Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Help and advice for those starting in, or converting to P4 standards. A place to share modelling as a beginner in P4.
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Alastairr
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Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Alastairr » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:53 am

Hi,

I'm using these dark winter evenings to start thinking about building my first P4 layout next year. However I am posting here because I am seeking inspiration on layout design. The trouble is I can't decide on prototype or region - which is a rather big thing to decide on! One thing I have decided is that it must be prototype inspired though, i.e. based on a real place. I have built most of the High Level range of small locos (I like the kits!), have a three diesel shunters (03, 04, 08) and have a number of wagons spanning all eras (mostly kit built), so I am looking at a naturally evolved Iain Rice inspired shunting layout judging by the stock I own.

Period would have to be 1940s-1960s so I could use steam and early diesel locos. Size of the layout, anything up to 15ft ish - but wouldn't want to build something too big as a first layout, so am flexible with size. I would like something interesting to operate but not at the expense of making something with a track design that is too far removed from reality.

Can anyone help, suggesting any suitable prototypes, or design ideas that could inspire? Or how you progress from here?

I was wondering about British Oak but not sure if that has been already done, and a bit cliché? I like dockside layouts, harbours, quaysides etc - again, not sure if this is too cliché...

I have the Iain Rice books on layout design (finescale in small spaces), trouble is - all the designs look appealing and you can't build them all!

Thanks,

Alastair

DougN
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby DougN » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:14 am

Alistair,

I think you are on the right path. 15ft is a nice size I have been kicking around ideas for a 18ft layout for a while which is 3ft fiddle yard/ 12ft scenic/ 3ft fiddleyard as a through NER station with an exchange siding for a small colliery (off scene) some where not far from York. this is so I can have both my NER rolling stock in LNER livery with some medium sized loco's and a couple of small industrials delivering and removing wagons.

Can you find some inspirational photos (or part photo's) so you could sketch something out. Pen and paper work. I think there is a stage where you have to move onto Templot to really get a good feeling of what you want to achieve. I have yet to make the jump to Templot with my sketches! lack of time to get things done is my problem. :(
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

Winander
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Winander » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:43 pm

Hi Alastair,

Depending on how close you want the model to be to your chosen prototype, I recommend choosing a prototype that has sufficient readily accessible information available. If you have to do a lot of research it can stall your project. I'm not familiar with the High Level range, nor post-nationalisation, nor dockside layouts, harbours, quaysides etc but you may have inadvertently selected a particular location/region with the stock you have already built if you want to get it 100% right.

Photographs might give you inspiration, e.g. browsing something like http://www.warwickshirerailways.com/
Richard

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Tor Giffard
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Tor Giffard » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:31 pm

....you have to find a period and prototype which motivates you significantly Alastair because the amount of work involved in such an undertaking as you describe will quickly test your commitment and most likely lead to not completing the project, if you are not highly motivated by your subject.

A decent railway bookshop will have enough titles to tempt you in a particular direction.

Dave

mickeym
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby mickeym » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:18 pm

In 15 foot or so, you could get quite a reasonable, representative section of something like the Falmouth Docks / BR interchange area at Falmouth station.

David Knight
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby David Knight » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:27 pm

Hi Alistair,

By the sounds of your motive power you are set up perfectly for an industrial/dockyard/ship canal type of layout. Given that it is your first, may I suggest that you consider an expandable "shunting plank"? The reasoning is as follows: first off you will be able to get trains moving in reasonably short order and also get practice in trackwork . An "inglenook" or "Timesaver" style will give you an easily attainable goal but leave plenty of room for expansion. Most people get discouraged when they spend many hours/days/months on a plan and never see a wheel turned in anger :cry: . Start simple and add on would be my advice FWIW.

HTH

David

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Alastairr
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Alastairr » Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:12 pm

Thanks for the replies. The one that stuck out the most was from Dave Tor Giffard - finding motivation in your subject, an emotional attachment perhaps. That is somewhat tricky as all the locations and lines that I feel I have some attachment to are not really shunting based layouts. Attachment and motivation to something freelance but inspired by somewhere (like your project?) - not massively sure how that works.

David K - sage words on starting with something smaller, perhaps a "plank" that could be expanded upon.

