How about a "Plans & Blueprints Forum?"

Discussion in 'Plans & Blueprints' started by Russ Bellinis, May 24, 2008.

  1. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I thought of this idea when I was following the thread titled "HO Steamboat-first submission." I posted this thought at the end of that thread, but in the last 2 days no one has responded to the idea. It occurs to me that many may have already looked at the thread, seen the finished model, made a comment if they were so inclined, and haven't been back to it since.

    Galen (Ocaliecreek) had requested plans for the boat as being a perfect detail to complete a scene he had built.

    The idea occurred to me that there might be an interest in a "Plans & Blueprints" forum in the reference section of the Gauge.

    Obviously, copyrighted plans would be a no-no; but plans in the public domain or plans drawn up by individuals on this forum for modeling projects could be posted to that forum for use by other members of the Gauge who were interested in building a similar model. They might even be used by some as a "jumping off place" for a "scratch bash" based on the submitted plans.

    I suggest that each set of plans should contain a legend as well as measurements. The legend would be similar to the "distance bar" seen on most maps. The legend should be big enough to be useful when full sized plans are reduced to n-scale or z-scale. As an example the plans might be drawn originally to a scale of 1 inch = 10 FEET. That way a modeler in any scale could look at the plans and get an understanding of the approximate size of a model built in his/her scale. The other purpose of the legend is that modelers could print out the plans, and take them to a local Kinkos to have them enlarged or reduced to fit their scale. If the legend is 1 inch = 10 feet, then any modeler can determine how long 10 feet should be in his/her scale, and have the plans enlarged or reduced to make the legend = 10 scale feet in their preferred modeling scale.

    I've thought of a couple more suggestions. It could be a "sticky" at the top of this forum. Also any questions, or comments about plans that are posted should be made in a separate thread with a link to the plan the question is about in order to keep from "cluttering" the plans with a bunch of extraneous comments. That way it should not be too difficult to navigate the plans to see what is available.
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    We are always very receptive to new ideas, especially those generated by members here. Let's see how much interest it draws from others. The card forums have many sub-forums just like this for plans and even use the "download" section to share these plans.

    I like the idea, but we need some assurance that it will be used. I would like to see that over a sticky though.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I was throwing out an idea and figured to leave it to members to see if there is interest and to the mods to decide how best to implement it if there is sufficient interest.
  4. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I like it, but I doubt I'd have the time to remember to submit anything! I'd love to download some though.
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I'm not sure how many of us actually use plans...other than the endless search for the "perfect" track plan....If we build a kit, it generally comes with its plan. I presume the scratchbuilders do draw up some plans, although they may not be as detailed as would be required of a "real" plan....
  6. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    I think it's a great idea. :thumb:

    For example, if I want to build a model of anything at all, or do some kit-bashing or detailing - the first thing I do is scour the web for any prototype plans.

    There are many public domain plans and pix scattered across the web, and I have some illustrations in out-of-copyright books that others might find useful.

    For plans, scaling is easy - a series of small lines which are labelled to the commonest scales (O OO N Z 1:100 etc.) and which, when printed to the chosen scale, measure exactly 1 inch or 25mm.

  7. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    hmmm, I got custom drawn plands of SP 4449, N&W 611, half of the FT demonstrator, and a fully colored Soundwave 1984 Transformer toy drawn up in CAD at school, I might could load those up to such a forum if people wanted 'em. No measurements, though.
  8. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Just mention 'transformers' and you have the card modeller's attention!:thumb:

    Not that I'm interested in toys at my age. ;-)
  9. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Did someone say "Transformers?"
    [​IMG](this is only half of my collection for those who are interested)

    Anyways, I made my Soundwave drawings from the blueprints in the original Patent for Soundwave and the original 1984 toy borrowed from my friend, a G1 freak (although he only owns 4 figures that are G1). I had to fudge some things here and there, but I tried to make it as close as possible, and I'm more than willing to let you take a look at them.

