I have to confess...... there are more of my previous layout attempts buried at the local landfill than I can remember. Thus begins a new direction I am taking regarding my modeling and layout design/construction philosophies. At one time I was a believer in that I needed a basement sized empire to be satisfied. I am not sure where that notion came from other than having been brainwashed by the modeling media into believing it.
I've made several attempts at building layouts in my current home. My history has been to feel overwhelmed about halfway into a large layout project. I have a wide variety of interests when it comes to railroading in general that effect my focus to complete a large project. A busy schedule has huge demands on my time available. Add the uncertainty of how long I will be in the current house; and my thoughts of building something portable and manageable are easier to understand.
After the last few years of inactivity, I've recently become interested in small, portable, single scene type layouts. These allow one to model a specific prototype scene and complete it within a reasonable amount of time. It could also be called an operating diorama since they may also include simple to complex operating scenarios. I'll refer to these from this point as UK style exhibition layouts (though I am not sure the style originated in the United Kingdom).
Space starved modelers in the UK and other parts of the world have perfected these. Some beautiful examples can be found at http://www.nevard.com/ . Modelers in the UK have carried it to a higher form of artwork. Not just with the incredible modeling they turn out, but also with how the layout is displayed and presented.
Unlike our conventions here in North America where we invite attendees to our homes for layout tours; overseas they bring their layouts to the convention (or "Exhibition"). I have often wondered why that concept has not caught on here. Sure, there are the large module groups. But you really don't see any examples of individual UK style layouts here.
My future attempts at prototype layout design and construction will closely follow these methods.
- Cowboy Up!