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Discussion Starter #1
This is one of those crazy ideas that folks like me wake up with in the morning and, while drinking coffee, keep thinking about, and finally just have to ask in a forum.


So ... i am totally new to large scale, and i don't know all of the fantastic history of this hobby and i don't know the answer to this question:

Has anyone ever built a large-scale garden layout in which the little figural people have built their own identically-modelled large-scale layout in their own little garden?.

I am NOT asking that the recursive mini-large-scale layout actually run around, only that it exists within an actual large-scale garden layout, which it models as a "prototype."

Yes, it would be very small. I get that. Very, very, very small.

Bonus question for the math-heads --

Exactly HOW small would it be at 1:22.5 or at 1:24 ?

(For instance -- and this is simply one example of how to pose the question -- how small would a Bachmann Annie pulling four Jackson and Sharp passenger/baggage coaches and a bobber caboose be at that self-similar pattern scale?)

If you have ever seen such a tiny self-referential train layout, or crafted one yourself -- PICTURES, PLEASE!

Thanks!
 

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I've seen folks use Z-scale trains (1:220) as miniature backyard railroads, but at 1:22, they scale out to 1:10, so a little over twice as large as "g scale" would be in g scale (1:506). I've not seen anyone model a model of their own railroad, though that would be cool. I thought I saw video of working 1:400 scale trains, but I can't remember where.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, K / East Broad Top!

I carried this post over to Facebook, and received this reply there from an HO scale modeller friend of mine; he does not mention the starting scale, but he gives us a name ...

Charles Porterfield wrote:

*holds his head till the recursive images stops* Yes, it has been done in the 50's by one of the greats of Model Railroading : John Armstrong

Does that ring a bell with anyone?
 

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Well there is 1:480 scale made by Arthur Sherwood of Sydney, Australia.

I also remember seeing a picture in a GR issue in the past year or so of someone who built a garden railroad for their garden railroad. Does this ring a bell for anybody else?
 

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Jack Verducci (sp?), a frequent contributor to Garden Railways magazine, built a Z scale layout in shallow a terra cotta planting pot. The miniature layout represented one of the ride-on scales, complete with an engineer figure astride the locomotive. There may also have been children straddling some of the cars. Jack would take this layout outside on operating days, where it was placed near one of the houses on his garden railroad and operated. He did not leave it in the elements at all times.

There was a photo of it in an issue of GR, but it has been many years since that issue was published.

I have seen others that used N scale equipment to represent amusement park trains on indoor large scale layouts.

Best I can recall at the moment,
David Meashey
 

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I have used "Z" at shows, but never incorporated it outside. My thought is that it would have to be portable, because none of it is weather proof. A dog, deer, or any other two or four footed creature would (could) damage the track.

Chuck
 

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Has anyone ever built a large-scale garden layout in which the little figural people have built their own identically-modelled large-scale layout in their own little garden?.
As Kevin said, making a garden railroad in a garden railroad using Z scale is not uncommon. The Mason Dixon G scalers, who exhibit at the B&O Museum at Xmas, have a module like that, with an extensive garden modeled with lots of euro trains - I have a photo somewhere. 1:10 is a reasonable scale for a ride-on garden layout, and there are some steam engines in Z scale. The ride-on scale for narrow gauge is larger - 2 1/2" scale or 1:4.8 - so an Nn3 steamer is a reasonable size. I have a photo of an Nn3 K-27 on he running board of a Fn3 K-27 somewhere.

There is also the T scale products from Japan, which are 1:450 ( http://www.tgauge.com/ ) ( http://www.t-gauge.net/available.htm ) from Eishindo. This is a 1:22.5 ratio of T (1:450) to F scale. Unfortunately they haven't produced anything but electric/diesel locos.
Intriguingly, Eishindo (I think) produced a version of their tiny diesel configured as a ride-on model, along with some large scale riding carriages. It was sold as a fairground attraction train, I think. But it was O-scale ? Still close enough to be usable.
 

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A little bit more googling and I found this cute little railroad. Again, not a model-of-a-model, but it shows what you can do.

"Eishindo T-Gauge Garden Railway Suitcase Set" is a fairground ride in a suitcase using 1/32nd scale figures and details. (Not O-scale!)






The attache and railroad is special order set # S-002 and sells for about $300 if you can find one.


 

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"G scale for your G scale!" T gauge with LGB Toytrain Porter. I bought a T gauge set when they first came out, as a bit of fun!

 

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If you want to get technical..
T gauge, at 3mm, is the smallest commercial model railroad gauge available today. That's exactly 1/15th of G gauge (45mm). To make an exact model of a G gauge layout using T gauge, the larger layout would have to be a 1/15th scale layout - reasonably close to 7/8n2. Thus, in theory, you could make a working scale model of a 7/8n2 layout as part of the layout.