    Oh yeah, I'm also looking for Transformers card models (specifically ones that do transform), PM me if anyone knows of any on the net that have working links.
  10. Chaparral

    Chaparral Member

    Plans and Blueprints

    There is already a 'Plans and Blueprints' forum, of sorts - The Academy-
    an underutilized pyscho pedea of MRR technology, hints, tips, plans, drawings, how to and what I did.
    May I suggest that once a project is completed ( eg., nazgul's Elevator WOW!!!), that it be moved to The Academy, sans comments. That's where one should be able to find the various weathering, railpainting, adhesives, wiring etc techniques and applications and proven methods, like soldering
    ( It would NOT include submissions on the 1001 uses for the ubiquitous double ended dollar store toothpick)

    It's a lot easier to scroll specific posts than to ride herd on all threads or use the search.

    Having said that, I'm coming about to defend against a broadside.
  11. ocalicreek

    ocalicreek Member

    I like Russ' idea. However, I'm afraid that more of us are modelers than folks skilled in making plans others could use, let alone read. I'd definately love to see something along those lines.

    I have recently contacted Kalmbach pub to see if I could scan and post an article from an old 1961 Model Trains mag at the Yardbird Trains Yahoo group. Got a very cordial reply from Neil Besougloff, editor du jour, essentially saying that's not company policy to allow that to happen.

    HOWEVER, I did post to the group that anyone who would like to contact me off list for more information (nudge nudge wink wink) regarding said article could do so.

    I know I've always wanted to take a gander at various craftsman kit plans but don't have the dough to shell out a few hundred bucks on one (and then I'd have one just like everybody else and what would be the fun of that!) If there were a listing of want ads for various plans, instruction sheets, articles, etc. that we'd like to, er, loan each other (via scanning & email of course - understanding that the other party would view it and promptly destroy it, denying any and all info regarding the source of said plans) then that might work.

    Louphole? Hmmm...
  12. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    I really like the idea of a download section for plans, as it would make my life easier when I am looking for, say, plans for the First Lutheran Church of Ketchikan to model, however I think we would run into issues of scale.

    I also like the Academy idea, but would the modeler be able to post the plans? I know that I am just flying by the seat of my pants on my loading dock, no real plans, just using scraps left over from my Fish Market/Fruit Stand from the April issue of RMC. I wouldn't be able to post plans from RMC, and I don't have any plans for my loading dock, and it's so plain looking that I don't know if I would post them even if I had them.

    An idea that has been floating around is a sticky with links to public access scale plans. There have been more than a few links to similar places like the national archive that is completely free.

    I like to think that I can "google" most things in life, but sometimes it's nice to have a spot where the leg work has been done before and I can click a link. Lazy? Not really; better living thru other's searchings.

  13. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    George: that's a good paraphrase of Vannevar Bush's vision - the idea of 'trailblazing' through information, making the gathering of information easier for each subsequent researcher.

    [FONT=arial,helvetica]"The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships." Vannevar Bush, 1945.
    (Full article here:)
    Adventures in CyberSound: As We May Think

    Perhaps any new forum area for the posting of plans and links might be called the 'memex' in his honor?
  14. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Do the plans have to look proffessional?
    I usually scratchbuild using the Grey Matter for dimensions when I wish to model something that has no prototype.
    As far as something that I see in a book, or magazine that I want to scratchbuild, I usually transform dimensions and do a crude drawing using the progarm Pencil and Paper 2.1.
    As long as there is dimensions, views to what the structure, or rolling stock looks like, even if drawn by hand, then scanned, and downloaded here, I'm sure some people would still be inetrested.
    Even I would be inetrested.
    But then again........I'm just one person.............
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Well, I can work from plans, but almost anything that I build starts with a quick sketch, at most. Usually it consists of a diagram of the space available. The rest is in my head, and develops as I build. I will occasionally make a sketch to figure out how to engineer something to look correct and still be solidly built, but that's about it.
    When I built my own house, I provided a scaled set of plans and elevations, along with my material specs, and a cheque for $1,000.00 to have them made into blueprints. When I went to the Building Department for a permit, they refused because the blueprints lacked a "joist layout": you'd think that anybody issuing permits would be able to tell from the drawing what the joist layout would be.:rolleyes: Anyway, I had the blueprints revised (a couple strokes with a pencil and rule was all it took), and got my permit. Since I had a couple of months before construction could start, I went over the blueprints, with a copy of the building standards in hand, and a pencil to make notations. It didn't take long to realise that I had pretty much thrown away my thousand bucks: support beams in the basement were too far from the load-bearing walls which they were supposed to support, and a rear upstairs wall, 24' long, which was supposed to support itself, the main roof, and the upstairs floor was itself sitting on a pair of 24' long 2"x10"s.:eek: All of this from an architect with a degree in structural engineering! I re-located the basement beams to meet code, and had the truss manufacturer meet me to discuss the upstairs wall problem. I suggested a full-height wall truss and he felt that one about 3' high would suffice. He called me the next day to confirm that, indeed, the truss needed to be 9' deep for that span and load and also that it would need to be composed of three complete 24' trusses ganged together. He also helped me to re-design the roof, a combination of rafters and trusses - the blueprint version was structurally unsound. All of this had been missed by the Building Dept., too! :p
    It was probably just as well that I did have a blueprint, but next time I'll draw my own, and that'll be mainly to satisfy the requirements of the building department. I had some other problems with the head of the Building Department later, as he was also the Inspector, but seemed to not understand basic engineering, standard construction methods, or drainage. I think that he was skeptical that an average schmuck could build a house, perhaps because he knew that he couldn't.;)
    Plans? We doan need no steenkin' plans! :-D

