Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

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tonyvernon
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Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby tonyvernon » Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:44 pm

I have build a 00-scale layout based in the near future on the moon. It pays homage to the Science fiction movies and TV programmes in the 1970's such as Space 1999, 2001 A Apace Odyssey, UFO and Blake's 7. In the same way that Steam Punk is a vision of the future from the Victorians' perspective, this is a vision of the future from the perspective of the 1970's. I have been exhibiting this layout and it has proved to be very popular with the public.

The train system is a monorail, although in reality it is uses standard 2-rail Peco track, made to look like a monorail by chopping off the sides of the sleepers and coating the track in modelling clay. The robotically-controlled passenger trains are designed using 3d modelling software (Solidworks), and made by 3d printing using ABS and PLA plastic. The freight trains (also robotically-controlled) are made in a similar manner. Each train uses a standard motorised 0-6-0 chassis that has been cannibalised from old 0-6-0 steam locos.

Moonbase Alpha is a base that caters for the movement of passengers who are being shuttled between the base and the moon space port, and also for the transportation of valuable Luna ores. The Luna mine is implied, but only the surface part of the mine (the offices) is visible on the surface. There is an observation bubble that slowly rotates, where passengers and moon-base personnel can view the Luna vista. There is also a scene from the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey where the alien monolith (TMA-1) has just been discovered. The starscape uses over 200 LEDs and the constellations are accurately mapped onto the background.

The operation is automatic, using block sections that allow up to 4 trains to automatically run at the same time. At exhibitions this has proved to be a big advantage as operating an model railway for 7 hours at an exhibition can be exhausting!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions and/or criticisms then don't hesitate to email me.
Attachments
general view left.jpeg
TMA_1.jpeg
general view right.jpeg
general view middle.jpeg

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alex3410
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby alex3410 » Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:41 pm

Topic moved to: Personal Layouts - Under Construction.

fascinating build & welcome to the forum :)

Ex-Pat
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon Dec 13, 2021 4:55 pm

So radically different to anything I've ever seen!

I'd welcome some close-up shots please - particularly of the rolling stock.

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End2end
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby End2end » Mon Dec 13, 2021 5:02 pm

Very unique! :)
Do you have any videos of the layout running?
Thanks
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Bufferstop
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:26 pm

Great to see something original. I think the "monorail" is perfectly valid, having seen the number of sets of wheels running on different parts of the beam that the usual pleasure park systems need.
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MrH
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby MrH » Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:18 am

Looks great I too would like to see more photos
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Bigmet
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Bigmet » Tue Dec 14, 2021 11:23 am

Your vehicles are very similar in appearance to the 'tracked hovercraft' project of the 1970s. Was this deliberate or just coincidence?
http://www.ousewashes.info/experiments/hovertrain.htm
For anyone interested, the prototype vehicle can still be seen at Peterborough while on a train, on the East side of the ECML. I was taken in my teens to see the prototype operated and it was very impressive, and not a little scary as the engineering team demonstrated its prodigious acceleration capability. Unlike wheel on rail trains it could stop as fast as the passengers on board could tolerate; and would have required seatbelts had it gone into service. Unfortunately canned just as progress was being made on the transverse flux linear motor which did away for the need for an air cushion to supply the 'hovering'. Saw the development prototype of this motor demonstrated at a Queen Mary College programme and deeply impressive it was too.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 14, 2021 11:43 am

For a decade or more we had it's little brother operating between Birmingham International airport and station. Being a one off meant that it couldn't be renewed when bits started to wear out. It's now replaced with a cable hauled system installed on the concrete trackbed, a sort of horizontal lift. It always amazed me just how hard a ride the magnetic fields provided.
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Bigmet » Tue Dec 14, 2021 1:15 pm

Bufferstop wrote:... It always amazed me just how hard a ride the magnetic fields provided.

They would! The vehicle suspension needs to provide quite soft acting and dead beat movement damping between the maglev system and the passenger vehicle body for a comfortable ride. (Unless we can obtain Star Trek's 'inertial dampers' which allow near instant acceleration from rest into multi-C motion without risk of redecorating the vehicle interior with lifeform puree...)

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Bufferstop
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Dec 14, 2021 4:31 pm

It's a shame there can't be any sound effects (lack of air on the moon). The noise of the speed steps as each step caused the fields to resynchronise would be a great sound effect.
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Bigmet
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Bigmet » Tue Dec 14, 2021 9:27 pm

One scheme would be a cab view feature with simulated drive noise as heard onboard added.

That's as close as I would want to get to the moon! Just the thought of living in a location always requiring machinery and containment to function to provide an atmosphere. Way too high risk for me.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Dec 15, 2021 11:12 am

Bigmet wrote:Just the thought of living in a location always requiring machinery and containment to function to provide an atmosphere. Way too high risk for me.

No need to go to the Moon for this experience, just step inside any shopping mall.
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Bigmet
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby Bigmet » Wed Dec 15, 2021 1:21 pm

Bufferstop wrote:
Bigmet wrote:Just the thought of living in a location always requiring machinery and containment to function to provide an atmosphere. Way too high risk for me.

No need to go to the Moon for this experience, just step inside any shopping mall.

Oh, I have had this experience, but in an overloaded airport shuttle transport absolutely jammed with passengers, so pretty close to the transport scenario. Two of us working together managed to force a door open after five minutes, allowing escape of the able, and aid to be given to the several faintees... (The story gets even weirder after this event, but thanks to access to the business lounge and the good offices of a KLM employee I obtained disability transport to my departing flight to evade airport security. And I won't be going there ever again either...)

tonyvernon
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby tonyvernon » Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:13 pm

Bigmet wrote:Your vehicles are very similar in appearance to the 'tracked hovercraft' project of the 1970s. Was this deliberate or just coincidence?


Interesting website. No, it is entirely coincidence if the vehicles are similar. My design was based on a "pressurised cylinder" idea that would be ideal operating in a vacuum.

regards

Tony Vernonb

tonyvernon
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Re: Moonbase Alpha - A layout based in the future on the moon

Postby tonyvernon » Mon Jan 10, 2022 3:32 pm

[quote="Bigmet"]One scheme would be a cab view feature with simulated drive noise as heard onboard added.

What a great idea! I could use a camera to record the movement of a train as it went around on the luna surface.


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