Author Topic: clay model of the layout  (Read 466 times)

deemery

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clay model of the layout
« on: December 23, 2017, 08:13:46 PM »
Dave Frary and John Siekirk are two modelers who have talked about building a clay model of their layout to understand landforms, etc.  I thought I'd try that myself, using the track plan I got from a professional track planner.

I got 2 large copies printed at a local copy store.  On one of them, I carefully cut out the track plan itself.  On the other, I cut out the total layout geometry.  Then I glued that latter copy to some foamcore, added some 1/8" stock to represent the walls.

The plan is to get the modeling clay (doesn't dry out) to a consistent thickness, then lay the track plan on top of the clay.  (The standard gauge track is supposed to have no elevation change.  The narrow gauge branch will have a 2.5% to 3% grade, something to work out with the clay.)  Then I'll add and subtract clay for the contours, working around (and in the case of a tunnel, over top of) the track.

dave
Modeling the Northeast in the 1890s - because the little voices told me to

bparrish

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2017, 10:41:49 PM »
Dave. 

This is a very interesting way of evaluating. 

In recent years with helping others in the early stages of planning I fall back to switching. 

If you have double track, are you using right hand drive operations. Not CNW left side. This begs how you set your sidings.

Are you using out and back turn around train orders?

Itís all about what you want do do with this when you get down the road. 

See ya
Bob
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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2017, 08:18:00 AM »



Dave


I think you are really going to like going through this process.  I find it very helpful in working out elevations and I also use it for structure placement using scale cardboard mockups.
John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2017, 01:06:14 PM »
Nice idea! It's better to find plan errors early, that's for sure.
Are you going to start a build thread somewhere?

deemery

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2017, 05:36:44 PM »
Today I put 'clay to plan'.  I used a wallboard knife to cut some slices of clay, trying to get uniform thickness.  Then I laid them over the track plan, and cut away the aisles :-)  The small triangular thin palette knife worked great to carve the clay.  Then I added the track plan.  I used "known sizes" of styrene to set some benchmark heights (in particular, the height for scenery over a tunnel.)  I added the lally column and the proposed view blocks, and then filled in (or pinched out) elevations in clay.


Some conclusions from this exercise:
1.  I need more space (doesn't everyone) to fit in everything on my wish-list
2.  There's easily enough space in the center blob to have the town go up a hill over top of the track, which disappears into a tunnel on the right side of the blob.
3.  The HOn30 line that goes along the back wall can make enough elevation to get some separation from the main line.  But it'll be hard to model/simulate the quarry that provides its cargo.
4.  I have no clue where I'll put the large refinery I want to build.  Probably underneath the stairs, which will make it almost impossible to see. 



dave
Modeling the Northeast in the 1890s - because the little voices told me to

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 08:39:53 AM »
Dave


You are on your way - I like to let the model sit for a few days and then come back and play a few more "what if" games before deciding on the final version.  Make yourself a cardboard view template that is your scale size to help you visualize what you will see from different angles. I will be following your progress.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 08:57:19 AM by S&S RR »
John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

deemery

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 12:38:31 PM »
A 1/2" scale mini-me, eh? 


dave
Modeling the Northeast in the 1890s - because the little voices told me to

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 01:33:57 PM »
A 1/2" scale mini-me, eh? 


dave


You got it! See where your eyeballs line up on the model.  Do you want to view track side or do you want to view your layout from a drone (like most layouts).  I have three towns on my layout that will be trackside for me (my eyeballs will be looking down the street like I'm 1:87 scale. One that's in-between (my eagle's nest yard), and one that will be like looking at it from a drone (the town of Sellios). My waterfront scene starts at drone viewing height and ends up higher than street level view (think of the town of Franklin on the F&SM). Note: a bench or step stool is required for the Grandkids to see the layout the way you do, if that is an issue.
John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 01:40:04 PM »
Dave the viewing height is a big deal to me. Most of my mountains go all the way to the ceiling but in the areas where the street level is eye ball level the mountains look much higher and realistic. In some areas I changed the height of the mountains so they didn't become view blocks.  Something I learned from the changes that George Sellios made on the F&SM. His layout looks twice as big since he removed the ceiling to floor mountains that ended at the Mt. Allen trestle. Just a few things to think about while you study your clay model.
John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

deemery

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 02:39:31 PM »
One comment from the track planner who did the layout:  He thought it was really interesting that I planned to use a hill with houses in the center blob, where most people would have put a 'mountain'.  I'm still thinking about the view block.  There's the damn lally column, if it wasn't for that I would have probably eliminated the viewblock totally.  I'm still pondering what to do on the back part of the blob.


dave
Modeling the Northeast in the 1890s - because the little voices told me to

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2017, 05:49:01 PM »
One comment from the track planner who did the layout:  He thought it was really interesting that I planned to use a hill with houses in the center blob, where most people would have put a 'mountain'.  I'm still thinking about the view block.  There's the damn lally column, if it wasn't for that I would have probably eliminated the viewblock totally.  I'm still pondering what to do on the back part of the blob.


dave


Dave


Column are always a problem with basement layouts.  I have only seen two solutions that I like. If you want to completely hide it mountains to the ceiling.  I have three of them hid on my layout.  I have seen modelers paint them sky blue and fade them into the backdrops that worked. If you do use view blocks make them as small as possible, would be my 2 cents worth.

John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2017, 05:51:17 PM »
I would take some pictures from your eye level of the clay mockup and add the ceiling line to help make the decision.
John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

deemery

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2017, 06:12:25 PM »
The part at the 'top' of the picture has a dropped ceiling, so that would be a good idea.


dave
Modeling the Northeast in the 1890s - because the little voices told me to

NEBrownstone

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Re: clay model of the layout
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2017, 08:22:33 AM »
Give us some bigger pics.  Can't see the detail in the plan.  Looks good.  I've never done the build a smaller clay model since I've never had a big enough layout.
Russ

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