  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    What I had in mind here was not really so much "architectural quality plans", but rather anything that someone would scratch build a model from. I picked the title because it was more self explanatory than "Sketches and Doodles Forum". I've just noticed over the years that I have been on the Gauge that from time to time someone will scratch build a model, and often one or more members will request plans from the person who built it. Then it usually involves sending the plans via email to whoever requested the plans. When I saw Galen's post in the thread on building a steam boat requesting plans, the "light bulb" suddenly went on in my head that a forum where such plans could be posted would enable anyone wanting the plans to simply print them out.

    Wayne, I know what you mean abaout all of the travails of dealing with building depts. and codes. Here in So Cal we probably don't have to deal with the moisture and cold space/ warm space issues that you find in the North, but we have seismic issues that are probably stricter than anywhere else in the North America. When we decided to remodel the house, we had an architect draw up plans. The contractor took them to the city and was told that since there were "shear panels" of less than 4 feet in length specified that we would need engineering drawings and calculations done before they could approve of the plans. No problem, we hire an engineer to do the necessary drawings and calculations and submitted it to the city. The plan checker signed off on everything, and the contractor built it according to the blueprints. The inspector came out to inspect the framing, and failed it! He said we could not build it that way. The contractor showed him the engineering drawings signed off by the city plan checker, and the inspector said the engineer did it wrong and the plan checker should have caught the mistakes! The job was stopped for almost 3 weeks while the contractor went back and forth between the city and the engineer to get the engineering drawings done the way they wanted including contacting the manufacturer of the 2 foot long shear panels to see what their recommendations were. The contractor then had to tear out most of the framing on the main wall and redo it. Had either the plan checker or the engineer done their job correctly the first time, it would have been much easier! It is amazing how much easier it is to use an eraser than it is to take stuff apart. Erasers and paper is a lot cheaper than lumber as well.
  17. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

    I've held out as I'd likely be more a receiver than a giver here, but I think it would be an interesting addition.

  18. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    I am going to actively pursue something like this for my site and think the-gauge would be very smart to do it as well.

    It encourages camaraderie and the finished scratchbuilds in each thread would be fantastic to look at.
  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    To my mind it doesn't really make any difference whether a person is a taker or a giver. If such a forum results in people uploading plans, sketches, blueprints, etc, but nobody uses them, it is a waste of time. To really be a useful addition, we need people who would upload material to the site and people who would use the uploaded material and then share pics of the resulting models with us.

    After I posted this response, I went back to the original thread on the steam boat and found that Roughneck had posted a jpg of a sketch of the steamboat with a 10 foot legend at the bottom of the hull. I clicked on the jpg to make it full size and printed it out. It is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind with this proposal. If anyone hasn't looked at that boat, I would encourage you to open the thread and look through it and then note the jpg posted near the end of the 2nd page.
  20. rch

    rch New Member

    As far as a format for posting such drawings is concerned, would PDF be okay? I doubt many users could open an AutoCAD drawing file and raster image files are horrible for expressing anything prepared in a vector program.

    I've worked on some projects that are only of interest to a very small segment of the modelers out there, but I'd still be happy to post some drawings if such a forum becomes available.

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