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Mike W2

Theory of General Minories

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Harlequin said:

Hi @SteveyDee68,

Can you tell us the dimensions of the space available for the station and ferry dock and the position of the double track connection to the rest of the layout, please? A sketch would be great.

 

 

Apologies for the delay in responding - The Household Authorities demanded assistance in the garden today!

 

It is fascinating to see the discussion from everyone regarding Minories - I have been intrigued with it from an early age, as it was a 3D sketch in our copy of 60 Plans For Small Layouts rather than a plan and so instantly appealed because I could "see" it!  Only later has the cleverness of the design struck me, although I do not have knowledge of crossing angles or angles of divergence that others have with which to discuss it.  I'd like to adapt the plan to suit my "what if" layout, because it seems complex enough, if that makes sense?

 

As discussed elsewhere, I was raised on a diet of Railway Modeller magazines and so, despite being a post-decimalisation child and teacher of mathematics, I find it easier to discuss layout designs in imperial measurements (maybe it is something to do with "4mm/foot", "7mm/foot" etc?!)

 

Find attached a hand drawn sketch of the loft space available - currently shared between an office, music studio and a modelling space, but the whole area is available for the "grand design", which is shown sketched with different "scenes" around the space.

 

Many thanks to everyone contributing to this thread - learning a lot (slowly) from your discussions!

 

Steve S

 

PS

Although the top right curve is hidden in my sketched scheme, a larger radius curve might be possible at the bottom right of the plan, so mainline trains can sweep around before crossing the docks junction, at which point the mainline would take a downwards gradient (behind buildings to hide that fact) to access low level storage loops and a reverse loop.  In my mind's eye!!

 

IMG_1025.JPG

IMG_1026.JPG

Edited by SteveyDee68
Typos, further info
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That plan gives us a much better idea of the possibilities. Perhaps best to give your project a new thread on the Layout Design part of the forum?

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Steve,

 

It looks like you could have either a straight or curved throat.

 

I'm always worried when people talk about "storage loops under" because that really multiplies the constructional and operating problems up to a new level (hah hah!) It will eat space in the middle of the room, give you access problems and gradient problems. My suggestion would be to try to create a roundy-round all on the level with the station either inside or outside the main circuit.

 

Quick sketch to scale with a 305mm (1ft) grid and 7 coaches @ 260mm each over the buffers to give some idea of platform length and where the throat might be positioned:

355821213_SteveyDee682.png.63e877652932a9753e907316af8d32ca.png

Edited by Harlequin

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Posted (edited)

I think that I would want a narrower board at the right hand side because of its proximity to the loft hatch.

 

Also, it may be better to have the harbour station on the shorter of the long sides and the "main station" on the longer (top) side.

Edited by Joseph_Pestell
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1 hour ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

I think that I would want a narrower board at the right hand side because of its proximity to the loft hatch.

 

Also, it may be better to have the harbour station on the shorter of the long sides and the "main station" on the longer (top) side.

 

Fortunately when the ladders are in use to access the loft, there is a floor-strength trap door that drops diwn and makes it safe for anyone upstairs!

 

I only intend to have one station, effectively the harbour station, although Phil's suggestion of having my layout all on one level does make me wonder about swapping the station location and using the alcove (where I thought to locate the station) as a return loop, all on one level.  Mind you, that would mirror the station and reverse the trackwork ... eek! :O

 

Steve S

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2 hours ago, Harlequin said:

Thanks Steve,

 

It looks like you could have either a straight or curved throat.

 

I'm always worried when people talk about "storage loops under" because that really multiplies the constructional and operating problems up to a new level (hah hah!) It will eat space in the middle of the room, give you access problems and gradient problems. My suggestion would be to try to create a roundy-round all on the level with the station either inside or outside the main circuit.

