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gavino200

Road Techniques

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kvp

Actually look at small towns in street view. Where everyone uses a car but there are no extra space for a private parking lot. It's either just a white line to mark the pedestrian area or the aforementioned white pattern to mark where customers could park.

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IST

Thanks for the replies and help!

It seems to me that this is a typical situation, where I should have think first and act second, but I was pretty sure that there are some kind of parking places in Japan also.

As I looked your links and Google pictures in most cases there are parking places as part of the road with white paintings or there is a separated area next to the road, but no such thing what I imagined. I think I will paint white rectangles just before the shops. Or paint the road lighter grey there (so it would look it is not part of the road) and put cars diagonally.

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kvp

I would suggest the first as afaik the bus has to fit through that road too.

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ben_issacs

Folks, 

One thing that should be noted about roads is that in full size, they are not fully flat, but have a slight cross camber to drain rain off to the side gutters.

Not easy to replicate in model form.

Also, where a side road come into a main road the two intersecting cambers and the gutters get a bit complicated.

Have a look at your local street.

Regards, 

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

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cteno4

While prototypical, won’t be noticeable at maybe 1mm slope across a roadway at 1:150.

 

jeff

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gavino200
13 hours ago, ben_issacs said:

Folks, 

One thing that should be noted about roads is that in full size, they are not fully flat, but have a slight cross camber to drain rain off to the side gutters.

Not easy to replicate in model form.

Also, where a side road come into a main road the two intersecting cambers and the gutters get a bit complicated.

Have a look at your local street.

Regards, 

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

 

Do you have a method for this technique? Can you post some pictures of the effect?

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ben_issacs

Gavino200,

Sorry, I just take the easy way out and use flat painted roads.

A camber might be represented by slightly curving a thin cardboard strip, but that couldn't work for the intersections or curves.

Extruded plastic could work, but not for curves.

The only other method that I can think of is laying some sort of plaster or setting putty and form the camber on this with a  piece of plastic sheet the edge of which is shaped to the camber as a strickle and draw this along the plaster.Again, complications at intersections.

A lot of work for a limited effect.

Someone more expert than I might come up with a solution.

 Regards, 

Bill.

Melbourne.

 

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cteno4

the only way you could really model this would be in plaster, but again trying to get a 0.5-1mm crest would be damn hard to do. plaster roads are a pain in the beginning to just get smoothed out well and clean and very messy.

 

The big thing with details like this is we experience them in real life from very different perspectives and distances than viewing a layout. A lot of our perception of details like this on a layout are heavily influenced by our minds eye. this is made up of all the memories we have of things and our brains will default to filling in the details from memory a lot of the time and not from our actual visual picture. we look at layouts at scale distances of 150'+ (ie more than a foot away from them), while a lot of our visual memory of our mind's eye is much closer up on things like this. Roads are something our mind had locked in at a very oblique angle (ie standing on the road looking along or across it) and pretty up close. we do look at roads from distances some but all our concentrated actions and behaviors are up close and personal and tend to rule. a good example are sidewalk edges. a 1:150 scale side walk is 1mm high max. look at a scale 1mm high sidewalk from 2' away and it looks way too short in height at the edge. This is because again our minds eye is really use to dealing with sidewalks up close and they look big to us, we rarely look at a sidewalk from a couple hundred feet away to see them in perspective as small. also our angle of view on a layout scene is usually from above so it makes the sidewalk edge look even smaller than a flat on view we usually have in real life with them. usually doing the side walks at something like 2mm looks better from a distance on the layout but is like 1' high and can then get goofy with people standing in the gutter and cars up against the curb. its a trade off and something to always think about in doing a scene at scale if you want to see if there are things that can work with the minds eye at viewing distances or fight with the minds eye that can make the mind go tilt and not fill in a better image in the viewer's mind.

 

in cambering roads i doubt you would see a scale camber at a foot or two. boosting it up to get the eye to see it and thus kick in the minds eye more may get too extreme looking. in this case i think keeping the road flat and doing other details that the minds eye can pick up on like oil stains, drains, manhole covers, marking, etc may spark the minds eye a lot more to make up for the lack of any correct camber. if there are no gutters and curbs then raising the road up some and putting a little more dramatic camber on the side of the road may spark the mind's eye for camber as well and fill it in.

