as this layout is a simple, well designed and yet highly operational layout for the single operator at home or at an exhibition.
The track plan is clean and has no major needs apart from two switches and some flextrack. You could even use this to get into building your own track work. Operationally there is much to work with. Trains may arrive and depart from either platform. Heading to the fueling depot means that you need to either shunt back onto the main, then into the second platform road prior to running back into the fueling/storage road. Planning your moves here would be very worthwhile in the smooth operation of the layout.
The fueling/storage point on the bottom left of the plan gives options for storing stock on the layout without over crowding the scene. Scenically the station building hides the end of the platform roads and gives the layout a greater depth than would otherwise be the case.
I think this would be a great design to work with not only in the short-term, but for the longer term by adding all the bells and whistles (such as automated announcements, details, more scenery and upgraded ready to run models.
I’ve tried finding anything else by the blogger but have been unsuccessful. I’d love to see more of this layout and what it became. No luck however. So we’ll just have to enjoy the layout as it would have been. If you know anything about the layout, the author or have contact details for Simon, let me know in the comments.
I’ve not met or talked with Alain before. But his small layout popped up on one of my regular reads, Carl Arendt’s Micro/Small layouts site, when notification went out about a page update this week. But we’ll get to all of this shortly. For now on with the site seeing.
The link above takes you to the Alain’s blog with a search set for his Show Layout posts. There are five articles included so far, each of which shows something new and to me interesting. The board design and build are my favourite so far. As this gives me something to think about for diorama style layouts in the future.
The layout, based on Shortliner Jack’s Box Street layout, is well worth the look as Alain takes you through the baseboard build and then through track laying and building creation. Looking forward to more of this coming in the near future. There is way more great modelling there too, and not just railways.
Small layouts are my thing. Like most modellers in Australia space here is at a premium. So a small space layout, offering lots of operating potential, is the way to go.
Recently a long time model railroad friend Shortliner Jack shot me several links over to look at. We’ll be coming back to look closely at those this month. For right now though let’s take a look at a downloadable and one of Shortliner’s links.
Presented back in 2015 at the NMRA’s Thoroughbred Limited 2015 MCR Convention in Kentucky I felt that this download (in PDF format) provides a great overview of small layouts and a bit of learning about the why and how along the way.
The details shown on the Inglenook drawing on page 4 are wrong (you can find out more about Inglenooks in this post); besides that however there are some exceptional small layout designs that should inspire the modeller in you to get out there and make something.
This is the site that Shortliner Jack pointed me to as a source for his next layout inspiration. Being in the far north of Scotland, buried in snow for 9/10ths of the year, and surrounded by only boxes of Whisky for company he has a lot of time to work on layouts. One layout in Proto48 caught his eye specifically:
There are so many more designs in this thread large and small that you’ll spend several hours looking through and pondering them all. Great ideas and thanks to Robert Chant for sharing his design on the forum.
This section is where I’ll be posting well thought out designs that I can’t be fussed putting into the various railway CAD programs.
Each is at the concept stage and I’ll provide an overview of the location, industries and an operating scheme for these small layouts. The first layout so covered is on the Vinson Lead in Austin, Texas.
If you’ve a moment head on over to ‘The Vinson Lead – small and simple V 1.0‘ and see if this fits your bill for a great little model layout. There’ll be more to come as I now have a new scanner (yippee!).
While the site is in French, using Google translate allowed me to get a better understanding of the content. Visually I find this layout a stunning, well thought out and executed ISL. I hope that you enjoy it too.
Ian Atkinson and Chris Towers’ of Broadford Model Railway Club own the layout presently. The layout, built originally in basic form by Ian Futers, is in the process of being enhanced by the present owners. A Scottish 1950-1970s era layout with a station, goods facilities and just four turnouts comprises two 4′ 6″ scenic boards and a 4′ 6″ fiddle yard with a three road traverser board.
Operation of the line is in the late steam early diesel period. Coal, Timber and fish traffic somehow still survive along with a mediocre passenger service.