Dan's Layout

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Dan85, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. Dan85

    Dan85 Member


    [/FONT] [FONT=&quot]Why do I have to abide by "the rules"? I'm not a "professional designer". Who cares if I make it up along as I go? That's half the fun for me.[/FONT]

    Be honest about my results? I think I have.

    Honestly? I think you're a bit full of yourself.

    - Dan
  2. tomustang

    tomustang Has Entered.

    First of all, you don't start a equation with an answer, this isn't jeopardy.

    Guess what? "make it up as you go along" is the formulation for every original design, it is the basis of creativity and the epitome of constructing everything.

    Designing has no rules, and if their were, no rules would be the first rule. This isn't electrical code or an ISO standard.

    I would figure the 'professional' thing would be to give advice to Dan, not to claim you are a pro at something, then make up some silly rule set for designing. :cry:
  3. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    I think diesel was just trying to stress the importance of planning.. I would say that Creativity=Planning+Execution. It's pretty basic stuff though. An equation will always start with an answer that what an equation is ;)

    I would add a few other ones too..

    Level of Realism = Number or rules obeyed - Number of rules ignored

    When working on a model there are rules. By it's very nature it is a scale version of the real thing. So while you don't have to scale down every rule the real thing uses you can't avoid the rules all together. Can you imagine a Railroad surveyor using his fingers to point out where the track should go to a track gang laying out a railway yard for instance. It would be chaos.

    We as modelers have the freedom the real railroads don't in that our world is completely constructed by us. In order to be modelers and not just toy train enthusiasts we should follow as many rules as our 'constructed' world can allow. To me that is where the fun is. Making the model look as close to the real world in miniature.

    You have to follow the laws of nature, human population and finally railroad implementation and operation. The more rules you leave out the less of model you have and more of a toy you have. Creativity is in how you represent those rules and how you construct your world based on those rules. It's a sliding scale though and design and art which has a big part in model making is balanced by that of the rules the world that we represent is based on.

    So when building a model there are rules. The full size version has them and you have them by representing that world in miniature. The greater the number of rules you follow the more 'realistic' your model will be.

    If you're modeling an already existing railroad then they have rules over other railroads already. Set forward in the real world for the design, construction, and operation of the railroad. We didn't make them up someone that built the real thing we are modeling did.

    If you are building your own railroad then you get to decide what rules are important. But remember if you are to build a railroad (Scale Model) then you will need rules just that in this case you get to decide what they are.

    Rules are there to bring order out of chaos. Problem solving is what we have to do when building a model and to do that we have rules. Even the simplest equation can't be solved without them.. LOL. Remember the surveyor running around a large expanse of land trying to get a railroad yard built. What if he had a drawing of what the yard should look like and made several copies. He could give one copy to each of crews laying track. The builders putting in the roundhouse and yard offices. The signal crews putting in the signals that will govern the operation. They then could all be working at the same time to get the yard built. All it took was a plan and everything (labor disputes/weather conditions not withstanding) goes so much more smoothly.

    As modelers we aren't just putting locomotives on a track and making it go. We are engineering and or recreating a world in miniature. It can be the world that already exists or one we create but it is a miniature world. It has rules you can read up on the ones that are already there. I guarantee the railroad if it exists (existed) would have had them. You can adjust them to fit the world you are recreating or you can create your own but you will have them. If you design them then that will save you from needing to learn them as you go.
  4. HO King

    HO King Member

    Gentlemen what you are doing is removing the fun from the art for the creator .If he is happy with what he has done and he sees beauty in his work then so be it .If you have comment then lend it with out hurt or portraying yourself as I know everything because i've done this a long time.Remember Model Railroading was made to be fun first and everything else depends on the person.:wave:
  5. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    There is art and creativity in MR as well. I did say that. It's part and part though. Modeling is representation where as art is interpretation. Creativity is in many forms as well as the shear model lets say in model railroading. For me it has many different aspects. That's why it appeals to me so much.

    I didn't say anything hurtful (I sincerely hope not anyway). Just that when modeling you are limited by the subject your modeling as to the accuracy of your reproduction. That is to say you can when building a model come as close as you can to what the actual subject would be. A great part of the creative side of modeling is how you achieve that in miniature.

    Rules or let's say standards have more to do with good operating ability (you want your models to perform well) and in a larger sense how your model mimics the real thing. If you are representing a real "Actual" railroad then your standards have already been set forward by the road your modeling. If you are creating your own railroad then your standards are set by you. You can be most creative in that one but still you will need standards. As a real railroad would have. You can be creative and even artistic (Creating a background/artwork/maps and the like)

    I think that planning is important too. Especially when it comes to many aspects in MR. Wiring design for instance. A plan makes that re-wire or troubleshooting so much easier. Turnout size is based on the number or trucks your locos are using. So that your locomotives can handle the switch. This tells you how much space you have to allow for them. In some sense how long your trains can be. These are but a few standards/rules you will need to work with when working with you model.

