Season of layout

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by wdsrwg, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Hello to all,
    I am moving at the speed of a turtle on my layout but, it is time to make the decision of which season my layout is in.
    I am modeling modern day in a well established town very dependent on rail in a fictional area with mixed tall hills and flat river areas.
    The wife sez winter would get boring but I believe mid summer would also.
    What do you guy's think about late summer early fall?
    Around here in the hill country of Western WI, this is the most colorful time of year.

    Please post your preferences and maybe I can avoid another mental meltdown.:rolleyes:

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Your pace makes me look positively glacial... ;) :D

    Among my many other plans is a set of four modules - one for each season. I think that it would be interesting to do. I like the fall layouts that show the trees and so on in full colour - oranges, reds, yellow, golden grass, etc. If you do go for winter, check out Rand Hood's articles in MR from a while back - very good how-to. There's also a guy on some of the forums who does spectacular winter work - I think he's from the UK, but I cannot recall his name... :oops:

    And welcome to The Gauge!

  3. abutt

    abutt Member

    I started out trying hard to model early winter. It was a bit dull, so I jumped a bit earlier and now am in late Fall. More color is pleasing.

    If you were running steam, I think winter seems to enhance the huge, black engines, their steam, and basically watery existance. But running colorful deisels seems to require a more festive mood like full Summer and the color of green foliage.

    It really is a "mood" thing...also Summer is easier. Bare trees are hard to model!:)
  4. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    Modeling fall season here. (Northern Illinois) It's funny you can find some really strange looking fall colors from manufactures.

    Like the woodland scenic ready made trees....the color just doesn't make them look like trees.

    I've seen one winter module....nicely done.

    I think it wouldn't be boring...Maybe hard to find figures...and details might be pointless.
  5. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Thanks to all again!:thumb:
    MJ, I too have contemplated the 4 season realm.
    Now how would you go about this?
    I have dreamed of a large room 30'x40' (yea right) with ample
    room to build 4 exact layouts.

    Real life however dictates a 10'x13' spare room.

    How about a 4x8 with a crossed section or, an along the wall
    and each wall with the different schemes?
    That way you could have a continuous loop.
    If all are like me taking another 3 rooms would be frowned apon.:curse:
    I think for now I am staying with early fall and just live with that until
    the last of the kids is gone:wave:

    Once again thanks for the replies and will post pix a.s.a.p.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I am constructing modules, so my approach is one 2x4 footer per season. They will be "scenic" free-mo style modules. This means a centred mainline, with no industries to switch. They each will capture a scene from their respective season circa late 1920s.

    - (late) winter - ice cutting, sugar bush
    - spring - planting time using "real" horse power
    - summer - not quite sure yet...
    - fall - apple orchard, cider making, fall foliage

    In your 10x13 room (which is a good size) I would go around the walls. This provides much more opportunities than a 4x8 in the middle of the room. One of my favourite layouts is about this size. See more info here: Hamer/Hamer.htm

    I have operated this layout on occasion, and it is great. You might choose to do a short transition (over a few feet at most) and have each of the walls a different season. Or 50-50 summer/winter, or whatever works for you.

    Good luck! Looking forward to reading more about your plans, and seeing some progress pictures...

  7. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    I'm doing something a little different.
    I am starting with a 4X8 to get (A) train running then,
    this will be placed into the far corner. Yes I know that
    I need access but I plan on very little action where the
    reach is at its lowest point.
    From the corner 4X8 I am the going along the wall 2X? and
    creating several different levels and focal points.
    I have a diagram but it would not convey the true look of
    my demented plan. :D
    The wall layout is going to wrap completely around the
    room with a crawl under at the narrow point. This may be
    the fatal flaw seeing how I am getting worse at bending down. :oops:
    I will start posting the pix and you will then see the chaos that
    is truely in my warped mind. hamr


    ps. M.J. Ottowa? Ever heard of C-Com?
  8. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    SORRY,,,,,,,,,, OTTAWA :oops: :oops: :oops:
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I'm no longer certain at all what I want to model. For many years, though, I had stuck with a decision (and never carried it out). My goal was to model Conrail, 1996-98. In this context, I had a preference for autumn. George Sellios was a definite influence on this decision. I guess it's just about the color scheme. The northeast is very colorful in autumn, and provides a good setting for blue diesels and white trailers on flatcars...
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    C-COM? Not sure...

    I would strongly discourage you from both the 4x8 size in the corner (Murphy's Law), and the "crawl under" since you've already identified it as a potential problem.