Falmouth Docks is not somewhere I knew much about but some pictures I've been looking at look very nice.

Can anyone suggest any other similar locations that could offer inspiration? Maybe not dockyard but more colliery/industrial based?

Thanks,

Alastair

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Tor Giffard
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Tor Giffard » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:26 pm

....hence suggesting exploring more prototypes Alastair...it may be that a combination of bits of several is the answer, almost certainly the route to a unique layout....but one way or another you need that commitment/motivation.

I matched the traffic variety which motivated me with the geographic location which allowed it....but in a scenic setting reminiscent of some 40/50 miles distant. If that approach works for you too then great.

The Hayle wharf branch is interesting from the aspect of how it was worked and the traffic which was handled....Octel tank wagons to Associated Octel, acid tanks to/from the same destination, imported coal loaded into railway wagons, fuel tanks to the Esso terminal.....all over a swing bridge next to a signal box etc....more importantly I haven't seen anyone else do it....but you would probably have to scratchbuild the Octel tanks.

Have a look at the Cornwall railway society compilation....
http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.u ... nches.html

Few RTR chemical tanks are available, therefore almost any chemical works/wharf environment will give you a rarely modelled opportunity.

Dave
Last edited by Tor Giffard on Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:43 pm

Woodbridge, Suffolk. Model it with the tide out and the River Deben has a fine display of mud. The station, goods shed and surrounding buildings (the iconic Tidemill) are mainly still there. Quite short as the goods shed ran off at angle alongside the station up end

Long Buckby, Northants. Longer, with the station on an embankment (interesting wooden platforms on timber supports) and the goods yard separated from the station by a road underbridge.

These are just stations I know a little of, having lived nearby.

Armchair Modeller
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:26 pm

If you have built most of the High Level kits, then something based on the Tanfield Railway would be apt - maybe the diamond crossing and the loco shed area?

There were lots of places around the North East where the NCB and BR worked side by side, or over each others tracks.

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Ian Everett
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Ian Everett » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:09 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:If you have built most of the High Level kits, then something based on the Tanfield Railway would be apt - maybe the diamond crossing and the loco shed area?


And Iain Rice has produced an excellent plan based on this, I think in his book "Realistic Railway Modelling: Layout Design", published by Haynes - see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Realistic-Railw ... 1844256359

But I see you need a mortgage to buy a new copy now. :(

Ian

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David Thorpe
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby David Thorpe » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:13 pm

Ian Everett wrote:And Iain Rice has produced an excellent plan based on this, I think in his book "Realistic Railway Modelling: Layout Design", published by Haynes - see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Realistic-Railw ... 1844256359. But I see you need a mortgage to buy a new copy now. :(


Not on ebay - as I type there are a couple of copies going at less than £20, a saving of over £5 on the original cover price.

DT

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Craig Warton
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Craig Warton » Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:34 pm

David Thorpe wrote:
Ian Everett wrote:And Iain Rice has produced an excellent plan based on this, I think in his book "Realistic Railway Modelling: Layout Design", published by Haynes - see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Realistic-Railw ... 1844256359. But I see you need a mortgage to buy a new copy now. :(


Not on ebay - as I type there are a couple of copies going at less than £20, a saving of over £5 on the original cover price.

DT


Thanks for that, one less copy now. With reasonable postage to Australia too!

Craig W

David Knight
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby David Knight » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:46 am

Hi Again Alistair,

There's a layout design in MRJ 239 that you might find interesting, Arun Quay by Gordon Gravett. It's 7'6" long and designed for 7mm scale but can be adapted for 4mm scale and provides much food for though including benchwork. If I were in the mood for a new layout I'd be tempted by this one.

Cheers,

David

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Noel
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Re: Layout Planning & Design Inspiration - Help!

Postby Noel » Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:12 pm

Burton brewery railways. Industrials in several different liveries, according to brewery, and working onto BR. Level crossings [lots] with Midland signal boxes, manned by BR but not always on BR territory, and BR [ex-Midland/LMS] locos working alongside brewery ones in some places. Traffic mostly in opens and vans, but coal and fuel oil tanks as well. Even diesels latterly...

Noel
Regards
Noel


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