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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'm weird, most large scalers play all summer, I play all winter while it's too cold to do other things.

It's time to seriously get back to work on the layout with the added impetus that my son, his wife and the grandbabies are coming for the week of Christmas. I've pretty much mapped out what I NEED to do between now and then, but am open to suggestions.

1. Finish wiring the lights in the village. (and remember which half are 3v!)


2. Repaint the station, and wire a platform light.


3. Reballast the mainline.

4. Build a crossing on a curve


5. Either build a bridge, or fill the gap between the main layout and the "branch line"


6. Paint and ballast the "branch line" (all 10 feet of it)


7. Rebuild the barn.

8. Build/Buy a coaling dock/depot for the branch line. (I'll trade a 5th Gen B'mann xmas Big Hauler loco for a nice one)


9. Repopulate the layout with all the figures.


10. Build a small box to house the controller and push buttons for the lighting


11. Rebuild Kimmee's Aristo 0-4-0 into a 2-4-0 (if time)


All this on as little money as possible.
 

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You and me both, Mik. IAfter letting it languish all summer, I will have to turn my attention back to my indoor line. I'm thinking of a full rebuild to try to solve the `reach' problem. I seem to spend far more time building and rebuilding the bench work than actually running the trains.
 

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Thinker,

Since I'm nearing the point where I can start my first 'module' (it won't be transportable, and it's in F scale) I'd like to know a little more about your 'reach' problem. One of the guys gave me some good 'rules of thumb' and it looks like I'm going to have to be content with about 32" depth, max. (My six-pack abs have morphed into a single kegger).


I'm also wondering if a two-decker might be a way to go, as I'm doing my main setup in ca 1875, yet I also like the 20s-era traction stuff.

Could you tell me a bit more about the 'reach' problem you're having?

Les
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MY reaching problem is a covered bridge on the back side of the main layout (5' x 8' loop on a table against the wall)...

Brother Murphy pretty much ensures that anyplace you can't get to easily -- either because it's covered (like a bridge or tunnel), has something fragile in the way (like a steeple, delicate figures, or really nice trees), or is just out of arm's reach (like 30+ inches) -- is EXACTLY where the darned thing will stall, uncouple, or derail.....almost ALWAYS.

2 decks is OK, but don't crowd the levels (for the above reasons, plus it's kind of hard to see stuff that's always in shadow.) IMO 2 feet between the top of the rail and the bottom of the benchwork above is about the minimum in large scale
 

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Since I'm nearing the point where I can start my first 'module' (it won't be transportable, and it's in F scale) I'd like to know a little more about your 'reach' problem. One of the guys gave me some good 'rules of thumb' and it looks like I'm going to have to be content with about 32" depth, max. (My six-pack abs have morphed into a single kegger).

In my case, the `reach' issue revolves around two `peninsulas' that have their bases against `back' walls. The one is about eight foot across; the other almost nine. Because these feature loops , the track is usually near the edge of the peninsulas, where it can be easily reached - except for the areas along the back wallls. Murphy's law dictates that `back wall' is where the bulk of the problems are with trains derailing, `fit and start' problems, ect.

I also have a visual issue - the last track plan left me with way too much hidden mainline track.

So...the one peninsula is going to go away altogether (which means using R1 curves in another part of the layout to compensate). That will still leave a `reach' issue, but a much smaller one than I have at the current time. The other peninsula is going to get dragged out away from the wall about three foot and made pretty much free standing, with only a three foot wide `neck' linking it to the track running around the walls elsewhere, making it into a `center peninsula' arrangement. I wanted to do this to start with, but didn't have the room until I knocked down part of a wall and expanded into a former storage room.

As to the reach stuff: Two and a half feet is easy - but it doesn't leave a lot of room for scenery. Three feet...you have to strain just a little to reach the stuff all the way in the back. Four feet is about the realistic limiit, and at this point its not just `reach' its `reach and lean'. With my current set up, I have a couple places at the back of the peninsulas where the `reach' would be better than five feet. I cut in a couple access hatches to access them, but reaching those means getting on hands and knees (Ouch!). So I want to try to make everything easily reachable.