 

Quick sketch to scale with a 305mm (1ft) grid and 7 coaches @ 260mm each over the buffers to give some idea of platform length and where the throat might be positioned:

355821213_SteveyDee682.png.63e877652932a9753e907316af8d32ca.png

 

Wow! That really does put the seven car Pullman into perspective!  I now see what you mean saying that I could have a straight throat into the station, especially given the discussions previously about using long points in crossovers not giving as much end throw on coaches.  I also appreciate what you say about gradients and storage loops; I expect to run three or four loco hauled passenger services, together with a similar number of freight trains, all of which I prefer to reverse "hands off", and to that end a return loop is desirable.  Push-pulls and EMUs could use dead end sidings and simply return.  What I wanted to avoid for a personal layout was having more activity off stage than on, so to speak!

 

Perhaps I should create a new thread, as suggested by Joseph earlier, as this is straying into designing my layout rather than discussing Minories per se and how it works for my design.

 

Thank you for all the suggestions, discussion, enlightenment, time and effort so freely given.

 

Steve S

 

YEARS OF FUN! 

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23 minutes ago, SteveyDee68 said:

 

Fortunately when the ladders are in use to access the loft, there is a floor-strength trap door that drops diwn and makes it safe for anyone upstairs!

 

I only intend to have one station, effectively the harbour station, although Phil's suggestion of having my layout all on one level does make me wonder about swapping the station location and using the alcove (where I thought to locate the station) as a return loop, all on one level.  Mind you, that would mirror the station and reverse the trackwork ... eek! :O

 

Steve S

 

If you are just having the one station (terminus), you really do have plenty of space not to bother with any gradients. As you have realised, plenty of space too for a straight approach and those curves in the corners can be wide enough not to need to be entirely hidden.

 

Have you seen the Stranraer layout on here (danstercivicman)? Similar in many ways to your situation.

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I'd echo what Jospeh has said - with that much space, you don't need to be mucking about with curves in the station.

 

I've got this into 14 feet, with a 30" approach curve...

 

20200526_171824%5B1%5D.jpg.86a3e53896486dcce0b651bf9bb308d5.jpg

 

 

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16 hours ago, SteveyDee68 said:

 

As discussed elsewhere, I was raised on a diet of Railway Modeller magazines and so, despite being a post-decimalisation child and teacher of mathematics, I find it easier to discuss layout designs in imperial measurements (maybe it is something to do with "4mm/foot", "7mm/foot" etc?!)

 

 

Same with me - I tend to design layouts in feet and inches, and make models in mm!

 

That's largely because a number of useful 00 railway dimensions work out nicely in inches.

 

For example, two tracks at Streamline spacing require 4" width, three require 6" etc. Take one of those tracks out and 2" is also a nice width for a platform (equivalent to 12'6" i.e. 6' either side of a central line of lamp posts).

 

A 1:30 gradient works out nicely as 1 cm up for every 1' along (or a 1:60 works out at 1cm for every 2 feet).

 

Bogie coaches are a little under 1' long, or three to a yard length of track.

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10 hours ago, Dr Gerbil-Fritters said:

I'd echo what Jospeh has said - with that much space, you don't need to be mucking about with curves in the station.

 

I've got this into 14 feet, with a 30" approach curve...

 

20200526_171824%5B1%5D.jpg.86a3e53896486dcce0b651bf9bb308d5.jpg

 

 

 

Dear Dr Gerbil-Fritters

 

I have to respond to this photo!  Firstly, are those medium or long streamline points you are using?  And, secondly, how high are your baseboards set, as I seem to spy a workbench below in the top left corner?  (I shall also be slightly less lazy and see if I can find if your layout is on RMWeb!)

 

Steve S

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Hi Steve,

 

There's probably more than anyone can bear in my layout thread, The Eagle Has Landed over in the US sub forum.

 

The turnouts are actually Peco 83line #6s, including a #6 double slip hiding under the bridge.  

 

I can't recall what height the boards are at but it's chest high for me, so I have a fairly natural view when standing to operate.  And yes, there is a workbench at normal desk height underneath one end of the layout. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 31/05/2020 at 19:49, t-b-g said:

 

I would agree with that. There are certain features that really ought to be maintained for a layout to be a true "Minories" and the combination of small radius points and a LH/RH combination on the two crossovers to minimise overthrow was certainly one I would include.

 

When I look at the original plan, I have often thought that the second reverse curve, in the plain track in the platforms, could be avoided by just making one platform wider, perhaps allowing some buildings down it. That could be done with all the original pointwork exactly as CJF designed it but would remove something that always looked slightly contrived to me, which was the S bend one way then the S bend back again.

