Sunday, July 28, 2013

Atlanta 2013 Clinic References

It was another whirlwind week at the NMRA Convention in Atlanta. Seth Neumann and I presented the four-hour Layout Design Bootcamp sponsored by the Layout Design SIG. I also presented a new version of my clinic Realistic Small Switching Layouts: Looking Beyond the Timesaver. Handouts with references are available for both clinics here.

Although I don’t personally think that they are much use on their own without the verbal presentation, by popular demand I have also provided a download for the slides from the Realistic Small Switching Layout clinic on the same page. The Bootcamp presentation itself is large and contains many complex animations which do not translate well to a download, sorry that this will not available.

Thanks to the many Convention attendees who joined us for one or both clinics!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Layout Design Journal Update

The Layout Design Journal continues to be a great source of model railroad layout design ideas and inspiration. Here are the most recent issues, including links where you may download a sampler of a few pages. Join the Layout Design SIG today to receive future issues and other great benefits. Back issues are also available.

Layout Design Journal #50 includes:
- Southern Pacific’s Santa Barbara Subdivision Multideck HO
- Thin Walls: a New Structural Support
- Design Considerations – Realistic Waybill Boxes
- 32-Square-Foot Design Challenge, Part 2 (seven layouts in HO and N)
Download a sampler of LDJ-50 here

Layout Design Journal #49 includes:
- Northern Pacific St. Paul Division – an Armstrong-inspired plan
- The Chicago & Mackinac, Part 2: same layout, half the space
- Designing for Train-Handling Challenges on the Calamity & Uproar
- 32-Square-Foot Design Challenge, Part 1 (five layouts in HO, N, and TTn3)
- LDSIG Activities at NMRA Atlanta 2013
Download a sampler of LDJ-49 here

Layout Design Journal #48 includes:
- Layout Design for “Slow Ops”
- The Chicago & Mackinac, Part 1
- Layout Design SIG at 30 – Personal Reflections by the Founder
- Feeders for “Doorminoes”
- Controls & Human Factors Ideas from SIG Tours
Download a sampler of LDJ-48 here



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"105% Solution" in Model Railroad Planning 2013

I always enjoy having one of my custom model railroad layout designs published in the commercial press. This time, it’s my HO track plan for the Clinchfield Railroad in about 12’X13’ in Model Railroad Planning 2013.

My client wanted the longest possible mainline run for model railfanning and also some resemblance of modeled locations to real-life places. In about 150 square feet, I was stuck for a bit until we hit upon the idea of combining multiple decks with multiple passes around the room. This “105% solution” wound a healthy 2.5+ scale mile mainline into the space.

There was only room for one “blob” (turnback curve), so I doubled up by using the visible layout for a modest suggestion of the famous Clinchfield Loops with a hidden staging loop below. Some scenes, like the yard at Bostic, North Carolina, were fairly accurately rendered, while others don’t resemble their real-life counterparts. Modulating fidelity in this way provides some accurate scenes while allowing more railroad to be packed into a given space.


Click here for a larger view and check out MRP 2013 for the full story.

We even found room for the large desk/workbench the client desired to share the room. The only downside was multiple crossings of the door, but this was OK for him. The layout is now well under construction, with photos published in the article, along with a number of great prototype scenes photographed by MRP Editor Tony Koester.