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When show others your layout?

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When show others your layout?
Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, February 11, 2019 1:28 PM

At what stage to show family/friends your layout?  Mine has no scenery and some structures yet.  The floor is even worse: painted concrete. I'll put down foam mats on the floor after adding scenery.  Such stages make the layout more appealing.

I plan to finish the layout/siding wiring this week.  Once I know the locos run,  is that a suitable stage to show off the layout, or should I wait until the scenery and floor is more pleasuing? 

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Monday, February 11, 2019 1:37 PM

If you can preform operations, I say show 'em. If they are fussy about no scenery, they don't have any imagination anyway.

I'm beginning to realize that Windows 10 and sound decoders have a lot in common. There are so many things you have to change in order to get them to work the way you want.

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Posted by ACRR46 on Monday, February 11, 2019 1:42 PM

I would show your layout to model railroaders first since they may be able to invision what your building.  Hopefully they will offer some suggestions after you explain your layout plans.

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, February 11, 2019 2:10 PM

We have a lot of people come through our house in a month and they always want to see the progress on the layout. Its a journey for me and will never be done. 

When I went from this,

  

to this, I got a lot of oh wows, even though it isn't the best backdrop in the world.

  

As I said, I am sharing my journey.

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, February 11, 2019 2:15 PM

Part of the journey is to remove those curtains that clash with the layout.  Or are those requred by the better half?

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, February 11, 2019 2:27 PM

riogrande5761

Part of the journey is to remove those curtains that clash with the layout.  Or are those requred by the better half?

 

I was just about to take them down when I thought, you know Jim will really miss them. I put the ladder away.Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, February 11, 2019 2:55 PM

BATMAN

 

 
riogrande5761

Part of the journey is to remove those curtains that clash with the layout.  Or are those requred by the better half?

 

 

 

I was just about to take them down when I thought, you know Jim will really miss them. I put the ladder away.Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

 

 

Guys,I like them since they match the walls and I'll bet 90% of the visitors will have their eyes on the layout once its populated with trains,scenery etc and will fail to notice them..

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, February 11, 2019 3:27 PM

kasskaboose
At what stage to show family/friends your layout?....

I have a few friends who don't mind seeing my layout, but the family isn't interested at all, which is fine, too. 
I think that most model railroaders might be interested in a layout in its early stage, but it's generally not of much interest to non-participants until you've got trains running and at least some scenery/structures that suggest where your plans are leading.

Wayne

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Posted by bearman on Monday, February 11, 2019 3:34 PM

I say, show it when ever someone shows an interest.  The issue, in my opinion, is that the unwashed masses, i.e. non-modelers, don't appear to have much of an understanding about what goes into building a layout.  And, by the time you have some sceneray in, a good portion of the layout is hidden from view, e.g. the wiring, although after it is installed it is still hidden from view.

Bear "It's all about having fun."

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Posted by Onewolf on Monday, February 11, 2019 4:30 PM

For the first 6 months of construction my layout was only benchwork and lighting yet I had people wanting to come see progress on a regular basis.  Here's the photo album of the first 6 months: http://onewolf.org/Album/LayoutConstruction/2015/index.html

 

Modeling an HO gauge freelance version of the Union Pacific Oregon Short Line and the Utah Railway around 1957 in a world where Pirates from the Great Salt Lake founded Ogden, UT.

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Posted by selector on Monday, February 11, 2019 4:57 PM

I don't happen to enjoy showing off what I am building, or working at getting 'finished', until I have a decent backdrop, rails in place (and working well enough that I don't have to stop the conversation to reach over to rerail something or get couplers stuck back together again), and some scenery in place.  In fact, I prefer to have most/all of the terrain in place and a few trees situated.  The effect, as incomplete as the whole still is, is much more dramatic.  I find that visitors appreciate more of what my vision is if they can see it in motion on a track plan that is sufficiently complicated and realistic-looking, and it is against a good backdrop.  

I have shown people my layout at earlier stages, but if I'm only partly along with track laying, and nothing is running, and the open grid-with-risers-supporting-cookie-cutter-roadbed is not covered with some scenery, the effect is much less happy for me...and for them.  Of course, this is not so with people who have built their own layouts; they appreciate anything I can show them because they've been there.

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Monday, February 11, 2019 5:05 PM

    First off I wouldn't worry about the floor. Painted concrete is fine. As for the layout itself, model railroad guys or other hobbyists will be interested in the construction but I would wait until your scenery is at least half finished before showing the layout to the general public so you can wow them. The exception is of course if they are already in your house and they are interested.
    I've noticed that laymen generally love the miniature scenes but don't have a lot of real interest in the actual trains. So when you do show the layout make sure it is tidy, meaning that there is nothing on the layout that isn’t a scale model, no paint brushes or bottles of paint or glue, no tools, no construction mess, no unused materials. Think of it as 3D art and show it in the best way possible.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, February 11, 2019 5:50 PM

ACRR46
I would show your layout to model railroaders first since they may be able to invision what your building.

.

I am 180 degrees opposite this oppinion.

.

My experience has been showing a layout to non-model-railroaders, especially if it is a work-in-progress, is always met with enthusiasm and excitement. People love train layouts. 

.

Model Railroaders seem to be way to interested in looking for something they can point out where they do it better. Showing my layouts, no matter how far along, to fellow model railroaders has never gone well for me.

.

So... show it to your buddies, family, and especially your daughter's boyfriends.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by oldline1 on Monday, February 11, 2019 5:53 PM

By all means show off what you have done so far and explain where you're heading. Maybe someone will see something you might not see. Many cooks don't spoil the broth when it comes to ideas about a layout. Potential problems with switching might seem obvious to others after you've spent a lot of time planning and building areas. Can't hurt, doesn't cost anything and might be a better way to go.

The fellow doing the basic design of my abuilding layout has pointed out many places that need to be done for better operation, scenery or future access. Between his ideas, mine and a couple other friends we've got thgings down to a very workable layout.

Who knows what visitors might see!

oldline1

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Monday, February 11, 2019 7:38 PM

I've always been nervous about people looking over my shoulder and about showing work in progress. Still am. But I am getting more and more comfortable with it. Not completely there yet, but getting there.

I started a blog and started posting photos of my current layout build from the very beginning; from the very first pieces of framing lumber screwed together and installed in the far corner of the layout room. And I had been showing the layout to friends and neighbors from before the beginning. Long before. That started when they began asking dozens of variations of "Why are you building a garage when you already have one?" So I told them. And showed them.

For about a full year, I built a detached garage so that I could free up the attached garage for the train room. I had seriously considered putting the layout in the new detached garage (a la Onewolf), but that would have meant going outside and walking about 50 feet or so to the outbuilding. No big deal, but it gets 20 or 30 below here, and even such a short walk can be an adventure. There were other reasons of a logistical nature to put the layout in the attached recreation room, but the idea of using the new building never quite panned out. As things stand as of this minute, I still park my car in the driveway. The current 'garage' is used exclusively as a workshop. Ironic.

Anyhow . . . I have a lot of photos, drawings, sketches, cardboard mock-ups, stand-ins, rough forms, kit structures (some assembled, some not, even more in unopened boxes), and whatnot showing prototypical locations and structures and showing proposed designs and things to be incorporated into the new layout. Taped to walls and doors and on the deck of the layout itself. Some of my plans and details are drawn out to a pretty close rendering, so it is not too difficult to explain ideas and how they'll come about. Plus, I walk around the room waving my arms and shaping things from empty air with my hands. This goes here, that goes there, that thing over there goes over there . . . most visitors and guests get the idea. And those who've been here from before the beginning are starting to see that those wild and crazy images I tried to envision are now becoming solidified in real-time 3D. I figure I'm two years into a five-year project. Humming along.

Local guests and family (non-modelers) seem to be very excited how things are turning out. Modelers (some very experienced) seem to be just as excited. I've had some comments and suggestions, which cover the entire spectrum from useful and helpful to not, but there has never been any sort of negativity about any aspect of what I am doing or what I have done.

So, my advice . . . start showing. It gets easier as you go along.

Robert

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by PRR8259 on Monday, February 11, 2019 8:39 PM

Non-model railroaders see my layout and are impressed.  They think I actually captured some of the scenery I was trying to capture (before the new cat arrived and I removed hundreds of dollars worth of trees because he was trying to eat the wires in them).  However, my backdrop colors, painted by a local artist, are just way too strong, and I'm afraid for real model railroaders to see my layout.  Only 3 or 4 "real" model railroaders ever have, and two of those fall more into the "toy train" end of the hobby with their layout tastes...

The hard core guys--I would simply be afraid to let into the basement.  Plus I modified some curves for larger equipment and have never fully repaired the scenery/ballast.

I'm at a point where I'd almost rather trash all the scenery and backdrop and redo it than try to repair...but I have kids to get through school first...so it'll have to wait.  For now, we can run trains, so we do.

John Mock

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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, February 11, 2019 8:47 PM

Thanks everyone for the encouragement on showing the layout to non-MR folks.  My train mentor has helped me and provided some excellent feedback.  I don't expect similar from family or those who want to see the trains running.

It makes sense to show people the status of the layout for encouragement reasons too.  Having others motivate you is helpful because they "push" you along in the progress.  Far for me to remain a lone wolf, I just don't want anyone to forget the joy of watching trains.

 

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Posted by Medina1128 on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 4:03 AM

It seemed that word of mouth was my greatest ally. People that had already seen the layout would tell mutual friends, who would then call and ask if they could come by. This kept my creative juices flowing. As I've gotten older, health concerns slowed things to a crawl, but some friends would ask how things are progressing. Some actually asked if there was something I needed help with.

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Posted by Erie1951 on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 4:34 AM

Many years ago when I lived in CT, a friend and I attended the NMRA conventions in Sarasota, NY, and Hartford, CT. On the layout tours, we visited layouts ranging from those with absolutely no scenery to those with completed scenery and every thing in between. There was no hesitation on the modeler's part to show their layouts in various stages of construction and I remember a gent with a big O scale operation that had little interest in scenery at all. He just had a few plastic buildings plopped down here and there on the plywood! In CT, at the other end of the spectrum, we visited Earl Smallshaw's great layout and got to see his famous tenement build. I think that modeler's should show their layouts in any phase of construction for no other reason than to others what's involved in building a model railroad and all the work that's involved. I certainly don't have a problem with showing off my layout progress, but nobody that I know really cares! Laugh

Russ

Modeling the early '50s Erie in Paterson, NJ.  Here's the link to my railroad postcard collection: https://railroadpostcards.blogspot.com/

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 5:20 AM

Hi,

I have not read the previous posts so my comments may be simply "repeats" - or not..........

Who you show (or tell) your layout to just "depends".  It depends on how well you know the folks, are they interested in MR stuff, are they into woodwork or modeling or electronics, and are they "nice" people.

But it also depends on your work.  Is your "layout in progress" a good piece of work, is the work area halfway clear and clean, and in general, is it "presentable?"

I've had two "decent" layouts over the last 25 or so years.  I could put the reactions of folks I've shown the layouts to in three categories.......

- some (maybe 30 percent), especially those interested in trains or who appreciate the work involved were seriously interested and asked a lot of questions and even took pics.

- some (maybe 60 percent), appreciated the work involved and the layouts themselves, but had no real interest in RRs or modeling.

- some (only a few thankfully), just looked at the layout as a curiousity and likely a waste of time and money and a perfectly good room.  One lady (a well to do date) immediately said......"how much did all this cost?"  The others just politely looked, asked few if any questions, and stayed only a very short time.

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 5:48 AM

BATMAN
 
riogrande5761

Part of the journey is to remove those curtains that clash with the layout.  Or are those requred by the better half? 

I was just about to take them down when I thought, you know Jim will really miss them. I put the ladder away.Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

 

 
Liar liar pants on fire,  Mischief

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 5:51 AM

BRAKIE
 
BATMAN
 
riogrande5761

Part of the journey is to remove those curtains that clash with the layout.  Or are those requred by the better half? 

I was just about to take them down when I thought, you know Jim will really miss them. I put the ladder away.Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh 

Guys,I like them since they match the walls and I'll bet 90% of the visitors will have their eyes on the layout once its populated with trains,scenery etc and will fail to notice them..

If I notice them, I expect others do to when you stand back and look at the room as a whole.  (If you shove someones face down and away from the room, sure.  Items like that distract the eye away from what is supposed to be the center of attention.)  The drapes are always in the background saying "hey, look at me, look at me!" 

Maybe I'm casting pearls here, but as they say, it's your train room, or is it?  Maybe it's the wifes way of keeping her claim and can revoke privelages if brent misbehaves.  PirateLaugh  Or to quote one of our other members, "but what do I know?"

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 5:57 AM

You do what you want as far as visitors.  Since I started mine in 2009, I've had maybe 3 ? other visitors, and they are neighbors.

Other than that, all of my immediate family has seen it once, during Christmas Eve get-to-togethers, and nobody has asked anything about it since.  Other friends that stop over know I'm working on a layout,  but no interest, no questions about it.

I built it for me, if someone wants to see it, no problem, down to the basement we go.

Mike.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 7:32 AM

Some who visit the layout will look at it with sad looks about how much time/money is wasted.  There is no form of waste for me.  I much see the enjoyment out of working on it with my young children.  Perhaps I should set a goal of having it further along than now for Father's Day.  That gives me plenty of time to get more stuff organized. 

Thanks everyone for the helpful advice.  The layout is quite dirty with a lof ot wires, etc laying around.  Even cleaning it won't matter until things run flawlessly.

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Posted by CGW121 on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 4:54 PM

With me it is not so much word of mouth as it is word of wife. She tells everyone about my layout. I keep quiet about it.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, June 17, 2019 11:19 AM

kasskaboose
Some who visit the layout will look at it with sad looks about how much time/money is wasted. 

.

That is why I hate it when vistors ask "how much did this all cost you"?

.

I always think they are really asking me "how much money did you waste on this"?

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, June 17, 2019 1:21 PM

Kevin,

You probably can respond with:

1. Less than what many spend on golf, or at a bar; or

2. Want to contribute?

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, June 17, 2019 1:29 PM

Those that matter won't care, those that care don't matter.

 

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, June 17, 2019 1:34 PM

kasskaboose
You probably can respond with: 1. Less than what many spend on golf, or at a bar; or 2. Want to contribute?

.

Down here my acquaintances that are not hobbiests are usually hunters, fishermen, or classic car guys. These guys never bring up how much money you waste on a hobby. 

.

The "how much did it cost" question usually comes from a different kind of visitor.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, June 17, 2019 3:46 PM

 I had others in even bfore the track went all the way around the room. One was a fellow modeler, one night a week I would go to his place to work in his layout, another night he came to mine to help work in mine. And I had another non-model friend who was just interested in the whole thign also show up on my work night to help out and learn about model railroading. 

 I'm not afraid of showing unfinished stuff. In fact I wish more of the model press would show wider shots that show how these nicely finished layouts fit in to the space. You can glean only so much info from the drawing that usually accompanies any layout visit article. Back in the day it was common to see the benchwork edge and overall shots of layouts. I cna maybe understnad not showing the out of scale world around a finely finished layout in something like "Great Model Railroads" since the focus is on, well, great model railroads, not how to build them. But in somethign like "Model Railroad Planning" - yes, it certainly helps to see the overall space and the layotu within it, not just closeups of how great the scenery looks. I have noticed this is starting to trend this way again, seeing "outside of the layout" and I hope it continues. IMO one magazine is more railfan related - so I would mostly only want to see realistic looking scense, but the other is more design and construction oriented and as such, showing things that are not just great scenes, to show how the designer worked around issues, is something VERY helpful to have. 

 Considering my last two layouts haven't gone anywhere scenery-wise past paited track, covering the base with a brownish color to hide the pink foam, and some ballast - yeah, not waiting until it's 'finished' to show people, even non-modelers. Especially if you are at a sticking point on how to do something - others may have some helpful suggestions. 

                                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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