Friday, October 14, 2011

You spin me right round

I've always said that it is important that the layout should be used at home, rather than just sit waiting for the next exhibition.  Thus, upon moving it to the loft (and all that entails in terms of rafter insulation etc), I have two new problems:

1) the so-called 'question mark' board is a very tight fit through the new loft hatch, requiring the removal of the hatch hinges and retaining mechanism to get it through (not ideal).  This is beacuse it is 6 inches wider than all the other boards.
2) the layout as displayed at expoNG does not fit in the loft because of some fiendishly placed chimney breasts, roof ties etc

So, this got me thinking, how could I remove the need for the wider question mark board and also reduce the total footprint of the layout?  It is particularly difficult as I want to retain the 'round and round' setup and a single (central) hidden sidings.  Indeed the Ffridd Isaf curves board also means that the line is headed away from the station in a difficult direction to solve without the need for even more space.

Well one idea (the leading idea of many) is presented above.  This is quite radical (!) but could work really well I think. 

The idea is to place the layout and hidden sidings back to back, removing the need for an operating well.  In order to do that successfully (here's the radical bit) I will change the viewers' view of the layout - instead of looking at the station from the car park side, you'll now view it from the hills!  As you can see above this delivers a close to 40% reduction in the total layout footprint, but (bizarrely) requires an EXTRA board (3 ft x 2ft)! 

It would allow the fiendish tie in my loft to sit behind the backscene and thus become inobtrusive (although it would be in the way if (when) boards A and B are made scenic. 

I actuallly think there is something quite fun about having the layout viewed from the other side... it's like looking at the station from the hills and it means trains disappear from view and reappear in an interesting way. 

So, in order to create this I need to cut back the current backscene to just retain the hillsides etc, build a new board and install a new backscene on the other side.  Board H (the small triangle) may not now be required, it might remain, we'll see. 

I can now make plans for what I shall model on boards A and B too - something north of Rhyd Ddu...ummm

1 comment:

steamartist said...

Good plan. If you made board C- scenic as well, and ran the backscene around the hidden sidings only, you would have more scenic area than the original layout had!

North of Rhyd Ddu? How about that lovely area just the Bettws Garmon side of Plas-y-Nant through the narrow gap and over the plate girder bridge? Nice!