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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/26/2005 :  09:20:18 AM  Show Profile
In the lastest issue of MRP some old tricks to make small layouts seem bigger were rehashed. One was the interchangable buildings. Having more than one building with the same footprint so one operating session the industry on siding A was a warehouse, the next session it could be a grain elevator or whatever so that you could add a little variety to a smaller layout. The other one was the use of mirrors. I have never had a real interest in the switching out of buildings as it can change the whole theme of your railroad and can also be a problem dealing with blending the scenery base back into the layout each time you switch. I did try the mirror trick once with reasonable success and would consider doing it again. One thing I learned though was to make sure the mirror was in a place where it could be easily cleaned as once it gets dirty the illusion is destroyed.
Has anyone here used or is using (if so please post a pic!) either of these methods to make their layout seem larger? If you did or didn't what are your thoughts on this?

Edited by - Tyson Rayles on 04/12/2005 10:47:29 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 12940

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/26/2005 :  10:52:21 AM  Show Profile
Tyson, I have never tried either one myself. But years ago (early 80's?) there was an article in RMC by a guy who built all of his structures on small rectangular bases. The bases were all the same size and were designed to fit in "plug-in" holes in his modules. That made all of his trackside structures and industries interchangeable. The idea was interesting, but not enough for me to actually try it. Like you said, the blending of the scenery and hiding the seams of the inserts would be a problem.




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MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/26/2005 :  10:52:21 AM  Show Profile
Tyson, I have never tried either one myself. But years ago (early 80's?) there was an article in RMC by a guy who built all of his structures on small rectangular bases. The bases were all the same size and were designed to fit in "plug-in" holes in his modules. That made all of his trackside structures and industries interchangeable. The idea was interesting, but not enough for me to actually try it. Like you said, the blending of the scenery and hiding the seams of the inserts would be a problem.




Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

On30fan
Crew Chief



Posted - 03/26/2005 :  11:39:51 AM  Show Profile
I just got my issue of MRP. All the bookstores and LHS's were 'out' so I had to order from Kalmbach.

Ian Rice, in his book on small trackplans, had a similar idea. He suggested using man made boundaries for the edges of the switch-out sections, edge of a road, a fence line, or a sidewalk. One of his layouts was entirely made of these sections varying the era from steam up to modern.

There's a spot on a new layout I'm in the planning stages for, where a track curves into a building and ends dead on to the backdrop. The building is behind other buildings so you can't really see the end of track. A mirror might be an interesting way to deal with the bit you can see. The only problem I have is that when you spot the car there will be another car moving toward it. It might look great in photos but it could ruin the illusion in real life.


Cheers,
Steve
San Juan Lumber Company
Niagara Frontier Traction Company

Country: USA | Posts: 506 Go to Top of Page

On30fan
Crew Chief



Posted - 03/26/2005 :  11:39:51 AM  Show Profile
I just got my issue of MRP. All the bookstores and LHS's were 'out' so I had to order from Kalmbach.

Ian Rice, in his book on small trackplans, had a similar idea. He suggested using man made boundaries for the edges of the switch-out sections, edge of a road, a fence line, or a sidewalk. One of his layouts was entirely made of these sections varying the era from steam up to modern.

There's a spot on a new layout I'm in the planning stages for, where a track curves into a building and ends dead on to the backdrop. The building is behind other buildings so you can't really see the end of track. A mirror might be an interesting way to deal with the bit you can see. The only problem I have is that when you spot the car there will be another car moving toward it. It might look great in photos but it could ruin the illusion in real life.


Cheers,
Steve
San Juan Lumber Company
Niagara Frontier Traction Company

Country: USA | Posts: 506 Go to Top of Page

leeflan
Fireman

Posted - 03/26/2005 :  11:51:02 AM  Show Profile
On an earlier layout, I had a couple of liftout buildings to change eras. Now I just use cars and billboards. Guess I'm gettin' lazy in my advancing years.


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leeflan
Fireman

Posted - 03/26/2005 :  11:51:02 AM  Show Profile
On an earlier layout, I had a couple of liftout buildings to change eras. Now I just use cars and billboards. Guess I'm gettin' lazy in my advancing years.


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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/27/2005 :  2:39:08 PM  Show Profile
Hmmmm, I was really hoping someone here had some pics to share . Steve if you do use the mirror please post some pics and let us know how you like it when it is done.


Edited by - Tyson Rayles on 03/27/2005 2:40:12 PM

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Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/27/2005 :  2:39:08 PM  Show Profile
Hmmmm, I was really hoping someone here had some pics to share . Steve if you do use the mirror please post some pics and let us know how you like it when it is done.


