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Small before large?


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#1 Nick_Burman

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:30 PM

Hi all,

For the past 5 months or so I've been "in the bush" (or in the outback, as the Aussies would put it), working for an engineering company engaged in regional planning for a water transfer and irrigation scheme. I've brought along a loop of Kato track and my N scale Japanese trains (+ some HOn30... it's nice to be able to run two scales on the same track... :grin), which I set up every weekend on a kitchen table in my lodgings. However I've been feeling an urge to have a proper layout... were I at home I would be considering a "large" layout made of a (large) series of (double or treble-length) T-Track modules, however since I'm not in my "base" this would be cumbersome to cart around (given that a) it's a temporary contract, all going OK I'll be staying till April 2013 and B) after it expires I don't know where I'll be going next). So, while the "big 'un" doesn't leave the drawing board, I'm considering a self-standing, portable, small layout to keep the interest up. I would like to hear if this is a viable idea or not. For lack of any better ideas the trackplan that so far has caught my fancy is the one used by Alvin in his "Nekotani" layout, what dou you guys think about it?

Cheers NB

Je ne garde pas ma langue dans ma poche...

 

(Marc de Caso, SNCF steam locomotive designer)


#2 marknewton

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 04:41 AM

Nick I think it's a great idea. It will keep you interested, and let you develop methods and techniques for the big layout.

One thing though, we also use the term "bush" here, but not always interchangeably with outback.  :grin

Cheers, from the 'donga',

Mark.

The further we go and the older we grow,
The more we know the less we show.

 

http://www.flickr.co...s/94424961@N00/


#3 Bernard

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:24 AM

I agree it is a great idea. Each time I made a layout I learned from my mistakes....now after seeing what other members have planned out their layouts, I see ideas I would like to use in my next layout. Also by having a smaller layout it keeps you active in the hobby, and you're always planning the next one.  :grin

#4 KenS

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:01 PM

I think it's a great idea. One of the problems I have with the "big" layout is that I want to do everything "just right", and that tends to make me work slowly.  With a smaller layout, every task is smaller and, at least for me, there's less of a sense of "what if I do it wrong?" about making decisions (which, unfortunately, hasn't helped my small tram layout make much progress this year).

A small layout can still be lots of fun, and it's going to look more done more quickly than a big one ever would. And as the others have noted, it's a great way to add or polish your skills.
Sumida Crossing An N-Scale Japanese-Themed Urban Railroad

#5 Martijn Meerts

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:33 AM

You can also design the small one in such a way that it can be the basis for the large one once you have space, or became part of a larger one.
Mixed Japanese N-scale: http://www.jr-chiisai.net
Era III German 0-scale: http://blackforest.jr-chiisai.net

#6 to2leo

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:33 AM

T-Trak comes to mind!

#7 Nick_Burman

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:00 PM

T-Trak comes to mind!


Indeed, however I'm looking for something more "monocoque", if you understand. The idea of carting modules around the "bush" is a bit out of the question now. T-Track is definitively on my plans - but for the "big 'un", to be made out of a series of double or treble-length modules (so I can have some decent scenery on top).

Cheers NB

Je ne garde pas ma langue dans ma poche...

 

(Marc de Caso, SNCF steam locomotive designer)


#8 Nick_Burman

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:17 PM

You can also design the small one in such a way that it can be the basis for the large one once you have space, or became part of a larger one.


Indeed, however I'm a bit at a loss for track plans for such ideas. Whatever plan I choose, it has to have two characteristics in particular - a) permit a modicum of prototypical operations (in my case it means single or MU'ed electric cars + short freight trains) and B) permit continuous running (this AFAIK rules out shelf layouts for the time being). If the plan is point-to-point, then it must have a cut-off or connection to allow me to run roundy-roundy*. I have a couple of plans in my mind which fill these conditions, however I could do with some more.

*= point-to-point running is fine, but there are those days when you just want to watch a De + express car trundle round the countryside while you sip a beer...


Cheers NB

Je ne garde pas ma langue dans ma poche...

 

(Marc de Caso, SNCF steam locomotive designer)


#9 bill937ca

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:39 PM

Here`s some track plan ideas from some old archived links no longer on my hard drive.

#1

http://www32.ocn.ne...._TRAIN/plan.jpg

http://www32.ocn.ne....N/B_TRAIN01.htm

#2

http://btrain.dtiblo...category-3.html

#3

http://www5a.biglobe...asu/nbgn_13.htm

#4

http://www.pluto.dti.../n_layout4.html

#5

http://merj.blog3.fc...tegory11-1.html

#6

http://www5a.biglobe...asu/m091023.htm

#7

http://blog.goo.ne.jp/miusical/

#10 Nick_Burman

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 03:28 AM

Thank you very much Bill, however it doesn't have to be that small...:grin anything up to 2' x 4' is OK...

Cheers NB

Je ne garde pas ma langue dans ma poche...

 

(Marc de Caso, SNCF steam locomotive designer)


#11 The_Ghan

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:42 AM

Hi Nick,

Why don't you do two 2'x4' modules as a square to make a short loop and then start making 2'x4' modules to go in the middle one at a time?

Cheers

The_Ghan
Current Life: Christian, Architect, Heritage Architect, JP
Former Life:  MSE (Win NT), DRCAuto Production Manager and programmer for AutoCAD compatible products.
Model Railway Interests (development / financial): nil
Products used: Kato, Tomix, MicroAce, Peco, Hornby, Digitrax, CML, NGDCC

#12 Nick_Burman

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:20 AM

Hi Nick,

Why don't you do two 2'x4' modules as a square to make a short loop and then start making 2'x4' modules to go in the middle one at a time?

Cheers

The_Ghan


Ghan, that is one very good idea, certainly to be taken into consideration. However the difficulty is filling up that 2'x4' space...I'm considering several track plans, however I need to get at my track-planning books (especially the European ones as their plans have more of a Japanese look to it) before I make a decision. Another alternative being considered is to get on with my T-track module (it would be for a terminal station) and connect it to a temporary loop (so I can run roundy-roundy), the loop being relocated as more modules are added to it.


Cheers NB

Je ne garde pas ma langue dans ma poche...

 

(Marc de Caso, SNCF steam locomotive designer)





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