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San Juan Central in 0n30?
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 Posted: Wed Jun 21st, 2017 08:57 pm
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Stan S
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I Know, I know, "real" model railroders hate Malcom Furlow...I'm In the planning stages of my new On30 layout, trying to decide what to build. Want to keep the size down to something modest in the interest of finishing it instead of going too large and biting off more than I can chew, as it were.Been looking at several HO designs and trying to get comfortable with them being made to work in 0n30. Been reading a lot of "don't do it" posts.I will run only the smallest equipment, Porters, critters, etc. Mining and maybe Logging. 18" curves seem to be OK for that type of small stuff. Some of the small portable layouts have 12" radii. That's what got me looking at the HO designs.How much bigger do you think the SJC would need to be in 0N30?The "real" multiplier is 181% (I think) but the 0n30 equipment is really much smaller than real O scale. Could it be made to work at something bigger than the original Hon3 but smaller than actual O? Got my helmet on, fire away :-)Stan



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 Posted: Wed Jun 21st, 2017 09:10 pm
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Lee B
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I know I've seen a thread asking the exact same thing on another forum. If I can find it, I'll post the link here...



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 Posted: Wed Jun 21st, 2017 09:57 pm
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Stan S
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there was a thread on the Railroad line forums (where I got the 181% figure) but the OP ultimately went in another direction so the topic was dropped.I think it's an interesting topic to explore for a couple of reasons:
1. Most of the O scale plans on the web assume big trains, Lionel and so forth. Huge locomotives that look silly even on a 36" radius.2. 0n30 is enjoying a Bachmann-induced boom but there are precious few track plans available that are truly designed for 0n30 compared to the number of HO plans posted.3.0n30 is unique; the structures, trees, etc need to be 1:48 to look "right" but the Porters, Critters, boxcabs, mining cars etc. aren't much larger than HO scale models of the typically larger prototypes. This small motive power/rolling stock will run just fine on HO-ish curve radii.So it would be a real service to a large number of modelers if there was a simple process for converting an HO scale track plan for use in 0n30. There would need to be a caveat that only equipment comfortable on an 18" radius could be used. Or, maybe i'm crazy, could be.Stan



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 Posted: Wed Jun 21st, 2017 10:27 pm
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Steven B
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Hi Stan,
My name is Steve, and I am a rivet counter.  I am in recovery after attempting a large HO layout that I would have never completed.  Thank God for the move!  Although I still like rivets, I now practice restraint and have also switched to On30 to keep it light.
This is a great concept.  I don't hate Malcom Furlow.  I was mesmerized by the SJC.  I bought the book when it first came out and it was expensive (I was much younger)!  But I had to have it, and still do.
I think it is a great concept.  My thoughts are this, when I started drawing out my new ideas, I was sure to add the structures that I wanted.  What I found was that size matters.  The structures were the killer.  You can decrease the size of the trains to critters and the like, even the Bachmann freight cars are not much bigger than 50' HO boxcars, but the supporting staff is not easily compressed.  My structures, to have a modicum of believability, were the dictators of size and space.  That being said, I don't think that you have to blow it up to 181% to get a believable railroad.  Keeping it Gilpinesque would be an example of how to adapt a smaller idea to the plan.
While I am not rivet counting I am looking for a feeling and a plausible idea, On30 is the key to keeping me grounded in fun, not minutiae as I bogged me down in my prototype stuff.  I'll still some prototype fidelity, but I will also have a "fun" streak, keeping it light.  
I have always liked the concept of the SJC and think it would be a cracker jack of an On30 layout even with tight radii and compressed buildings.  You could even get some decent operations in it as well by adding a few more mines and the like.
Keep us posted!



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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 11:28 am
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mdrailbaron
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Good morning Stan and all, Stan I have been modeling in On30 for more then 40 years and not only had a layout but also modules for just about as long.  When we would take the modules to shows and would explain what we were doing we would tell folks, " the track is the same as HO and the buildings are O Scale.  The modules were 2' x 4' and the first track was 4" in from the front edge, this gave us something as a safety in case of derailments or fingers.  We used 18" radius curves and ran kit bashed HO locos.  You have to remember 40 years ago no viable Internet and no Bachman On30 equipment, this was the age of the scratch builder and kit basher. In my opinion, if you don't have the necessary space or you have to force it to fit your needs, go back and rethink the track plan.  Also, there is a mind set as to how small a radius you can get a loco and equipment around.  Frankly I don't get it, in fact I think it is really a stupid idea, equipment and locos look their best when you can put them around a radius that is as large as you can afford to make.  I would suggest that you design a track plan to fit the space you have with elements of the SJC that you like.  Today, I am really lucky I have a 1900 square foot basement that is full of On30, that is actually a railroad that goes from one end of the basement to the other, it doesn't chase it's tail in a loop.  I have always been partial to point to point and I have an operating group of 10 to 15 guys that meet once a month.  Even though I drew out a plan I found that it is best to have an attitude that the plan can be changed as you build it and if it isn't working stop and change it.  It is better to back up and make it right then go forward and live with a mistake that doesn't work.  Finally, in regards to your Maclom Furlow comment, yes there are a lot of guys that don't like him but I am not to sure it was always his fault, I think MR forced him down our throats.  I always saw his modeling more as character then prototype and when he had a cover shot and the leg of the trestle didn't rest on the footing that was enough.  He wasn't as much a model railroader as he was an artist, he got a bum rap. Well, I have said more then enough, good luck with your journey, keep it fun, and don't worry what others think.
Steve FisherMD RailbaronModeling in 3/8n40The other large scale only smaller