    While I understand the desire to get a train running (hence the loop on the 4x8), if you design it as 2 2x8 sections, perhaps they can be reconfigured into parts of the 2 foot deep shelf that will go around the walls. MR had a good article in the last few years about how the 32 sq feet of a 4x8 can be reconfigured.

    Post your diagram anyway... We've seen all kinds of stuff here!

  11. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    How long have you had this idea.
    Myself, I have been dreaming for years
    and finally I am making progress but, still
    not sure about 50% of what I will end up
    Here in my area the fall is an explosion of
    color. I have lived in many areas of the country
    but when all is right and the trees have been
    treated well during the summer it is second to none for color
    but man, I just don't know if I can duplicate it.

    Anyhow, my budget also restricts my wants and
    desires. I you have the time and finances, GO-FOR-IT! :thumb:

    We only go around once you know. I would love to see your
    layout in pix posted here.
  12. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Well Andrew, you may have just changed my direction
    for the oh, 100th time! :cry:

    I already have the benchwork done on the 4X8 but, that is
    easily divided in two.

    As far as the duck under. I pretty much have to have it
    due to the door opening into the room.

    Yes I could change the direction but this is a 100 yo Farm House
    and solid oak doors do not like to be chaged at that age!

    Thanks again for creating another delema :oops: and I will post soon on my
    One thing I have going for me is that the Wife dosen't nag at all!! :D
    She is just happy I'm not bothering her!! :)
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    There is a lot of collected wisdom here - if you can, post a diagramof the room with the doors and windows and any other obstructions/unchangeables. There is also a thread in this forum on "Givens and Druthers" that might help you focus a bit more... When I started out I had a 4x8, but I never finished it. It was nice to get the train moving, but it became a "roundy-rounder" which I did not enjoy.

    MR also had (within the past year) an article on building a liftbridge entranceway. It was for a DC powered layout, and had an electromagnet to keep it closed, as well as a power district that prevented trains from taking a dive when it was open. It was for a modular layout, but no reason it could not work for you in a more permanent fashion.

    Give us a bit more info on what you plan, and let's discuss - something useful always comes out of this type of exchange.

    Bear in mind though that in the end it is your layout, so of course make decisions that work for you... ;) :)

  14. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Yes I have considered the lift gate but, thought
    it would be to much of a problem.
    Will check out the artical however.
    I was actually thinking of building a superstructure
    designed as a bridge system. Would have to be extra
    strong but might just look real cool! :cool:
  15. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Alright, MJ has opened another can of worms as to the 4X8 and I have resolved the solution. (I think)
    Instead of hacking the already built benchwork in half I have decided to just remove a 2X3 section from the center. This will give me ample room to reach, dictates a turn table of some sort and, I can use the cutaway for another part of the layout.
    Once again, will post pix when ready.

    MJ; C-Com is a large satellite communications company we work with up there.
  16. stump7

    stump7 Member

    Hi wdsrwg
    You might want to look at the third edition of Dave Frary's book How to Build Realistic Model Railroad Scenery. He has a whole chapter on modeling the different seasons. On page 128 there is a picture of a layout he built for a museum in Vermont that includes multiple seasons. Here in the southwest one season pretty well does it.
    Stump 7
  17. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Thanks S-7,
    I indeed had a gander at that book while taking up space at the local train shop.
    His skill is a lot out of my leauge but with trial & error comes success! (YEA RIGHT)

    I am going to just do the early fall colors and keep dreming of a warehouse sized area to do the 4-seasons.

    I must have a train running by fall and that will be a good reason to use this time of year.

    Thanks again,
  18. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Since about 1998.
    Unfortunately, being a college student right now, time and finances aren't limitless. Nor is space. But perhaps just as much a limitation is my fading ability to stick with this idea. I don't have any layout.

    None of this is about season, or your layout. I should have known I'd go off topic...
  19. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Well Triplex,

    I'm going on the 1/2 century mark and still haven't finished my first complete layout.

    It is the most time consuming endevor I have tackled in my life with many triumps and you will have success too in time.

    As far as getting off topic, you must have posted here for layout ideas so what are yours for your future layout?

    Maybe you can de-rail my thoughts with something different.
    It only happens once a day!

    Are you in a dorm during school or living @ home?
    From what I have seen scanning the entire Gauge site here is that space is as much a concern than time and money. Of course there is always a solution to any problem and it is up to you to find it.

    I have to get going but I have the good fortune of being able to check in often during the day, so post back and just enjoy the long rail and short cross ties of ideas.


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