Layout Presentation

Discussion in 'Talk' started by 28ten, 28 August 2012.

  1. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    With reference to something Neil said in the thread on Exhibitions

    I have come to the conclusion that (in 1/32 at least) attempts at staging are futile, not just tor the reasons suggested by Neil, but also because of the size. Im also down on backscenes in the large scale, whilst they do seem to work in smaller scales, im inclined to go with a plain backdrop, possibly the white wall suggested.
    Looking at the crossing shot of Catcot burtle or Worcester Road, totally contradict what I have said:)) but they are both very small layouts.
  2. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Great subject for discussion, one input before heading off for an onslaught of post holiday order packaging.

    Re backscenes, and in relation to 1/32 and Pomparles Siding.

    The "feel" and realism of the whole thing when the "backscene" is added is hugely better. Paradoxically it appears more spacious with a bloody great wall bolted along its length, the improvement in before and after almost has to be seen to be believed.

    It is plain light blue, small amount of blue powder paint let into white emulsion, but its plain-ness is more to do with lack of skill and or perseverance on my part with some sort of scene than any design ethos or intent. I would like to try a more "realistic" backscene one day, probably on another project though.

    I also have another "cunning plan" for having a backscene-less layout with a backscene, but it would require a sketch to explain really, think viewing trains "head on"...

    Gotta go!
  3. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    Tea imminent, so I'll just direct you to an idea I had some time ago on my long dormant frog blog.
  4. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    Thats very much the sort of thing I have in mind. :thumbs:
  5. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    Et voici, un autre bon idee qu'il avait prepared depuis longtemps - merveilleux:thumbs:

    Quei est mon verre?
  6. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    The comment Neil makes about hating drapes is interesting.... and how they have "pretentions of tidiness"...
    At the Trent Valley show this year was a modular layout, using "Freemo" standards to join lots of modules, often built by different people, to make one big layout. It didn't have drapes - I suppose the very nature of the beast makes them difficult anyway - but boy did it draw attention to the wiring, clutter and general mess underneath!!
    I prefer drapes myself - except on Trade Stands - there should always be 'bargain boxes' under those, that are worth a good rummage in...!!! :D :thumbs:
  7. makhis

    makhis Western Thunderer

    I use drapes treated with FireCheck fire retardant they save me painting the legs on the layout. I have also set up a very simple lighting rig that I can fit easily and quickly on my own should I have no help from another operator.
    lighting 1.jpg lighting 2.jpg lighting 3.jpg They had not been set at their optimum angle it was just a "Do they work" moment in an unlit garage.
  8. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    Yes I agree with every word you've said there Jordan..........long live drapes! :):thumbs:

    I also like hidden fiddle yards that can't be viewed, although I'm the first person to pop my head over to see what stock there is, I think it's nice to actually not know what's coming next.............assuming it's one of those layouts where something actually moves on a regular basis of course :rolleyes:

    Cheers Phill :)
  9. lancer1027

    lancer1027 Western Thunderer

    Agreed Phill, i too like hidden fiddle yards but also like to see what stock is there. Drapes always ( for me ) give the layout the "finished " look and hides all the supports/legs.

    What i dont like about layouts is a limited or lack of movement, because even though we look at the scenery and admire its the stock that usually grabs the interest:thumbs:.

    40126 likes this.
  10. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    I realise that perhaps I should expand a little on my hatred of drapes/curtains round the front of layouts. I understand why one would wish to present one's layout in a way where the eye was drawn to the main event and not the clutter underneath.

    It's one of my pet bugbears that the appearance of tidiness at home isn't achieved by cramming all the debris of life into a handy cupboard and forcing the door closed. I don't enjoy the avalanche of crap when I open the door and the accusing honesty of the mounting piles of stuff open to view does motivate me to have a proper tidy up from time to time. Therefore my first instinct rather than trying to hide the tat under the layout with curtains would be not to take the tat to the exhibition with me. I've never really understood those that take the full tool kit, workbench, spares, spares of spares, fifteen different types of glue, scenic materials and paint to a show with them. Pare it down to the essentials and keep it neat.

    I'm also rather surprised at the level of acceptance of drapes as the universal presentational tool. I can think of other ways of filling in the bit between model and floor that may suit the model better. For example Guv's 1/32 diorama of Wallingford would look brilliant on a plain plinth (think art gallery meets architects model) as I'm certain that the model making will be sharp enough to carry off a similarly sharp presentation. It would be brilliant to be able to view it in the round and the plinth with no obvious major axis would encourage this. The overall modest footprint makes it a viable method.

    Jim Smith Wright's New Street likewise is a very crisp piece of model making, very urban and rectilinear, astonishingly ambitious and far too big for any plinth. However instead of curtains I could well be tempted by boards that would hang down from the underside of the front of the layout. Ideally they would be set back from the front edge by an inch or so (to help them recede visually) and I could be tempted to paint them a concrete colour to tie them in with the real life concrete construction of the station.