 

I love the minds eye as what we actually see and what we perceive we see are really not the same!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

the only way you could really model this would be in plaster, but again trying to get a 0.5-1mm crest would be damn hard to do. plaster roads are a pain in the beginning to just get smoothed out well and clean and very messy.

 

The big thing with details like this is we experience them in real life from very different perspectives and distances than viewing a layout. A lot of our perception of details like this on a layout are heavily influenced by our minds eye. this is made up of all the memories we have of things and our brains will default to filling in the details from memory a lot of the time and not from our actual visual picture. we look at layouts at scale distances of 150'+ (ie more than a foot away from them), while a lot of our visual memory of our mind's eye is much closer up on things like this. Roads are something our mind had locked in at a very oblique angle (ie standing on the road looking along or across it) and pretty up close. we do look at roads from distances some but all our concentrated actions and behaviors are up close and personal and tend to rule. a good example are sidewalk edges. a 1:150 scale side walk is 1mm high max. look at a scale 1mm high sidewalk from 2' away and it looks way too short in height at the edge. This is because again our minds eye is really use to dealing with sidewalks up close and they look big to us, we rarely look at a sidewalk from a couple hundred feet away to see them in perspective as small. also our angle of view on a layout scene is usually from above so it makes the sidewalk edge look even smaller than a flat on view we usually have in real life with them. usually doing the side walks at something like 2mm looks better from a distance on the layout but is like 1' high and can then get goofy with people standing in the gutter and cars up against the curb. its a trade off and something to always think about in doing a scene at scale if you want to see if there are things that can work with the minds eye at viewing distances or fight with the minds eye that can make the mind go tilt and not fill in a better image in the viewer's mind.

 

in cambering roads i doubt you would see a scale camber at a foot or two. boosting it up to get the eye to see it and thus kick in the minds eye more may get too extreme looking. in this case i think keeping the road flat and doing other details that the minds eye can pick up on like oil stains, drains, manhole covers, marking, etc may spark the minds eye a lot more to make up for the lack of any correct camber. if there are no gutters and curbs then raising the road up some and putting a little more dramatic camber on the side of the road may spark the mind's eye for camber as well and fill it in.

 

I love the minds eye as what we actually see and what we perceive we see are really not the same!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Yes, the camber of a road looks massive through the windscreen of a car, but you don't see it at all through the window of a helicopter. Given my road making experience, lack of camber will be far from being the least convincing element. I wasn't actually considering trying to camber my roads. But if someone mentions a technique, I'll pretty much always ask for a method and an example. I'm not just being obnoxious about it - "Show me the money". I actually find these things interesting and usually learn from other peoples work even when I don't plan on duplicating it. 

 

I think the same is true about inclines in general. I never realized how low the gradient of roads really is, even going over hills. I started reading about road inclines when I was planning building a "raised city" over my tunnel. The gradient I was planning was far in excess of the world record actual road incline. I've been trying to reconcile this as I've been driving. For example, through the windscreen I see a hill and it looks like I'm facing a steep gradient. But if I turn quickly and look through the side window, I see that the gradient is usually quite slight. Even mountains are a lot flatter than they look through the windscreen or on the horizon.

 

When I thought I would need to incline my city, I gave a great deal of thought to the problem. It's actually a very difficult thing to do. Which is why the vast majority of modeled cities are completely flat. I've collected about thirty examples of modeled city inclines and they are all clearly by master level modelers. It's unusual to see a street "in real life" that is completely flat. Structures on real streets have been build on artificial roadside plains, and the facade is sort of sunken into the rising street -  ie the ground floor front wall is taller on one end of the building than on the other. Adjusting model structures to fit this pattern is extremely tough without scratch building. I'm not even nearly ready to tackle the problem. All I would be able to do would be a common workaround consisting of a kind of terraced urban area with connected plateaus. Or another work around is tho create the illusion of varying height by varying the building heights themselves. 

 

But because I've thought about it, and I see how tough it is, I do want to go for this effect sometime in the future. Maybe when I retire. My mind's eye used to not notice the flatness of model cities. But having become a little obsessed with the issue, it's almost the first thing I notice in a modeled city. It seems that what the mind's eye sees changes as our understanding changes. 

 

Thanks for the discussion of the sidewalk height. I had been imagining a much bigger scale height than 1mm but that makes sense. 

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cteno4

Yeah it’s odd how our perception is influenced from perspective and distance. Then you scale it and it really mucks things up!

