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TEAMYAKIMA

What's more important to you? The scenery or the railway?

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On ‎11‎/‎01‎/‎2020 at 11:37, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

Would you bother to build a diorama of a scene, if there was no railway? I have not a clue what the relative popularity of diorama purely for itself might be, compared to railway modelling, but believe it to be pretty small.

 

 

 

Even in the other modeling spheres, dioramas still tend to act mainly to put the modelled subject (plane/tank/train/figures) in a contextual setting, though equally many are happy just to have the subject sat on a plain base, though a mirror base is also popular among the plane modellers to better see the fine detail of the underside.

 

For some years I was solely into operating the model railway, so scenery was irrelevant, got in the way and was a pain to have to do (so I didn't) - what our US friends would call a 'plywood prarie' where ops is paramount. Just some very basic, ops-focused structures and very little else.

 

But now I'm serial-building micro layouts, I do prefer to have the setting right and consistent with the modeled trains, even if I only have limited space to set the railway in it's correct context.

 

And I'm finding doing the 'scenics' quite fun, indeed quite therapeautic. Perhaps it's because micros don't need much in the way of scenery, so it can be done cheaply/quickly/easily?

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1 minute ago, CloggyDog said:

...For some years I was solely into operating the model railway, so scenery was irrelevant, got in the way and was a pain to have to do (so I didn't) - what our US friends would call a 'plywood prarie' where ops is paramount. Just some very basic, ops-focused structures and very little else...

That's me alright. I have ballast because that makes the layout sound more like the railway. But you can't shunt cottages, make up trains out of road vehicles, or run trees to a timetable, so where's the fun in that?

 

As ever YMMV, DSFDF, ETTO, CASG, etc.

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On ‎10‎/‎01‎/‎2020 at 17:32, Philou said:

On a personal note, I do find unballasted track a little - er - naked.

 

Very much agree with that.  On my latest layout I painted the sides of the rails - the first time I ever did that, and it really does transform the look of the railway.  Nowadays the track is the first thing I look at on exhibition layouts!  Good ballasting and weathering makes a layout IMO.

 

In answer to the OP's question I would regard the railway and it's reliable operation to be more important.  I have seen some splendid layouts with very little scenery - big sky backdrops with just a few buildings and trees which are very effective in enhancing the railway.  I find too much scenery makes a layout look crowded - "less is more" to use an oft quoted phrase.     

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What's scenery?

 

DT

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I'm not sure where I stand on the scenery - I said above it was horses for courses. The key probably is that if you've got huuuuge layout, then to cover it all with scenery is probably going to be a Herculean task. What is more, the greater the likelihood of some smart-arse alec will come along and mention very loudly that that species of plant/figurine/whatever couldn't have been found/dressed/whatever at that point in time or location. Cravensdmufan is probably right - more is less - so that it doesn't detract from the railway itself, but if you do do scenery, do it reasonably well.

 

As for ballasting and painting rails - that has to be a minimum.

 

Here's one I did earlier (my test piece). The rails are coloured near-black in the sidings (forefront), and rusty on the running lines behind. It's an overall brown colour because it's sieved builders' sand (all I can get locally) and I really should have sprayed (or brushed) a little grey paint on the ballast for the running lines and more dirtiness in the sidings - I'm learning ;)! In the second photo are some buildings prepared to fit beyond the running lines (I haven't got a composite picture) but that is the limit in depth of the scenery as there is no more space - I was quite pleased with the result as they're only modified Scalescene buildings. I've avoided people or vehicles as the scene is more indeterminate date-wise.

 

DSCF0054.JPG.97b183f53d52f299cccc6a651bdc89b2.JPG

 

DSCF0489.JPG.ff96e9f211585947822d1ad1424281b0.JPG

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

 

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To me both are important,  but each of my two layouts under construction are different. 

The Inherited layout Tiree built on the island of Tiree ,  N gauge, I lived in the Hebrides and went to school on the Kyle line.  So the scenery is important I want to get the feel of the highlands and Islands.  The railway is a minor part of that. 

The EM gauge layout,  Ludgershall change for Tidworth takes vast amount of room, little space outside the boundary fence.  But anyway,  my grandfather Was The ganger there,  getting the   station,  and all the buildings, signals and especially the track  correct are very important . With only a dozen trains a day running is less important.. 

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1 hour ago, Philou said:

As for ballasting and painting rails - that has to be a minimum.

 

Nah!

 

4BE40AE2-DE44-4E4B-9E80-5C9CE8A5E89B.jpeg.ffe569d31b79fee84594a8dd681fde36.jpeg

 

Dreadfully overrated stuff in a model railway context; suitably located brass screws do the job of keeping the track in place perfectly well.

 

Well, they do for me anyway. :nowink:

Edited by Nearholmer
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@Nearholmer But ............ but ............. I've seen your layout. I have to agree with you as it looks right on your layout. To me, it's the stock that is being looked at in particular rather than the whole. In any case, the era from which your models come from, the track would not have been ballasted, painted or with much scenery - or would it?

