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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always when creating a layout used the board on frame method that I suppose most do.
When using the open frame method do any of you have ideas for the rest where the scenery is done. I'd imagine some 'solidity' is necessary to take features but some ideas such as wire netting or papier mache seem flimsy.
Any thoughts?
 

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QUOTE (ozwarrior @ 29 Oct 2007, 16:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have always when creating a layout used the board on frame method that I suppose most do.
When using the open frame method do any of you have ideas for the rest where the scenery is done. I'd imagine some 'solidity' is necessary to take features but some ideas such as wire netting or papier mache seem flimsy.
Any thoughts?
I've used MDF for a basis for hills on my layout. This will then be covered with polystyrene and plaster before being "sceniced".
 

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As I understand it, the purpose of open framing is not to leave large areas empty, but to fix boarding at different levels, particularly some at a lower level than the tracks, which you can't do with a one piece sheet material baseboard. The scenery is then built up on these mini boards at different levels.
 

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QUOTE (ozwarrior @ 29 Oct 2007, 05:42) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>..but some ideas such as wire netting or papier mache seem flimsy..
This is a classic 'depends what you are looking for' situation. If you are prepared to be careful, lightweight non-loadbearing scenery is quick and easy to construct, and very easily modified. I was very impressed to see this last feature demonstrated on a US open frame layout many years ago: the owner wanted to put in a spur to a lineside industry; he simply cut through the scenery, screwed on a track base to the frame, laid the track, and replaced the scenic 'shell', all in a couple of hours. Detailed scenic treatment would, he reckoned, be completed on the next free evening. It can be a particularly good choice for scenery between track and wall on a permanent home layout, where there is never likely to be any load applied by operator, and no stresses applied by transporting the layout.

The foreground scenery can be more robust, with plywood or MDF profiles, and expanded polystyrene infill carved to shape so that accidental contact by the operator results in superficial damage at worst.
 

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Wire netting and paper mache on their own are flimsy, but together they form a light-weight shell construction which is remarkably resistant to minor knocks and bumps. Large areas can be covered quite quickly and need a minimum of support leaving plenty of room 'behind the scenes' for concealed tracks etc.. It's also relatively cheap if old newpapers are used. The use of plaster-soaked bandage type material on netting is even tougher and may only need one layer.
Regards,
John Webb
 

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Hi,

I have used the L Girder method. My hills and such are of chicken wire (supported by a pieces of timber where necessary) covered with paper mash as well as woodland scenic's plaster cloth that I changed to half way through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's a great photo Daz! The railway looks so much more part of the scenery when done that way. Thanks to all for replying.
 

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Hi Daz,
thats a great photo, any chance of some more and maybe a track plan.

I'm just coming back into the hobby and am looking for as much inspiration as possible before laying any track, as I've got a mental block so far.

Thanks
Keith
 

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I have done a track plan in word, but I don't now how to paste it in this site. If some one can tell me how I will.

As requested more photos

 

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Daz, good to see Kadees on your stock.

Yes plaster bandage, the type used for broken arms, etc over the top of chicken wire is ideal. I prefer to use flywire ( the metal type - not the fibreglass versions)- bit easier as far as I am concerned.
 

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Hi. Nice layout. :eek:)

QUOTE (Daz @ 31 Oct 2007, 00:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have done a track plan in word, but I don't now how to paste it in this site. If some one can tell me how I will.Open your file in Word and scale it so that the plan fills as much of the screen (not window) as possible.
Press PrtSc.
Open a graphics package that will accept an image as 'New from Pasteboard'.
Save image as jpg.
Post to forum, either here or under 'Layouts'.

All the best,
Chris
 

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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 31 Oct 2007, 15:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Some very good modelling Daz but I can't see any use of the principle benefit of open-frame baseboards - scenery below track level. Is there any of this not yet revealed?

** I'm not sure what you want to see Robert. I always use open frame with all trackbed on risers (even the flat part) for several reasons. Usually, the "mid point" or reference is 6" or more above the basic baseboard "grid". I think that there is no single "Principal benefit to Open frame - it wins hands down in ALL areas except speed of construction.

(1) ability to create a more natural scene with above/below track level scenery and perhaps more importantly, correctly represent detail such as drainage sumps and culverts etc...
(2) ability to create natural transitions between flat and elevated track
(3) ability to "split gradients" by having one track slope down, another up, therefore reducing grades by 50% OR increasing potential for separation by 100% within the same / a shorter distance
(4) easy access for installing wiring, point motors etc etc
(5) easy access to hidden trackwork in tunnels etc.

Other advantages: Lighter weight than a solid top, more interesting construction etc etc...

Solid areas can be lightweight for scenery purposes - whilst I never use less than 12mm ply for trackbed, a whole village can be on a bit of braced 3mm if need be.... and even better, that 3mm can be "cookie cut" to give various areas various heights, with a natural road between them etc etc....

Regards

Richard
 

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Some fair points Richard except that I don't see why your 2, 4 and 5 are any more difficult with solid top baseboards. For 2, you can cut a section of the board and pull it upwards. No idea why you included 4. For 5 you can cut holes in the solid board.

