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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the planning stages of adding a 18' wide x 40' long building to the back of my Garage.
This will be for a layout only. I was wondering if anyone had thoughts about what color the ceiling should be, lighting (Track, Spots, Can, etc.
I would like to do floor to ceiling scenrey as well. I have been outdoors for a long time. Now my knees are not what they used to be.
thanks,
scott-
 

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Hi there , welcome

Honestly, if it was mine and the layout was wrapped along the outside walls, for ceiling I would use a commercial T-bar lay-in ceiling system with fluorescent tube lights for the general lighting, but a hard ceiling valance of drywall painted whatever sky color you plan to use, I would also use the overhanging valance to hold tube fluorscent lights or a string of spots that would light the layout below as well as wash the backdrop in light. Tube fluorescents give the most even spread of light but can effect the color appearances of things so using tubes that favor a more yellow tint light would be the best choise as opposed to the usual harsh white light tubes tend to give off. Spot downlights are good for accenting specific features but not great for general lighting of the overall space.

This is similar to what I'm doing on my indoor layout, I'm using an overhead storage shelf as the valance on my layout, it will have tube lights mounted along the backside of the outside edge, and will be the direct overhead lights for the layout but will also wash the walls and backdrop.

Good luck
 

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It was hard to see smoke in my shop with all white walls.
 

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Will the garage and room have a flat or gabled roof?
 
If it is a gabled roof, do you use the rafters for storage?
 
Do you intend to insulate either?
 
Your knees sound like my back. I would build a raised layout and use the space underneath for storage. No body gathers more stuff than a model railroader, and a raised layout is a lot easier on the knees and back.
 
Unless you are running trains way over your head, a white ceiling would not get noticed, especially if you use a light valance, but it would help reflect light.
 
Try to keep the colors light. The brighter the room, the better you will feel indoors.
 

 

 
As you can see by these photos, black is not a good color to use in a room, especially if you are used to being outdoors. Someday I will get around to re-painting that black panel green.
 
My first switch panel was painted white, then the track guide masked off, then the panel painted black as shown. When the masking tape was removed the black paint had bled underneath and the tape lifted off some off the paint. It was far easier to add white tape as my track guide to a switch panel painted green. The tape can be peeled off if there is a mistake, or changed as the railway changes.

We live, we learn. But why does it always have to be the hard way?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The Garage will not be insulated. The Layout buliding will be insulated.
I was thinking of a "L" shape: 40' Long x 8' wide. The small part of the "L" will be about 5' wide and 18' Long
I would like to have to seperate loops. Inside loop would be shays and such and very rugged looking.
Outside loop would be for passenger or larger locos, maybe early desiel. Don't know if I could get a K27 or Mallet around the outside loop.
I am also planning to do some floor to ceiling scenery in some areas.
Some of my work was pictured in the Getting Started in Garden Railroading book.
I'm not sure on benchwork though either. Any suggestions would be welcome.
I am 6'5 and 300lbs. I need somtinhg I could walk/lean on that would hold me as well as the trains.
 

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It would be nice to see a tentative track plan of your proposed layout within the context of the building into which it will be constructed.
 

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I am also planning to do some floor to ceiling scenery in some areas.

For Gods sake whatever you do, dont go finding a copy of Kalmbachs book "Modeling with John Allen", your marraige will be over once you see what he did "floor to ceiling" /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif

I'm 6' and 250 and I built my benchwork like a regular workbench, 1x4 framing with a full plywood deck. It supports my carcass. The track is just screwed to the deck and the stringers for the elevated sections are also just mounted right on the plywood, its very straight forward. 

For transitions from level to grade you could use the "cookie cutter" approach, lay out the track where the transition to grade will be, mark it with a marking pen and use a jigsaw to cut the plywood, leaving the level end of the track uncut then pull up the other end where the track transitions to grade, use small blocks or shims to support it. Sounds harder than it is.

Try to avoid steep grades unless you really really like them;)
 

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Scott,

Good comments here but may I add a slightly different approach.  Being a large man (like me /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif) and not being physically agile, you may want to re-consider building anything you have to get up on a walk across to retrieve derailed trains, fix a stubborn turnout, or to service the scenery.  I would advise against it.  The beauty of your new building allows you to design a layout that permits you to access your entire layout while standing on the floor.

To do that, the layout benchwork should be more shelf-like with wider areas only where you need return loops (at either end of a very long, bent dogbone).  You can even build a double dogbone with inner and outer loops for two-train operations, yet maintain no wider than 4 foot platforms along most of the run.  You could bump out an area in the middle for some additional trackage, scenery or whatever, but wherever it is wider than 4 feet, you will need an access hatch to come up from underneath to reach the back.  The back corner of then "L" would naturally be deeper to allow 8 foot or larger radius curves, but other than the  ends, that would be the exception.

