Saturday, 29 May 2010

All this for just three inches

Over the last couple of evenings I have noticed that the layout, being placed on a work bench/table, is definitely at the wrong height for me to work on comfortably. This is probably a sign that I'm getting a bit old. Standing up the layout is far too low and being seated it feels too restrictive and awkward. This has got me thinking about what is the best height for the layout and that I ought to get the layout supports built sooner rather than later.

So with the thoughts that: I am 6' 3" and my partner is 5' 2"; that the layout is being built for my own interest and as a test bed; the layout needs to be at a height that is comfortable for me to build and operate; the layout needs to be at a height that my partner can hopefully appreciate it. My thoughts wandered to the recently suggested height of 4' 3". Initially I thought that this would be a about right but during my lunch break yesterday, to try and help make a decision, I started to draw the diagrams below.

If I put a front fascia on, 18" above track level, to frame the layout, I could still operate the layout without stooping. If I put a back-screen on the layout it would have to be at least 2' tall, however, my thoughts are that I will be operating the layout from the front anyway so a 6'+ back-screen would not be a problem. Looking at the above though I thought that 4' 3" might be a tad too high for my partner, also, is it too high for me to work on comfortably? The track bed might be better at my elbow height which would put it at 4'.


This might be a better height? Back-screen if fitted would still be 2' high. The bottom of the front front fascia would be just below my eye height but if I stand a little away from the layout it should not be too intrusive. If I sit on a tall stool while operating the layout, the front fascia should not be an issue. My partner would have a more open view with the track bed 3" lower than the above 4' 3". With the track bed being at elbow height it should be more comfortable working on the layout especially when adding scenic detail.

Time will tell, but a track bed height of 4' looks to be favourite. (We'd both better get dressed after the life drawing class........ :-)..)


Mark Tatlow said...

Coming to this one nearly a year late (sorry!).

I would plan to have your facia panel about 100 - 150mm in front of the front of the baseboard. Without doing so, it means that items to the front of baseboard will not actually be illuminated - which looks wierd!

It also helps with your viewing angles, as viewers have to stand that fraction further back because of this and I feel that this helps with the illusion that the model is trying to create.

This is what I have done on Portchullin, so if you see it at a show anytime, observe whether you agree?

Yan said...

Thanks for that tip Mark. I did get to see Portchullin at Leatherhead last year and to be honest didn't notice your facia was a little in front. Just enough to help with lighting but not enough to be noticed, very crafty.... I'll look at working your idea into Tedethy's facia.

Thanks again.