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Layout Sizes.

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:05 pm
by Mountain
Does anyone know what general sizes come under the term "Mini layouts" and "Micro layouts" ? My layout is just under 7ft long by 2ft wide. Would it be classed as mini or is it too big?

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:36 pm
by b308
Varies Mountain! I'd regard a micro layout as something like a Pizza or Box File size. I've never heard of a mini layout before. Perhaps it describes that type of layout loved by Z gauge and 009 modellers who like layouts around 3 or 4ft in length. Yours is the same length as several of mine and I regard it as "small" (i.e. below 8 or so feet) for exhibition purposes when I used to organise exhibitions.

But don't quote me on that as it's pure guesswork as I am sure every exhibition manager had their own ideas! ;)

Wheredid you hear them used btw?

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:18 am
by Mountain
I once saw a micro layout website. I don't remember what it was except the websites owner had passed away and it was looked after by a relative? I remember that someone gave me a link quite a while ago.
Some micro layout don't appeal to me because they are too restricted. I did make mine to be three and a half foot by two foot, but I found it was just a bit too small for practical use in 7mm narrow gauge. Yes, I could have certainly run trains around it, but it would look a little too much like a tailchaser, and a passing loop was not really an option. More of an option now (In theory) since I can build my own track, but I don't want trains to be too short if I can help it, as I do need them to be practical. As I am thinking I could make a smaller layout practical. It would require a little thought... Umm... You have me thinking!

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:58 am
by b308
Mountain wrote:I once saw a micro layout website. I don't remember what it was except the websites owner had passed away and it was looked after by a relative? I remember that someone gave me a link quite a while ago.


http://www.carendt.com/

Carl Arendt, luckily someone is keeping it going. I have to admit that whilst I appreciate the modelling of some Micros I can't work up any enthusiasm for them. For me, when seen in real life, they are too small to have any realism to them. One case where photographs can deceive the eye.

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:19 am
by luckymucklebackit
Assuming we are talking 00/H0 or larger scales, for me the boxfile/pizzabox size projects are not layouts in the traditional sense, they are dioramas, something to be admired for the quality of scenic work around what limited track is included, to be a layout in my book it must be capable of even limited operation, shunting around or moving from fiddle yard to station, for that the minimum would be about 4ft x 1ft in 00/H0, obviously the smaller/larger the scale then that size must be proportionately smaller/larger. C.J. Freezers plan book "Plans for Small Layouts" offered suggestions for layouts up to 8' x 4' IIRC but I think the whole thing is very much "how long is a short piece of string" one mans mini layout is anothers normal. When I set out to build Allenshaw it was going to be a mini portable standalone, but even at a modest 8' x 1' - 4" it is a big lump of wood.

jim

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:17 am
by b308
Knew I'd got 8ft from somewhere!! I think that part is still valid. Deciding if a Pizza or Box File is a layout or diorama is difficult though. I've seen dioramas of 15ft or more! My view is that if the trains work its a layout if they don't it's a diorama, no matter what the size. I don't believe scale is relevant.

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:42 pm
by Mountain
b308 wrote:Knew I'd got 8ft from somewhere!! I think that part is still valid. Deciding if a Pizza or Box File is a layout or diorama is difficult though. I've seen dioramas of 15ft or more! My view is that if the trains work its a layout if they don't it's a diorama, no matter what the size. I don't believe scale is relevant.

I do agree there even though the length of run on some is so limited that it is almost pointless.
Some are very clever though. It is not easy to get a lovely layout in a small space to look effective.
Micro layouts are a little small for me, but double the size and one has something a bit more practical, yet small enough to fit in most homes.
I personally think it is a bit of a shame to abandon first radius curves with loco and rolling stock designs in 00 gauge (Except for the largest locos of course) because first radius curves do answer a solution to many limited space problems. After all, a compromize is better then no layout. Of course, there are smaller scales and narrow gauges...

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:55 pm
by Vitray
That's what I call a micro layout !

Image

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:47 pm
by Mountain
Ummm. Yes! Haha.

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:54 pm
by glencairn
Vitray wrote:That's what I call a micro layout !

Image

:lol: :lol: :lol:


Hours of fun running trains. Love it. :lol:


__________________________________________________________________________

In my opinion the size of a layout also includes the fiddle yard (if there is one). I have seen so called micro layouts in very small spaces of around two feet in length classed as micro layouts. If they added the five feet long fiddle yards at either end how then are they classed micro?

I once built a layout on an ironing board. That included a fiddle yard. That is as small a layout I ever built.

Glencairn

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:13 pm
by b308
I'd agree with that. However if you look at Carl's website which is supposed to be "micro" layouts there is stuff up to 6ft long which hardly seems micro to us in the UK, my latest TTe layout is that length! I suppose being an American site their views of small are different! It shows that there is no real concrete definition, it's all speculation!


A micro where the controller is nearly as big as the layout!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXDQN97JPi0

Re: Layout Sizes.

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:10 pm
by Bufferstop
That one is definitely a working diorama, but what stops it being a layout?
Railway Modelling is an activity which can't be quantified, length of run, number of sidings, loops, non railway buildings, simultaneous running trains - none of them makes one model better than another. Each layout defines itself, this is why the layouts in the TV series tend to be a bit gimmicky, what parameters can you use to rank more conventional layouts.