Monday, 4 May 2009

Boscarne Junction + Wharf (5)

I've been thinking for a while about building a quarter scale model of the layout. Seems a little over the top for a test bed but then nether have I built a quarter scale model of a layout before. A test model of a test model, I'll be making Russian dolls next!

Whether I build this quarter scale model or not, I need some idea, as a starting point, of the external contours of the layout. So I've spent a couple of hours this evening looking into the scenic contours around Boscarne Junction. I have eventually decided that the height of the trackbed above river will be in the region of 26 feet (104 mm on the layout). This is not as high as I was expecting but the decision has been made after many measurements on Google Earth and also looking at all the photos I can find. I've marked other heights on the track plan below (trackbed being zero). These are all best guesstimates with an eye on trying to create a good impression of the real location.

The trackbed to Bodmin North looks as if it rises slightly. At the moment I am unsure of the gradient but thinking it might be around a 1:120/150. Thing is, I doubt that this would be that obvious on the layout. So may not recreate this gradient. I do like the idea that the Wharf siding should be slightly lower than the branch so have added a 1 foot drop (4 mm) from siding turnout to just past the gate. This will be approximately 1:100 gradient and should leave about 2 feet of level siding to play with.

Though I knew of the footpath that crossed the line I was unsure of its exact position and had purposely missed it off the plans. While looking though some photos on the web I discovered a photo of this path crossing the river over a bridge adjacent to the rail bridge on the Bodmin North line. This looks an interesting feature so I've started to draw this in on the plan but cannot decide how to squeeze it into the rest of the layout. A little more investigation is required over the next few evenings before I finish adding this footpath.

The other scenic item that I'm questioning is the Mill Race. I am beginning to think that in my alternative history in the early 1960s, as possibly in reality, it would have been disused. So an overgrown, if not completely hidden by undergrowth, Mill Race will be probably modelled.

I am beginning to get a good feel for the layout now. Starting to see a 3D image and I'm surprised at how low the contours are. Still have ideas about changing the track plan slightly to increase operational potential but not convinced myself yet. Have only got a couple of weeks left to decide, as once baseboards are being built the track plan will be set. I will have to revisit my proposed timetable to see if my thoughts can be justified.

1 comment:

Flymo said...

Having just started re-reading Barry Norman's "Designing a Layout" book, I recollect that he advocates building a scale model to confirm that a design that works well on paper also looks good in 3D. It's an approach that I'll probably follow when I extract a digit regarding my own plans.

On your heights, I'd suggest that you will hardly notice a 4mm drop. Models generally (IMHO) need an exaggerated fore-shortening to look effective. Have a look at the photo of Midland Sidings in the centrespread of Snooze 160 and you may see what I mean.

Of course, that means that your stock should be able to climb the gradient, and not run away on it.

This is where your mock-up at quarter scale should help enormously.