First HO layout - am I crazy to do suburban rail?

 
  khorgor Beginner

So after sketching out my plans, I finally got around to mocking up what it will look like.

As you can see, this is version one,I still need to spend more time planning what buildings go where and all the other intricate stuff.

The question is, am I absolutely crazy?  Will this never work?
Or will this be a work of beauty.... a few decades from now?

right now, I will have a EMU/DMU going from station to station using the shunting program placed at each end.
Two Faller vehicles will be doing routes through the display.  Their planned routes are on the image
Everything will be HO scale

So what's everyone's thoughts before I go out and buy the formwork to start putting the table together?

https://flic.kr/p/2cPVWNw

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  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A quick reply is you are not crazy if the modelling is achievable for you. Urban modelling will need  a lot of building and  the layout may fail if this aspect is too hard.  

Layout size is another issue to think about. How big overall will it be?   Ho scale will need a larger baseboard to fit all that on, so planning, and having several modules to  divide it up to make it moveable.

The faller car system should not be  hard, nor the train  doing a shuttle.

So a few  points there to explore for yourself. I have plans for aZ scale layout and a On30 layout. I have not really started either, as I have worked out  that I should make sure I have the key buildings made, so  the layout is viable.  Ie there are some key structures I need to have to make the layout worthwhile. Even ifI had the baseboard,track all  done, withouthte key buildings I may have built a monster or a lame duck layout without the proper buildings.

Mainly I encourage you to continue with the idea.

Regards,
David Head
  DJPeters Chief Train Controller

The art of compromise needs to be used though in HO streets can be made a bit thinner in width as can footpaths etc without losing too much visually. Even the Houses and other buildings can be compressed a bit, house blocks made thinner and less deep, shop fronts made smaller so that it will all fit. Now if you have your heart set on using that photo that you have used you may find that it will not fit the area you have to model it in, that is where the compromise comes into it. You may need to abandon some things in your plan because just because it fits in the photo or the drawn plan does not necessarily mean it wil fit in actuality as some things in model form need to be spaced further away from things than in real life. Track centres is one such thing lay a track with dead accurate track centres as used on the prototype you could find that model carriages hit each other as they go past, so you allow a bit more there and that throws out everything else a bit.

But do not tear your hair out over it as every modeller at some stage has experienced similar, it fitted on paper but it will not fit the actual space. Just be aware of this and it also depends on how accurate you are drawing it all out in the first place.
  yogibarnes Station Master

As David has pointed out, and using your image as a guide, the size of your layout in HO scale will need to be quite large.  I'm guessing, but the image appears to cover a length of about 4-500 metres in the real world.  In HO, that's almost 44 metres of layout length.  Even in N scale, over 20 metres.  Got a shed large enough?
  GoldenGirl Station Staff

You might like to play a wait-and-see game, the ABC-TV studios in that section may be demolished in the very near future, as the ABC is selling the site.
  DJPeters Chief Train Controller

As David has pointed out, and using your image as a guide, the size of your layout in HO scale will need to be quite large.  I'm guessing, but the image appears to cover a length of about 4-500 metres in the real world.  In HO, that's almost 44 metres of layout length.  Even in N scale, over 20 metres.  Got a shed large enough?
yogibarnes
Yes you will get a shock as to how much real estate you cannot include in a model of something. Years back I was asked to work out how to model the Islington Railway workshops here in suburban Adelaide to fit into a building but after doing a bit of measuring the building was not quite big enough even if it was built in N gauge. The building it was to go in was quite large actually but the model would have used more than the space in it. The building was approx 23 metres long X 10 metres wide. The plan was abandoned very quickly.

A photo or even a plan does not look big when looking at it, but when you work it out my God do things start to get huge, that is why compromise is used to make it look similar but not exactly as it is in the real world as you would need a huge building that is far beyond most of us dollar wise. Even a small 3 road station yard here on the old SAR was still long enough not to fit into an average sized house room that was going to be your new layouts home. So shrinking the plan by making sidings a bit shorter and distances closer to other things if possible has to be done and there is still no assurance after you have done that, that it will still fit into the room.

