!!

Not Registered?

Welcome!  Please register to view all of the new posts and forum boards - some of which are hidden to guests.  After registering and gaining 10 posts you will be able to sell and buy items on our N'porium.

If you have any problems registering, then please check your spam filter before emailing us.  Hotmail users seem to find their emails in the Junk folder.


Thanks for reading,
The NGF Staff.

Author Topic: Good Layout Presentation  (Read 5906 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Vanders

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2013, 01:09:32 PM »
Am I odd, then? My layout is specifically designed:

1) To be viewable from any direction, hence no backscene
2) Stand at a height of around 1m

In fact the entire idea is that the viewer is looking down at a "slice" of the earth, which just happens to contain some railway. I may even go so far as to have "open" buildings on the edges where they're "sliced through". I think the concept fits the more modern era of Google Maps & Google Earth, and I wanted to drag things kicking and screaming towards the future.

Now, I don't yet know if the finished layout will work (and the illusion may already be somewhat ruined by the presence of some Dapol uncoupling magnets), but I figured it was worth a try.

Offline PostModN66

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 17980
  • Posts: 2027
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • YouTube
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2013, 01:20:27 PM »
Brilliant - I am all in favour of trying something exciting and different.    :thumbsup:

Lots of interesting design challenges in there - looking forward to seeing it develop.

Cheers   Jon  :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

My Postmodern Image Layouts

Lofthole http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14792.msg147178#msg147178

Deansmoor http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14741.msg146381#msg146381

Offline H

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1660
  • Country: 00
    • grahamehedges
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2013, 01:28:17 PM »

In fact the entire idea is that the viewer is looking down at a "slice" of the earth, which just happens to contain some railway. I may even go so far as to have "open" buildings on the edges where they're "sliced through". I think the concept fits the more modern era of Google Maps & Google Earth, and I wanted to drag things kicking and screaming towards the future.


Interesting development, although not entirely new. The T gauge layouts I've seen are rather 'looking-down-on-a-map' type and there are several layouts without back-scenes and that have cut through buildings on the boundaries. There's even a layout without a back-scene board for all round viewing but the operator wears a kind of apron that is printed with a distant scene so he becomes 'invisible' behind it.

H.

Offline red_death

  • Revolution Trains
  • Advertiser
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2926
  • Country: gb
    • DEMU - the society for Diesel & Electric modellers of all scales
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2013, 01:37:53 PM »
There was a nice 2mm FS layout (Queen Street Goods?) which used to be exhibited where you viewed it from one end of the yard ie effectively looking down the yard, which I always thought was effective.

I saw a good, small 4mm layout over the summer (Tremore) which had no "traditional" backscene, but lots of built up foliage which again I thought worked well.

Cheers, Mike



Offline Newportnobby

  • Global Moderator
  • Trade Count: (+98)
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • N Gauge Society Number: 21962
  • Posts: 34557
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2013, 03:51:15 PM »
There's even a layout without a back-scene board for all round viewing but the operator wears a kind of apron that is printed with a distant scene so he becomes 'invisible' behind it.

H.

Was he a Predator? :o

Online PLD

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2255
    • Hull Miniature Railway Society
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2013, 08:59:26 PM »
1) Good lighting
2) A backscene (it ruins the effect for me when you can look through the layout and see "giant" middle aged men, coffee cups and soldering irons in-between the buildings)
3) A proscenium arch to frame the view
4) Fiddle yard not visible in the same view as the layout (you should have to step to/go round the side to see it, if at all so it doesn't detract from the effect portrayed)
5) Layout height - high enough so you're not looking down from a helicopter!  A tricky one this as some people are in wheelchairs, and need to be accommodated - I have a big periscope.  Children can stand on chairs!
6) Something moving at (nearly) all times
7) No "do not touch" signs!   A negative note, even if politely expressed
8 ) Operator round the front for easy communication with the audience
9) No hands (or elbows) in the view.  Sometimes operators dangle their hands over the backscene, ruining the effect, or in explaining something point excessively to the thing in question
10) Check the switching before you give it a shove!  Often a "stalled" loco is stationary because the points are set wrong or isolating switches thrown, but a finger appears and gives it a premature push.
11) A "story" - so people can get some sense of what they are looking at.  A visible timetable can help with this, or at least an explanation of where the trains are coming from and going to.
12) Some form of audience involvement/participation
13) No "wobbling".  Level the layout, brace the legs as appropriate, don't lean on it so as to make it shake.

The last one is an aspiration: 14) No derailments or stalled locos!  This is never 100% achievable, but at least keep the rails and wheels clean, quarantine poorly running stock.

Some good thoughts in there, mostly simple things that can make a big difference to how atractive a layuot is to the viewer...

1) so many simple options these days (strips, spots, LED etc etc) but not decorative fittings on a length of unpainted 4x2 and please point the spots at the layout not into the viewers eyes...
2) I doesn't necessarily have to be a traditional painted sky. tall buildings/ hills/ trees to the rear of the layout can do the same job of masking the undesirable sights behind the layout.
3) Yes - where the design of the layout allows. - It isn't always possible on layouts designed for 2 or 3 sided viewing.
4) or even better not see the F/Y at all!
5) There isn't a simple one-size-fits-all ideal layout height so I say make it comfortable for the operator who has to spend up to 8 hours behind it.
6) depends to some extent on the style of the layout - a busy urban mainline you would expect constant movement. A country branch less so, but there does need to be something else in the detail to keep the viewers attention in the (short) gaps between trains.
7) If only they weren't necessary - so long is it is polite or humerous (one saw one the read 'children - please remind your parents not to touch') I don't mind too much.
8 ) But there is nothing worse than the Operator wandering up and down in front of the layout blocking your view... [USA prototype and DCC controlled layouts seem particularly aflicted]
9) Does that include reaching over to uncouple?
10) Unforunately, somtimes the layout is easier to switch on than the operator!!
11) I would expect that to be covered in the show guide.
12) there are laouts designed with that in mind but I wouldn't expect it of every layout...
13) Yes but I've seen plenty of examples where the layout was more stable than the operators!!