    I by no means was trying to say Dan85 isn't a great modeler as I know he is. Nor am I trying to say I know everything because clearly I don't. I know I'm learning all the time. I do have thoughts on what a model represents to me. Creativity enters into all aspects from the benchwork on up. As well I think in the research and planning too. Artistic avenues for me are in the materials and techniques used to create the world in miniature.

    Okay.. I know at times I can go on a bit/a lot about stuff. Dan85 is a fine modeler. A quick glance of the photos and that's easily apparent. Would I make a plan before making changes well yes. Making a plan doesn't diminish anything from an artistic or creative standpoint. Slow things down a bit yes at first. But I think it gets you doing all the other things you love about modeling quicker. Dan knows his layout better then anyone and can make changes so much easier as he has worked with it over the years. So it's different for him then us 'viewing modelers'.

    They asked Da Vinci how he created the statue of David. He said. The statue was already there I just removed all the unnecessary material.

    Not going to talk of planning anymore. Probably said way more then needed any.. So..

    I don't know where his reno is going on the industrial area of his layout? But looks quite interesting. Myself I'm hoping to have track buried in (model) asphalt on mine. Perhaps he is thinking something similar? To me one of the coolest things is seeing a loco with a small string of cars moving over what looks like asphalt on a layout. His tarmac is one of the best I've scene. So I say go for it. If that's where your headed ;)

    Generally and this is just me. I find I want it to look like the railroad I'm modeling has a reason for being where it is. So there is a bit of time line involved. What came first in the industrial park? At first glance not a really easy question to answer. Heavy equipment and machinery would wreak havoc on railway tracks. For a track gang getting and storing supplies into the park after the buildings are there would be hard as well.

    I would think ... in this order perhaps

    - initially rails and buildings would be planned together.
    - pad for buildings only (with connecting roads to move equipment/supplies around)
    - railway with crossovers for equipment while construction is taking place
    - finally the areas in between would be padded as well to give all transportation ease of access.

    (That's one of the reasons railway industrial parks are hard to renovate as the track has to be moved. Much easier if it's not buried under asphalt :))

    So the area Dan is modeling would look like the buildings and the rails are a pretty custom fit. I would give room for both. Allowing for truck traffic you can be tighter with the trackage as it would have been designed from the beginning that way. Dan could emphasize that a bit by adding some 'custom' buildings that would only be able to exist had the rail been there.

    I hope I didn't offend anyone especially Dan. He is an excellent modeler. I new that from the first time to his thread. I was trying to illustrate how important a plan is. Probably went a bit over board (well some may say off the deep end LOL) but I think it helps out both in speeding up the building and illustrating what your trying to do 'Railway Surveyor'

    I am hoping to see more of what he's done to the industrial park area or perhaps even other parts of his layout.
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    You're right about planning being important, but for every modeller that doesn't plan adequately (and ends-up with a layout that's less than satisfactory) there's a would-be modeller that plans too much (and ends-up with no layout). ;):-D
    I had a trackplan when I started building my current layout, although it was more of a sketch, and a couple of requirements: minimum mainline radius of 30", and minimum mainline switch size #6. When I lost a big part of the room to "family considerations", I tossed the trackplan, kept my minimum requirements, and just built the layout, making it up as I went. While the grades are steeper than I would have preferred (up to 2.8%), I met the other requirements, with most curves 34" or wider. The layout, as far as its finished areas are concerned, photographs fairly well, it's fun and challenging to operate (point-to-point-to-point, with lots of switching enroute) and I think that its operating premise is both sound and realistic. It's certainly not what most people might want, but it suits me. I must admit, though, that my long-time experience in the hobby probably helped me considerably, both in knowing what I wanted, and in knowing what would work.

  7. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    IMHO, the point that he was trying to make is that "making it up as you go along" is neither reliable nor predictable in terms of results. If it works, great...but it is just as likely or more so to end up being something you didn't want.

    I tend to make stuff up as I go along, myself, and I have ended up with some "creative failures" in the process, but it's still the way I do stuff, since I tell myself that the expansion of towns, addition of industries and so forth was never laid out to a master plan but happened over time and wherever room could be found.

