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I have to design a 4 x 8 O, N, HO Scale Layout by Monday

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  • Member since
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  • From: Indiana, PA
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I have to design a 4 x 8 O, N, HO Scale Layout by Monday
Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, November 17, 2007 3:41 PM

My local LHS is thinking about hiring me to build them a display layout. They want me to design something that shows the relative scales, looks cool, and demonstrates techniques and sells stuff.  Then he wants me to build it and be his train guy. All for minimum wage.

I think I might do it for the Christmas Season. I'll show him by what I recommend to people what he needs in the store. 

 


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Posted by selector on Saturday, November 17, 2007 4:43 PM

That sounds like quite a challenge in one scale, let alone three or four. Shock [:O]

I suppose we're not doing the four parallel track thing?  I'm out of ideas.

Good luck.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, November 17, 2007 4:53 PM
I'd go with a terraced, layered approach.  O runs on the bottom layer, a simple oval around the outside of the 4x8.  HO is on the next level, a figure 8, with the crossover inside a mountain tunnel.  The HO part is stepped back from the O-gauge level.  Above the HO is another stepped back section but for N, with some switching and scenery.  The N-gauge track can run on a trestle above the HO, to get over the crossover.  Mostly, though, it will be on solid ground, too.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by cowman on Saturday, November 17, 2007 5:01 PM

Do you have some verticle space?  Saw one shop years ago that had an island with a level for each scale.  Each level was just a little smaller than the one below it and a loop, maybe a passing siding with some samples of buildings (varity of types of kits), scenic materials, etc.  It put the bigger stuff where if little hands touched it could take the handling better, smaller on top away from inexperienced fingers.  Could show work in progress on how scenery is done, some basic, some finished.  Would give you something to do in the shop, working on it, changing it.  Lets customers that things aren't done all at once and can be changed.  Sounds like it could be a fun project and get paid for it (not many folks get paid minimum wage for working on their hobbies).  Try some new techiniques and demonstrate some of the tried and true.

Have fun,

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Posted by schdp on Saturday, November 17, 2007 5:10 PM

There is something similar to that at a local toy store although it is 8x20ish... Good luck I'll try not to bug you too much with my layout Smile [:)]

The layout has some neat push-button interactive buildings just as a merry go round that turns on when the button is pressed, light on a bridge type stuff. Simple but the kids love it. It is a layered type system but that makes it really hard to see the n-scale stuff at the top. It's like 3 foot taller then the main board and about 3 feet in. Maybe try to have the O on the outside but then N on one side but higher and closer to the side so that people could see it. To not mix the scales have the O run into a tunnel before it gets to the N layout section. HO is big enough that an extra foot in won't make it un-seeable (what kinda word is that!)...

 Dave

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Posted by Texas Zepher on Saturday, November 17, 2007 5:20 PM

 cowman wrote:
Do you have some verticle space?  Saw one shop years ago that had an island with a level for each scale.  Each level was just a little smaller than the one below it 
A "wedding cake" layout.

Is this O-27 where the O-gauge loop will fit inside of the 18" radius HO loop? 

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Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, November 17, 2007 6:06 PM

You are all pretty much on the same page, but I was thinking like this.

A straight loop of O with a loading platform in the front.

Next N scale, again straight loop with a long coal drag to show off the long train big scenery.

IN the top center I plan a HO switching layout with a really cool sound switcher like a P2K 0-6-0 or a Broadway NW2. To save him some bucks at the start I might bring in my Atlas GP-38 which sounds pretty good.

I plan to have at least one of the Atlas top mount switches, a Tortoise, and maybe a ground throw, to show the different types of switches.


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Posted by exPalaceDog on Saturday, November 17, 2007 8:03 PM

The Old Dog has heard of book shelf layouts, why not a book case layout? That is, maybe three small layouts one above the other.

As for 4x8, the Dog would suggest cutting the phywood into 16" shelves giving three 16' by 96" or two 16" by 144". Consider some sort or auto reversing circuit like Backman makes for their trolley cars. 

Have fun

 

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Posted by ARTHILL on Sunday, November 18, 2007 5:51 PM

My LHS has a 5x9. He put in a little WS stuff because he sells a lot of that. He has two loops of track, both HO in this case.  My point is what he uses it for. 99% of the time it is demonostarting an engine and a line of cars. Thus loops is what are used. He has turnouts, but I have never seen him use one, that is not what people want. They want to see what an engine they are interested looks/sounds like.

 I would make four loops and one turnout to show how they work. I would feature the guage he sells most of.

If you make a demonstration layout, it will not sell trains.

And finaly, the track work must be opperationally PERFECT.

You will let us see what you end up with. And good luck. It sounds like a great project. I am envious.

If you think you have it right, your standards are too low. my photos http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a235/ARTHILL/ Art
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Posted by fwright on Monday, November 19, 2007 9:39 PM
 SpaceMouse wrote:

You are all pretty much on the same page, but I was thinking like this.

A straight loop of O with a loading platform in the front.

Next N scale, again straight loop with a long coal drag to show off the long train big scenery.

IN the top center I plan a HO switching layout with a really cool sound switcher like a P2K 0-6-0 or a Broadway NW2. To save him some bucks at the start I might bring in my Atlas GP-38 which sounds pretty good.

I plan to have at least one of the Atlas top mount switches, a Tortoise, and maybe a ground throw, to show the different types of switches.

At one point, I was looking to do a 3 rail O/On30 layout, preferably in 4x8.  The outer loop would be 3 rail - I was planning on using Atlas O36 track.  On one side, there was a passing/staging track, and on the other was a single parallel spur to serve the freight transfer platform.  The passing/staging track allowed 2 3 rail trains on the layout - 1 passenger and 1 freight.  The freight would be set up so set outs on the transfer spur were trailing point, and passenger traffic in the reverse direction.

According to calculations, if the On30 were to use 18" radius, the table really needed to be more than 4ft wide - 5ft would have been comfortable.

Whether just a switching plan for the HO portion is sufficient depends on what the layout is actually going to be used for.  If the layout is going to be used to demonstrate/test locomotives - even as a secondary purpose - then a continuous run is needed for all 3 scales, and you will want the extra width.  Both the HO and N portions will also want loops with at least one passing track and one spur.

Just as a comparison point, Reed's Hobby shop in San Diego has separate layouts for 3 rail O, HO, and N.  The HO and N layouts are duplicates of MR project layouts.  There is also a separate HO switching layout based on the Gum Stump & Snowshoe.  At one time, there was an O scale (2 rail) shelf switcher.  Another point of interest - I have never seen an HO or N train running on the layouts, but I have seen both O layouts with trains running on a regular basis.

my thoughts, your choices

Fred W 

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Posted by HarryHotspur on Monday, November 19, 2007 10:05 PM
 ARTHILL wrote:

If you make a demonstration layout, it will not sell trains.

 

Art - Just curious, but what exactly does the above statement mean? 

- Harry

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Posted by Zandoz on Friday, November 23, 2007 7:16 PM
Long ago and far away I saw a multi scale layout in a LHS that was kind of cool.  It was an 8x8 mountianous scene with each scale farther back in the scene.  No biggie so far...but what was kind of neat was that all 3 scales had near identical consists...when one scale would disappear into a mountain tunnel, the same train in the next smaller scale would appear out of a tunnel somewhere else.  The effect was one train getting progressively farther away in the mountain scene.  The whole thing was automated, and ran continiously un attended for hours on end....and people would just stand there staring, kind of hypnotised by the whole thing. 

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