Consider the modular layouts that we all see at the large scale trains shows. They are all built on narrow sections but scenicked to the max.  What I am advocating is a bit deeper than those modular units but I am sure you get the idea.

This does not limit your design possibilities at all. Consider many highly detailed raised platform G scale pikes that have been featured in GR and other mags - many of them they have long, straight narrow sections where the viewer can ge up close and see everything.  Also consider that most prototype railroads do not have many sections of their right-of-way other than freight yards that are more than a few tracks wide.  You can use grades and elevation to provide visual seperation of rear tracks from tracks next to the front edge of the benchwork.  And no one says you have to keep all tracks ruler-straight on the long sections either.  A bit of lazy curving back and forth can add visual interest especially if in a rural setting.

I encourage you to consider a plan where both you the operator and viewers alike can step up and see the trains closely and not have the trains 7 feet away at the back of a deep platform where they can lose the "wow" effect because they are visually smaller.  It will also make your gradual progress much easier as you can stand on the floor or sit on a high stool to work on a section and still reach the back. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue2.gif

Oh, and to freply to, your original question, I agree with the flat black ceiling - make it visually disappear, but I prefer soft incandescent floods that can be dimmed down for those twilight or night running.  That means you will spend some time lighting your buildings, trackside areas, city streets, etc.  You will definitely want to be able to reduce ambient light for night ops.  Also, my favorite lighting is indirect - where lighting is both behind the mountains for twilight/sundown effects, and also overhead but behind baffles to conceal the point sources.

Food for thought.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for your comment Al, that makes alot of sense. I have one Knee that is shot. And the other one is on its way to being there. Is there any place I can check these types of track plans? I would like to have the feel of rocky mountains.
 
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Scott,

i am confronting just the same questions, as you do.

my wife told me: KISS! (keep it simple, stupid!) - so that is, what i am trying.

i think, in the end i will sacrifice some room for "behind the scene" access. meaning, to leave about a foot and a half of space between background and wall. (and hoping not to get even fatter)

korm
.
 

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Scott
I agree with Al, Build modular units that are not to wide so you can reach almost to the back while standing on the floor. Keep them along the outside of the room and you have big enough radius to run most anything. Modular units allow for a lot easier removal of layout with little effort when the time comes to dismantal your layout with out destroying all your work. My first Ho-scale layout was built permanently and is still in my rental property's garage. It will basically be ruined when taken down. I also built it to wide and was a pain to work on and to crawl around underneath it. My latest Ho-scale layout is along the wall and is only 28 inches wide except for the ends where it turns around. I ALSO BUILT IT IN MODULAR SECTIONS so it can be removed in sections. I like it SOOOOOOO MUCH BETTER. Easy access is a priority when you get older, stiffer, sorrer, wider, poorer eye site, and every thing else that comes with age.
Good Luck & Happy Railroading!!!!!!
 

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I'd go with sky-blue walls and a white ceiling. The white, especially if you use flat white, will reflect much more light downwards. So you won't need as many light fixtures as you would with a black ceiling. I'd also go for full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs, too. They're also known as 'daylight' bulbs.
SandyR
 

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Scott,

I read your post with interest.  It's hard to give you advice without knowing your intentions for the layout.  

Do you want to run trains in loops, or truely operate them with friends, setting out and picking up cars, etc.?

A variation on your L shaped layout would be a T with the top of the T against the 18' wall and the base runing down the middle of the room to within say 3' of the opposite end.  If you used say 5' radius curves the base of the T would be 10 - 11feet  wide, thus leaving 3 1/2 feet passage on each side to the walls.  this could easily yeild 100+ feet of mainline on one level, and much more if you climb to multiple levels.  If you put a barrier wall down the middle of the base of the T, it would screen off view of the opposite side of the T base and allow you many possibilities.  This would also allow reversing loopsat the bottom of the T.  This would also maximize use of the space, and avoid any duck-unders.

You have much more width than what I had in my first indoor layout, so your possibilities are tremendous.  I had about 600 feet track, 125 feet of hidden storage, and lots of set out sidings in roughly 3 levels in 36' by 14'.  That extra 4 feet of room width is extremely critical.  I can imagine several other additions to what I proposed above to add simple yards and staging of trains to run at different times.

