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Shelf layout height - what worked for you?

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Shelf layout height - what worked for you?
Posted by Frisco-kid on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 9:25 AM

I'm planning an around-3-walls N Scale shelf layout, perhaps with peninsula. I'll be keeping the wall segments to approx 18" or less. I'm 5'10 - but seem to be shrinking every day. Surprise  

Seeking feedback / advice ... What layout height should I shoot for for "ground zero"?

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 9:52 AM

I'm in HO.  I went with 48" for my shelf layout, and it's worked out fine.  For N, I might go with 50".  Or a snidge higher.

Typically, people like it high enough to "relate" to, rather than feeling they're flying overhead.

A reason not to make it TOO high is if you have to reach in or over.  So maybe eyelevel wouldn't be great.  Even for shelves.

 

You COULD make a test section and try different heights to see what YOU like.

 

Ed

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Posted by NorthBrit on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 10:08 AM

Like Ed I  am running OO/HO.  I also went for 48''  for easy access  and when sitting down  being at eye level.

Doing a small test section is a good idea.

 

David

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 10:49 AM

You have to decide how you like to veiw a layout. I picked around 36" as I like to look down on the layout but in my office chair (in the same room) I can veiw at much closer to eye level as at eye level you get less of a wide veiw.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 2:26 PM

Depends on your point of view....lol.

Seriously, the height you want depends on the visual effect you want your railroad you give you. I tentatively chose 45" for my (adjustable height) shelf layout. We also have a 36" table top type layout with a 4" high upper section so 40". Doing it again I'd set the table top at 45" and the upper "mountain" loop at 50" or so.

I'm building in HO but looking at the N scale layout at my LHS I think those smaller scale locomotives look better at higher viewing levels. Just below eye level (which would be around 6" lower than your height usually) seems to make N scale models pop out visually in a way HO does not.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 12:11 PM

I also went 48" for the benchwork and 2" pink foam.  That's plenty of height for me at 5'8".  The max reach is 24" but I use a step ladder to give me a bit more height for the peninsula.  The rest of the benchwork is very easy to reach.

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Posted by davidmurray on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 1:49 PM

I'm in HO.  I went with 50" base height, with a switchback to a 54" mine.  I'm

6 foot, but friends taller and shorter all do fine.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by cats think well of me on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 7:31 PM

I did about 54" at track height for my shelf layout and it's working well for me. I'm 5' 10" tall. 

Alvie

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Posted by cowman on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 8:16 PM

I like to sit on a tall stool while operating and plan to set my shelf at a prototype or maybe a low hill view point.  Makes it so when I stand I have a low flying birds-eye view and can reach over scenic items easily.

Have fun,

Richard

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 8:39 PM

It's a very personal decision.  I prefer the slightly elevated view as if I'm on a railway bridge. That's how I first watched train action. I also like eye level as if I'm standing right by the prototype track and that viewpoint also makes for really great photos I think for that reason.  But the sort of toy train/master of the universe perspective also has its appeal. That's about table top height 30-36". 

45-50" allows all three perspectives depending on how long you feel you can bend down a bit.

If you operate sitting down then  30-36" would be ideal.  

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 9:08 PM

Layout height can be contingent on a number of things.  I'm 5'-16" and the ceilings in my basement are only 4" higher than I am so I went with 42".  It made working on my layout more manageable.

Tom

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 9:46 PM

tstage
I'm 5'-16"

??

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Posted by gregc on Thursday, October 14, 2021 2:19 AM

i've been working on a layout that is high enough to sit on a chair to work on underneath.   i'd estimate chest height for someone 6'

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, October 14, 2021 2:34 AM

maxman
tstage
I'm 5'-16"

??

Convert 16" to feet...add to the 5...Sigh

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Posted by selector on Thursday, October 14, 2021 2:40 AM

My last layout was at 27" high.  No, that's not an error...twenty-seven whole inches.  I loved it.  I liked the bird's-eye view, and of course it was a cinch to work on.  It was a bit tricky working under it, meaning on my back.  Luckily, the floor had a durable painted surface that was slippery enough to make getting under and back out again fairly easy.

All my other layouts, totalling three, have been in the 40-50" range.  Working deep into them means that I, all 68" of me (is it snowing up there, Tom?), have to hoist my carcass up onto a stool and provide a kneeler pad that keeps me safely out of the rails.  But, as others have pointed out, from there, the view can be enjoyed standing or perched on a chair/stool.

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, October 14, 2021 2:50 AM

selector
Working deep into them means that I, all 68" of me (is it snowing up there, Tom?)...

Yes...and my nose is cold, Crandell. Smile, Wink & Grin

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, October 14, 2021 5:20 AM

I am 3' 36". Smile, Wink & Grin

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Thursday, October 14, 2021 8:27 AM

And of course for many of us our very portable first layouts were at zero inches, more or less. 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, October 14, 2021 9:35 AM

I like scenery with depth, my upcoming layout will be 3'-4' deep in most places and as much as 7' or 8' in a few places (with access hatches and benchwork that you can climb on).

So I like the low flying bird view when standing and the trackside view when sitting. Trackage will be between 36" and 47" with most being in the 40"/44" range.

I have build shelf layouts, and was never happy with the scenery.

Sheldon

    

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