Author Topic: layout planning, how do you do it?  (Read 5314 times)

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tom mann

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layout planning, how do you do it?
« on: November 05, 2007, 09:56:08 AM »
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So I'm working on building 2 6-8' modules about 16-20" wide attached at a right angle*.  I want to model Los Angeles Junction's operations** along the LA river.  I'm using Google Earth and Microsoft's Bird's Eye view to see where their tracks and what industries they serve.  But, how do you take this "real life" stuff and transpose it to two shelfs?  It may sound like a funny question, but I find it difficult to take this first step.  Any ideas?


*Similar to Lance Mindheim's Miami layout.
**in ho scale, because of the available CF7s and palm trees. :)

Pomperaugrr

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 10:59:08 AM »
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Tom, my new approach is to take specific locations and model the actual track arrangements, from track diagrams and Google Earth.  Honestly, I use actual track and pin it in place to try out the track placement on the layout.  I am limiting the number of industries, because I want the model version to take the same number of cars as the proto locations.  That helped get me away from the freelanced nightmare that had me stuck for years.  I am using selective compression in reducing the space between the industries and towns, but leaving industrial trackage as close to scale as possible.  I'll sketch out ideas, but I don't bother with a scale plan, in advance.  I go by the track diagrams and satellite photos as my guide.

Eric

wm3798

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 11:16:51 AM »
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Just do it.  Stop analyzing to death, and just do it.

I also agree... start with a proto location you like, and work out the rest around it.  My layout actually started with a scene I haven't built yet... the Cumberland Station.  But from there I was able to develop the overall track plan.  The part I've built so far is the critical physical plant that I needed to engineer first, but all of it was secondary to the initial vision.

Sooner or later, Cumberland will get built and I know pretty much how the rest will go once that's in.

Is this in N, or have you adopted yet another scale?  If larger than N, I would caution against starting with something as potentially congested as the LA river.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

lv4142003

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 11:35:22 AM »
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Didn't Model Railroader have an article about the LAJ and a track plan a few years ago? Might be something to start with! Joe Hueber <lv4142003>

3rdrail

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 11:53:45 AM »
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Didn't Model Railroader have an article about the LAJ and a track plan a few years ago? Might be something to start with! Joe Hueber <lv4142003>

The Los Angeles Junction Railway
Model Railroader, March 1996 page 84
( LAJ, RAILROAD, SHORTLINE,  TRACKPLAN, "YOUNGBLOOD, PETER",  PROTOTYPE, HO, MR )

TiVoPrince

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2007, 01:40:14 PM »
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Los Angeles Junction
former SP/ATSF operations on the concrete sides of the "mighty" Los Angeles River or the real 'LAJ' down in the harbour?  Both have very specific charms...
Support fine modeling

ednadolski

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2007, 02:50:17 PM »
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I save the Google image to a .jpg, then import it into RTS and start putting track over it.  For compressing the scenes, one could break up the full prototype image(s) in Photoshop, resize/rotate/mirror as needed, then import and position as desired.   Sometimes the hardest part is prioritizing what will have to be included vs. left out.

If you go with a standard width like 18" or 24" then you could use flat panel hollow core doors.

Don't forget to allow for staging  :)

HTH
Ed

Chris333

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2007, 03:27:07 PM »
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I like to draw things out full size on rolls of newsprint.  Start off with one of each turnout and trace them, use center lines for everything else.

John

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2007, 03:33:21 PM »
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I just build ..

ednadolski

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 03:36:18 PM »
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I don't do this as much now that there is all this  software, but the other thing is to make full-size photocopies of track & turnouts and lay those out to build a full-sized mockup.

Chris333

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2007, 03:56:33 PM »
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Oh yeah you can also use the Fast Track template library to print out full sized turnouts. They even have HOe gauge:
http://www.handlaidtrack.com/category.php?id=337&link_str=334::337

pfs

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2007, 04:44:35 PM »
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I am/was in a similar situation. I decided to do something I vowed I would never do. Scrap my current 'unfinished' layout. Mindheim's layout was one of the inspirations for me to do so.

I am going to hog most of 3 walls of an 11x8 room for a switching layout based on Detroit. It will be semi-permanent modules. That is where the easy part ended.

First I did the google earth route and started looking for the 'right spot' to model. This became very time consuming and I rethought/questioned/disliked every move/decision. I decided google earth would be used for 'fine details' after I devise an overall layout. Also, I wanted to be proto in track design but not rigid to the point that I modeled one small stretch of track or be a slave to a road/location.

I decided to buy a Conrail ZTS for Detroit [Dearborn Div. 1] (I am not planning to model CR, sorry Ed. However all this studying has peaked my interest in the road). I have xeroxed the 'pages' I like and have begun to work on the overall mess from those. Once that is done, I plan to go back to google earth and look at the specific areas I choose. (Many of which will be vacant considering the area, so I can invent thriving business in the heart of Detroit ;) ). I will photo some sites as well seeing I have the luxury of it being local to me.

Finally, I will use the fasttracks and atlas templates as well as properly sized building mock ups to hopefully work out any pre-track design/laying issues.


(FYI the layout will consist of fasttracks 4.5, atlas 7 turnouts and atlas flex all code 55. I may scrap the atlas turnouts, which I already owned, once I start building with my FT jig)

wm3798

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2007, 04:48:15 PM »
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I just build ..

...and tear down and build again... ;D

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

tom mann

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2007, 04:50:00 PM »
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Yeah, that's the boat that I'm in.  Check Google for an area that looks "modelable", and then cross reference that with any kits that would make building the area easier...and then repeat. :(

John

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Re: layout planning, how do you do it?
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2007, 05:12:40 PM »
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I just build ..

...and tear down and build again... ;D

Lee

Hey .. you model your way, I will model my way :) .. so far I have most of the WM completed .. lots of roadbed .. no track  8)