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 "Brooks" - the exhibition leg of a home layout
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danpickard
Fireman

Posted - 07/07/2013 :  6:17:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit danpickard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi all,
Thought I'd start to document the construction of a new exhibition layout, which is also a section of what will eventually become about a quarter of my future home layout.

A bit of background first...essentially I'm outgrowing the spare single bedroom at home, and need a new shed/studio to be creative in. The new studio space is still under financial negotiation at present, but will get there eventually. In the mean time though, a few recent events have given me the enthusiasm and spark to want to get another layout ready for exhibition again.

Some of this new layout story dates back to about 6-8 months ago, when good friend Gavin Hince (editor of NGDU magazine) decided to tear down his old On3 North Coast Narrow Gauge home layout. He was doing a home extension to create new studio space for himself, so it was a chance for him to develop a new home layout. His old layout was always great fun to operate, with some nice scenes to run through. A couple of quick pics from one of those sessions...that's Gavin in the blue t-shirt.





Luckily, Gavin was wise enough to build the home layout as modules, which made the demolition a bit easier. On the old layout, there was one section that I always loved to sit back and watch the trains roll through. It was a nice sweeping section around one of the corners of the room, crossing a couple of cascading creeks, along sloping terrain towards a small halt. I was able to salvage these two sections (as well as a large trestle bridge, but it won't be a part of this new project). Seen here below ore the two sections sitting on my garage floor. At the time of salvaging them, I wasn't quite sure what I'd do with them, but knew it was a section I'd like to think about and be creative with.





Now I said earlier, "had some enthusiasm to do an exhibition layout again". I've certainly had layouts at exhibition before, and always tried to present something a little bit different (Stumpy Creek, Dolly Varden, Diggers Bend). Exhibiting can be fun (building the layout is the most fun), but also a bit frustrating with the set up and travel. With the opportunity to develop a larger studio space at home with a bigger home layout project, I thought my layout touring days would end. Please note...skip this next section if easily offended :)

I've attended a few exhibitions lately (as a paying patron, not an exhibitor), and been bored as hell. Most layouts looking the same...big mainline round and round things, out the tunnel, through the station, into the tunnel again. Layouts I've seen over and over, all looking tired, same trains, same scenes, same structures. Some of the layouts I'd say are well below par of what should be exhibited, especially given that people are paying money to come in a look at them, and I don't believe they are doing much to promote the hobby. Walking into an exhibition to see some rather average efforts probably isn't that encouraging for new people to look at and be inspired to have a go at themselves. So, the first thing that encouraged me to want to do this again, was the want to take something to exhibition, and show that the display can be done considerably better, and more presentable than a lot of what is currently touring (I speak of my current local Australian model exhibition scene, and know that there is a good variety of other good stuff on show across the world of exhibition layouts).

The second "spark" I received recently, was the passing of Mr Geoff Nott. I mentioned in the thread about Geoff's passing, that he was probably the modeller that is the reason that I took up this hobby. I'd been to an exhibition, rekindled a bit of childhood enthusiasm, but it was when I first picked up a copy of NGDU magazine that featured the "Red Stag" layout, I was home and building my first structure (a sawmill!) within days of looking at that work and saying wow. I've always followed Geoff's projects and been encouraged by what he created. His prolific building was incentive to keep up with new ideas. I was very lucky the other week to be able to come into ownership of some relic models from that old Red Stag layout (these pieces not built by Geoff himself, but certainly some personally memorable pieces that would have been the start of my modelling interests). Having those memorable pieces to touch and hold were a big kick to want to get in and get the hands dirty again. Admittedly, I had hit a bit of a modelling slump with Geoff's sad news, and hadn't really wanted to do much for the last few weeks.

A couple of nights ago, my Red Stag memories were delivered, and I went out in the garage, pulled out Gavin's salvaged modules...sat and looked, brainstormed a bit, squinted a lot trying to picture scenes, lots of hands in the air ghost drawing trying to imagine where tracks might weave, and eventually came up with the plan. Creativity was back.

To be continued...

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
http://www.austnarrowgaugeconvention.com/

Country: Australia | Posts: 1326

goldrush
Engine Wiper



Posted - 07/07/2013 :  6:29:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan,

Looking forward to the new construction. Your work always inspires me.

Gary



Country: USA | Posts: 119 Go to Top of Page

milocomarty
Fireman



Posted - 07/07/2013 :  6:30:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit milocomarty's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Count me in on this one to Dan..

http://martinwelberg.wordpress.com/
http://cardiganbaycoastalrailroad.wordpress.com/

Country: Netherlands | Posts: 6650 Go to Top of Page

elwoodblues
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/07/2013 :  6:43:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit elwoodblues's Homepage  Send elwoodblues a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Dan,

I'm really looking forward to your next effort, it will be a thrill to follow along.


Ron Newby
General Manager
Clearwater Valley Railway Co.
http://cvry.ca

Country: Canada | Posts: 6443 Go to Top of Page

BigLars
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/07/2013 :  7:01:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan,
I am also looking forward to your next creation, let the fun begin.



Country: USA | Posts: 10915 Go to Top of Page

danpickard
Fireman

Posted - 07/07/2013 :  7:17:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit danpickard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks guys,
I'll get around to a few more pics of the brainstorming session on the garage floor, but I said it will be a bit different. It's going to be a challenging piece to exhibit due to the shape I am using. A lot of the "sit and think" time was spent trying to picture how the different sections will fit into the available box trailer and car boot space. Having the existing salvaged module pieces certainly made this thought process a bit easier, by essentially having the physical 1:1 pieces to play with like a giant jigsaw (for footprint, as well as height and elevations). Last night I was able to get the main frame section pretty well assembled (using a combination of aluminum tube and timber for this), and if time permits today, will get some trestle legs assembled so I have a larger work surface to play on.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard


http://www.austnarrowgaugeconvention.com/

Country: Australia | Posts: 1326 Go to Top of Page

brownbr
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 07/07/2013 :  7:49:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm looking forward to watch this come together.

Bryan

Country: USA | Posts: 1448 Go to Top of Page

BBLmber
Fireman



Posted - 07/07/2013 :  9:12:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm watching.

Mark


W,L,&E

Country: USA | Posts: 6026 Go to Top of Page

scott robertson
Crew Chief



Posted - 07/07/2013 :  10:02:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit scott robertson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oooooooooh, Mr. Pickard you are quite the tease..............I look forward to seeing your plan ;0) Scott


Country: USA | Posts: 873 Go to Top of Page

danpickard
Fireman

Posted - 07/08/2013 :  08:09:35 AM  Show Profile  Visit danpickard's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ok, to help give a better impression of the "grand plan", and how this exhibition section fits into it all, here's some insight to the big picture.

The proposed shed/studio for the backyard is 3.74m x 5.22m, or about double the space I current have. My interest is in Australian, or more closely, Victorian narrow gauge. My closest former VR NG line is the old Colac-Beech Forest line, or more affectionately, The Beechy. Main purpose of the line was timber, agriculture (potatoes and livestock), mining (lime), and passenger service. Most trains ran as mixed goods. Locomotive roster included the Baldwin Na 2-6-2 (ie "Puffing Billy"), and Beyer Garratt 2-6-0 0-6-2 (ie G41/G42, also as at Puffing Billy). The former Tyers Valley tramway was also home for Climax 1694, as preserved and now about to be recommissioned up at Puffing Billy in September this year (I have my ticket already! http://pbps.puffingbilly.com.au/climax-locomotive-1694-restoration/ ). These will also be the loco's that make up my roster. The home layout will be called "Upper Gully & Brooks" (named after Upper Ferntree Gully, on the VR NG Gembrook line, and Brooks after Gembrook). Interesting names were scattered along the VR lines, so one of my smaller halts will be called Gallah (in a similar vein to "Cockatoo" on the Gembrook line, named after a rowdy bird). See below for a rough outline of the Upper Gully & Brooks layout.



Highlighted along the right side of the room, is the section that will comprise the exhibition leg. A moderate size sawmill sits at the top of the room. The sections portrayed in the "Brooks" layout, include the logging tramway that runs along the ridge to supply the sawmill, and the last part of the journey into the end of the line at Brooks. The exhibition section will be about a quarter of the overall layout.

I said the presentation of the exhibition layout would be a bit different, and maybe challenging to exhibit. The parts I want to change from what is the norm for many exhibition layout here locally, is the whole big club layout concept(out the tunnel, in he tunnel round and round thing). The majority of attendees at exhibitions might look at a big club layout for ideas, but reality is, they would never likely have the space to ever personally achieve that same effort. The big club layout in a way gives a bit of a false impression o what is commonly done in one modellers home environment. What I want to present is something that is achievable/manageable in one persons home space. An not necessarily does it have to go round and round.



