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    Deepest, Darkest Aberdeenshire...
  • Interests
    Returning to model railways 12 years after ditching the trainset as a teen. Recently ex-RN petty officer who saw the light and got out before it was too late!

    Living in NE Scotland, interested in Modelling N but beyond that I haven't a clue. Thinking blue diesels set around the Strathspey line...

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  1. I've scribbled out a few designs before, Ikea's Billy bookcase provides shelves are 30"x10", a nice micro size if you're cutting out a hole for a cantilevered fiddle stick to hang off one side when in use. I've suggested before that you could dedicate one short bookcase (3/4 shelves tall) to a different layout on each shelf, it would be something a little different at exhibitions if you ever wanted to go down that route or otherwise be a neat solution to the space starved modeller looking for somewhere to store their layouts when not operating them. Edit: looks like the OP has tracked down my last post on this subject, very diligent!
  2. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree with your opinion that the 4sq ft rule is an entirely arbitrary thing. I guess 4 sq ft is a rough maximum for a layout that fits in this subforum, but there are plenty of exceptions that look like a micro or small layout whilst being physically bigger. My suggestion of creating the biggest layout possible within the 4sq ft stems from having no spare time to actually model anything at the moment, other than a few spare minutes here and there when I get out my works notebook, turn to the scruffy ruled sheets at the back and doodle away another future may-have-been. Having a little bit of inspiration, such as the idea of having an 8ftx3" roundy, is enough of a starting point to go from. My personal opinion is that anything over about 4ft is probably more suited to being called a small layout that a micro, dependant on scale. 4ft would be a reasonable run in N and you can get enough in that selective compression may not even be necessary for a realistic depiction of a place. But in O the same 4ft is probably going to limit movement of trains for shunting etc to trickery such as movable cassettes or hidden traversers. Yet in OO 4ft gives just about enough length to create an interesting scene with decent operational potential, using a mix of proper pointwork and off stage trickery to expand the ability of the limited scenic area. So that's my rough personal idea of what constitutes a micro, 4ft in OO, 2ft in N and so on. As above though, it's an entirely pointless thing to suggest there are hard and fast rules to what constitutes a micro or small layout. Carl Arendt created the 4sq ft rule as a guideline for the sort of thing he wanted to show on his site but there are definitely some on there that don't conform to those guidelines and are every bit as much a micro as one that does. P.S. Love the tiny home movement! Something else I doodle occasionally, maybe one day...
  3. Fair point, made the tired mistake of thinking half the scale but of course all dimensions are halved. It does raise an interesting question though, just how big a 'micro' layout is it possible to construct within the allotted 576 sq inches for a 4x1. Pushing the width down to the bare minimum of a handful of inches gives more length but at what point does it become more of a hindrance? Could you vary the width around the layout for example narrow running along a rock cutting, and wider around a station or major landscape feature. If fiddle yards aren't included in the 4x1 then you could concievably increase the circumference to provide a ft or two of off scene storage. Plenty of interesting considerations which largely have nothing to do with the OPs original question might but open up inspiration to others. I like the idea of a 10ft circumference, 6" wide layout with a couple of the linear ft given over to fiddle yard. You could set it up purely as end to end but I reckon proper roundy with a passing station would be better. A station at one end of the scenic section and a private siding for some low relief industry further round, with high enough back scenes so you wouldnt be able to see the major features both together which improves that sense of space. Could work rather nicely! The only downside is having to either design the layout to the available off the shelf track components or build your own points.
  4. Actually, regarding the relative size of different scales' baseboards when conforming to the 4sq ft rule, an N gauge layout could legitimately be 2'x1', 4'x6", 6'x4" or EVEN 8'x3"! The earlier suggested 2'x6" is a quarter of the 4sq ft allowed for OO, not half. 8'x3" might be stretching the definition of a micro layout a little but you could potentially get a very small through station and a decent run of track while conforming to the Carl Arendt suggestion. If you then looped that into an 8ft circumference very thin roundy you could have an impressive and strictly speaking 'micro' layout - you might struggle to carry it comfortably under your arm or keep it rigid enough to run trains along though! Either way it's food for thought, a roundy doesn't necessarily have to be on one rectangular board if your woodworking skills permit. I'm not sure whether we include a fiddle stick or other off scene destination in the 4sq ft, seen plenty on Carendts site that don't count it. I still recognise a micro layout as such when I see it, regardless of any labelling. Typically it's cramped, uses trickery such as hidden traversers or mirrors to give an impression of greater size, usually incorporates shunting or a purpose for the stock to achieve, and is often accompanied by a story of wanting to try new techniques or have a go at a period or location different to the modellers usual stamping ground, or by someone with little space in their home to model the huge aspirational layouts of retirement or big money.
  5. I think further to that, the majority of personal layouts (not built by a club / syndicate) prob fall into or close to the 'under 10ft shelf' bracket (no pun intended), like you say that being the only space available for the majority of modellers. It would probably be quicker to move the big exhibition layouts or 'layout of a lifetime' builds to a separate area, rather than the more numerous smaller types. That said I quite like the lucky dip variety available in the main layout topics folder rather than purposely hunting down specific types of layout. I keep gravitating back to micros though!
  6. Discussed at length a few months ago. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/88480-a-nifty-design-element-for-micro-layouts/ I'm looking forward to seeing your layout develop, although I wonder whether having gone to the trouble of laser cutting your own baseboard, would disguising it as a cheap compromise in the form of a Boxfile be relevant or even worth doing? I'm especially interested in seeing how you get on with the finetrax system, I'd like to have a go of using it eventually. Good luck!
  7. I've got 3 loafing in the back of a cupboard waiting to be used, but having had a look at your / Tims new baseboard kits I think my APAs are going to become redundant.
  8. The only place I can think of that would let you use ikea in the name would be Heckmondwike, which I believe is a town in Yorkshire. Add a fictional street name beginning with A and you've got Ikea. Use Apartments or something similarly APA for double points!!
  9. There's a lot to be said for the improvement layout photography gains by bringing the camera down to a more lifelike height in relation to the stock being photographed. Those grainy, poorly macro'ed top down photos in just about every thread on this site always undersell the layout, in my opinion.
  10. It threw me when I heard it too. Bought a copy out of curiosity (never ever getting to that standard of modelling but interesting to read through anyway) and guerrilla modelling is just another way of saying they're small dioramas that the builder has used to create very realistic looking photos using just his iPhone with a few filter apps. Bit of a weak article really but the photos the guy has produced really do look VERY realistic.
  11. It wasn't intended negatively, simply seems you have a no parking sign where currently there is no access for anything other than railway traffic anyway, as the rails aren't levelled in concrete to allow trucks up to the loading bay. I thought it was a funny oversight.
  12. Congrats, it's been an interesting story from start to end over the last few months. Can you link to your new 009 project on here once (if) you put it on RMWeb?
  13. The NO PARKING sign painted on the roller shutter might be a tad irrelevant
  14. Thanks for the heads up, I've downloaded the ipad edition and read your layout article, it's very good! Was enjoyable to read through the construction story again and I didn't realise just how tight a budget you managed to create a magazine quality layout on. Can't remember the last time I saw a properly small layout in BRM that wasn't a loco depot, it bucks the trend somewhat!
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