This leaves your 1 and 3, and I notice that you put scenery below track level as number 1.

Cheers, Robert

P.S. Sorry about the wrong spelling for 'principal'. I won't try to claim that it was a typing error; it was just a thoughtless moment.
 

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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 31 Oct 2007, 16:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Some very good modelling Daz but I can't see any use of the principle benefit of open-frame baseboards - scenery below track level. Is there any of this not yet revealed?

Yes I do have some below track level, I will take some photos and post. I would also like to add to Richard's list - not using more timber than needed.
 

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QUOTE (Robert Stokes @ 31 Oct 2007, 23:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Some fair points Richard except that I don't see why your 2, 4 and 5 are any more difficult with solid top baseboards. For 2, you can cut a section of the board and pull it upwards. No idea why you included 4. For 5 you can cut holes in the solid board.

This leaves your 1 and 3, and I notice that you put scenery below track level as number 1.

Cheers, Robert

P.S. Sorry about the wrong spelling for 'principal'. I won't try to claim that it was a typing error; it was just a thoughtless moment.

***Spelling is not relevant - if posters on MRF were marked on spelling, nothing would get discussed!

Re your comments: I guess this depends whether you are simply playing devils advocate for the sake of conversation or really want to know the benefits. A few words online can't really describe the subtlety of the differences, and like many things in the hobby that require hands on skills, I don't think that you can really appreciate many of the differences without experimenting or experiencing them.

So... in a way, and as a simple reference, "Because the more experienced modellers all do it that way" is as valid as any other reason in that context - they don't do things because they are fashionable or in a "how to" book, they do it because there are real benefits :) :)

Re your comments: Please don't rank my comments in numeric order - they are all important. #1 is #1 only because it reinforces the comments of others - depending on the task at hand, each has its moment of ascendency and benefit.

Re 2 / There is a vast difference in appearance to a bit of wood pulled up on risers and a well planned transition. Its easy to see and hard to explain in simple words. I make any transition to a gradient extremely gradual and find that with the "average" point of the layout already above frame level It can be better controlled, also easily allowing me to include a well planned and supported transition curve and superrelevation as needed.

Re 5 / access: Access in hidden areaswill always be easier with trackbed only where the track is. Solid tops require to be cut away for access.

Re 4 / Ease of install and wiring: I included it because its a big plus: Having the ability to easily install and if needed "tweak" turnout motors and wire without getting under the baseboard is a VERY BIG plus compared to a solid top. I should also add that I always make layout sections removeable too, so the lightness of the non solid top is a benefit as well....

Re 3 / this is a massive benefit to the average "overly full of track" railway built by most. Halving gradients makes a huge difference to the potential of both running and realism.

Re 1 - this isn't my only reason for doing it But it alone is enough to validate the approach in terms of potential for realism - all the others are icing on the cake.

Finally... I should add that to me "potential for believability" of a flat topped layout is zero.

I've never seen a solid top baseboard layout that didn't look like a well presented trainset at best. Flat boards that form a common datum for both scenery and track at the same level, and which therefore have all variance only above the flat top level, can never look truly realistic, no matter how many aplications of scatter or how many buildings are heaped up on them.

Richard
 

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I'm a big fan of the L girder, and open top bench work. My last two layout have all had this feature. In fact the bench work was recycled easily after a house move. My current efforts feature moduals, but I'm not planning to become a member of the flat earth society any time yet. L girders are virtually indestructible, solid, dependable, and easier to work with. Most folks use pine for soft woods, check the amount of distortion and twisting that takes place if you leave wood for even a few days, with the L girder this can't happen.
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 1 Nov 2007, 03:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. the subtlety of the differences, .. Flat boards that form a common datum for both scenery and track at the same level, and which therefore have all variance only above the flat top level, can never look truly realistic, no matter how many applications of scatter or how many buildings are heaped up on them. ..
The eye is an incredible interrogator. We have constant exposure to the natural and built environment and 'read it' unconciously. It may seem pretentious to make this comparison, but the effect a landscape modeller is looking for is akin to what led to the technique used by the 'old master' painters who would paint the skeleton, musculature and blood vessels (in that order), before painting the skin surface of their portrait subject. The eye actually perceives that depth, and it is a factor in the often startling realism of such works. I reckon at least part of the reason for the success of 'open top' techniques is that it introduces small irregularities into areas like the roadbed of 'straight and level' track where we are attempting to build a plane. Which is good, because that's the way it is in reality...
QUOTE Ease of install and wiring: I included it because its a big plus: Having the ability to easily install and if needed "tweak" turnout motors and wire without getting under the baseboard is a VERY BIG plus compared to a solid top. I should also add that I always make layout sections removeable too, so the lightness of the non solid top is a benefit as well....
The memories this brings of my first real layout in my teens, underneath the boards working on the wiring, molten solder every now and then doing the bidding of gravity - ouch! If open top construction brought no other benefit than having the wiring readily accessible from the side or above, without loss of concealment, that would be enough of a selling point for me.
 
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