So the rough plan (as above, and yes its rough...I don't do the hours of pondering over cad plans thing), is to present one wall of my studio in public exhibition. The shape (sort of a "T") shows the projection into the room, and shows that there can be some variation on the long straight face as common in big exhibition pieces. It also provides a chance for people to walk into the space and explore around it. The "challenging" part about exhibiting it, is fitting into exhibition hall floor plans, but the spaces either side of the projecting Brooks section would be drawing attendees out of the flow of the corridor and into the exhibit space (just something to consider from the management of crowds). This layout kind of tells two stories, with the main line and the logging tramway as separate runs.

I'll try and explain the brainstorming session :)

Here's a handful of quick snaps on the phone from the time spent on the garage floor moving around the salvaged module pieces to create the new format.



It was the cascading creeks that a originally liked on Gavin's old layout, and just by chance, when stacking the modules behind each other, it forms a really nice meandering flow of the creek as it tumbles down the slope of the land.




The two modules will have the scenery section carefully lifter from the timber frames and grafted together to change the course of the creek. The logging site will be at the bottom of picture.



Gavin kept all his pine trees from the old layout to use in his new project, which is fine, because I intend to Aussie this up with a stack of my gum trees. Part of the brainstorm session included placing my "Mantelpiece Challenge" diorama from the NGC along what will be the logging tramway. The tramway is elevated above the mainline, and here gives an impression of the change of environment from pine forest to dense Aussie bush.



This last view is the one that probably got me most excited. The long view up the changing directions of the cascading creek, which will have lots of tree ferns, gums, fallen logs, and grow from the cleared land where the town of Brooks starts, through the bush into the taller mountain ash forest where the logging site will be. Out of respect for the late Geoff Nott, this creek will appropriately be named "Nott's Creek". I really want to get straight into this section, but know the track and wiring part need to be sorted first.

I didn't take any further photos today, but got one of the trestle legs assembled (ran out of aluminium, so will hopefully pick up some more lengths in the next few days). Spent some time rearranging the garage to make some space for the construction to get started. Having the salvaged module pieces to start with has certainly saved along of time that would often be wasted of thinking about what it will all look like. I will be using the terrain as previously shaped by Gavin as much as possible, as both a bit of a challenge to work with what I've got, but also to retain some of the old NCNG flavour.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard


http://www.austnarrowgaugeconvention.com/

Country: Australia | Posts: 1326 Go to Top of Page

Geezer
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/08/2013 :  08:43:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Dan....I like the new plan, and am looking forward
to the progress.....thanks for sharing...I also
like the "salvaged corner modules", very neat modeling!!


"You can find my Website & Threads here:"
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=47229

Country: USA | Posts: 12973 Go to Top of Page

elwoodblues
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/08/2013 :  09:11:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit elwoodblues's Homepage  Send elwoodblues a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Dan,

I can see how the last picture got you excited, it has me excited, it's going to make a spectacular scene when completed. I also like the plan, not too much track work with a lot of space for scenery, you definitely have my interest now.


Ron Newby
General Manager
Clearwater Valley Railway Co.
http://cvry.ca

Country: Canada | Posts: 6443 Go to Top of Page

milocomarty
Fireman



Posted - 07/08/2013 :  09:38:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit milocomarty's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Cool project ! Like to see how you tackle the lighting on this leg..

http://martinwelberg.wordpress.com/
http://cardiganbaycoastalrailroad.wordpress.com/

Country: Netherlands | Posts: 6650 Go to Top of Page

Frederic Testard
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 07/08/2013 :  12:21:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love this project, Dans. I'm looking forward to see what you make with it.


Country: France | Posts: 17638 Go to Top of Page

dallas_m
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/08/2013 :  3:20:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks quite promising! Like the emphasis on scenery, varied shapes & general attention to visual interest ...

Cheers,
Dallas

Chambers Gas & Oil -- structure build
Quality craftsmanship with a sense of humor!

Country: USA | Posts: 4674 Go to Top of Page

terry hansley
Crew Chief



Posted - 07/08/2013 :  6:26:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dan

I'll be following along.

Looks to be a fun time.

Terry H



Country: USA | Posts: 589 Go to Top of Page
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