Following my purchase of the BRM layout design special, I almost immediately came across a DVD review on the excellent ‘Basilica Fields’ blog. (At least, it’s an excellent blog if you can cope with someone with a 30-year plan for a layout. But the information on the old Great Eastern and other lines in East London is fascinating). So I immediately bought the DVD, which is ‘Right Track 19: Layout Planning and Design’. Having watched it, I was going to write my own full review here, but realised that the review at Basilica Fields was far better than I could manage. So here’s an extract:
Many of us railway modellers are wedded to a scale and gauge, and this is the first sacred cow to be unceremoniously kicked over, and a compelling argument is put forward for choosing scale based on wants and needs from a new layout. Coupling choices are the next element to stand in the dock, and not just on the usual ‘play value versus scale appearance’ card we’re all so used to hearing, but instead based on how train length is affected by one type or the other, and how that impacts on our design. Thought provoking stuff.
With our comfortable world now turned upside down, we’re suddenly find ourselves within the habitat of the modeller; all so often our esoteric little hobby drags us away from family down into the shed at the bottom of the garden on a wet and windy night or up into the sauna-like humidity of a loft space in high summer. Not the always the best for harmonious household relations, and it needn’t be so. Based on a stylised representation of footfall though the house, we’re shown where hitherto unconventional sites for a ‘shelfie’ may in fact prove to be ideal and leave us feeling a little less like Johnny-no-mates.
On to the nitty-gritty; what do we want from a layout? Actually, what do we need might be the better question, and after writing out a checklist we’re building a quick mock-up from card and foam to see if all these elements of desire and necessity actually work together. Our perception of perspective, layout width and the backscene are briefly challenged – a foreshadow of things to come later in the programme.
Read the full review here and get a flavour of the DVD below.
The reviewer concludes:
On being sent my gratis reviewer’s copy, I was told to tell it as it is; good or bad – don’t pull your punches. Despite not receiving my promised reviewer’s fee of a bacon sandwich (you owe me in sauce Mistah PMP), I thoroughly recommend this DVD to newcomers of the hobby and grizzled old hands alike.
I agree completely, even having paid for a copy, with no exchange of bacon products at any time. Again, I recommend this for anyone who like layout planning, and watching it may result in a few plans getting constructed. Buy it from Activity Media, here.