Best Idea is to measure the actual room or whatever it is to go in and draw it out to the same scale as your plan or photo and then overlay the plan or photo over the plan of the room or whatever, you will soon see your problems.
  DJPeters Chief Train Controller

Here is a Google Earth photo of the area showing the actual length in metres. That is a lot of realestate actually. But I see you have already compromised in the original post though by cutting down the length a lot you might need to cut it down further though.

  khorgor Beginner

I'm failing at using the quotes on this forum...

David:
- Layout size) Aiming for 1m by 3m.  Looking back the photo, there is still a bit to cut out to make the width acceptable
- Great idea with modules, will definitely keep that in consideration with the planning
- key structures) the whole idea of this layout was the result of me completing the massive card stock Rippon Lea kit.  So that's why the whole layout has that mansion right in the center.  I will keep this in mind to check what other key buildings are in the area.  You can see ABC's Elsternwick television studio site to the East of the mansion.  That will definitely be included.

DJPeters:
- thinner roads,footpaths, blocks, houses etc) brilliant idea.  I'll definitely use that
- As noted on your most recent post the photo is already been cut and compressed.  You can see where I have moved things around.  I already reduced the length of the board somewhat as the original distance was a kilometer from station to station!  
- Thanks for the information and support.  I'll definitely keep it in mind.

Goldengirl:
At the moment I have three options:
1. Make the ABC studios as seen now
2. Make a construction site diorama
3. Leave the site to the last thing on the layout and see what get's built in its place

I'm currently leaning towards option 1
  M636C Minister for Railways

It would be much easier to model a suburban layout based in Sydney where at least some suburban trains are available in HO.

You would be limited to Sprinter and Velocity trains in Melbourne.

Peter
  DJPeters Chief Train Controller

It would be much easier to model a suburban layout based in Sydney where at least some suburban trains are available in HO.

You would be limited to Sprinter and Velocity trains in Melbourne.

Peter
M636C
Although he might be able to use a Tangara set if they come out, as a Tangara based set were used in Melbourne for a little while before being scrapped. Also maybe N or P class diesels on ex suburban Harris cars at a pinch or N cars. Just looking at options though not necessarily prototype operation. Auscision have said they are doing the Tait cars and parcel vans though but whether they fit your era though is a thought. But not much else really unless you either scratchbuild or wait and see what comes out.
  DJPeters Chief Train Controller

I'm failing at using the quotes on this forum...

David:
- Layout size) Aiming for 1m by 3m.  Looking back the photo, there is still a bit to cut out to make the width acceptable
- Great idea with modules, will definitely keep that in consideration with the planning
- key structures) the whole idea of this layout was the result of me completing the massive card stock Rippon Lea kit.  So that's why the whole layout has that mansion right in the center.  I will keep this in mind to check what other key buildings are in the area.  You can see ABC's Elsternwick television studio site to the East of the mansion.  That will definitely be included.

DJPeters:
- thinner roads,footpaths, blocks, houses etc) brilliant idea.  I'll definitely use that
- As noted on your most recent post the photo is already been cut and compressed.  You can see where I have moved things around.  I already reduced the length of the board somewhat as the original distance was a kilometer from station to station!  
- Thanks for the information and support.  I'll definitely keep it in mind.

Goldengirl:
At the moment I have three options:
1. Make the ABC studios as seen now
2. Make a construction site diorama
3. Leave the site to the last thing on the layout and see what get's built in its place

I'm currently leaning towards option 1
khorgor
To use quotes use the reply button on a post that will put up the quote and you can add what you like under in the reply if you need to.
  Phantom47 Locomotive Driver

Location: In The Shire
Be careful of a 1m wide board. Most of us have trouble reaching 600mm comfortably.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
1meter by 3m wil be ok for Z gauge, but not Ho scale. To do Ho scale you will even with some exteeme compression and leaving huge chunks out of even your already condensed plan - 8M maybe.