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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10 hours ago, CloggyDog said:

For some years I was solely into operating the model railway, so scenery was irrelevant, got in the way and was a pain to have to do (so I didn't) - what our US friends would call a 'plywood prarie' where ops is paramount. Just some very basic, ops-focused structures and very little else.

 

9 hours ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

That's me alright. I have ballast because that makes the layout sound more like the railway. But you can't shunt cottages, make up trains out of road vehicles, or run trees to a timetable, so where's the fun in that?

 

TBH as the OP my original thinking was more about the authenticity of the scenery versus the authenticity of the locos/stock rather than anything else. I had not originally meant to debate the importance of having scenery versus the importance of operating a railway, but that appears to be the way this discussion has gone and so I throw my view into the mix.

 

I have never built a home layout but I have personally built six exhibition layouts and there is an underlining reason for this ………………….

 have never built a home layout because I have absolutely no interest in operating a model railway unless there is an audience. If I did build a home layout, once I knew that I could run a train through some trackwork successfully (after

 a few test sessions) I can personally see no point in doing so ever again - unless a visitor dropped by and I put on a demonstration for them.

 

So to sum up I prefer the concept of an authentic scenic diorama which includes some authentic railways locos/stock (as part of the total authentic scene) and through which trains move.

 

But operation for the sake of operation I regret is not my interest.

 

 

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Philou,

 

I was pulling your leg. Apologies.

 

The current 0 gauge is the first layout I've built that has no ballast and naked rails, and that, as you say, is because most 0 gauge layouts just either side of WW2, which are the ones I'm trying to emulate, were like that.

 

Some people were ballasting, and building scenery, as early as c1910, in fact there were a couple of cases before 1900, but it was really only post-WW2 that "the average modeller" built much outside the railway fence, or ballasted his track, and the old ways persisted in 0 gauge well into the 1950s.

 

One thing that "the average modeller" did do from a very early date was to provide a back-scene, and that is where I am badly remiss currently.

 

Kevin

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Having sat and thought about what I've just written and on the basis that I like making unique layouts maybe my next layout should be a post-Becching closed railway. With all the authentic scenery, all the railway structures in place but just with the track lifted. I could add a complex Faller roadway system so there would be authentic scenery and movement.

 

Food for thought.

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56 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

Having sat and thought about what I've just written and on the basis that I like making unique layouts maybe my next layout should be a post-Becching closed railway. With all the authentic scenery, all the railway structures in place but just with the track lifted. I could add a complex Faller roadway system so there would be authentic scenery and movement.

 

Food for thought.

 

On my 'one day' list is the remains of a medium upban terminus (Broad St/Holborn Viaduct) with the bulk of the platforms disused, some track lifted, some clearly OOU and just running into 1 (2 at most) platforms. Almost a diorama with a hint of working railway. 

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15 minutes ago, CloggyDog said:

 

On my 'one day' list is the remains of a medium upban terminus (Broad St/Holborn Viaduct) with the bulk of the platforms disused, some track lifted, some clearly OOU and just running into 1 (2 at most) platforms. Almost a diorama with a hint of working railway. 

I'd better get on with my idea then because by the sound of it this could catch on and when I finally get around to exhibiting it people will say,'Oh no! Not another abandoned railway layout!' 

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10 hours ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

... as the OP my original thinking was more about the authenticity of the scenery versus the authenticity of the locos/stock rather than anything else. I had not originally meant to debate the importance of having scenery versus the importance of operating a railway, but that appears to be the way this discussion has gone and so I throw my view into the mix...

 

...have never built a home layout because I have absolutely no interest in operating a model railway unless there is an audience...

There are several identifiable interest groups within 'active' railway modelling, broadly four in my opinion.

It's all about exhibiting.

It's all about operation.

Layout construction as an end in itself.

Railway products construction as an end in itself.

 

It's quite amusing how some become very militant in wishing to define 'the hobby' as their preferred activity.

 

There's also collectorising (the box / maker identity / material type etc. often more important than the item itself) but that's a completely different hobby, nothing specifically to do with model railways. It could be teaspoons or elephant droppings this time next year.

 

 

 

 

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Eueur ..... I just hope they don't mix up their teaspoons ................ ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Philip

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I've seen far too many layouts at shows which have exquisitely finished locos, stunning scenery and trains that need the "hand of god" every few mm to think that scenery is the most important thing.

The trains have to run properly first.

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11 hours ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

Having sat and thought about what I've just written and on the basis that I like making unique layouts maybe my next layout should be a post-Becching closed railway. With all the authentic scenery, all the railway structures in place but just with the track lifted. I could add a complex Faller roadway system so there would be authentic scenery and movement.

 

Food for thought.

