Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Instant rolling stock
If we are to plan out Foxdale we need some rolling stock to work out siding and look lengths. Of course I haven't actually got around to building very much yet, specifically one van and half a loco, so either it's late nights on the workbench or improvise.
Thus we have the ultimate "flat pack" rolling stock for a model railway - rectangles of Daler Board with writing on them.
These can be pushed around and placed on the plan as required. If a wagon falls on the floor, there isn't much detail to damage and even storage is simple. You could suggest that we might as well have made the stock to scale rather than full size but with a little layout and a full size board already available there's not much to be gained. Anyway, I find it easier to work out what's going on at 1:1 scale.
I can't claim this to be an original idea. The same technique was used by the L&WMRS 7mm scale layout "Kimble" when they re-planned the engine shed area. Lobbing O gauge locos around while planning isn't exactly popular with their owners and so some lumps of plywood acted as stunt doubles.
Now this might just be a planning idea, but does it have to be so ? After all there is the Pokemon craze where eager youths pay stupid sums of money for cards representing the characters they desire. Why bother with 3D locos when the model railway industry could just sell special approved cards ?
Just think, no more problems with ham-fisted modellers getting the things out of the box. No storage issues. The locomotives can be displayed in an attractive picture frame. Since many real models never see a track because they are part of a "collection" then the no-working nature of the cards won't be an issue. You can even have proper arguments over prototype fidelity. Can a colour photo really represent a loco that only existed in the days of black & white film ?