Author Topic: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma  (Read 799 times)

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sschnabl

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Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« on: October 19, 2021, 01:45:37 PM »
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I am looking for some advice from those that may have had a similar situation.  The layout I am building is the CNW between Elroy, WI and Harvard, IL set in the early 1950's.  I have two towns (Reedsburg and Rock Springs) that are on opposite sides of a backdrop and connected by a turnback blob.  This blob is where I plan to put "Ableman's Narrows," where the double track main line passes through a cut of rocks and crosses over the Baraboo River on an almost 180 degree inside curve (think mini version of Horseshoe Curve).  This scene would be perfect for an inside corner, where the rocks rise above the track on the outside of the curve, and the land slopes down on the inside part of the curve.  However, as I stated, this is on an outside curve, not an inside one.

So here is my question.  Do I try to be more prototypical (which is one of my goals), and have the land slope down from the edge of the layout? I don't even know how that would look, or if it would look good at all.  Or do I use my modeler's license and take this inside curve scene and make it into an outside curve scene?

I look forward to hearing what others have to say.

Thanks for looking,

Scott


C855B

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 02:22:59 PM »
+2
IMO, modeler's license. I've had to flip a fair number of scenes on my layout to make things fit. Considering that everything is compressed, true proto fidelity is a long shot at best. What you're really after is setting the ambiance, so if the contours are sort of right and the details recall the flavor of the locale, it should be enough to capture your sense of the scene.

Dave V

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2021, 02:47:16 PM »
+2

So here is my question.  Do I try to be more prototypical (which is one of my goals), and have the land slope down from the edge of the layout? I don't even know how that would look, or if it would look good at all.  Or do I use my modeler's license and take this inside curve scene and make it into an outside curve scene?

I look forward to hearing what others have to say.

Thanks for looking,

Scott

I ran into exactly this problem on my RGS.  In order for the majority of my scenes to be oriented correctly with respect to travel direction, my peninsula turnback curve ended up on the wrong side of the San Miguel River.  Here, at Windy Point near Ames, the cliff above track level should be on the outside of the track, and the deep ravine down to the river on the inside of the track.  There really was just no way to make that work visually or even physically, so I opted to flip the scene.  It so far has caused me little to no angst.



As a result, Windy Point on my layout ends up on the east side of the river rather than the west side.  So trains look correct when going in the opposite direction from an operational standpoint.  But since Windy Point is not at all operationally significant and is mere scenic candy, it works just as well flipped.

For students of the RGS, this problem arises because below Placerville and Saw Pit, the RGS crossed to the west side of the river near Bilk Creek on the eponymous Bilk trestle.  Windy Point is still on the west side just before the track swung out across the massive Butterfly Trestle to the east side again, right before Ophir.  I modeled neither Bilk nor Butterfly...my track remains east of the San Miguel the entire distance between Placerville and Ophir.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 03:10:44 PM by Dave V »

basementcalling

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2021, 06:51:09 PM »
+1
Leave it per prototype, cove the end of the peninsula with a backdrop, and design the scene to be viewed only from people standing in the aisle looking towards the end of the peninsula, i. e. from the inside of the curve. You can do this especially if the blob is at a pinch point to keep people from standing at the end of the peninsula to look down the whole thing, but clogging the aisle.
Peter Pfotenhauer

robert3985

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2021, 11:10:49 PM »
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I had a similar problem when designing my Curvo LDE where the UP mainlines exit from tunnels blasted at different heights and the upper track immediately transitions onto a deck bridge which crosses over the lower mainline track, with a steel support pylon straddling the lower track.  When looked at "normally" from the lower maintenance road, you see the scenery being very high in the distance behind where the tracks are, but sharply sloping downward towards the viewer and what would be the layout fascia.  If I were to incorporate this scene as it prototypically runs in an eastbound-westbound double track configuration, where the layout fascia would be high on the mountain top with the scenery flowing down towards the skyboard putting the viewer at the edge of the layout in a position that I have never seen a photograph of, it would obscure nearly all of the bridge over the lower track, with just the top being visible from the aisle.

I decided to just flip the scene as far as what direction the trains will run when in normal operation, but the scene will appear to be "correct" when photographed, even though in a video, the trains will be running in the wrong directions on the tracks.

Since my layout is built mainly as a railfan layout, with photo opportunities galore all over it, I couldn't justify having to look down into a descending vista where I couldn't position my camera where most railfans prototypically take the most photos of this place.

I decided to build an 8' long test carving of the place just to experiment with to see if I was wrong and that looking down into the scene would have been okay, but...after getting many of the contours and heights as close to prototypical as I could, it became very obvious that looking down INTO the scene was far from ideal.

Converting an inside curve to an outside curve might be more drastic than merely flipping the scene, but I totally agree with Dave V's advice, and I don't think you're going to lose much sleep over it once you've made your decision.

However, maybe you could find another prototype scene that would fit the blob better...unless you're firmly committed to modeling this specific spot.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 11:15:42 PM by robert3985 »

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2021, 09:45:09 AM »
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One solution I've heard of is running the fascia up to the valance at the end of the curve so you can't look down it.

I think I heard it called something like a "Bellona Drop" or something like that.

Point353

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2021, 10:23:38 AM »
+1
One solution I've heard of is running the fascia up to the valance at the end of the curve so you can't look down it.

I think I heard it called something like a "Bellona Drop" or something like that.
Bellinadrop.

http://www.housatonicrr.com/bellinadrop.html

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2021, 10:33:32 AM »
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Bellinadrop.

http://www.housatonicrr.com/bellinadrop.html

Ah, yes. Bellona is a road around here and I guess it sticks in my mind.

Dave V

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2021, 10:46:54 AM »
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The Bellona drop is definitely a neat and useful solution for challenges like these.

For me, though...I really like an open feel to my layout space.  That's why I've resisted suggestions for valences, peninsula backdrops, and other things that would chop up the space.  While devices like these likely improve individual scenes, my personal feeling is that they chop up and close off the layout space as a whole and make it a bit more claustrophobic.  But that's 100% my own personal baggage and not any kind of blanket advice.

davefoxx

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2021, 10:57:53 AM »
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My preference would be to adhere to the prototype as much as possible and have the landforms slope down from the fascia.  This would create more of the feeling of a cut or gorge (whichever you're going for), rather than the curve navigating the edge of a precipice and the scene lacking the other wall of the cut.

Hope this helps,
DFF

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2021, 11:09:15 AM »
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You might also want to see how Grant Eastman handles a lot of this on his SAR.

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I think he handles things like this well.

GimpLizard

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2021, 12:18:07 PM »
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There is actually a wooded hill on the inside of Ableman's Narrows. It's the location of Ableman's Gorge State Natural Area. Across the the river, and Hwy 136, from the tracks. And it includes a fairly impressive rock cliff. The river crosses under both the highway and the tracks. Here are a couple of street views. This is the first bend in the highway, at Van Hise Rock, where the track is between the highway and the tracks. Both being to the right in both. But just ahead of where the river crosses under the tracks to flow between the tracks and highway.

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]
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If you model the inside you could include the river, the highway, and the cliff. And then just a "thin" portion of the rise outside the curve.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ableman's+Gorge+State+Natural+Area/@43.4900043,-89.9200813,575m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x88075dfa4d7ef27b:0x60d8107e8e91af15!8m2!3d43.4903154!4d-89.9181819?hl=en

Mike
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 12:28:55 PM by GimpLizard »

sschnabl

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2021, 01:53:30 PM »
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Thank you all for responding.  At least I wasn't the only one who's had this come up.  I think I'm leaning towards having the scenery rise up as it goes from the facia towards the backdrop.  I don't think I would be able to pull it off doing it the other way.  Thanks again.

Scott

davefoxx

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2021, 01:55:27 PM »
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Thank you all for responding.  At least I wasn't the only one who's had this come up.  I think I'm leaning towards having the scenery rise up as it goes from the facia towards the backdrop.  I don't think I would be able to pull it off doing it the other way.  Thanks again.

Scott

I bet you could pull it off, but Rule #1!  That is, it's your layout, so do what makes you happy.

DFF

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Dave V

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Re: Turnback Curve Scenery Dilemma
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2021, 02:57:13 PM »
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Thank you all for responding.  At least I wasn't the only one who's had this come up.  I think I'm leaning towards having the scenery rise up as it goes from the facia towards the backdrop.  I don't think I would be able to pull it off doing it the other way.  Thanks again.

Scott

I think you'll be happy with this solution.  And--to be honest--you and maybe half a dozen other folks who'll see the layout will know the compromise.  Everyone else will think it's exactly how it's supposed to be anyway.  But scenically and from a practical construction standpoint, this will work so much better that trying to have the scenery slop sharply down from the aisle and fascia.