 

best to experiment with things like sidewalks and such to see what gives the best effect for the main perspective and distance it may be viewed on the layout. These things can fight like people standing next to a curb,so it’s always the compromise.

 

the big issue is layouts are almost always highly compressed for space reasons so it ends up in compromises. Many times the compression can work towards your advantage with the mind’s eye as well as choosing scenes that work well with compression. Usually this is using very dense scenes so the mind’s eye expects a lot jammed into a small area, but even big expansive scenes can do some amazing things at scale with selective compression.

 

Flatland is a big problem as you say as the real real world is never completely flat with buildings and roads, nor straight! Again mind’s eye can sometimes help here. Something like one building being a step or two up from the sidewalk might trigger the idea of things going up and down even with the road flat. Or even a slightly sloped road along a road with stair stepping of the buildings. The sidewalk and building interface don’t have to be perfect as again the mind’s eye will take over here if triggered correctly and give the impression of more real than may be there to the viewer! Squid did this well on a sloped street with stairstepped houses and the effect was great even with a simple interface to the roadway.

 

it is fun when you start to look at the world thru the mind’s eye.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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kvp
3 hours ago, cteno4 said:

Yeah it’s odd how our perception is influenced from perspective and distance. Then you scale it and it really mucks things up!

This is why i like to watch trains from higher up places, which is similar to the view of a modell layout. When i was a little kid, i always looked at the trains from the bridge across the Western railway station in Budapest. When you are standing there, you are at the same height as the main switch tower operators a few meters away at the end of the longest platform. From there the whole station looks like a big modell layout. Nowdays you can also go to the top of the roof of the Westend shopping center built above the suburban tracks. This allows a 45 degree down view to the long distance and diesel platforms. (the museum trains and the simplon orient usually use the old royal waiting hall track next the switch tower) The perspective and level of detail is completly different from when you are standing on the platforms. For the Southern station, i usually use the bridge next to its tower as you can see the whole station from there and all trains head on across the turnouts. For the Eastern station, the nearest road bridge is behind a curve, so i can only use the shopping center roof, luckly that one has a legally accessible roof garden. You can also get a good birdseye view of the Kobanya-Kispest station from the roof of the shopping center there. Afaik it's also common in Japan to have shopping centers next to or partially above stations, which allows a nice spot for viewing trains as you would on a layout.

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nah00

One other thing I've noticed that breaks up the illusion of 'flat land' (at least in Japanese model railroading) is the fact you can have a 10-story building right next to a 2-story one and it doesn't like out of place - your urban area becomes your landscape so to speak. It's less in North American style layouts since you see mostly 1, 2 or the occasional 3-story building - there's really nothing to give a sense of scale. Plus even a little difference (I cut a piece of 1" foam insulation to put my shrine on in the middle of my city) can really make building stand out and also makes it so you can't see everything from one angle (the apartments from the back side will pretty much be hidden once I finish the landscaping). 

 

In regards to grades on roads too I've found that you have to be willing to compromise - I have one that I'm pretty sure is close to 40% but it doesn't look like it's that steep - it's all in how it's incorporated into the layout. Since the grade on some track inclines on a model railroad is an engine-exploding 4% I tend to go for 'what looks right' when it comes to roads. 

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cteno4

Yes you are spot on nah! I’ve found this doing the old JRM layout and 25 Ttrak over the years as we set the urban building up on the fly each time as the club did not own the buildings and transporting in place on modules is tough. It’s been fun to play with building changes and making the scene undulate with the building sequence.

 

yeah even the steepest street in San Francisco is like 31% but you could swear it is vertical when going over the edge or having to stop at an intersection with a clutch going up hill! 

 

cheers

 

jeff

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marknewton

Jeff’s comments about perception ring true with me. Back when I modelled a US interurban road I tried building a section of street track. I used Das air-drying clay to form the street surface, using a former made of sheet aluminium to make the camber. After a lot of faffing around I managed to get a prototypical amount of camber, but it just didn’t look right. And carving the paving stones nearly drove me mad, and they didn’t look right either. To top it off the clay started to crack and shrink after a while, so I chiseled it all off and remade the street flat, using patching plaster. Which looked 200% better...

 

The layout featured on this forum thread shows how effective streets and street track can be:

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/38591-quai87/

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

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