How to visualize your landscape

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by MasonJar, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I was having a hard time visualizing how the finished contours of my landscape would look. A flat plan is ok, but doesn't do much for cuts, tunnels, streambeds, etc, etc.

    Then I came across an article by Dave Frary in Dec 1998 MR. There was a little sidebar with a picture of a mock-up of the layout.

    Not wanting to shell out $$$ for full featured CAD-based planning software, I printed out my track plan with Atlas RTS, found some scrap cardboard, and invested $1.15 in modelling clay form the dollar store (taxes extra... ;)).

    Here is the result. A neat and cheap way to visualize a layout when you find yourself a little "imaginationally" challenged like me ;).


    Attached Files:

  2. csxnscale

    csxnscale Member

    Sounds like a good idea.:thumb: :thumb:

  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Neat idea Andrew! Now you can put that in one of your buildings for hte LPBs kids to play with, keep 'em off the streets!
  4. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    Great job! Mock-ups like these are more valuable than one would think. $1.15 and some of your time vs. much more money and lots more of your time wasted if you turn out not to like some aspect!
  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Great idea. Lots of clay there for $1.15 (plus taxes). Just one thing, inflation must have hit your town pretty hard, our dollar stores still charge a dollar (plus taxes) for their stuff.:rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  6. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Looks like a z scale layout to me. Good idea. FRED:thumb:
  7. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Great idea!:thumb: Now for me I use my minds eye and mother nature.I plan what I want to do and use Mother Nature as a guide and go from there.:D
  8. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Member

    Being from OTTAWA I'm suprized it was ONLY $1:15 + tax :D :rolleyes::rolleyes:
  9. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Thanks for the good idea Andrew. It sure works and is affordable
    Now if it wasn't for the feezing rain we are supposed to get tonight and tomorrow morning I would head out to the local $ store.
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Well, despite being in (actually near) the capital, stuff at the dollar store is still $1. I should have said "invested $1 in clay, and $0.15 in government"... ;) :D

    I took this little mock-up to one of the local meets this past Saturday, and I was really surprised at the positive reaction I got. This is a relatively simple idea, compared to all the other stuff we do, that I thought most people would look at me like I am crazy - but there were a ton of good compliments, (just like here :)).

  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The simplicity is the beauty of it, Andrew, it follows the KISS theory.
  12. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Re: Re: How to visualize your landscape

    I'm hurt that we were not your first choice. Are you two timing us? :cry: FRED
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Re: Re: Re: How to visualize your landscape

    Relax Fred, about half way down this page is where I first reported on the mock-up. I just didn't have a picture.

    And it is more like 4-timing... I just thought about it and realized I have joined or otherwise committed to 3 local groups ( Modular - Ottawa HOTrak , Ottawa Valley Associated Railroaders, and the St Lawrence Division of the NMRA). But rest easy Fred, my first stop on the internet is always The Gauge :thumb:

  14. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Andrew, 3 clubs, I am impressed.

    I belong to the Muskoka Model Railway Club and one of our members is talking to CARM about the club joining as an entity.

    Do you ever get over to the Muskoka area?
    I do not have a home layout (yet :D ) but the club meets every Wednesday in Bracebridge and we always like o show off our layouts for guests. W have an HO and an N layout.
  15. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member


    I read the same information in Dave Frary's book on scenery and took the same approach. I also used RTS, Sculptamold and some kid's water colors. The 3-D model helped me work out several problems and plan for tunnels and grades better.


    And the model was fun to build. I felt like I was making progress even though I didn't even have any bench work.

    It's a great idea.
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I knew I had seen this before!

    It struck me as a good idea at the time, but I guess I needed to hear it more than once, as is often the case for me, to understand how it could help me.

    Thanks for putting up your picture again. Your mock-up is much :cool: :cool: :cool: than mine...

  17. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Thanks for the invite, but I am rarely that way. Just thinkning though... my aunt has a cottage near Parry Sound, so I may make it there yet...

    Yeah, 3 clubs sounds impressive, but OVAR is really a dinner club that meets once per month for a presentation related to railroading - real or model. There is no club layout, so there is not much committment there.

    SLD meets every other month, and has workshops most of the other months, but not always. There is a small switching layout that needs occasional maintenance, and I will be building a few structures for it shortly.

    The modular guys are really the club in the traditional sense, although their "layout" is composed of about 320 feet of modules (most are 4 to 6 feet long) that are assembled for one weekend per month of operations.

  18. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    I think, if you had enough time, that making these scale models of layout could be a pretty good hobby in itself. Much more detail could be added.

    Maybe I just getting carried away.:oops:
  19. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    That is what I think I will end up doing, only a couple of modules of a larger layout I wish to create. I have put up a website to visualize how things will look and to get opinions from others.

    Of course the 1880s is not all that popular a time period. But I think I will go with either three large tables 36"x72" or six of 36"x36" I can't decide....

    Someone today suggested I design the entire "dream layout" which would be two branch lines that ran 35 and 27 miles respectively for a total of 62 miles. Had 6 flag stops, 3 Junctions, 2 terminals (with full yards) and 3 town stations.

    I figure I would need a space of roughly 20x20 to accomplish it.

    Still pondering..... :thumb:

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