I'm also wondering if a two-decker might be a way to go, as I'm doing my main setup in ca 1875, yet I also like the 20s-era traction stuff.




I am also contemplating a double decker arrangement, though in my case the levels are to be connected via a climbing spiral (as per the `Polar Express'). The main things to watch out for seems to be the verticle separation between the levels (I'm aiming for two feet which is just barely acceptable) because otherwise your buildings, trees, ect might not fit all that well, and the width (depth) of the respective levels. If the upper level is too high, though, you can't really see much on it. I'm trying for just over five feet up for my upper level. The other issue seems to be if the upper level sticks out as far as the lower one, then it kind of puts the lower level in shadow - at least to my way of thinking. Right now, it looks like most of my revised layout will be on 2 - 3 foot deep shelves or tables for the lower level - but the upper level (track plan still undefined) is going to be almost entirely on 8 - 16 inch wide shelves, which will make for some interesting scenery issues.
 

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Posted By ThinkerT on 11/11/2008 7:11 PM

In my case, the `reach' issue revolves around two `peninsulas' that have their bases against `back' walls. The one is about eight foot across; the other almost nine. Because these feature loops , the track is usually near the edge of the peninsulas, where it can be easily reached - except for the areas along the back wallls. Murphy's law dictates that `back wall' is where the bulk of the problems are with trains derailing, `fit and start' problems, ect.

I also have a visual issue - the last track plan left me with way too much hidden mainline track.

So...the one peninsula is going to go away altogether (which means using R1 curves in another part of the layout to compensate). That will still leave a `reach' issue, but a much smaller one than I have at the current time. The other peninsula is going to get dragged out away from the wall about three foot and made pretty much free standing, with only a three foot wide `neck' linking it to the track running around the walls elsewhere, making it into a `center peninsula' arrangement. I wanted to do this to start with, but didn't have the room until I knocked down part of a wall and expanded into a former storage room.

/// The wider 'neck' comment struck home with me: I will have basically a U-shaped layout, with, I hope, room for a narrow center peninsula. My entire space is only 12x22', max. Since I don't envision other people running simultaneously, I hope I can get away with it. That's why I've elected to build in sections, or 'modules', first to figure out what exactly are the demands of this gauge/scale, second to build slowly but well. I truly hadn't considered a 'neck'.

As to the reach stuff: Two and a half feet is easy - but it doesn't leave a lot of room for scenery. Three feet...you have to strain just a little to reach the stuff all the way in the back. Four feet is about the realistic limiit, and at this point its not just `reach' its `reach and lean'. With my current set up, I have a couple places at the back of the peninsulas where the `reach' would be better than five feet. I cut in a couple access hatches to access them, but reaching those means getting on hands and knees (Ouch!). So I want to try to make everything easily reachable.

/// I definitely don't want access hatches. Knees, back won't like that. I'd settle for narrower sides and a peninsula as a tradeoff.

I'm also wondering if a two-decker might be a way to go, as I'm doing my main setup in ca 1875, yet I also like the 20s-era traction stuff.




I am also contemplating a double decker arrangement, though in my case the levels are to be connected via a climbing spiral (as per the `Polar Express'). The main things to watch out for seems to be the verticle separation between the levels (I'm aiming for two feet which is just barely acceptable) because otherwise your buildings, trees, ect might not fit all that well, and the width (depth) of the respective levels. If the upper level is too high, though, you can't really see much on it. I'm trying for just over five feet up for my upper level. The other issue seems to be if the upper level sticks out as far as the lower one, then it kind of puts the lower level in shadow - at least to my way of thinking. Right now, it looks like most of my revised layout will be on 2 - 3 foot deep shelves or tables for the lower level - but the upper level (track plan still undefined) is going to be almost entirely on 8 - 16 inch wide shelves, which will make for some interesting scenery issues.