Paul

Offline bridgiesimon

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 12318
  • Posts: 903
  • Country: england
  • Gender: Male
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2013, 08:31:44 PM »
Really interesting discussion here, the subject of layout height is one I have had a few issues with as my layout, Polpendra, is 50 inches floor to track and have been criticised for this a few times. I politely explain that I have back issues and it is at a hiehght that is comfortable for me to work on and operate. At one show, an individual got a little stroppy with me about the layout height but I think that as my layout was built primarily for me and home use with the occasional exhibition invite then the exhibiting is secondary to my own comfort. No point building a layout for 4-6 days a year if it is not suitable for the rest of the time. I know I could have different frames etc etc etc but I also prefer higher layouts for viewing other layouts anyway!

On the subject of backscenes, unless the scenery caters for it such as use of buildings etc, I much prefer a curved backscene rather then seeing rightangles in the sky.

Something moving all the time is something I try to do on my layout but as it is a small terminus station and I use cassettes for storage, this is not always pocssible and it is frustrating when somebody walks over as one train leaves and is gone befoore you are able to get the next train running. I helped a friend of mine exhibit his layout last weekend and we were , almost, able to keep something running all the time. It is a double track mainline and we stacked a train in the tunnel waiting to go onto the layout until teh train from the other direction left trhe scene before running out, this seemed to work well although the occasional passing trains on the front were run. A great day though!!

Your point 10, check the switching - A mega one and something I am terrible at, this is somehting that if you are running your own layout regularly you get better at but at a show when you are talking to the public as you operate, mistakes can happen. Maybe it is how you react that makes the difference as well?

I have a story/potted history on my layout giving a theoretical background to the station and (TIP TIME) a list of things to look out for - this works really wel and seems to keep people interested in the layout betweek trains, especially the sillier things such as my pride and joy - my elephant!!

Finally your last point, reliable running. I have a policy of 2 failures and its into the stockbox!! Making sure you have enough stock to only use stuff that will run well is very important, I think operators should remember that people are paying to see us 'perform'! This is just as much about preparation, wheel and track cleaning as it is about the actual operating. At the show last weekend, Russell and I had superb reliability due to many hours before the show ensuring the stock was ready and this resulted in a trouble free (mostly) show. TRouble free running also measn that as an oprator you can enjoy yourself much more without the worry of stalling and finger prodding.

Best wishes
Simon


Offline PostModN66

  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 17980
  • Posts: 2027
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • YouTube
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2013, 10:59:35 PM »
Hi Simon,

Thanks for such a thoughtful and interesting post.

Do you know, I think that my preferred height of 48", nearly the same as yours, is a reasonable compromise. As I said further up, people in wheelchairs can usually see the layout (from a low angle), and seem generally happy with my super periscope for a better view.   At all exhibitions chairs or similar are available for children to stand on, and it has the side-effect of limiting their movement and consequent accidents.  I lose patience with layouts that are too low - say 3' 6" or lower.  Maybe I should take my periscope and use it to get a low view!

Your point about the curved backscenes - taken - but I think this is on the cusp of  being about the layout itself rather than it's presentation.  I agree that curved backscenes are better.  Lofthole doesn't have one, and it therefore isn't as good as if it did!  I'm happy to admit the shortcoming!

Keeping something moving is a consequence of deliberate design as well as operating policy.  I try and design this into my layouts.  But then mine are totally focussed at exhibitions - I never run trains at home except to test the layout.

Your list of "things to look out" for matches my criterion of audience involvement; get people to engage rather than just watch passively!

All the best  Jon   :)
“We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

My Postmodern Image Layouts

Lofthole http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14792.msg147178#msg147178

Deansmoor http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=14741.msg146381#msg146381

Offline Robin2

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • N Gauge Society Number: 20089
  • Posts: 89
  • Country: gb
    • Awards
Re: Good Layout Presentation
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2013, 07:24:42 PM »
Lots of very interesting comments here.

Ever since reading one of Iain Rice's books I have been taken with the idea of having a fairly high baseboard/track height - he recommends 54 to 56 inches, I think.

I am 6ft tall and I reckon some of the layouts at Warley were too high. Fence Houses particularly comes to mind, but there were others. I found with these very high layouts that there was stuff I couldn't see properly.

I suspect I look at a layout with two different mind-sets. At one moment I look at the scene in the way one would look at a painting and at the next moment I want to see "how they did it".

That brings me to another point. One of the things I like about going to an exhibition is being able to see behind the scenes - how the fiddle yard is worked or how the layout is supported and displayed. These things are rarely visible in magazine articles even though they give a lot of column-inches to the use of 2x1 framing and 9mm ply.

...R

 

Please Support Us!
June Goal: £100.00
Due Date: Jun 30
Total Receipts: £52.00
Below Goal: £48.00
Site Currency: GBP
52% 
June Donations

SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal