Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fun with Modules: 1

Am_Fet writes: With all the talk of new modular standards over on Nz120.org, my mind has been wandering onto cool things that you could create using the wonderfully loose system. And lets face it: As long as the endboards are present somewhere, you can damn near get away with anything.

One thing that comes through in all of the photos I see of similar Fremo setups is that the setups are mainly for the enjoyment of the operators and the public rarely seem to be invited...or is it just that they cant get photos when the doors are open as the layout is swamped with people? Anyway, crowd control must be a nightmare on some of the sprawling creations the germans seem to cobble together.....

So, everyone turns up on site with their modules strapped to their pannier racks on their Raleigh Twentys and a person takes the lead and starts piecing them together...so what makes a good modular layout in my opinion?

1/ Boring bits. Modules that are straight or curved with just a bit of scenery to go between the action packed modules to increase the run. Not many people will want to take on the onerous task of making these, but it will need to be done.

2/ Intermediate stations. You know the sort, we had thousands at one stage. 2 loops, a goods shed, stockyard, class 5 station building....say no more

3/ Industry. Somewhere that traffic can be sent to and shunted, preferably with enough sidings off the main that wagon jostling can be carried out without holding up the limited express for 30 minutes outside the station home signal.

4/ Decent sized storage yards. Like (1), someone will have to take on the task of building these, but considering each punters backpack will contain at least 2 trainloads of wagons, they are going to have to go somewhere....

5/ Junctions and Branches. Like (3), this would be what Tony Koester once termed a "refuge"...its somewhere to wander slowly through the weeds and not have to worry about timetables and speed limits, do a little bit of work, then head back home and tie up for the night.

So working on that list, I'm going to start throwing some plans out that I think will make good "scenes" on a modular layout, starting with this one:



Waimate (as already featured elsewhere....frequently) was a bit of an interesting station, being a terminus for both the line from Studholme (SIMT) and the Waihao Downs branch. However, I've turned things around slightly and made the third leg of the triangle the "main line" with the corresponding modular endcaps. The station itself acts like a "branch" and will happily keep someone shuffling wagons around the traps for a few hours without tying up the main line. Also, its an interesting shape (or at least the way I drew it in Paint it is).

I hope this will start people thinking "outside the square" (or the rectangle) when it comes to module design....but dont forget the boring bits!

5 comments:

MaverickNZ said...

It won't help for the storage of wagons but I had been looking at the idea of modelling Linwood loco depot. Could be good on an exhibition layout to display and store all the different locos people have brought along.

Ryan

Anonymous said...

Hands up candidates for a couple of those "boring" modules in the 750 x 450 mm freemo style could be based on Garston & Waipiata - excellent for simple scenic run throughs; an "industrial" module is taped as "the Sutherlands" off of the Fairlie Creek branch, which had a lime works with its own sidings curved off the mainline.

Darryl said...

Loco depot is a great idea for a module as there are usually more locos than there are trains for at exhibitions, and usually a few dead ones as well. You can have plenty of fun making up consists, refueling and so on. (need a turntable insode one of the sheds!)

Flat boring modules are pretty eye catching too - they're rare and of course everyone relates to following a train through open space. Easy to make too..

Amateur Fettler said...

That pic of Samrt Rd at NPL would make a superb wee module....

RKBL said...

This is what I intend to do with the Kinlieth Branchline,Kinleith being a very Big Yard, could be used for storage, and has a very interesting Triangle ( well in the 50's it did. though I still haven't found out how much wagons the yard can hold) Putaruru, another interesting yard in that it has a curve near the south end before it branches off to Kinleith and Rotorua, Pinedale on the Rotorua line I just remeber a siding and piles of sawdust and or chipped wood with a conveyor which loaded wagons. the most flat and boring one to me would be lichfield as it is now, with only the old water vat.