Author Topic: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest  (Read 9249 times)

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MichaelT

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Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« on: June 10, 2011, 07:21:55 PM »
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Evening,

Our local LHS is hosting a train show here in September. The "theme" of the show is "Everyone has room for a model railroad", emphasizing mini and micro layouts (he loves the carendt.com site). The regular Saturday morning class has been given a challenge by the LHS owner to devise and build a layout in less than 450 sq. inches. A number of the gents are doing HO scale small switching puzzles, the LHS owner is doing a 48" x 9" design.

The parameters are 450 sq. inch maximum.
weight limit 10lbs.
must operate (DC or DCC)
must be able to switch at least one piece of rolling stock

I was going through some scrap wood and came across a 1x that is 39" x 7", and thought that would be a nice size to do something that would operate, and still have a little room for a structure or two, and then I thought why not pick the brains of some of the pro's on here and get some suggestions, so here I am.

I have a few options for motive power, but leaning to the GP15 as it's small and using some 40-50ft cars. So I thought I'd see what some of you folks would suggest as a theme for the diorama...lumber? Plastics? a general warehouse? I sanded the wood up good and removed the sharp corners, and will put down a 3/4 piece of insulation foam board to use as the base.

So, what would some of you gents suggest?


Jesus is my engineer! :)

Dave Schneider

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 07:39:43 PM »
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Looking for suggestions??? Here of all places??? ;)

I might suggest that you do a theme that appeals to people from the local area. Show them something that they can connect with other than some tracks and some cars and some buildings. Where do you live? What industries were important in that area? What railroads? What time period? Stepping back a generation or two has some appeal to show people what used to be.

If that doesn't appeal to you, do a brewery. Guys love beer.

Best wishes, Dave
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MichaelT

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 07:43:54 PM »
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Looking for suggestions??? Here of all places??? ;)

I might suggest that you do a theme that appeals to people from the local area. Show them something that they can connect with other than some tracks and some cars and some buildings. Where do you live? What industries were important in that area? What railroads? What time period? Stepping back a generation or two has some appeal to show people what used to be.

If that doesn't appeal to you, do a brewery. Guys love beer.

Best wishes, Dave

Live in Central Arkansas; Mopac was big here a generation ago, as was Rock Island. The GP15 I'm planning to use is a Mopac engine, and I have an MP15DC switcher that I could use also, if need be.

Some of the industries (going off what I've read, don't remember) were agricultural, lumber, a couple of quarries were big, but I think that would be a little too large for the space. Here in Jacksonville, there was a munitions arsenal that utilized the railroad, so that might be something to think about.
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Dave Schneider

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 07:53:00 PM »
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Ah... munitions. Guys love that as much as beer! That sounds like an interesting idea especially if you provide some historical context or information. Of course, this is the kinda thing I like and this may not appeal to everyone.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Dave Schneider

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 08:01:18 PM »
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Just did a little googling....

Lee has a town named after him and this RI depot. Looks like it could use a coat of paint but it is on the National Register of Historical Places!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevystew/5747474216/in/pool-usaunitedstatesofamerica#/photos/kevystew/5747474216/in/pool-74744754@N00/
This would be cool to recreate in its prime.

Apparently there is also a Weldon Gin Company, but it unfortunately deals in cotton not juniper berries.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

MichaelT

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 08:02:16 PM »
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Kind of a first thought. (See next post for better diagram).

Engine could be stationed on the top right track; freight moves through and drops off X number of cars, then the switcher goes and gets them (probably one at a time) and sets them at the industry siding. Middle track could be for exchanging fulls w/ empties?

then switcher takes the empties, puts them back on the main left of the runaround, and the local picks them up on the return?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 08:16:24 PM by MichaelT »
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MichaelT

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 08:11:52 PM »
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Well most mainline trackage around here is double track, and that would give the returning local somewhere to enter the scene to pick up the set outs.

So could have a freight building top left, and a small engine house/shop/office top right. A few trees, some undulating groundwork, maybe a small bridge on the right side mains?

« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 08:19:31 PM by MichaelT »
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DKS

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 08:36:04 PM »
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Grist for the mill.
 
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MichaelT

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 08:53:00 PM »
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Grist for the mill.
 


Was hoping you'd join in at some point.
figuring on 8" clearance between the points and edges on both ends, that about right?
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DKS

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 09:13:19 PM »
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figuring on 8" clearance between the points and edges on both ends, that about right?

Yep.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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MichaelT

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 09:36:17 PM »
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Yep.

What are your building thoughts? Any particular theme, or just general area?
Is the middle right a small depot?
Are those #4 or #5's?

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DKS

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2011, 10:44:13 PM »
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What are your building thoughts? Any particular theme, or just general area?
Is the middle right a small depot?
Are those #4 or #5's?

Not much in the way of thoughts on a specific theme, other than a little depot nestled in a small industrial area. I envisioned the siding in the foreground being a team track, with a series of low industrial flats across the back built against a backdrop. To add interest, the building on the far left could be stretched forward so the track entered it (shown below). The depot is at the far right, with a water tower (disused), switch tower and tool shack to the left of it.

Switches are all #7s. I was assuming Atlas Code 55. Are you using Code 80 instead? The plan would be virtually identical if you used #6s.
 
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 10:50:31 PM by David K. Smith »
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wm3798

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2011, 11:01:18 PM »
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You're leaving 177 square inches on the table.  Why not make the diorama a T or L shape, adding on a 12" x 14" lobe that could serve some purpose... maybe a larger building to accentuate the N scale scenery:train ratio, or perhaps a small stub yard that would enhance the ops a wee bit.

Or take that 12 x 14, cut it into two diagonal wedges, and add a 45 degree set of diamonds and an interchange track.  Think outside the rectangle... it's a diorama, not a strait jacket! :D

Lee
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MichaelT

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2011, 11:18:36 PM »
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Not much in the way of thoughts on a specific theme, other than a little depot nestled in a small industrial area. I envisioned the siding in the foreground being a team track, with a series of low industrial flats across the back built against a backdrop. To add interest, the building on the far left could be stretched forward so the track entered it (shown below). The depot is at the far right, with a water tower (disused), switch tower and tool shack to the left of it.

Switches are all #7s. I was assuming Atlas Code 55. Are you using Code 80 instead? The plan would be virtually identical if you used #6s.
 


Actually I would like to use c55; have #5's, don't think I have any 7's...but could try and save up and buy a few. Using c55 though have to figure out what to use to throw the turnouts. Thinking manual ground throws first thought.

Found some 2" insulation foam in the shed; enough to glue to the wood for landscaping.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 08:37:40 AM by MichaelT »
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MichaelT

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Re: Need suggestions: N scale diorama for train show contest
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2011, 11:21:04 PM »
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You're leaving 177 square inches on the table.  Why not make the diorama a T or L shape, adding on a 12" x 14" lobe that could serve some purpose... maybe a larger building to accentuate the N scale scenery:train ratio, or perhaps a small stub yard that would enhance the ops a wee bit.

Or take that 12 x 14, cut it into two diagonal wedges, and add a 45 degree set of diamonds and an interchange track.  Think outside the rectangle... it's a diorama, not a strait jacket! :D
Lee

Interesting; wasn't thinking about using the total allowance, but a portion to show that smaller spaces could be utilized. I guess using an add on section could show that the two sections could be taken apart and used stand alone? Having a T I could model a Y here in Jacksonville for the city industrial area that the UP uses now to drop off cars for the Arkansas Midland's Jacksonville spur...only one side of the Y is active, other side is torn out, so could be an interesting spot possibly?
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