Structural strength:  I use 2 x 4s and 2 x 6s, and have learned the hard way that road base must be 3/4" plywood - otherwise I end up with poorly supported track resulting in dips and peaks causing the couplers to uncouple.  Poor operation kills the fun of indoor operation.


John Emerson
Late Start & Never Finish RR
Amarillo, TX

BTW, does anybody have any idea about how many people are modeling G Gauge Indoors??  When I started indoor modeling in Houston in 1990, I knew one other modeler, Barry Bogs in Houston, TX.   Over the years I have met about 4 others.  This group really got my interest when I found it, because it discusses Indoor G Gauge.  So, is there a listing of Indoor G Gauge Operators, so we might even visit each other, etc. ??
 

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Posted By Scott Johnson on 02/13/2008 9:48 AM
Thanks for your comment Al, that makes alot of sense. I have one Knee that is shot. And the other one is on its way to being there. Is there any place I can check these types of track plans? I would like to have the feel of rocky mountains.


Scott here is just an example of what could fit into your 40' x 18' space although this uses 3 walls instead of 2.  It is larger than what you described but it does illustrate what could fit around the perimeter but still allow you to reach most of the track without climbing.  Obviously the rear of the corners will require a footstool or a hatch, or you could build the benchwork so as to leave a triangular space open in the apex of each corners.  

Of course this is two continuous loops as opposed to point-to-point which some prefer for more hands-on operations.  The trolly line could be omitted whicih would provide more space for scenery / buildings etc. plus eliminate the necessity for grades.  Grades however will add interest and visually seperate the rear tracks from the front.  I created this in RR-Track(TM) ver 4.02 and can send you the file if you want to make changes.

Al
 

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Posted By Al McEvoy on 02/16/2008 6:15 PM
Posted By Scott Johnson on 02/13/2008 9:48 AM
Scott here is just an example of what could fit into your 40' x 18' space although this uses 3 walls instead of 2.  It is larger than what you described but it does illustrate what could fit around the perimeter but still allow you to reach most of the track without climbing. 

Great plan for a small area, although it sure doesn't leave much room for structures.
 

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Posted By LSNF RR on 02/16/2008 1:35 PM

BTW, does anybody have any idea about how many people are modeling G Gauge Indoors??  When I started indoor modeling in Houston in 1990, I knew one other modeler, Barry Bogs in Houston, TX.   Over the years I have met about 4 others.  This group really got my interest when I found it, because it discusses Indoor G Gauge.  So, is there a listing of Indoor G Gauge Operators, so we might even visit each other, etc. ??


It aint many of us to be sure, large scale just doesnt naturally lend itself to indoors because of the sizes and areas involved. Layouts seam to be either full basements or full room size layouts, or little tuck-into-whatever-spare-corner type layouts.
 

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Posted By blackburn49 on 02/18/2008 11:28 PM
Posted By Al McEvoy on 02/16/2008 6:15 PM
Posted By Scott Johnson on 02/13/2008 9:48 AM
Scott here is just an example of what could fit into your 40' x 18' space although this uses 3 walls instead of 2.  It is larger than what you described but it does illustrate what could fit around the perimeter but still allow you to reach most of the track without climbing. 

Great plan for a small area, although it sure doesn't leave much room for structures.


You could always hide part of the dbl track behind a line of building facades, using the "area" behind the building face for the track. Just got to be a litle more creative in how the scenery and buildings would fit together.


this being the main idea, where dk grey is roadway, blue is building facades where the roof covers the track, green being the scenery which also doubles up behind the facades to give a greater sense of depth.  
Just my ideas, nothing binding ya know /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif
 

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Excellent work Victor! Great to see some creative minds at work!

Scott - As I mentioned, by eliminating the trolly line (it is easily deleted) there is more space between the tracks for structures and scenery. If it is a true mountain setting, you really wouldn't want many large structures anyway (maybe a coal mine or a lumber mill?) outside the end loops where the towns could be placed. Plus - and you can use your imagination here - you can build some gentle curves into the long straights to create some wider areas between the tracks or between tracks and walls for structures. I used sectional track in a quick design, but the use of flex track allows infinite variations on this or any plan.

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #20
These plans look pretty good, I would like to do some floor to ceiling scenary as well in some areas. I have quite a few Bulidungs from my outdoor layout that I had about 5 years ago. I might try to sell off some. I was thinking... if I did go 8ft. deep in an area, I could make it a lake that would drop down from underneith or even a large stcokyard. Thanks for the help and getting my brain going. I am used to having an outside layout which meant no boundries so this will take a awhile for me to plan. Would you suggest I solder joints? or use Railclamps?
 
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