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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 01:24 pm
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Stan S
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Thanks Steven B wrote:Hi Stan,
My name is Steve, and I am a rivet counter.  I am in recovery after attempting a large HO layout that I would have never completed.  Thank God for the move!  Although I still like rivets, I now practice restraint and have also switched to On30 to keep it light.
This is a great concept.  I don't hate Malcom Furlow.  I was mesmerized by the SJC.  I bought the book when it first came out and it was expensive (I was much younger)!  But I had to have it, and still do.
I think it is a great concept.  My thoughts are this, when I started drawing out my new ideas, I was sure to add the structures that I wanted.  What I found was that size matters.  The structures were the killer.  You can decrease the size of the trains to critters and the like, even the Bachmann freight cars are not much bigger than 50' HO boxcars, but the supporting staff is not easily compressed.  My structures, to have a modicum of believability, were the dictators of size and space.  That being said, I don't think that you have to blow it up to 181% to get a believable railroad.  Keeping it Gilpinesque would be an example of how to adapt a smaller idea to the plan.
While I am not rivet counting I am looking for a feeling and a plausible idea, On30 is the key to keeping me grounded in fun, not minutiae as I bogged me down in my prototype stuff.  I'll still some prototype fidelity, but I will also have a "fun" streak, keeping it light.  
I have always liked the concept of the SJC and think it would be a cracker jack of an On30 layout even with tight radii and compressed buildings.  You could even get some decent operations in it as well by adding a few more mines and the like.
Keep us posted!
Thanks Steve-Who doesn't like an honest confessional from a rivet counter in recovery:-)I appreciate your insights, for me, the vibe of the layout and the various scenes are more important than operation. I'm creating a representation of a fictitious world based on reality, not trying to replicate anything that visitors to my layout have never seen anyway. The structures and scenery are the only things people have a reference for anyway so It's important that those elements look great, the rivet count and faithfulness to any prototype equipment are just not important to me, I'm not building an educational museum piece. I know there are plenty of modelers who feel differently and I'm a huge fan of their work, it's just not me.I think planning around the structures makes a lot of sense, maybe there's a way to incorporate the size of typical (or specific) structures into the process of scaling-up an HO track plan.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 01:29 pm
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Stan S
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mdrailbaron wrote: Good morning Stan and all, Stan I have been modeling in On30 for more then 40 years and not only had a layout but also modules for just about as long.  When we would take the modules to shows and would explain what we were doing we would tell folks, " the track is the same as HO and the buildings are O Scale.  The modules were 2' x 4' and the first track was 4" in from the front edge, this gave us something as a safety in case of derailments or fingers.  We used 18" radius curves and ran kit bashed HO locos.  You have to remember 40 years ago no viable Internet and no Bachman On30 equipment, this was the age of the scratch builder and kit basher. In my opinion, if you don't have the necessary space or you have to force it to fit your needs, go back and rethink the track plan.  Also, there is a mind set as to how small a radius you can get a loco and equipment around.  Frankly I don't get it, in fact I think it is really a stupid idea, equipment and locos look their best when you can put them around a radius that is as large as you can afford to make.  I would suggest that you design a track plan to fit the space you have with elements of the SJC that you like.  Today, I am really lucky I have a 1900 square foot basement that is full of On30, that is actually a railroad that goes from one end of the basement to the other, it doesn't chase it's tail in a loop.  I have always been partial to point to point and I have an operating group of 10 to 15 guys that meet once a month.  Even though I drew out a plan I found that it is best to have an attitude that the plan can be changed as you build it and if it isn't working stop and change it.  It is better to back up and make it right then go forward and live with a mistake that doesn't work.  Finally, in regards to your Maclom Furlow comment, yes there are a lot of guys that don't like him but I am not to sure it was always his fault, I think MR forced him down our throats.  I always saw his modeling more as character then prototype and when he had a cover shot and the leg of the trestle didn't rest on the footing that was enough.  He wasn't as much a model railroader as he was an artist, he got a bum rap. Well, I have said more then enough, good luck with your journey, keep it fun, and don't worry what others think.
Steve FisherMD RailbaronModeling in 3/8n40The other large scale only smaller
Hey Steve-good insights. I saw Malcom Furlow as a talented storyteller. His work inspired many people to build layouts and I see that as an admirable contribution to the hobby.At the end of the day we need to do what we enjoy, not try to please anybody else.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 01:39 pm
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mdrailbaron
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Hey Stan,
Hopefully we can stay on focus and have more discussion on your railroad and it's track plan. I for one would not be the person to ask about track plans, I usually to just have to build and plan as I go. On the other hand I do draw detailed scenes of what I want in certain locations.
OK, I have muddied the water enough, going back to the work bench and work on my 3/8's modeling.
S

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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 02:15 pm
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Stan S
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Yup. So my original thought was to work on a way to scale-up an HO track plan in order to build it on 0n30. Maybe we could come up with a multiplier that's less than the 181% number for "real" O scale, stipulating that equipment would be limited to the stuff in the minimum radius database that's happy with 18". Also understanding that structure sizes would need to respect the same restraints as the the motive power, that is, model types and sizes of prototype structures that are on the small side. 
http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/dwightennis/on30/on30loco_n_car_radius.pdf



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 Posted: Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 05:32 pm
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W C Greene
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Stan, let me respectfully answer to your "real" model railroaders hate Mr Furlow response...I do not hate the man's modeling...it set a standard back in the 1980's and 90's. He was indeed an innovator and built inspiring models. Those of us who actually knew the man (a Dallas resident then) found someone quite different than the one represented in the model press. Like Andy Warhol, his published personna was much different than the real person.
I may not be one of the "real" modelers but I did know the man personally.
BTW, if you do adapt the SJC into an On30 layout, one feature you might consider is to make your version actually operate, a feature neglected on the original.

Submitted for your approval,
Woodie



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