 

My layout space at home is basically a shelf less than 8' long, but it is in a high-trafficked area so anything there has to look neat and complete. The previous layout sat there like a fish tank and due to complexities was never operated, and trains were only moved to photograph something. The current one is HO and just a 5' inglenook, but is operated pretty much every day because it's alot easier to do and the simple card system can give a quick 5 minutes or lengthy half hour of shunting. It is in a downtown location so there is alot more to look at than the previous country scene.

 

It never really occurred to me before but including some level of automatic operation would add to the entertainment, possibly through a PIR sensor so something only moved when they are near it, at the moment I have the habit of switching the layout on then buggering off to the modelling table in the loft and leaving noise from a loco idling or high pitched whine from the lighting effects. 

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1 hour ago, melmerby said:

I've seen far too many layouts at shows which have exquisitely finished locos, stunning scenery and trains that need the "hand of god" every few mm to think that scenery is the most important thing.

The trains have to run properly first.

 

Absolutely, but that is another plus for my post-Beeching abandoned railway concept …...

 

No misbehaving/derailing stock......    add this to other advantages

 

Less set up/take down time at an exhibition as no stock to pack away

No stock to buy … so much cheaper

No stock boxes to transport to an exhibition so maybe a smaller car/van

 

The more I think about this concept the more I like it, but I have to face the fact that I have had several other unique ideas in the past that 'would be brilliant' but which never came to anything and so I have to admit that this is another idea which I will probably never put into practice.

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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21 hours ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

I'd better get on with my idea then because by the sound of it this could catch on and when I finally get around to exhibiting it people will say,'Oh no! Not another abandoned railway layout!' 

 

Definitely the way to go! I had some fun modelling some abandoned sidings on my old Wells Green depot layout, and lifted rails with sleepers still buried in the weed infested ballast!

 

On Worthing MRC’s Loftus Road we thought it’d be fun to replicate the simplified trackwork and abandoned platform at Kenny ‘O’, the old disused platform has weeds growing through the tarmac and in front is the new replacement platform over the trackbed of the old lifted track, further down the line is some leftover disconnected track hiding in the undergrowth...certainly adds some extra character! :lol:

 

PS loved watching your layout at Warley, beautifully done and the looming grey blocks of flats at the back really helped set the scene! :good_mini:

 

Cheers,

James

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14 hours ago, James Makin said:

 

PS loved watching your layout at Warley, beautifully done and the looming grey blocks of flats at the back really helped set the scene! :good_mini:

 

 

James

 

I think you make a very good point. For those of you who haven't seen my layout, it's set in China in 2004. Now 95% of exhibition visitors probably haven't been to China and even if they have it's probably not to a 3rd string industrial city like Beijiao and so there is extra need for the scenery to set the scene - what I'm saying that in a situation like mine the scenery is more important than (say) a branch line in Devon - 99.9% of show visitors know what Devon is like.

 

As regards a more general point it is the cameos in the scenery that I enjoy doing - it's the illuminated interiors in the hotel, supermarket, cafe etc that really get my juices flowing - the rolling stock and locos are all RTR but the cameos are my creations, my imaginations and so I guess that is the crux of the matter - scenery allows you more creativity than the railway - the railway has to follow certain rules and patterns - scenery is therefore (in my opinion) the more creative part of the hobby.

 

Now I apologise for making this all about my layout but a video was made at Warley by a German YOUTUBER which (i'm pleased to say) does highlight some of the cameos quite well and so if you're interested here it is ...

 

 

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What's more important to you? The scenery or the railway?

 

Both are of equal importance to me. A railway without scenery, to me, is a trainset and running trains on a bare board, even if it has railway structures and all the right signals in all the right places, has no interest for me.

 

The scenery is important to create a sense of time and place and should be able to do that without the trains being on it.

 

I try to apply the same standard to the whole layout, no matter which side of the railway fence it is and to make it look as realistic as my skills and budget will allow. Jack of all trades, master of none?

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Both for me too.

 

I like to get the layout running nicely. It is what I am good at. I have worked on improving the appearance of RTR OO track. I know it is still OO but there is a lot which can be done to make it look less 'out of the box'.

I am also trying Scale7.

 

But where would the railways be without somewhere to serve? A station in the middle of nowhere is unusual (although they do exist).

Modelling part of a town, village, city or airport around it gives the railway a purpose, bringing the layout to life.

 

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11 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

Both for me too.

 

But where would the railways be without somewhere to serve? A station in the middle of nowhere is unusual (although they do exist).

 

 

 

Just add 'Road' to the end of the station name!

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1 hour ago, Ruston said:

 

Both are of equal importance to me.

Initially my thoughts. But then - if you show me a model with trains running and no scenery, I may well stop a while to enjoy the simple moving spectacle. OTOH, show me wonderful scenery, but where the trains all seem to have gone for lunch - as occasionally found at an exhibition - and I may not linger as long. 

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