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Everything posted by Harlequin

  1. Yes, I'm afraid that Xara Designer's tools for creating arcs are not very good so I drew circles, then drew lines at fixed angles from the centres and sliced the circle to get constant radius curves. For some "flexi" track runs I just use bezier curves, make sure that they are smooth with tangential joins at the ends by eye and then check the min radii by dragging a fixed radius template over the top. Similarly with parallel tracks I draw a 51mm circle and drag it along the tracks to gauge the distance between them, making the spacing wider where long vehicles might overhang. I hop
  2. Nice to meet another loyal Xara user! Yes, I agree about seeing the fixed geometry sections during the design stage and I have been using colour to do that. E.g.: Then, when the design was finalised you might reset them all to black again for a cleaner look.
  3. Suggested method to transfer a point or crossing symbol into a scaled track plan drawing: Select the item you want in the points and crossings drawing Note the actual size width or height that your drawing program reports for the selected item Copy Paste into your scaled track plan Set width or height of the pasted item to the value you noted earlier (making sure that aspect ratio will be kept so that the item is not distorted). Now you've got the point or crossing accurately to size in your track plan you can make as many copies as you need by copy/paste, duplicate or clone and they can be
  4. Hi Ian, Full disclosure: I actually work for Xara and more than that I've worked on Xara Designer since day 1 (and before that on ArtWorks!). I'm not trying to push it forward here. The competing tools are equally capable, in fact better in many ways, and developing faster than Designer (sadly) - but obviously it's the tool I know best so that's why I'm using it. The RMWeb Admins have now allowed XAR files to be uploaded and so you'll find the original XAR file for the points and crossings in Post #2 now. The points and crossings are all stored as symbols ("LiveCopies") so that cha
  5. In post #2 http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/126780-layout-design-in-illustration-software/&do=findComment&comment=2874563 I have corrected the 3-way point to now use medium radius curves, uploaded a new PDF file and thanks to the site admins I've now also uploaded the original XAR file.
  6. I use Xara "Designer Pro" but Xara "Photo and Graphic Designer" has all the useful drawing functions as far as I remember. You can get a free trial from www.xara.com. Full Disclosure: I work for Xara. There's a lot more that could be added to the drawing; little details like rowing boats, discarded rusty equipment, walkways, etc., and of course lots Military stuff but should I do that? I'm sure you'd rather take the ideas and add your own character to the design.
  7. It's very important to make sure that line widths, arrowheads and end caps (etc.) are not contributing to the sizes and positions of symbols if you're trying to do anything mathematically precise in a drawing program.
  8. Hi Ian, Yes, Xara Designer won't automatically rotate symbols or groups when they snap together, but if you hold down Ctrl while you rotate them they will constrain to useful angles, including the angles of the lines in the group. In Xara Designer, snapping inside Groups is turned off by default (on the basis that there would be too many things snapping together otherwise) but you can turn it on by hitting G while you are dragging a set of points around. Then you will see the snap indicators show true snaps between the ends of the lines and the angles between them. To see the size
  9. Here's an example design from another topic that uses these point templates: (Click to enlarge.)
  10. Here's my first contribution: Templates for all Peco Streamline 00 crossings and turnouts. E.g. here's the small radius point: The PDF or XAR vector files below can be imported into your drawing program where you can copy the point symbols, rescale them and use them in drawings. Use the angles given and your software's snapping feature to join parts together correctly. More detailed explanations and examples will follow later if there's any interest. Latest versions: Peco OO streamline points and crossings 9.pdf Peco geometry 9.xar Previous versions: Peco OO streamline
  11. Hi everyone, This topic is about drawing track plans in illustration software such as Adobe Illustrator, Xara Designer or Affinity Designer. (There are lots of other drawing programs that could be used.) I know that dedicated track planning programs are widely used and are very popular but illustration programs allow you to take a slightly different approach to layout design that is more targeted at creating a visually pleasing end-result, more like the track plans that are published in magazines. I hope this proves to be useful. Phil
  12. I noticed that the new bullhead rail large radius points are still being described as 60in (1524mm) radius when we all know that's rubbish. They simply can't be if they are to give a 12 degree turnout angle and a 2in (50.8mm) separation between parallel tracks. I emailed Peco and they said the 60in radius is a "nominal" figure because the points include "combination curve"s. This is also rubbish because either "nominal" means the overall effective radius of the points, which you can measure and is not 60in, or the "combined curves" include some smaller radius sections as well as the 60in r
  13. I see it better this morning (!) and I see this: Not sure where the platform(s) is/are, though. Looking at the 1941 map on oldmaps.co.uk there's an amazing amount of rail infrastructure around this little site! Very interesting.
  14. Here's the latest version of my idea: To see it best click the image above to get the full size version or open the PDF below in Acrobat Reader, where you can zoom in to any depth and turn layers on and off.
  15. They only make straight large radius left and right points at the moment. They are the same geometry as other large radius streamline OO points (I.e. 1219mm nominal radius, not 1524mm as stated). But no mediums, smalls, slips, crossovers, curved, Y or 3-way points yet.
  16. I find it really difficult to see the track plan from that low res map of Cardiff Clarence Road. However, the travelling cranes caught my eye because I'm currently working on a layout design based on Kingswear in Devon in another thread. Kingswear is a great example of a terminus with docks alongside (including travelling cranes) because it's so compact in real life. See: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/126422-having-some-serious-design-block-and-need-help/
  17. I have overlaid the low-res plan from post #20 onto the more recent higher-res sketch and unfortunately they don't match up very well. Juliet Bridge may need to be even wider than current thinking. Until there's an accurate, dimensioned room plan I don't think it's worth spending too much effort on planning. Phil
  18. Sounds like Juliet Bridge is a bit of a diva! And, surely, the name of the layout is going to come from this phrase in some form or another... But I wouldn't presume. That's Ed's choice and Ed's alone.
  19. Harlequin

    Old Pib

    I've just been checking through the family history that my Grandma very carefully pieced together to find out exactly how I'm related to "Old Pib", Albert Pibworth, one of the drivers of Flying Scotsman on the first non-stop run from London to Edinburgh. I know lots of people claim this sort of connection but I'm pretty sure my connection is genuine. Albert's father was James Pibworth one of whose siblings was Thomas Pibworth. Thomas => Hannah Purton => Rosa Ann Hall => Edith Annie Martin (Grandma) => David William Martin (Dad) => Me So I reckon that "Old Pib" was my
  20. Thanks, that explains quite a lot and is very useful info. On the 1936 map (post 8) it appears that there's a crossing from one of the dockyard sidings onto the crane tracks. On the Cornwall Railway Society website (link above) there are few photos showing cranes at Kingswear but this is probably the best: And here's sneak preview of my stylised rendition of it for the track plan: BTW: One of my distant relatives really did drive the Flying Scotsman (I believe): Albert Pibworth - "Old Pib"!
  21. Folks, I suggest that discussion of Ivor the Engine and dragons is a bit off-topic for this thread, which is supposed to be about Kevin's beautiful and bucolic layout. I apologise for starting the Ivor sub-thread. Is there an "Ivor the Engine" topic? Maybe there should be! Phil
  22. FWIW: I use a standard drawing/illustration program like Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer, Xara Designer (Windows only but will run in a VM on Mac), etc. Set up a drawing scale, make templates for points and other things and start drawing and joining things together using the snap function of the app. This solution doesn't have the built-in knowledge of track layout that Scarm, AnyRail, etc. have but on the other hand you have more flexibility to draw exactly what you want and share the design in a cleaner way (IMHO).
  23. Hi Ed, So, are you proposing to build this imaginary layout in the small kitchen of a holiday home/flat that you only visit occasionally? Is there really the room and the time to do this? (Especially if the kitchen must also accommodate a kitchen table for eating.) Remember that you'll need somewhere to store tools and somewhere to work on models away from the layout. And it seems like you need reliable internet access to make progress, so all-in-all this doesn't seem very realistic to me. Or will the layout be portable and travel with you to and from the flat? That might make
  24. Please don't take this the wrong way (and at the risk of going off-topic), but... Mr Johnster: Your vivid descriptions of life at Cwmdimbath remind me of Ivor the Engine. It must be a generational thing. ;-) But hey, in my opinion comparison to the great Oliver Postgate is equally estimable - and I'm sure he was a nicer man than the Welsh bard! Phil
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