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Midnight Oil/Brewhouse Quay Plan

Chris Nevard



blogentry-6681-054009700 1292411966_thumb.jpg


I suffered from a little insomnia last night, so between midnight around and 2 am I worked on my rough brewery trackplan pencil sketch to produce the below using a little Photoshop to tidy up some of the rougher bits. I've tried to avoid that computer look - preferring that 'back of an envelope/organic' style as seen in magazines like the excellent French model railway magazine Voie Libre and the wonderful illustrations of Paul Lunn.


I'm in a lucky position to have been asked to come up with a model railway idea for a well known book publisher, but to date have been unsure which direction to go in - if at all with so many other commitments. Maybe a selection smallish plans mixed in with a section on how to photograph what you've built? Just a silly idea maybe - any thoughts on this already over saturated market?


Back to the brewery; 'Brewhouse Quay' is likely to be the name of the current project, graphically the title works, and it's easy to remember.Next, I hope to turn off the computer an start to lay some track .....



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I think the idea of doing sketch-like plans on the computer is great - I really like the track, water and shading on the ground, but can I suggest trying a slightly harder brush on the buildings? There's a very characteristic look to Photoshop shading and I think it's coming through a wee bit there.


The title is great - but will you get typecast after Cement Quay?



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You've a siding next to the Hop store, and one inside loading/unloading facility (for what ?) , but how / where do ingredients get unloaded and products get loaded ?

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You'll find those bits out when I build the layout . I don't want to give too much away, but there are plenty of loading points (hops, malt, adjuncts, bottles, casks, chocolate, contraband, tobacco, kebabs for the late shift) either side of the main warehouse which won't be obvious from above, as with the real world not everything is black and white. This means that some lines in and out will be blocked sometimes - all part of the shunting puzzle ;)

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I'm very typecast - I think all my layouts feature some kind of wharf or water feature along the front too :lol:


Very sensible idea to have a nice empty foreground for reaching over.....and great for reflections :D

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I like the idea of a book of "smallish plans" along with photography tips, I personally have not come across any publications that conbine these themes. I enjoy seeing the way that you and other model railway photographers are able to turn a model into something believable using certain viewpoints, lighting etc. Its something I think a lot of modellers would like to be able to replicate with there own layouts. Many of us strive for realism and photographs can often reveal a lot more detail (or lack of it!) rolleyes.gif

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A book with details of your photographic methods and some really good "how to's" for some of the modern scenic methods like static grass would certainly fill a niche.

Perhaps a mix of elements, a bit like a blog, starting with plans (an update of CJF style small layouts?) in the "sketch" style, then construction, track and scenery with a big photography section at the back?

I'd buy it- your recent layouts have certainly been an inspiration to me and I always like to see your photos. Many available books seem to be either aimed at total novices (good but soon exhausted) or reprints with a lot of black and white. There are some great single subject titles and I see standing out from the crowd could be difficult.

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A photography section in a book would be interesting, especially if it showed how to achieve reasonable results with a simple compact camera, we don't all own (or want, or can afford) SLR's.

As far as layout plans, there are a lot of books on small layouts, some good some not so... so coming up with something new and different is indeed a challenge. A book of industrial layouts perhaps?

To my eyes the illustration above works well, easy to visualise and uncluttered.



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A book from you ... about time! Seriously, it would be good to get a better idea of how you produce your models. I know in the model press we occasionally get snippets on a page or two with brief captions or an article on one of your layouts over a couple of pages with a handful of photos, but a "start to finish" book consisting of a few plans, then build one, from track planning, baseboards, track laying and making, building construction, ground works etc, then how to photograph it at the end. Each of the sections could give far more detail and photos/illustrations than any of the magazines could give you space for. I don't expect you to be writing thousands of pages, but a chapter or two on the subjects with a sensible amount of detail would go down well for experienced modellers as well as newcomers or less experienced members of our hobby.


Keep up the good work and keeping us informed of projects.

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Yep, Most definately, very much admire you work Chris and your Photography is superb. Also like the themes you use for layouts...small and simple, but really effective and not overdone.

So yes I think that would be a definate winner, lets face it, it brings us to the reality of real modelling that affects the majority of us....the amount of time,money, and space we have at our disposal. So your ideas and small layouts and the likes of Paul Lunn aswell should inspire us all to at least get something up and running, even if it is only small you can really go to town with the quality of your work without it getting daunting, and whats more you can take it outdoors to photograph it at different angles and in REAL daylight instead of always having to rely on false lighting. Its often difficult when you have a large and permanent layout to get into certain positions to photograph it.... and theres also the fact you can always exhibit and there's no problem if you have to move house alot which I know many of us do. Yep definately ALWAYS room for small and practical ideas, and tips on photographing our models. bring it on :)

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Hi Chris


Thanks for the kind comments on the illustrations, books are undoubtably very hard work but you have such a lot to share and there is much to be done, especially in encouraging new modellers of all ages. Love the models an absolute inspiration.


Kind regards and best wishes for Christmas


Paul (Lunn)

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Hi Chris


Just picked up on your Brewhouse project.


Did you use this as your prototype?



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Hi 66c - sadly your link does not work. No actually prototype, just various back of envelope sketches which were rather limited by the layout of the brewery buildings and the small space whilst trying to keep some kind of theatre that would work visually, photographically and give some kind of operating interest that might have a span of more then 30 seconds. Brian Harrap's excellent Quai:87 did make me think a bit more about track (sshhh, don't tell anyone, but you'll be able to his layout in print early next year).

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