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While viewing the geniuses (genii?) at the Small Layout site, I saw a Frenchman's RR based in Australia.

If I could emigrate to one country, Austrialia would be it. I suppose because the only thing I know about it is "Waltzing Matilda" plus a few non-fiction books I've read, and "Crocodile Dundee". And the stories a friend of mine told. He took R&R there while in 'Nam. Said the people were great. He stayed at a sheep station. And, I have a notion people aren't shoulder-to-shoulder everywhere.

It hit me that here I am, with no track laid yet, getting ready to base my RR in the region I grew up: the St. Francois Mtns of SE MO. Well, fine, at least I know the country. OTOH, I know the country. Tourists overrun it, thinking it's wonderful, and provide revenue for the hillbillies, sometimes without realizing it until they take inventory at home. There is little in the way of industry other than timber and mining. And cattle & hog raising.

So, I wondered, why not build an Austrialian-based layout? For me it'd be about as close as I'll ever get to the place. Another thing, from the Frenchie's pics, the trees sure would be easier to model. I like British and NZ engines & rolling stock.

Has anyone else tried doing a 'foreign' (as in the sense of unfamiliar geography) layout? What particular problems might arise?

Les
 

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Les,

I never tried. I realized at the outset that the lush green gardens of South Western England would never look like Colorado or many parts of the USA. So I chose a fictitious railroad name which, I guess, could be somewhere in the States that is green and wooded.


I have few buildings: there are too many plants. But as they die away I have been able to move onto the vacant real estate.

One advantage of a "foreign" railroad is that few visitors can know whether it is correct or not.
 

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G'day Les,

If you are going to model Aussie narrow gauge, then the correct scale will be 1:24 to represent our usual 42 inch gauge.

Personally though I just use 1:20.3 and use standard Australian narrow gauge practices such as coupler height and type.

As for terrain, many narrow gauge railways (often refered to as Tramways if privately owned) ran Baldwins, English, German and French designed locos through desert or semi desert areas - dust and very low shrubs. or you could go for the Victorian and Queensland timber tramways that ran almost anything that you can conceive of including upright climaxes, Garretts or even the double Fairlies, but then you would need to model the bush so thick that you would only see small glimpses of parts of the Locos as they pass.

Yeah mate, DO IT!

Let your mind go free!

If I can model South Australian Narrow Gauge in South Australia, representing places that never had railways or had Irish Broad Gauge railways, why can't you do it your way in Missouuri!

Hope to see some results one day,

Tim
 

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Posted By Les on 01/14/2009 8:25 PM So, I wondered, why not build an Austrialian-based layout? For me it'd be about as close as I'll ever get to the place. Another thing, from the Frenchie's pics, the trees sure would be easier to model. I like British and NZ engines & rolling stock. Has anyone else tried doing a 'foreign' (as in the sense of unfamiliar geography) layout? What particular problems might arise?
Les



Dear Mr Les - As Mr Tim above notes - you CAN do it! But have a think about New Zealand, too. NZ runs on Cape Gauge - 3ft 6in - and has correspondingly far smaller railroad equipment. Add to that the unbelievable scenery of the NZ hinterland [The ' Lord of the Rings' trilogy was made there] and you are up for some great mountains and lakes scenery. If you ever get the chance, have a look at the fantastic two-DVD set of movies made by Marcus Lush - 'Off the rails' - in which he travels from Bluff on the tip ofthe South Island to Aukland and beyond on the North Island, mostly by rail.

tac
http://www.ovgrs.org/
 

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Well I model Colonial Railways, (what do you expect being a Colonial???). Until recently I had never seen an NZ lokey in the flesh and I had to go on pictures and drawings. However following a Christmas holiday in Napier I can at last say that I will have some genuine NZ ferns growing in my garden for the passing lokeys to admire. The instructions for getting the "spores" to grow involve yoghourt, peat, vermiculite and toast spread with vegamite(???)

However prior to this I used fruit bushes for my "Cabbage Trees" and it seemed to work (for me!).


