Fantasy Industries

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by billk, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. billk

    billk Active Member

    A couple of days ago over lunch at work several of us got off onto this weird discussion about using a Middle Earth (i.e. Lord of the Rings) type location for a model railroad, and what industries could be modeled. Here's some of our brainstorms:

    1. Mythryl ore mine (Metal used to make Elven armor.) Typical generic mine structures could be used, or it could be something a little more unique, like just a hole in a cliff with a trestle emerging from it, where a small (Z-scale?) ore car would come out and dump its load into the car below. The loads could look like bright green rocks or something, who know what mythryl ore looks like anyway?

    2. Iron wood logging. (Used in making arrow shafts, spear handles, etc.) Again, a typical logging industry could be modeled. But the trees could be unique. Maybe resembling telephone poles except with a crown on top - picture palms with straight trunks?

    And my favorite -

    3. Hide leaves (Leaves that after being processed can be used similar to leather). The plants resemble giant cabbages, with individual leaves measuring maybe 6 ft by 10 ft. Specially bred (by hobbits?) for color, maybe green, blue, reddish brown, etc. The plants themselves aren't harvested, just the "ripe" leaves, which are cut off, rolled up, and loaded onto flats or gons. Processing plant could resemble a tannery.

    The whole concept is kinda like Xtreme free-lancing, but sounds fun! Any ideas on how to model a hobbit house? :D
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    WOW - Imagine the fun you could have with weapon production facilities.. A good amount of elves in a wooded area making Swords, Bows and other items - There would have to be a good supply of Mitheril, and magic, of course for enchanted items LOL

    You could also have an Ent breeding ground (Forest) :) :)

    We wanted to do one based on Dragonlance, it gor really caught up on itself too... Good Idea!!!
  3. McFortner

    McFortner Member

    And don't forget a Hobbit farm full of Pipe Weed! You should be able to search the net for pictures of a tobacco farm somewhere....

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There would be a huge ship building industry along the south coast of Gondor I would imagine.

    Dwarves would have all kinds of mining facilities, not just mithril. I like the idea of the trestle coming out of the cliff face.

    Grain trains might be needed for some of the agricultural areas in The Shire and other places.

    Don't foget the "royal" trains for the Kings of Gondor and Rohan.

    There would probably be military transport trains.

    I would think that the majority of the trains would be for passenger use, since your only other choice is to go at walking speed on your own two feet, or on a horse.

    Note - the Ent breeding might not go over so well, as they have lost the Entwives...

  5. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Logging would have to be done by the Orcs as the elves do not cut down living trees. There was a lot of logging done around Orthanc (Saruman's tower) before the Ents showed up to put a stop to it.

    Hobbit houses are mostly circular doors and windows in the sides of hills.

    There was Sandyman's mill in the Shire, a trade in wine (and barrels) from the Elves of Mirkwood to the Lakemen of Esgaroth, pipeweed from the Shire to Orthanc, and presumably slaves from all over to Mordor.

    It would seem to me that the major "industrial" activities were carried out by the bad guys - Saruman and Sauron, with their smelters and war machinery. But that's no reason it couldn't still be a very cool layout!!!!


    Attached Files:

  6. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member


    ...but I don't buy into that whole "world below" fantasy.

    I am too much the realist trying to create a model of something surreal as life its self. Why would I be distracted with the distracttions of those not even capable of dealing with their own reality (which is not a reality unless they exist- do they, really- you can trust me, I won't let a word out to the National Enquirer- {for less than 250K} ) while trying to create another? :eek: :confused: :D :D :D

    Awwww- Geee- so, now ya got me all cornfused!

    I don't buy into the "middle earth" thing- but I suspect someone down there has a huge helix that I could use as staging for 30 or 40 trains I'd like to see breeze by me while I tip muh hat, wave and take a sip.

    Nobody tells me nothing anymore! Are "they" taking over???:eek:

  7. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    I can see the ads: "Ride the Erebor Express! See the Lonely Mountain!", "Get a Great Deal at the Grey Havens! Elvish Quality, Reasonable Prices."

    You could also include a lembas bakery. I don't know what kind of flour they use, though...but a flour mill could be another industry.

    Such a layout could easily justify having multiple scales: HO for elves and men, N for dwarves (or N/Z, whatever).

    In response to the mithril question... The processed metal is silver in color, so I imagine that the ore would resemble silver ore.
  8. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    How about a bow and arrow factory for all those elvish archers?

    The Dwarves did a lot of metalwork, so the Mithril ore could be shipped t smelters to turn into pig-mithril, which would then be shipped to the places where it would be made into whatever.

    The Dwarves also mined jewels, imagine hopper loads of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, etc (easy to do with a trip to the jewelry-making aisle of Micheals)

    Beer and wine would be shipped around Middle Earth too.

    And just imagine having a Wizard's tower!!!!
  9. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hey Mark,
    I have to admit that folks on this thread remember the Tolkein details a lot more than I do from my reading of the "Lord of the Rings" (of course, that was almost 25 years ago during a college break) but I like this thread as a creative exercise. The dinosaur park layout thread from a couple of weeks ago was similar. Call it a little out-of-the-box thinking to stir up the synapses!

    Val's comment about the industrial activities in the series being mostly associated with the powers of evil could prompt all manner of debate about the "good" of agrarian societies and the "bad" of industrial based communities. I suggst instead that we just keep having fun "imagineering" the Middle Earth Railway and its customers. This has been a fun read. :)
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I do recall seeing an HO layout that had a dealership that sold used Federation shuttles, and, one where the rebel alliance faced off imperial storm troopers on a downtown street. Then, there was the SD1701.
    I suppose log cars could be slightly modified to become passenger cars for Ents. There would have to be a power house, where rings of power could be forged. Then there's the winery at Laketown, that shipped barrels of wine to the wood elves.
    The most evil industry, of course, would be the one in Mordor, that made Windows products for Silmarils!
    Hmmm... I wonder if the people of middle earth would refer to a locomotive as an Iron Troll?
    Then, there's the industrial rail line, the Gray Havens Shipyard & Drydock Company.
  11. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    This looks like a scratch builder's delight! Can't wait to see it all done with cereal boxes!

    One of the challenges would be to design the engines and consists themselves, so they would fit the theme of the books. Dare i say it, i think only Saruman or the Dark Lord would develop the technology for a railroad. Everyone else is using horses and feet to get around and their manufacturing methods are medieval, though the craftsmanship is stunning. And then there’s the magic thing.

    I can see the “Ornthac Express” careening around the countryside carrying a lethal load of orcs and such. Raiding the Shire and Rivendale. Dropping off Smeagol so he can catch up to Frodo and Sam. Maybe a group of ents tearing up the tracks. Major industrial activity around Ornthac, time to buy a smoke generator!

    Interesting thread,
  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Then, of course, building on Ted's post, we would have to have the "Good Side" building one rail line and the "Dark Side" building a second line. With the Two same gauge rails "Meeting Cowcatcher to Cowcatcher", at some central Middle Earth point where, the Golden spike could be laid. :) :D :eek: :D :)
    Whatta Scene that could make.... LOL - I can see Ork and Ogre trackmen... all hammering away building the Trans-Middle Earth Railroad...
  13. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Actually, that would probably be a Mithril spike......."light as a feather, and tough as dragon scales"
    OOOOOH, there's a project.....scales for weighing dragons!! :D
  14. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Passenger Cars

    One other thing to think about would be that passenger cars wouldn't necessiraly look like their counterparts in the world above. What I'm thinking is something like a hollowed out sequoia with windows cut out of the sides. Maybe take a tank car, cut windows, add bark...:)
  15. TR-Flyer

    TR-Flyer Member

    Hobbit cars could be gondolas with a sod roof. Cut round openings in the side of the cars for windows and doors. Large flats with barrels of ale. Maybe a hephalump could pull the train in stead of an engine. Let's see y'all make an operating hephalump engine out of cardboard!

    Like the Mithril spike. Has a nice "ring" to it.

  16. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

Share This Page