 

Maybe one day, when my hands and eyes are no longer up to making things and I am in some tiny flat somewhere, I will remember "Minories" and maybe build a proper one, using the points CJF intended. Until then, as I said, I am happy to pinch the ideas and d my own thing with them.

 

Hi Tony

I agree about the essential features that makes it a Minories but i'm not sure about the small radius points  (well not in terms of Peco's definition of small, medium and large) Apart from the original 6ft 6ins long Minories in the April 1957 RM article (reprinted in 60 plans for small railways), all of CJF's renderings of his classic design used three foot radius points but none of them were shorter than 7 feet. In 1957 Pecoway and Peco's kit points were three foot radius and, at 8 1/2 inches, almost the same length as today's Streamline medium radius turnouts. It seems inconceivable that he would have drawn his plan to not work with Pecoway track, but the "goods yard" version requiring five point lengths on the right hand board is at least three inches too long. 

 

I think the answer is to be found in the previous month's RM where the big story was the arrival of TT-3 from Tri-ang accompanied by the "scale" track developed alongside it by GEM and Peco. Peco's new TT track offered a 19" radius point 5" long and, with these, the Minories throat would have fitted easily onto the  two foot six inch long board of the TT version of Minories. We know, from his other writings, that CJF originally drew up Minories as a TT-3 layout to coincide with its launch so, if you want to use the points that he intended you'll need to reproduce Peco's spiked track from 1957. You won't need to worry about back to backs though because both GEM and Peco's TT points were "universal" with closing frogs!  

 

The second reverse curve through the platforms does look odd on the plan, as if the builders had aimed for the station and missed, but, to my eyes at least,  from normal viewing angles it looks far more natural so long as the curve is very gentle. 

20 hours ago, SteveyDee68 said:

It is fascinating to see the discussion from everyone regarding Minories - I have been intrigued with it from an early age, as it was a 3D sketch in our copy of 60 Plans For Small Layouts rather than a plan and so instantly appealed because I could "see" it!  Only later has the cleverness of the design struck me, although I do not have knowledge of crossing angles or angles of divergence that others have with which to discuss it.  I'd like to adapt the plan to suit my "what if" layout, because it seems complex enough, if that makes sense?

 

As discussed elsewhere, I was raised on a diet of Railway Modeller magazines and so, despite being a post-decimalisation child and teacher of mathematics, I find it easier to discuss layout designs in imperial measurements

Hi Stever

I've also been intrigued by Minories for rather a long time and I've just fished out a 1m x 13inch  baseboard I built some time ago that I think may have a Minories throat in its future! 

 

The way that CJF drew the original Minories plan is interesting. It wasn't a sketch but an axonometric  projection where the track plan itself was rotated 45 degrees clockwise (he used 30 degrees for the version in the 1989 60 plans for small locations) Buildings, signals and and other three dimensional objects were then drawn with their uprights as vertical lines. This gives a 3D impression without actually being a perspective drawing. You can take hoizontal and vertical dimensions from it (such as the retaining wall being three inches tall) but if you turn it back through the same angle you can see that the actual track plan is normal. I've used it a couple of times to help visualise layout plans and it can be quite useful for that.  

1153782210_LeGoudronCanalaxonmetric.jpg.f86b0ac640164179b50241288c1b29a5.jpg

It helps if you're a better draughtsman/artist than I am.

 

Edited by Pacific231G
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Posted (edited)

HI Steve, You really do need to start your own thread but in the meantime this is the only place to continue the discussion.

 

So, having advised against gradients and hidden track, here's a rough idea that uses gradients and some small sections of hidden track! :tongue2:

924364385_SteveyDee683.png.7511cbd0d8fe079038d0be1153d60f86.png

 

The thinking is that if you are going to angle the terminus station then you will have a space in the top left corner (because you wouldn't want very deep baseboards there) and so why not use that deep space to form your return loop.

The neat thing about doing that is the access space serves double duty - it allows you to get to the back of the terminus board and to get at trains and track for the outer circuits and the return loop.

