Saturday, January 30, 2016

LD/Ops SIG meet 2016 - evening layout tour

After dinner we visited 3 layouts in the Sacramento area.

We started at Bill Burg's layout depicting the Sacramento Northern in Sacramento, not far from R Street. This is a great shelf layout built in segments over time. Bill spends a lot of effort to build and landscape each segment before he moves on to the next, and it shows in complete highly detailed scenes.

It was a joy to wander around in this small basement room and to keep finding ever more details.

Even Bill's open staging yard is sceniced. Looks great. The Sacramento Northern was electrified. Bill's approach to suggest catenary wire without actually having it works well in reality, but doesn't quite come out in the photos. This way the caternary doesn't interfere with clumsy hands doing switching moves.

Next, we drove out to Folsom to see Tom Weissgerber's Union Pacific layout. Again, we were greeted by beautifully crafted scenes, but this time in a large layout.

The aisle of the layout room is dark while the layout is well lighted. This theater effect really makes the layout pop and appear even more impressive. The valance hanging from the ceiling is painted hardboard and is very effective in hiding the layout lights. Tom is on the left in the photo below.

Scenes abound all over the layout. I especially appreciated the random clutter and junk Tom used to bring many scenes to life.

Here's a nice example of how to add more staging in a non-intrusive way: a narrow shelf along the wall. When I'm standing straight in front of the layout, this shelf is far enough towards the back that it doesn't block the view of the lower level, yet is easily accessible.

One section of the layout depicts the Columbia River Gorge with impressive scenery and sheer rock faces.

Tom included some historic vignettes in the layout, too. Here's an old flume, now surrounded by pasture and cows.

We finished the evening at Robert Hoffman's Santa Fe Hereford Sub layout in Elk Grove. Compared to the earlier layouts there is not as much finished scenery here, so I took less photos, but this is a great layout for operations and looks like a lot of fun to operate on.

Robert's layout nicely captures the flat plains and typical scenery of northern Texas.

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