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Yamahama - A newbie constructs a somewhat ambitious n-scale layout


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even with a gridded scene having some off grid helps break it up and get away from the dreaded model train track oval. It gives a little contrast in the scene that can get dulled in a hard ass grid (even when yes prototpyically many station areas are very hard assed grids!) Our model scenes are so abstracted and compressed usually from the prototype that you end up having to play with the minds eye some and doing the odd little things like this that are not prototypical just do something to the minds eye to say this looks cooler and more 'real', even when it might be unprototypical. The smaller you go on layouts the more i think this comes up. Ive noticed the micro tray layouts ive like the most were the ones where they canted the loop like 5-10 degrees off from the tray. Again distracts the minds eye from the very small track loop dominating the scene and gets you more into looking at the small slice of a scene.


its also one of the issues i struggle with on ttrak as there all the scene is right next to a track and prototypically most everything would follow the track, but it ends up making a very linear scene that then again hilights the long track loop and distracts from the scenes. some of the best module scenes ive seen are ones with a scene running at an angle off perpendicular/parallel to the tracks. i was mocking up a multi module scene with some buildings on a dense city scene next to the track using a some prototype pictures as a guide and it just looked pretty blah, but im now looking at canting the road grid about 5 degrees off the track and i think it looks better. 


I wonder if its the fight between, yes our cities are very gridded and linear, but our usually perspective on it as a human going thru it doesnt see that grid that much, you only see it up high and from a distance. the griding is kind of a theoretical perspective not our immediate human visual walking down the stree perspective. in our human/minds eye/visual memory perspective we intellectually understand the grid but the things that we deal with are the things that we experience that stand out go against that grid, so doing it in a model having some things off grid just sort of trips those triggers in the minds eye/subconscious whereas the grid is a more objective/concious experience and a bit boring and theoretical and doesn't bring in the visual memory and minds eye to make it more exciting visually to our brain.


I always love thinking about these things when you do some small thing and the scene just goes wow! while at other times its all neat and perfect and it just goes kinda thud...


Visual perception is a very strange bestie.





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4 hours ago, cteno4 said:

our cities are very gridded and linear, but our usually perspective on it as a human going thru it doesnt see that grid that much, you only see it up high and from a distance


Barcelona is a good and beautiful example for that. A mighty grid that is pretty unnoticeable once you are standing in it. Might even be just bc a couple of times the rigid grid is interrupted by an angled street cutting through. 

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Yeah it’s the thing of where we usually are doing our visual experience and on that is on a very short scale, but looking at a module or layout we are at a very pulled back perspective we rarely have in real life. We see it on a map but that’s objective conscious thought. Our visual memory is down on the street level with the usual chaos there on the small scale that’s much smaller that the grid scale. From a walking around town you don’t really notice how crazy Washington DC is laid out as our attention is on the within the block chaos at the very close in scale, but when you pull back and look at a map (or try to drive) it’s utter chaos and a very different experience. 

an corollary example is sidewalks. When we model them to look at them 3’ away and do them to scale (like 0.8mm) the sidewalks jsut don’t look right as at 3’ (450’ away scale) that size is down to maybe a little line. Our visual memory of sidewalks is almost all being within 25’ of them, not 450’.


all is to say I like to look for anything that can help bring in our mostly up close (Ie 1-50’) visual memory thru the mind’s eye more with any even non prototypical trick when we are usually looking at our model scenes from a few hundred feet back scale which we usually are not doing in real life.


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The cities in reality rarely if ever gets close to resembling the abstract ideal of a city grid. Terrain and historical land use will always impose limits that makes every city, town, or part of a city, unique. I think in our minds the streets of our cities seem more well ordered than in reality due to the way our brain stores information. Atleast in my brain any street with gentle curves becomes straight and intersections tend to be stored as 90 degreed angled even when they're not.


I wish I could say I angled my station due to estethically skillfull planing, but I did not. 😄  It was actually mostly down to making the most of the available space. It makes more room for me the operator, at the same time as the main line becomes longer. Without it, the curve out of the station area onto the peninsula would be right next to the curve at the end of the peninsula with no room for a straigh in between. Also fitting the last pair of station platforms would be hard.

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Yesterday I painted the foam to get rid of the blue. Next time I make a layout I think I'll do this before attaching the points to the foam by burying the cables. 😅


Today I've moved around some houses and modules with green areas to see what would work well and what does not. I made a quick mock up of an overpass which works pretty well. Behind the overpass the main line is planned to enter a tunnel.






The locations of the main streets will be decided by the overall shape of the layout and the tracks, but the details are still very much to be worked out.


The station platform roofs acts as a barrier that blocks much of the view of the main street that is to run parallel to the station. I might attempt to raise the entire city area behind the station, but then I need to find some foam of a suitable thickness.


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