There's no attempt to have hidden storage loops - the return loop is just a single track that crosses under the terminus as directly as it can to minimise conflict with point motors on the level above and then runs along the front edge for easy access.

The exact levels would have to be thought about but you have plenty of running length to make it work.

Three quarters of the space is scenic with just the storage loops non-scenic in the remaining quarter. (Admitedly the main double track roundy doesn't stay in the scenic parts for very long.)

 

I don't think it quite holds together to be honest, but it's food for thought anyway.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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1 hour ago, Dr Gerbil-Fritters said:

I can't recall what height the boards are at but it's chest high for me

 

1 hour ago, Dr Gerbil-Fritters said:

I just looked it up, board tops at 53"...

That's a bit high for me. I find that a good height is nipple height, which is just under four feet for me. My previous layout was four inches higher, armpit height, and was quite uncomfortable to reach across.

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1 hour ago, Pacific231G said:

The second reverse curve through the platforms does look odd on the plan, as if the builders had aimed for the station and missed, but, to my eyes at least,  from normal viewing angles it looks far more natural so long as the curve is very gentle. 

Wasn't this something to do with the hinge blocks for the folding baseboards?

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21 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

HI Steve, You really do need to start your own thread but in the meantime this is the only place to continue the discussion.

 

So, having advised against gradients and hidden track, here's a rough idea that uses gradients and some small sections of hidden track! :tongue2:

924364385_SteveyDee683.png.7511cbd0d8fe079038d0be1153d60f86.png

 

The thinking is that if you are going to angle the terminus station then you will have a space in the top left corner (because you wouldn't want very deep baseboards there) and so why not use that deep space to form your return loop.

The neat thing about doing that is the access space serves double duty - it allows you to get to the back of the terminus board and to get at trains and track for the outer circuits and the return loop.

There's no attempt to have hidden storage loops - the return loop is just a single track that crosses under the terminus as directly as it can to minimise conflict with point motors on the level above and then runs along the front edge for easy access.

The exact levels would have to be thought about but you have plenty of running length to make it work.

Three quarters of the space is scenic with just the storage loops non-scenic in the remaining quarter. (Admitedly the main double track roundy doesn't stay in the scenic parts for very long.)

 

I don't think it quite holds together to be honest, but it's food for thought anyway.

 

I like this. Two relatively minor comments:

 

- there might not be enough room for pointwork to decent length storage loops.

- I'd make the storage loops open as a semi-scenic feature.

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7 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

I like this. Two relatively minor comments:

 

- there might not be enough room for pointwork to decent length storage loops.

- I'd make the storage loops open as a semi-scenic feature.

 

Yes indeed. 

 

Is there any real need for a reverse loop and hidden sidings? Just as easy to replace those hidden sidings with another terminus station with trains running several laps round the continuous run until the operator is ready to take them into the station.

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9 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Hi Tony

I agree about the essential features that makes it a Minories but i'm not sure about the small radius points  (well not in terms of Peco's definition of small, medium and large) Apart from the original 6ft 6ins long Minories in the April 1957 RM article (reprinted in 60 plans for small railways), all of CJF's renderings of his classic design used three foot radius points but none of them were shorter than 7 feet. In 1957 Pecoway and Peco's kit points were three foot radius and, at 8 1/2 inches, almost the same length as today's Streamline medium radius turnouts. It seems inconceivable that he would have drawn his plan to not work with Pecoway track, but the "goods yard" version requiring five point lengths on the right hand board is at least three inches too long. 

 

I think the answer is to be found in the previous month's RM where the big story was the arrival of TT-3 from Tri-ang accompanied by the "scale" track developed alongside it by GEM and Peco. Peco's new TT track offered a 19" radius point 5" long and, with these, the Minories throat would have fitted easily onto the  two foot six inch long board of the TT version of Minories. We know, from his other writings, that CJF originally drew up Minories as a TT-3 layout to coincide with its launch so, if you want to use the points that he intended you'll need to reproduce Peco's spiked track from 1957. You won't need to worry about back to backs though because both GEM and Peco's TT points were "universal" with closing frogs!  

 

The second reverse curve through the platforms does look odd on the plan, as if the builders had aimed for the station and missed, but, to my eyes at least,  from normal viewing angles it looks far more natural so long as the curve is very gentle. 

Hi Stever

I've also been intrigued by Minories for rather a long time and I've just fished out a 1m x 13inch  baseboard I built some time ago that I think may have a Minories throat in its future! 

 

The way that CJF drew the original Minories plan is interesting. It wasn't a sketch but an axonometric  projection where the track plan itself was rotated 45 degrees clockwise (he used 30 degrees for the version in the 1989 60 plans for small locations) Buildings, signals and and other three dimensional objects were then drawn with their uprights as vertical lines. This gives a 3D impression without actually being a perspective drawing. You can take hoizontal and vertical dimensions from it (such as the retaining wall being three inches tall) but if you turn it back through the same angle you can see that the actual track plan is normal. I've used it a couple of times to help visualise layout plans and it can be quite useful for that.  

1153782210_LeGoudronCanalaxonmetric.jpg.f86b0ac640164179b50241288c1b29a5.jpg

It helps if you're a better draughtsman/artist than I am.

 

 

You are way ahead of me in the drawing department. My layout planning is usually done with a pencil and paper and very often, not even a straight edge!

 

When I think of Minories and small radius points, it always struck me that if you used large radius points you didn't need the LH/RH combination to avoid excess overthrow, so that type of crossover was used to minimise the impact of shorter and smaller radius points. Mind you, I have used B7s and 8s on mine, so small and large radius are relative. I do recall that the original plan was based around some new points that had come on the market but I had forgotten it was for TT.

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The trouble with that plan is that there isn't much length between the terminus and the continuous run, so there would need to be gradients on the continuous run as well. Personally, I think I'd bring the line from the terminus round in front of the storage loops, have a trailing double crossover with the exit from the storage loops, then bring the line round the front of the terminus, underneath, and round the back to the storage loops. That way there are no points in the awkward section behind the terminus.

 

As to why have a reversing loop? Operationally it's more interesting - you send the trains away and they come back of their own accord a few minutes later for you to have to deal with!

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13 hours ago, Harlequin said:

HI Steve, You really do need to start your own thread but in the meantime this is the only place to continue the discussion.

 

So, having advised against gradients and hidden track, here's a rough idea that uses gradients and some small sections of hidden track! :tongue2:

924364385_SteveyDee683.png.7511cbd0d8fe079038d0be1153d60f86.png

 

The thinking is that if you are going to angle the terminus station then you will have a space in the top left corner (because you wouldn't want very deep baseboards there) and so why not use that deep space to form your return loop.

The neat thing about doing that is the access space serves double duty - it allows you to get to the back of the terminus board and to get at trains and track for the outer circuits and the return loop.

There's no attempt to have hidden storage loops - the return loop is just a single track that crosses under the terminus as directly as it can to minimise conflict with point motors on the level above and then runs along the front edge for easy access.

The exact levels would have to be thought about but you have plenty of running length to make it work.

Three quarters of the space is scenic with just the storage loops non-scenic in the remaining quarter. (Admitedly the main double track roundy doesn't stay in the scenic parts for very long.)

 

I don't think it quite holds together to be honest, but it's food for thought anyway.

 

 

Thank you, PhilM, for the feast you have provided for my mind to feed upon!  The loop in the top left corner is inspired, as it does use the space well.  I will print this design off (if I may) and apply my own thoughts with blunt crayons!  I really should get to grips with learning some layout planning software and create my own scale drawings.

 

Again, thanks to the many contributors!

 

Steve S

 

PS

Up to page 16 of The Eagle Has Landed (the thread, not the novel) so discovered the answers to my earlier questions myself, but didn't report that here as I was engrossed in Dr Gerbil-Fritters' developing layout!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, t-b-g said:

 

You are way ahead of me in the drawing department. My layout planning is usually done with a pencil and paper and very often, not even a straight edge!

 

When I think of Minories and small radius points, it always struck me that if you used large radius points you didn't need the LH/RH combination to avoid excess overthrow, so that type of crossover was used to minimise the impact of shorter and smaller radius points. Mind you, I have used B7s and 8s on mine, so small and large radius are relative. I do recall that the original plan was based around some new points that had come on the market but I had forgotten it was for TT.

The plan was in Xtrkcad - it would be Anyrail now- simply turned through 45 degrees.I only included it to show that if even I can do it then anyone can.

This is what the resultant layout, still very much a wip (and nothing to do with Minories)  looks like.

1107904847_LeGoudron-Canal(Lenham2020).jpg.acc422cdb1f9c1bfae7373ba0634abb9.jpg

 

My  own technical drawing with pen/pencil and paper is truly horrible and perspective drawing is way beyond me. I do though use graphics softwate to create card building "kits" and templates, as on this layout, and one advantage of working with card is that it can be printed on a standard inkjet. 

 

For my own layout planning I find that a shoebox box of old Peco points and offcuts of track  that have all seen better days tells me far more about how stock will really look passing through pointwork than even paper templates.  The result is that I've found it impossible to improve on Minories within the same length though replacing the outermost back to back  with a large radius Y and using a large radius LH turnout as the end of the final crossover may work for me. This produces two more unseparated reverses than Minories but at five foot rather than three foot radius.  This is probably not still a Minories and is an inch andf a half longer ! 

 

1182157771_7ftMinorieswgoodsYinthroat(2).jpg.2343985b09a59308a4bbaaaf18f65a16.jpg

Edited by Pacific231G
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This is what passes for drawing layout plans around here! Sometimes, if I get 20 minutes to spare and it isn't worth going in the shed, I pick up a pad and a pencil and do no more than doodles. I hate throwing stuff away so I have many dozens of pages like it. Some of them even get built!

 

IMG_20200602_0001.jpg.2f4f510f39116f2ad00c6355c6e42a99.jpg

 

 

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Posted (edited)

One more page, just to prove that sometimes things do happen.

 

IMG_20200602_0002.jpg.525a9bcfbde1ba6f665043639ea0af63.jpg

 

The RH plan did get built but as a mirror image and became Church Warsop. Edit to add just spotted the right way round Church Warsop further to the left!

 

Church_Warsop_016.jpg.98cea16d36c18b400f9585b0869cd772.jpg

 

 

Edited by t-b-g
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Pacific231G said:

Hi Steve

I've also been intrigued by Minories for rather a long time and I've just fished out a 1m x 13inch  baseboard I built some time ago that I think may have a Minories throat in its future! 

 

The way that CJF drew the original Minories plan is interesting. It wasn't a sketch but an axonometric  projection where the track plan itself was rotated 45 degrees clockwise (he used 30 degrees for the version in the 1989 60 plans for small locations) Buildings, signals and and other three dimensional objects were then drawn with their uprights as vertical lines. This gives a 3D impression without actually being a perspective drawing. You can take hoizontal and vertical dimensions from it (such as the retaining wall being three inches tall) but if you turn it back through the same angle you can see that the actual track plan is normal. I've used it a couple of times to help visualise layout plans and it can be quite useful for that.  

1153782210_LeGoudronCanalaxonmetric.jpg.f86b0ac640164179b50241288c1b29a5.jpg

It helps if you're a better draughtsman/artist than I am.

 

 

Hi David Pacific231G

 

You were able to name the type of drawing that I couldn't remember when I posted!  Shame on me - I worked for a while in the University of Manchester's School of Architecture, and was there when the new (at the time) University logo was introduce (first image, below).  Unfortunately, the graphic designers of the logo had done it in such a way that it was neither 3D (no consistent vanishing point) or an axonometric projection and the School of Architecture flat refused to use it, as they said it would make them the laughing stock of every architect in the country!  They continued to use the original University crest on all their official correspondence!

 

Of course, the University went through another rebrand exercise after UMIST was merged back into the University of Manchester in 2004, and there were (TTBOMK) no objections to the replacement logo (second image) as it is purely text!

 

Now, is there a prize for taking a thread the most off topic?!

 

Steve S

 

The "new" logo, neither 3D or axonometric projection!

IMG_1031.PNG

 

Post merger logo, designed to draw attention to the history of the University

 

IMG_1028.PNG

Edited by SteveyDee68
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