Friday, February 23, 2007

What makes a good layout?


So, after 5 posts on layouts from Shepton Mallet, what can we deduce about what makes a good layout?

Well these are my top 10 things:

- Scenics - believable, not gaudy and nicely blended

- Prototyical scenes - again believable, even if its a fictional layout, let's have some realism - not a 9F on a B set or a small engine like 'Lilla' hauling 10 coaches etc.

- Atmosphere - I want to feel like I'm actually 'in' the scene. Bad backscenes regularly ruin good layouts.
- Consistency - every corner should be as well modelled as the focal point

- Liveries/paint schemes - either the correct prototype livery or something sensible - weird and crazy liveries are a massive turn-off for me
- Decent running - I know that's not always possible, but most of the time.
- Painted track and correct colour ballast

- Decent weathering of stock where appropriate

- Structures, bridges etc that are architecturally correct

and, above all:

- The overall impression is what matters, yes bits of guitar string to help uncouple are operationally nice, but they ruin realism and the layout becomes a train set, rather than a model.

Next week, I'll be considering, given these criteria, which are the best narrow gauge layouts and what Rhyd Ddu can learn from them....


No comments: