Proscenium arch size?

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Will L
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Re: Proscenium arch size?

Postby Will L » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:41 pm

It has always struck me as a little odd that we have a fastion to go to greater and greater lengths to model the point blades, chairs and their associated roding and other sundary gubbins, at the same time as another fasion for mounting the layout so high at to make the paintwork detail all but invisible.

My personal view is that high eye line plus theatrical views are fine on layouts no more than two tracks deep. Any more than that and you need a lower view to appreciate the track layout and how it operates.im not even sure I really need a back scene if I'm watching a layout operating, but it does improve the photographs.

Philip Hall
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Re: Proscenium arch size?

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:02 pm

When taking photos a backscene is useful but is very rarely high enough. One of the exceptions was Semley, where Paul Bambrick’s masterpiece was really a part of the layout, and was high enough to be blended in with a tiny bit of trickery to take out the rest of the room. Mostly a photographic backscene (for me) is just a sheet of light blue wallpaper and the rest can be done later. But you will realise that MRJ’s approach (I mean mine and Barry’s) is somewhat different from the other magazines, where (it seems to me) that a lot of digital manipulation is done to bring us a razor sharp image with no trace of a room behind.

I am in two minds about a proscenium arch. When operating a layout one either is behind the thing, if necessary speaking to observers from behind the blue wall, or just able to converse with nothing between you. Sometimes the lack of a backscene is a bonus in being sociable. I think that is my preference, or at least a backscene that is just about low enough to allow you to see and talk to your audience.

There is no definitive answer to this. A proscenium arch creates a theatrical presentation, but that should only be if you wish it. And I’m not sure that I do. Sometimes it works, sometimes...

Philip

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jon price
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Re: Proscenium arch size?

Postby jon price » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:53 pm

Hi Ian
Sorry, can't make the next meeting. No access to the car, and Northern Rail is on strike. I've seen a couple of the layouts in the past, I like the Humber Dock approach, and the big viasduct layout, but I'm inclining more and more to mot having a proscenium. I'll have to make some mini mock-ups like you have to see how it works.

DougN
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Re: Proscenium arch size?

Postby DougN » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:16 pm

I too have been thinking about this idea. My layout that has started but got no further then a few bits of ply and the in construction trackwork. Will be 12ft long x2ft wide for the interesting bits with fiddle yards at either end. As I have been playing around I realised that the arch has a function on the width and length of the layout. Ie 300wide have to be higher and really letter box style to get people to look in and focus there attention, where as 2ft wide need to be lower so the viewer is above the scene and can see further to the back of the layout. Where as 3ft again needs to be lower again...an example of clutton where the width of the boards is a lot wider, TIM might tell us... looks right lower down as it is an overall view of the scene that pulls us in to look at the smaller details.

The problem is people don't come in a single size and the problem becomes choosing the right height and ratio for the layout. I like them higher but at 6'2" of course I would.my OO layout is about 40" high at 4ft across seems to work but this is a home layout for running RTR trains for myself and visitors. I have also noticed at exhibitions that the function of height to width and then to the length can create disinterest in the viewer... if it is too long the viewers aren't interested in walking the length if the view is too constrained in height. I think Jol's photo demonstrates the length of the layout to height quite well as the interest is maintained for the length as the eye sees the length and height which creates an interest to draw the spectator in. If it was shorter in lenght it may not have the same interest. In the same way a 20ft x1ft may not be able to get attention at 48"height as it becomes a number of scenes for the viewer to look at as it can't be taken in in one glance.. to grab the attention.
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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Noel
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Re: Proscenium arch size?

Postby Noel » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:39 pm

DougN wrote:I think Jol's photo demonstrates the length of the layout to height quite well as the interest is maintained for the length as the eye sees the length and height which creates an interest to draw the spectator in.


Or, to be cynical, and without intending any reflection on any specific layout [including the one in the photo Jol posted], shows how uninteresting it is, so you can move on. With long layouts in general, it can be difficult to see detail at the far end from where you are standing [don't forget, most of us are of an age where our eyesight has become less than perfect (assuming it ever was)], so to do so you have to work your way along the length of the layout, which can be difficult/frustrating if significant numbers are all trying to do the same thing at different rates of progress, pushing you away from the layout to pass behind them, which is where the problem of the low proscenium arch becomes a more obtrusive factor...

DougN wrote: In the same way a 20ft x1ft may not be able to get attention at 48"height as it becomes a number of scenes for the viewer to look at as it can't be taken in in one glance.. to grab the attention.


Although some layouts with high baseboards specifically aim at not having everything visible at once. The point being that when viewing real railways you are usually at the same level as the railway, and movements come and go from view behind various obstructions, such as buildings, other stock/trains, trees, bridges, etc. according to context.
Noel

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Tim V
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Re: Proscenium arch size?

Postby Tim V » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:14 pm

DougN wrote:Where as 3ft again needs to be lower again...an example of clutton where the width of the boards is a lot wider, TIM might tell us... looks right lower down as it is an overall view of the scene that pulls us in to look at the smaller details.

Clutton is about 5' deep. I actually tried raising it by 4", it didn't work, so the layout is back at its original height - which I can't remember :)
Tim V


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