New to the gauge

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by SAL Comet, May 16, 2004.

  1. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Folks, This is a great forum you have here. I'm in the design/mock up stage of a new layout which I am squeezing in to a attic bedroom. It 's a long(22'), narrow(6' walking room in the middle)room with the ceiling on a 45deg. angle. I've found, with the mock up I have room for a 20" shelf with a loop at each end,40" off the floor. There are several problems I'm wrestling with because of the slope of the ceiling, like the lack of room for a backdrop and room for a fascia and lighting. I was wondering if any of you have delt with this situation? Any ideas would be welcome.
  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Welcome to The Gauge SAL Comet. I'm sure somebody here can help you. Long ago I had a shelf layout, but not your problem. But just to throw out an idea, Blue Matte board and curve it to form a backboard and above layout sky in one curved piece. FRED
  3. rcwatkins

    rcwatkins Member

    Welcome to The-Gauge, SAL Comet. Unfornuately I can't help you on that because the room I'm building my layout in the roof is flat. However, you will need to make some sacrifices (not a full backdrop) in order to get the blessing (the railroad). ;) Hope this helps.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    What sort of scenery are you using? If you are into mountains, use a tunnel or cuts in front of the tracks to hide them and forget about backdrops where the ceiling is too low. If you are doing urban scenery, tall buildings can provide the same sort of view block. If the mountains or buildings are removable, you will not have a problem if you need to rerail trains behind the view blocks
  5. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Russ,
    Yes,"mountains" are in my prototype, I'm modeling a section of the Seaboard Air Line's (later the Seaboard Coast Line)"Silver Comet route" northwest of Atlanta,set in the 50's.
    This section of the route(between Dallas and Rockmart Ga.) is almost continuous cut and fill, and includes a 800' tunnel through Brushy Mtn.
    My plan is to use the Brushy Mtn. tunnel to hide the return loop on the right end of the layout, and the surrounding hills to hide some of the track closest to the ceiling.
    Then a small yard on the left end, inside the other loop, which would be set in Rockmart, a small town founded on the slate querrying industry in the 1840's. The quarry is still active, which will give me a industry to justify the yard and a way to hide some more of the back track.
    I'm lucky in that I have total acsess to the ROW, after CSX aquired the Southern, they had two parallel routes. The Southern's was more direct than the SBL's, so the old SBL ROW was abandonded.
    Enter the state of Georgia and the Path Foundation, which converted it to a Rails to Trails project that I cycle about once a week.
    So guess my biggest problem is the lighting/fascia issue?
  6. belg

    belg Member

    Hey Comet welcome aboard my first suggestion that comes to mind is to install recessed(high hat) lighting in between the roof rafters. You could use a eyeball/wall washer trim to keep the light from going in your eyes. If the budget does not allow for this option, you can take a simple round porcelian socket fixture and mount it on a 45 degree angle and place a piece of wood in front of that to keep the light out of your eyes. Hope this helps Pat
  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi SAL-Comet!
    Welcome to the forum! :wave:
    Sounds like you've got a great plan, & an interesting space in which to build it...
    You're mentioning a lot of hidden track...make sure you allow for easy access to any hidden track...either removable scenery, access holes in the back, etc...
    I use 48" florescent tubes to light my layout...I used 1/8" masonite to make the facia, & used the same material to make a valance at the top to hide the lighting...I painted facia & valance black...I thought this really mag=de the modeled scene stand out...kind of like looking through a window...
    The good thing about masonite is that it can be curved to follow the line of your layout...

    Attached Files:

  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    To decorate my facia I use self adhesive vinyl floor tile. I use mock rock ones and they look cool. Fairly inexpensive too. FRED

    Attached Files:

  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member of our club members has a beautiful attic layout with about 75% following the angled roof line. He has a fantastic lighting setup using dimmer switches hooked up to frosted white Christmas light strings, the golf ball sized round ones, purchased for peanuts the week after the holidays. They are hidden behind 6" masonite panels run plumb with the edge of the layout. The lights themselves are tucked into the corner where the masonite and ceiling met. This coupled with 48" flourescents in the main aisles makes for strong, but not harsh, even lighting over the whole layout.
  10. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Welcome aboard, SAL! Sounds like an interesting prototype with a lot of potential. What scale are you modeling in? :wave:
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi, SAL:
    One trick is to mount the backdrop out from the back edge to where you think it's high enough, and put storage or other hidden tracks behind it. You'll need access there. Or you could recognize that the sky isn't vertical or any other direction and run it up the slanted ceiling (and over the top and down the other side!) The farthest buildings will have to be vertical. but they'll be shorter.
  12. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Thanks papa bear, I'm working in HO, mostly old athearn and tyco stuff from the 70's right now. This stretch of the old Seaboard Airline ROW is really impressive in that an incredable amount of cutting and filling was done. Some of the fills are 100' high and 600' long. Many of the cuts are 50 to 60' deep, exposing the Rockmart slate. Biking the Silver Comet Trail is what has inspired me to model this prototype. The "trail" is currenty 45 mi. from Smyrna Ga.(10mi. NW of Atlanta)to the Alabama line. The state of Alabama is continuing the line to Aniston, which will make a 90 mi. uninterupted stretch. There's lots of ROW's in Ga that have been lost, at least this one has been preserved.
  13. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha David, We are thinking along the same lines, your idea of hidding the track closest to the ceiling with the back drop is what I have in mind. I'll have acsess from below. I'm thinking now that I can use the lighting fascia to hide the sloped backdrop from view. The down side of that is the fascia will be right in the observerers face. I'm afraid that might be a something I'll have to live with.
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    SAL: There was some concern lately that attic supports may not always be designed for major loads from above; they may only be intended to support a ceiling. If it's an older proper attic, you may be alright, but you may want to get a professional opinion if it's a new one.
  15. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    I don't know about the professional part but I build houses and remodel. And yes, that is a very valid concern. When I built the place, the room was "designed" (and I use the term loosely) to be an office/storage, with real stairs and 2x10 floor joists. So it's a real room but, is way less than ideal for a layout. Especially when it's being a bedroom at the same time. I think I'm going to make the layout sort of "modular" so I can move it in pieces to a better space someday.
  16. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hi SAL and welcome to the Gauge. :wave: :wave:

    Dash's idea of a curved backdrop sounds like a good one. Photographers often use this technique for backgrounds, and it works well.


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