    Simon's Pomparles Siding, has a much quirkier feel to it and being a table top layout, perhaps calls for a table cloth on the table. But perhaps the cloth should be chosen to match/complement the layout (rather than default black) be obviously a tablecloth and I think I'd like to see the layout sat centre on the table , not dragged to the front edge in a pretence that the table is part of its permanent sub structure.

    I should conclude firstly with an apology to Cynric, Jim and Simon for shamelessly appropriating their models to illustrate my ideas and to say that I'm not suggesting for one moment they should do what I've suggested, more that in their position these are the sorts of ideas I'd explore.

    Will I be doing as I preach? Hopefully yes; though I don't really do exhibitions and exhibition layouts I do have a narrow gauge scheme in mind that will distance itself from the dreaded drapes. Though not an exhibition layout Morfa already bares its underboard clutter (all storage no constructional untidiness) for all to see, not because I haven't got round to hanging curtains, but because I don't want them.
    daifly and jamiepage like this.
  11. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    I agree with you, when I did the first mockup with the board against a wall it looked terrible, but once i moved it onto a freestanding bench it transformed the view. It was/is no longer claustrophobic, i think 1/32 is big enough to handle this treatment it might be different in a smaller scale, but I want to move around the model and my presentation ideas are very much in line with yours.
  12. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    The "art gallery meets architects model" may be easier to achieve with a fixed layout at home. I'd like to think (though probably wrongly as usual) that I'm getting close to what Neil means with my loft layout, which, being fixed to the main roof beams and end walls, doesn't have legs to the floor.....

    Of course the wiring needs tidying up more, and the view of the underside of the layout as you go up the loft ladder isn't that good...:rolleyes: :oops:

    By the very nature of Shows, though, this sort of thing just isn't "do-able". The layout needs support, extra stock and some back-up like a few emergency tools are needed, along with somewhere to put your wine glass/chalice/brew-holder of choice :cool: .... drapes are also easy to fold up into a very small space for transport. Boards would be very nice but take up space, although Mike Makhis of this Parish has done a very nice job of it with his layouts, Lenches Bridge in particular. :bowdown: :thumbs:
  13. Jim S-W

    Jim S-W Western Thunderer

    Its a nice idea Neil (the concrete boards but i dont know if it would work due to the odd shaped boards. I do like the idea of them helping protect the boards in transit though. Its something to think about for sure.

    When it comes to backscenes i am toying with the idea of not having one. The buildings behind the station rise on a hill anyway so its a natual stage. I was thinking of backlighting the layout as the use of shadows (imho) is an important feature of the prototype location. I have a big book on stage lighting but i havent read it yet!

    Good presentation is important to me thats why the layout has its own corporate ID


  14. makhis

    makhis Western Thunderer

    I have used boards etc on layouts as Jordan said on "Lenches Bridge". The front panels are part of the supports, however they were a pain to transport and not as convenient as curtains/drapes.
    folding boards.jpg
    Excuse the poor photo.

    Attached Files:

  15. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    There's an interesting and complementary thread on the display of layout information running over at 'the other place'. Most examples shown run contrary to my ideas and preferences (which is fine, dull world otherwise); I've just started to wonder if they are the result of different influences. There are some very sharp and professional looking presentations that could come from a high end corporate stand at a trade show. I tend not to mix in the sort of circles where I'd need to attend such events, but I am a frequent and repeat visitor to art galleries.
  16. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    I think any form of backscene would be very difficult on a layout the size of BNS, how high is the rotunda again? ;)
    Pennine MC likes this.
  17. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    Personally I do like to see a layout neatly presented. I do not want to see any tat under the layout however minamalist it is and neither do I want to the layout backed by a belly or belt or shirt. So drapes and a neat backcene to me are a essential. I do understand there might be difficulties for a backscene in layouts larger than O gauge. On the other hand a backscene that has seen one or two too many exhibitions and is becoming tatty (particularly at the joins is a turn off.
  18. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    I can only agree with this Alan, but I'd like to think there are other (possibly better) ways of achieving this than by hanging a curtain off the front of the layout. It's certainly worth exploring the alternatives even if in some cases we circle back round to curtains as being the best compromise solution.

    One idea that I've come up with whilst pondering the need that some people have to take lots of ancillary gubbins to a show would be a wheeled cabinet, painted to match the layout supporting structure that could have drawers for stock storage, space for tools and the top could double as workbench space for running repairs. I guess that we're looking at those layouts that are large enough to need a van or box trailer, but it's got to be better than lots of tatty cardboard boxes.
  19. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    I agree with you Neil, I think there are other ways of presenting layouts, im sold on the idea of opening the whole thing up, the opposite of Worcester road ( which I really like). It had to be said that I'm not building a layout with lots of wiring and intensive operation so it's an easier starting point.
  20. 28ten

    28ten Guv'nor

    Of course we havnt mentioned height anywhere.....