/// I won't do a spiral, at least not now. I can't think how I can meld the two times together effectively, though I have info and pixes on pre-1900 electric light rail.

My notion on the double decker is to make the first one lower, perhaps 30" or so off the floor. Then the top deck perhaps a bit under five feet. It will be recessed, one of the guys already warned me that 'head clonking' is sure to follow if the upper deck isn't set back in front. As for 8-16" wide shelves, I see that as a good challenge. I've seen lots of pixes of very effective scenicking done that way, and that may be where I'll end up for the top.

Thanks for the reply.

Les
 

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'Reach' can be an issue. My peninsula is 5 feet across but at 50 inches high it still becomes a bit of a challenge. Now if I hadn't put any buildings and scenery on it I wouldn't have had a problem.

I kept my 'against the wall' shelf sections less than three feet deep and 40 inches high. No problems there. Keep your buildings at the back even if it looks a lot better having the train run behind them.

Module size isn't a problem here because I'm fortunate to have a huge space to build and work in. Most don't. So, if I was to offer MHO to those with limited space, I would suggest keeping it down to three feet across and in sections that can be completely finished in 3 to 5 foot lengths. I'm talking seriously finished - in fine scale detail - with plenty of good light. Have trains run through your small scene from somewhere, anywhere, else. Something like that would be a constant joy to build and a very special view for visitors.

Have fun

Dave
 

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I mentioned 'way back in the thread someplace that 'module' was a 'section'. Prob'ly shoulda stuck with that word. I want to do sections for exactly the reasons you posted.

Thanks for your input. It all helps.

Les
 

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Hi Mik
Did you see the last issue of the Gazette? it had a large scale 4x8 layout that was detailed out the yin-yang. I thought of your layout reading it, as they are almost the same size, might want to check it out, get a few ideas to steal ;)" src="http://www.mylargescale.com/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wink.gif" align="absMiddle" border="0" />

We all have "reach" issues indoors unless you layout is an island setup. I worked real hard on mine to limit reach restricted areas (the inside corners) to exclude switches, tunnels, etc. Everywhere else the reach is reasonable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Vic, don't get the Gazette... I can't even afford to pay my domain renewal this month (and didn't realize it was gonna expire until it simply wasn't there anymore)

Is the article available online?
 

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Sorry the Gazzoo has one of the barest websites around, makes the GR website look like the Encyclopedia Britainica. I'll see if I can make color copies of it, might be tough, even Kinkos now gets really bent out of shape about copyrights when you try to copy things out of magazines...sheesh!
 

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/// The wider 'neck' comment struck home with me: I will have basically a U-shaped layout, with, I hope, room for a narrow center peninsula. My entire space is only 12x22', max. Since I don't envision other people running simultaneously, I hope I can get away with it. That's why I've elected to build in sections, or 'modules', first to figure out what exactly are the demands of this gauge/scale, second to build slowly but well. I truly hadn't considered a 'neck'.


Something about that size of a space and indoor G scalers...my space was 11 x 27 to start with, now that I knocked that wall out, part of it is 15 feet wide. Vics is a little smaller than yours, `Apple Yankee' has a space about the same size as mine, as do several other posters here. From that size range (roughly 10 - 14 wide by 20 - 28 feet long) the lines either `jump up' to fill in entire basements or `jump down' to about Mics size (5 x 8 plus spur).

As to the center peninsula bit...if the track does even an R1 loop on it, then the peninsula has to be five feet wide at that point, which would leave you about 3.5 feet to the wall on either side, assuming it was centered. That would leave room for a couple of 2 foot wide aisles at those points and about a foot and a half width for the wall sections.
 
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after planning for about a year, how to make a double decker layout with the two decks connected, i recently gave up. my layout now will be a KISS affair. three foot high (and maybe later a five foot high second deck without interconnection)
it will be a U with five foot diameter points. the four foot diameter curves at the points will be hidden by mountains (with access from below) against the wall the layout will not be deeper than three foot.(that is my max-reach without my belly destroying the foreground)

korm
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Thinker,


No loop on center peninsula. If I don't content myself w. 'backwards running', I'll put in a turntable. That should give me a narrow but useful place for an industry plus an aisle on each side.