Depending on how you plan it, you might be able to emply the reduced scale method, ie the further back form the front , the smaller the scale, ending up with N scale trains at the very back. I would then ensure the ho faller  vechilce stay on the front of the display.

N gauge, there are some shapeways bodies I think, but I would try to contactRob Captenter a AusNModels.

This will take a bit of planning to do.

Do a replan of the layout an show us  a smaller version, I'dsvagely cut down the park, try to make the ABC studioss emi relief on the backdrop, and reduce the buillding complely. then as David Peters  pointed outr educe the  streets and houses down, but also  reduce them more  as you go to the backdrop.

Whatever, good luck it's your creation !

David
  DJPeters Chief Train Controller

I know you have you heart set on making what you put up first and so far most of us have said things that might turn you off, of it altogether, but remember most of us speak from experience when we have had our heart set on making a model of a certain place and then reality sets in and upsets that plan. We have all done it at some time or other that is why some places that have been modelled have curves in places where on the prototype it is all straight. You have to flexible and realistic in your expectations, or else you will really get a big let down. If you have enough room go for it though if you dont you will have to have a rethink on what you can do in a limited space. HO scale is 87 times smaller than prototype and this also goes for ground distances etc not just the models themselves. So just say you get it down to half a kilometre distance that is 500 metres actual measurement that works out at 5.7 metres long in HO scale, which is a fair distance and most average house rooms are usually not that big. But as has been said if you have a large shed or garage then you can do it.

You could of course make it in modules but at some stage to lay track or do scenery work etc you need to erect it all to get it right and so again you need space to put it up just to work on it, you can do somethings on a module at a time basis but it still need somethings done to it that means it must be put up fully to do it.  As your original plan is approx 500 metres in approx length in reality then at 5.7 metres length you could do it in 6 one metre long modules and work on one or two modules at a time and then move onto the others. But you have to be able to move these modules yourself so they need to be light and a compact size both in length and width.

We all have our dream layout that we would like to build, but life and family etc sometimes get in the way so you have to shelf those plans and go for something that does not take up as much room.
  khorgor Beginner

Hi everyone,

Apologies for the delay in replying.  I went out and bought some XPS foam and have started the planning stages.
Please see below for the current layout plans.  There are two more modules to be added (a vertical board on the left and right)

David, as you can see, I can't really use the method of making buildings in the background smaller because of the rippon lea.

Thanks all for the advice given so far.  I'll be interested in the comments based on the current plans

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  khorgor Beginner

DJ Peters, what's your thoughts on the current plans?
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
going in the right direction. my "forced perspective"  only would work if they were vieing from the  ripponlea house side, as the orignal diagram showed a control panel one side, so assumed the other side was the  "public" side.

Keep going !
David Head
  khorgor Beginner

going in the right direction. my "forced perspective"  only would work if they were vieing from the  ripponlea house side, as the orignal diagram showed a control panel one side, so assumed the other side was the  "public" side.

Keep going !
David Head
dthead

ah, that's a good point.  As you see from the photo, the control panel is still at the front of the layout (the public side).

So I guess if I'm going to take this to a show/expo I will need to keep this in mind.  Might be worth tucking it in behind the mansion.

I'll update when I get the next foam sheet.  Will be heading East and covering the ABC studios and the Car system Rubbish truck route
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
going in the right direction. my "forced perspective"  only would work if they were vieing from the  ripponlea house side, as the orignal diagram showed a control panel one side, so assumed the other side was the  "public" side.

Keep going !
David Head

ah, that's a good point.  As you see from the photo, the control panel is still at the front of the layout (the public side).

So I guess if I'm going to take this to a show/expo I will need to keep this in mind.  Might be worth tucking it in behind the mansion.

I'll update when I get the next foam sheet.  Will be heading East and covering the ABC studios and the Car system Rubbish truck route
khorgor
There is nothing really wrong with having your control panel at the front of the layout, even for an exhibition.  In fact this can be a talking point for your audience/visitors as you can show them how the layout functions.  If everything runs automatically (as your planning seems to indicate) the distraction of answering questions should not be a problem.

Happy layouting,

John

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