Edited by - Tyson Rayles on 03/27/2005 2:40:12 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 12940 Go to Top of Page

Drew
Fireman



Posted - 04/12/2005 :  8:54:20 PM  Show Profile
I’ve never tried either the mirror, or the interchangeable building technique, but I have incorporated ideas that I’ve gotten from Iain Rice, & John Armstrong into the last couple of layouts I’ve built, & I think they’re important considerations when building any layout, but particularly when the layout is a small one…
What I leatned from reading articles by these guys, & seeing things they had done, is that the visual interest & realism of a model RR is enhanced by creating individual “vignettes”, or scenes, that are visually “isolated” from each other…this is achieved most effectively through the use of view blocks…these can consist of backdrops, &/or other scenic elements, such as bridges, tunnels, buildings, trees, etc…
By having a focused scene, with plenty of detail & activity, providing a 3-dimensional backdrop for our trains to pass through, if done well, can mentally “trick” the viewer by causing their eye to linger in one area at a time, rather that viewing the entire layout ay once, making the layout seem much larger than it really is…
A perfect example of this in the context of the mini layout is Tyson’s 12x24 inch Nantahala Mining Co. layout…

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6958

He’s carved this tiny layout into three distinct scenes, a mine scene, a town scene, & a river crossing…
He accomplished this by using mountain ridges, & tunnels to create view blocks…

The bottom line is that I’ve built both large & small layouts, but the smaller ones have been much more rewarding, challenging, & much more of a learning experience for me…


-Drew-

"Life is all the stuff that happened while you were making other plans."

Country: USA | Posts: 1173 Go to Top of Page

Drew
Fireman



Posted - 04/12/2005 :  8:54:20 PM  Show Profile
I’ve never tried either the mirror, or the interchangeable building technique, but I have incorporated ideas that I’ve gotten from Iain Rice, & John Armstrong into the last couple of layouts I’ve built, & I think they’re important considerations when building any layout, but particularly when the layout is a small one…
What I leatned from reading articles by these guys, & seeing things they had done, is that the visual interest & realism of a model RR is enhanced by creating individual “vignettes”, or scenes, that are visually “isolated” from each other…this is achieved most effectively through the use of view blocks…these can consist of backdrops, &/or other scenic elements, such as bridges, tunnels, buildings, trees, etc…
By having a focused scene, with plenty of detail & activity, providing a 3-dimensional backdrop for our trains to pass through, if done well, can mentally “trick” the viewer by causing their eye to linger in one area at a time, rather that viewing the entire layout ay once, making the layout seem much larger than it really is…
A perfect example of this in the context of the mini layout is Tyson’s 12x24 inch Nantahala Mining Co. layout…

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6958

He’s carved this tiny layout into three distinct scenes, a mine scene, a town scene, & a river crossing…
He accomplished this by using mountain ridges, & tunnels to create view blocks…

The bottom line is that I’ve built both large & small layouts, but the smaller ones have been much more rewarding, challenging, & much more of a learning experience for me…


-Drew-

"Life is all the stuff that happened while you were making other plans."

Country: USA | Posts: 1173 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 04/12/2005 :  9:12:44 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Drew

What I leatned from reading articles by these guys, & seeing things they had done, is that the visual interest & realism of a model RR is enhanced by creating individual “vignettes”, or scenes, that are visually “isolated” from each other…this is achieved most effectively through the use of view blocks…these can consist of backdrops, &/or other scenic elements, such as bridges, tunnels, buildings, trees, etc…



Drew, this is an excellent point and thanks for bringing it up. I first learned about using view blocks from the Hayden and Frary articles of the 70's and early 80's, and I think it's one of the most important lessons I ever learned about layout building. I'm not always as successful as I'd like to be when planning view blocks, but they are something I always try to take into account.




Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 04/12/2005 :  9:12:44 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Drew

What I leatned from reading articles by these guys, & seeing things they had done, is that the visual interest & realism of a model RR is enhanced by creating individual “vignettes”, or scenes, that are visually “isolated” from each other…this is achieved most effectively through the use of view blocks…these can consist of backdrops, &/or other scenic elements, such as bridges, tunnels, buildings, trees, etc…



Drew, this is an excellent point and thanks for bringing it up. I first learned about using view blocks from the Hayden and Frary articles of the 70's and early 80's, and I think it's one of the most important lessons I ever learned about layout building. I'm not always as successful as I'd like to be when planning view blocks, but they are something I always try to take into account.




Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 04/12/2005 :  10:45:27 PM  Show Profile
Thanks for the kind words Drew, I agree that creating view blocks is very important. Like Mike I'm sometimes more successful at it then other times .


Country: USA | Posts: 12940 Go to Top of Page

Tyson Rayles
Moderator

Premium Member


Posted - 04/12/2005 :  10:45:27 PM  Show Profile
Thanks for the kind words Drew, I agree that creating view blocks is very important. Like Mike I'm sometimes more successful at it then other times .


Country: USA | Posts: 12940 Go to Top of Page

leeflan
Fireman

Posted - 04/13/2005 :  11:03:11 AM  Show Profile
Hello Tyson & Gang,

Sorry to take so long to get some pics up.

Yeah, I do use a mirror to make my layout look longer. The Wadley section of the layout is 2' x 9'3". Central of Georgia/Georgia Southern mainline runs right down the length . . . into a wall! Further, Ga. Hwy 70 parallels the track into the same wall. Not very realistic. So I used a mirror to extend thed track and highway through the wall. Here's a pic.


I just used a plain ol' mirror tile from the home store rather than investing in a front surface mirror. From a normal viewing distance, the highway joint looks like a joint in the highway. The track joint is mostly hidden by the trees, which also hide the top of the mirror. I removed the backdrop tree photos to create the illusion of an opening in the forest. The Aunt Jemima billboard hides the reflected images of the gas station and water works in a normal viewing angle.

If one were to stand in the middle of the road and look down the tracks, here is what it would look like.

OK, so there's a giant alien with a digicam beyond the trees.

Hope this helps,



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