20min Youtube ride on the Burlington Northern?

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20min Youtube ride on the Burlington Northern?

Postby Raphael » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:51 pm

Hey Everybody! [you'll have to watch the video to get the joke]
http://youtu.be/t3wp2DJ4MRc
I have a sneaking regard for US layouts and techniques. I'm trying to use lots of ideas from across the pond on my Southerham and Lewes East layout. Although this isn't by any means the greatest layout it has been filmed really well with superb telephoto and short depth of field shots. In my book it loses top marks for the just one too many flashing light cameos! Even though it is just a ribbon of scenery often only a foot or so wide you can get some really good vistas. Although you can't really fold up UK prototypes in the same spaghetti-like way and we generally have less room I'd love to see a UK layout done in the same way where you follow the train around the layout. On the whole we tend to be a bit more static as regards control and our boards very squared-off.

These BLMA models blokes are also quite intriguing: the young guy in the above youtube is one of them - I can't think of a supplier like them over here with this sort of upbeat, slightly intense onscreen delivery! Superb looking products though. http://www.blmamodels.com/cgi-bin/webstore/shop.cgi?c=start.htm&t=main.index.htm&storeid=1
Raphael
 
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Re: 20min Youtube ride on the Burlington Northern?

Postby Raphael » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:00 pm

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Re: 20min Youtube ride on the Burlington Northern?

Postby Phil Copleston » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:10 pm

Raphael, (Yeah, I saw the joke!)

Me too - I enjoy that feeling on American-style layouts of open-ness, and the real sense that the train is on a journey and travelling through a landscape with a purpose. I guess the main difference between the American and British layout building styles is that, whereas the American's model chunks of whole railroads, we model discrete station scenes. (I know that's a generalisation, but I hope you know what I mean. Both perfectly valid approaches, of course.)

But it seems to me that we have largely lost our tradition of building more expansive layouts (viz, the 'West Midland', 'Buckingham', 'Madder Valley' etc.). It all seems to have faded away after the 1960s/70s with the then emerging fashion to build small BLTs and portable layouts for the developing exhibition circuit, which has continued ever since. I can't help feel too, that our British focus on modelling single scenes has subsequently been compounded by an almost de rigueur expectation to box in individual layouts with proscenium arches before they can be considered 'properly presented'. So an occasional look at the way other modelling traditions go about building and presenting layouts can help keep our perspectives refreshed, I think.

Yes, I agree about the refreshing 'can-do', upbeat attitude of the BLMA presenters - maybe we could do with a bit of that on this side of the pond. Thanks for the links to two great video clips!

Phil
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Re: 20min Youtube ride on the Burlington Northern?

Postby Raphael » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:25 am

Damn those Americans with all their space! There is something I can't quite put my finger on with regards those flowing layouts that doesn't work for us. They seem to get away with sharper curves and gradients - all that bogied stock and knuckle couplers help them keep their trains on the track I guess. I do like the FREMO style of layouts where they can be viewed from either side as I like to chop and change where a layout can be watched from. I've nothing against the proscenium arch style presentation but in some cases it restricts view rather than aids it! It does really help direct the eye though and some of these US layouts require one not to notice the background or the line crossing above or behind. Having said that there are a number of scenes in that video where the background is actually the layout across the room and it works really well. There is often also much more vertical depth to the scenery: dropping quite low and rising high behind the track level. There are a few UK layouts that do this well but its quite uncommon to be more than a few inches down to a river bed or up to an embankment top.

As to their presentation style - that too is an Americanism that we in the UK just can't rustle up - we have that Mark bloke off of the Youtubes and Tony Wright from BRM - their onscreen deliveries are much more that of a polite and keen vicar!
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Re: 20min Youtube ride on the Burlington Northern?

Postby Phil Copleston » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:56 pm

Raphael wrote:There is something I can't quite put my finger on with regards those flowing layouts that doesn't work for us. They seem to get away with sharper curves and gradients - all that bogied stock and knuckle couplers help them keep their trains on the track I guess.


Hmmm... maybe. I think you are right about Americans getting away with sharper curves because of their use of bogied stock and knuckle couplers, but I don't see why British prototype layouts can't be looped around the room more, rather than a (somewhat boring) straight around the walls approach one usually sees over here.

I do like the FREMO style of layouts where they can be viewed from either side as I like to chop and change where a layout can be watched from.


Yes, me too! I've walked around FREMO layouts and enjoyed the either-side experience. I rather like the concept of a "reversible" layout as well - a one viewing side layout, but which can be viewed from either side, maybe swopping it around on the second day of the show.

I've nothing against the proscenium arch style presentation but in some cases it restricts view rather than aids it!


Definitely. Some layouts seems to be burdened by their "presentation style", not enhanced by it.

There is often also much more vertical depth to the scenery: dropping quite low and rising high behind the track level. There are a few UK layouts that do this well but its quite uncommon to be more than a few inches down to a river bed or up to an embankment top.


Yes, some British layouts could benefit from having a bit more vertical depth to them to emphasise their location in the real landscape, without necessarily becoming over dramatic. I suspect we are slightly reluctant to go for more open baseboard techniques that this type of scenic approach demands, as we still suffer from the "table-top" baseboard mentality, I think.

As to their presentation style - that too is an Americanism that we in the UK just can't rustle up - we have that Mark bloke off of the Youtubes and Tony Wright from BRM - their onscreen deliveries are much more that of a polite and keen vicar!


Ha ha yesssss! I like that - "their onscreen deliveries are much more that of a polite and keen vicar" - how true, and very British!! Maybe we should lighten up a bit and feel more relaxed about presenting the virtues of our hobby to the Great British Public. Trouble is... British media attitudes to playing with toy trains are light years behind American ones, I feel. For example, here's a recent slightly embarrassing interview with a well known enthusiast, albeit a good-natured one http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/ne ... 251362.stm Oh, are we really seen as "bonkers"??

Phil
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