Until somebody comes out with a smaller working model railroad scale, a fractal layout would have to be static for any scale smaller than 7/8n2. I would suggest 3D printing as the most practical way to do it today.

And in case anybody is interested, the math is simple. The scale of a given fractal layout is an exponential function of the scale. The first iteration is the scale squared, the next smaller version would be the scale cubed, and so on as far as you care to take it. For 1/24, that means 1/576 and 1/13824. For 1/20.3, it's 1/412.09 and 1/8365.427
 

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The local club sets up a holiday train display in the green house at Brookside Gardens, outside Washington DC. in Maryland
They have on the layout a model of the greenhouse you are standing in with a tiny model of the layout in it, all static of course
But clever

Jerry
 

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Has anyone ever built a large-scale garden layout in which the little figural people have built their own identically-modelled large-scale layout in their own little garden?.
Then it hit me. So I have a garden railroad. (Catherine - you listenin' ?) And I make a model of my house somewhere appropriate on the layout. [Which I don't recall anyone doing yet, btw.]
And in the garden of the model of my house, I make a model of my layout - maybe using T-gauge, maybe something else.

In the model garden railroad layout, of the model of my house, is a model of my house with a garden ralroad in the garden . . . .

Talk about recursive - my mind was boggling this afernoon. And what about the model garden of the model house that is in the model of your model house in the garden of your model house in the garden railroad of your actual house. . . . And so adinfinitum.
 

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Great vid!
Anything with MC Escher had to be seen....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, all for the great responses!

Pete Thrnton -- this started for me because i am going to commission a replica of my own 1875 era barn to go in my own layout, and that set me to pondering infinite regressions of self-similar patterns.

There was a tradition of this among German and Moravia Americans, by the way -- connected specifically to Christmas and Christmas trees -- in the same way that small trains are a Christmas tradition -- and this was called "The Christmas House." It is a scale model of the house in which one is standing, depicted as covered with snow. Some Christmas Houses were made of wood, others of glitter-sprinkled pasteboard (putz houses or glitterouses), others of gingerbread. These Christmas House decorations often extended to include the barn, neighboring houses, and so forth, depending on the interest of the person who made the diorama. They were displayed on a table top, under a table-top-sized Christmas tree. And yes, as clockwork and electrified train modelling took off, some did have train layouts incorporated as well.

There was an entire book published on these 19th and early 20th century German American Christmas House lay-outs, filled with vintage B&W home snapshots of the table-top arrays, which had been collected by someone who really considered them an artform and went out of his way to locate the old photos of them. It came out in the 1990s, i believe, and was one of those labour-of-love publications aimed at the collector and hobby world. It was not a mass-market book, alas.

This is what i am talking about, from the 1920s, featuring a little bungalow home:
http://www.familychristmasonline.com/decorating/christmasvillages/history/1920s_putza.jpg

From what i have been told, it was this tradition of scratch building a snow-covered Christmas House version of one's own house for display on a table-top that gave rise to the phenomenon of mass-produced putz houses or glitterhouses, and then to the resin-cast "Christmas Village" buildings and figures, as well as the much-loved table-top Christmas train layouts of our own hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Naptowneng --


Thanks for the links -- very interesting raticles indeed. To me, growing up in California, Christmas Trains also included going to the local hardware store, which ran a huge and ever-changing layout, and just standing there in awe, watching them run around. Berkeley Ace Hardware -- a memory of Lionel greatness.
 

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Yes, the two "big" places to see model trains was Berkeley Hardware, before it was "Aced" and the Emporium's"The Spectacular Train Exhibition" in San Francisco. It was a big deal taking the Key System train across the Bay Bridge for the rooftop carnival during the holidays. I also seem to remember small Christmas displays at the Kahns and maybe Capwells in Oakland. Quite a treat for me as a snot-nosed bumpkin from San Leandro.

Man, am I that old?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, Homo Habilis, you are that old ... and so am i. I am 66 years old and remember Berkeley Hardware before it was "Aced" -- and the other fabulous Bay area model train venues that you mention.

My possibly flawed childhood memory is that Berkeley Hardware also ran a float every year in the annual U.C. Homecoming Parade, and that it carried aboard it a miniature steam locomotive that was of the same size as (and may have been somehow integrated into) the 5" scale Redwood Valley live steam ride-on train in Berkeley's Tilden Park -- the latter having been another huge inspiration for my late-onset garden railroading interests.

http://www.redwoodvalleyrailway.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redwood_Valley_Railway

The No. 11, a 4-6-0 Baldwin type loco, is, of course, my favourite. Perhaps this link will show it to you --

http://cgi-wsc.chi.us.siteprotect.c...bf94179c45bd8712569f885e2c4b63&slideview=true
 
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