Les
 

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Korm,

Yours and my mind are running in similar channels. I really like the 20s era light rail freight & catenary, seems a neat challenge to build an operating overhead wire. But I also want a backwoods SL centered roughly 1875. I just can't make a good meld in my head between those situations. But no spiral for me. I guess it'd be an interesting build, too, but then I'd have to consider doubleheading with my small motive power, and I just don't want to go there. Perhaps someday I'll reconsider.

Heh, I also think we have similar waist dimensions. I believe it's from horseback riding, not beer. Honest. Yes I do.


Les
 

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Thinker,

Another consideration for layout shape, especially in my case, was not only reach but other obstructions (oil tank, furnace, hot and cold water pipes in the ceiling joists, access to traps for the toilets, dishwasher and sewer pipes). I wrapped all my 3/4" and 1/2" hot and cold water pipes with foam insulation. The cold water pipes "sweat" when water flows through them. As "Murphy" engineered it, two tracks are directly under those pipes.

Jan
 
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Les,

my waist diameter results from not having changed my eating habits, when i changed from cowpuncher to officedesk-jockey.
one could call it a BB (barbequ-belt)

i did not think about spirals, but (background)ramps. but i would need 48 foot of ramp, to gain 2' 2". (for my bachmann 4-6-0 that is. the stainzes need about two thirds of that)

my chosen area is loosely somewhere post-civil war to the 1880ies. (with lots of liberties*)
maybe, that i will make the possible second deck a modern time "southamerica". - that would allow for modern motorvehicles and houses beside oldtime railroads.

korm

ps: (*) liberties - invoking, what the brits call "rule 8"
rule 8: it is my railway, i do as i please. - if it does not please you, please leave.
(heard it with more direct expressions too)
 

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Posted By kormsen on 11/15/2008 7:00 AM
Les,

my waist diameter results from not having changed my eating habits, when i changed from cowpuncher to officedesk-jockey.
one could call it a BB (barbequ-belt)

/// Uh, my belt isn't to keep my pants up-- it's a fence around a chicken graveyard.


i did not think about spirals, but (background)ramps. but i would need 48 foot of ramp, to gain 2' 2". (for my bachmann 4-6-0 that is. the stainzes need about two thirds of that)

///What about switchbacks? I read where they're pretty useful, and prototypical.

my chosen area is loosely somewhere post-civil war to the 1880ies. (with lots of liberties*)
maybe, that i will make the possible second deck a modern time "southamerica". - that would allow for modern motorvehicles and houses beside oldtime railroads.

korm

ps: (*) liberties - invoking, what the brits call "rule 8"
rule 8: it is my railway, i do as i please. - if it does not please you, please leave.
(heard it with more direct expressions too)

////I like rule 8

Les
 

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Les,

One of my "layout schemes" was point to point. The center island was at 50", the switch back was going to be 10-12" higher.

I finally settled on this plan, no ups and downs, track is all the same level.

I have catenary installed on the entire layout, I figured I needed a minimum of 9 1/2 to 10 inches of clearance between tracks to change levels. When I calculated the distance required to stay at a 2 to 3 % grade, well the layout area just was not big enough.


Other track schemes





Jan
 

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Jan,

My layout will be entirely PP. Not enough room, for one thing. Now, I'm interested in early lite rail with overhead wire because some/much of the rolling stock & motors seems so unusual-looking, what with the pantographs and poles. I haven't done a thing on figuring grades because my benchwork isn't even up. 10" clearance sounds pretty minimal as it is.

I'm really new at this stuff but the research has been great. I've met a number of very nice people who've been willing to explain several times over if necessary, how scales are figured, for one thing off the top of my head.

Thanks for the input.

Les
 
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