So -yes, it is possible to model railway systems in other parts of the world. In my case it is set on the Eastern Isle of NZ, (which sank about 8 million years ago). However before anyone starts, I holidayed in the suburb of Clive in Napier, (which I am told was below sea level before 1934)

Always remember though -to have fun!!!


regards

ralph
 

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TAC,
North Island NZ. Some of the best trout fishing in the world from what I have read and seen on the tele. Wish I had gone there in 67/68. Might have stayed later. Sigh!
Noel
 

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Northern NZ seems mighty nice country to me.
 

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Wish I had gone there in 67/68. Might have stayed later.


From my observations after sending staff there, you might never have come back!
 

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"Has anyone else tried doing a 'foreign'"?

Les try it. TAC, Alan (Great Western) and myself do it all the time.
We model US outline.

Rod
 

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Posted By Les on 01/14/2009 8:25 PM
While viewing the geniuses (genii?) at the Small Layout site, I saw a Frenchman's RR based in Australia.

Has anyone else tried doing a 'foreign' (as in the sense of unfamiliar geography) layout? What particular problems might arise?

Les



I have had several layouts and two garden railways. They have been set in the US, UK, East Germany and for the current garden railway, the former Czechoslovakia.

The best thing to do is to get a good handle on the geography of the area. Get some general tour books, but also some about the industry, towns, etc. Get a feel for what is going on there and a WHY for the railway.

Find a few things that really set the area right. If you get them wrong, it can really spoil things, especially buildings. While you may have two buildings that are "German", a Saxon building in a Bavarian or Prussian layout is going to look really wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks to all who've taken a moment to post an opinion.

I goofed by not mentioning my layout is indoors, so plants are not a problem.

But sigh, the dreams of the lowly are so easily crushed.


Friend Wife, aka known as 'The Cook' (one of my father's sagest pieces of advice: "Son, don't ever p*ss off the cook.") is also from the Ozarks, and who is from just one town south of mine, frowned and said 'No'. Since she's also the artist/landscaper/painter of finished works, I vaguely feel it would be best to let it be the St. Francois mtns after all.

Ah well. Not to weep. Except those Colonial locos are gonna look odd in some ol' Missouri holler. The Brits, et al, as I've said, have a patent on the magnificently ugly engine. 'Empire' writ in stately iron.

Les
 

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You just can't successfully model in your garden the railways of another country. No matter how hard you try you can't get the angle of the sun right.
 

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Posted By Semper Vaporo on 01/15/2009 4:18 PM
You just can't successfully model in your garden the railways of another country. No matter how hard you try you can't get the angle of the sun right.

Ahem....


That's Fletch's first MasterClass loco running on the Ridge, BTW 
the Toenail Ridge Shortline is based in NE Oregon, it has had people ask me where they could visit it when visiting the Pacific Northwest. It is actually sited in Adelaide, South Australia and has been since 1996.
http://www.trainweb.org/toenailridge/" target="_blank">http://www.trainweb.org/toenailridge/
Our latitude is 35deg South, about the same as LA, so provided I lie and tell you that the picture you're looking at faces North when in actuality it faces South, who's gonna know?
 

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Well.. I model what WAS the Illinois Central through Southern Illinois...but it's now owned and controlled by the Canadian National.. So technically I model a forign Railroad... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Phil,

I was gonna post ol' Semp and point out that opposite latitudes would give the same sun angle, but then I remembered the earth's axis of rotation isn't symmetrical, referencing the 'sun ribbon' one sees on globes, but I forget the numbers. I'm talking about the figure 8 thingy.

At any rate, a competent person could calculate the 'fudge factor'.

And I doubt very many are adept at judging the time of day by the sun. (Writer excluded). (Modest bow).


Semper, have you been sampling the fuel? Hmm?


Now, giving Semper's point a bit of 'latitude' (sorry), if one were in Norway or Sweden, doing a layout would force one to Antarctica, I suspect.

Les
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Posted By Dave F on 01/15/2009 6:24 PM
Well.. I model what WAS the Illinois Central through Southern Illinois...but it's now owned and controlled by the Canadian National.. So technically I model a forign Railroad... ;)" src="http://www.mylargescale.com/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wink.gif" align="absMiddle" border="0" />






Dave,

And your equipment is made in China. Give it another 20 years, and you might be more prototypically correct than you imagine.


Les
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Vic,

WHAT kind of engine is that, and what minimum radius will it navigate? I copied the pic. With four sets of trucks, it ought to almost meet itself coming.


Les
 
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