    I want my layout to look like it actually grew up right there where it was planted, and that's the only way I know of to get that look. :cool:

    Looking good, Dan! :thumb:
  8. Dan85

    Dan85 Member

    I am very surprised at the number of responses this thread has garnered. I actually didn't plan on replying, since I had already said my piece. However, since you all took the time to write thorough responses to the subject (which I appreciate), I shall chime in.

    First and foremost, I'm not put off by any of your comments. I enjoy constructive feedback. The only issue I had was that Diesel's post was an unsolicited, condescending lecture on why I was an inept model railroader. I don't generally appreciate being talked down to unless you are a genuine expert in that field - but since he didn't produce any examples of his work, I'm skeptical that he is an expert.

    I understand the importance of planning, without it, you can find yourself totally lost; aimlessly shifting building and track around until you go crazy! I know, I've been there. The way I got through this was by actually identifying design elements that I liked. This enabled me to work within a framework without having a solid plan. As I worked in this framework, I began to really like the transformation of the layout.

    Just one final thought, I am only twenty-three. I live in an apartment without dedicated modeling space. I'm Just about to finish college and I will probably be moving somewhere for a job in the very near future (if there are any to be had!) So obviously this layout will have to be disassembled and chances are it will not be reassembled. So you can see my reluctance to really dive into it. However, this layout has been an excellent trial run. So when I do finally buy a house and god willing, the ms' grants me the space, I can sit my fat butt down for a month and design myself a permanent layout!

    - Dan
  9. HO King

    HO King Member

    To all my friends Mountain Man,Doctorwayne,Ronson 2 K 3 ,Tomustang,diesel,green_elite_Cab,and Dan 85
    One thing I have learned out of this is you all are so knowledgeable in this area both technically and in your opinions.and that in it self is so wonderful.I myself have learned so much about the hobby from you guys encluding you Dan.
    This part that we are able to disscuss problems and work them out like a team of brothers just what I feel at the firestation where I work that is so great.
    We all agree Dan that your layout is Great and your ideas are wonderful still if there is any way that we can lend our ideas to help you if you come to any pitfuls just like brothers we are here to help.
    Help may seem to be a little strong but after reading what Ronson 2K3 ment from his heart he did not mean any harm .
    That's why I love this site so much It's just like home.:wave:
  10. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Just keep on improving the one you've got, Dan - it's a winner! :cool:
  11. Ronson2k3

    Ronson2k3 Member

    When I got the basement to put my layout in it came with this really cool house just above it ;) So when you go house hunting perhaps something to think about :) If you let your significant other know what you hope to do it goes much smoother then lettering her know afterward. Most times anyway. 'Remember so much is in the planning' LOL

    Seriously though when it comes time to move I would pack up everything nicely (take it apart as far as you need to so that storage is safest). Try to keep as much of the trackage as you can especially the turnouts. Don't forget to take some pics of your layout. Well you have some already but the pics will remind you where you were when you left off and help when you get back into it again.

    I'm in the process of moving my modeling from the basement to a bedroom. It's cold down there anyway and the ceiling height is a real pain. I'm in Canada so we have a furnace and pipes and so on plus the basement ceiling as 7 feet. Pipes bring it down far enough that I'm often hitting my head when walking fully up right. So now that I have the space 'kids moved out' I'm taking over the bedroom and putting it plus all my other 'hobby stuff' in there.

    I wish you all the luck in your endeavors and hope you keep modeling even if you temporarily don't have a layout to run trains on. You can always work on craftsman kits (highly detailed structures) or rolling stock. So when you have benchwork again. You'll have everything ready to go ;)
  12. tomustang

    tomustang Has Entered.

    I appreciate you including me into the ranks, but I have not shown my skills in model railroading like the others you have mentioned. Not that I don't hold The creative skill, but haven't been around as much as the others. Don't get me wrong, I have had people at every job come up to me for advice oh how to work machines or how to place objects to make a process flow better and I never used their machines. It is a natural gift which some others have, a lot of them are here and it is NOT something you 'earn' from a degree in school. I did go off the handle because some people think they can get a degree and automatically be a professional about certain trades.

  13. Nick R.

    Nick R. The Rock

    Hey Dan, a suggestion for the East corner. I see that you have a step in your table work construction. Have you thought about taking advantage of it by using this for a side of one of your flats, creating some depth to the building. Basically I'm thinking of an L-shaped building front, maybe stepped off on the side facing the track by a 1" or something from the edge of the layout. Just a suggestion.

  14. HO King

    HO King Member

    Ok West corner and this is just a thought you have a tight space tracks going threw both buildings maybe making the area in between a court yard
    for human traffic and autos with small trees and a medium,traffic lights,trash cans ect.That might work.

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