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Posted in Layout Designs by Rob Chant. (Last activity on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 3:56:00 AST.)

On18 SCALE: Fugere Manufacturing & Fabrication, Limited (Concept Drawing)

Late last year, a member of the Micro/Small Model RR Layout group was discussing building a layout in On18 scale. Since I had never designed in that scale before, I contacted him about designing a layout in a small space using either a sector plate, or a transverse table. While trying to decide what I was going to do in the scale, I came across two track plans by Ian Holmes published on Carl Arendt's website.

The first was called "The Brewery Line" and was done in 12mm gauge, and the second was called the "The Basement Railway" and was done in Gn15. When I saw these track plans, I quickly noticed how unique they were because they depicted a railway done inside a single building. The more I studied the track plans, the more I could see the potential for very detailed scenes, plus some nice operations to boot.

I assume many of you know that I love a track plan that is both unusual and also offers a good amount of operations in the available space. A few of you may also know that I have no problem using any design feature that best achieves those goals in a small footprint. After seeing Ian's two plan, I knew that they could be the basis for a very interesting On18 layout.

However, instead of duplicating the track plans exactly, I decided to add my twist to the designs, and opted to combine both plans into a single, 2-level layout using a 10-inch fiddle-stick 'elevator' to connect the levels. The final result is a layout that has eight separate scenes that really could eat up a lot of details, and could easily keep a modeler busy for months doing the detail work, and adding the lighting for the basement level.

While I didn't add any details to the scenes, I did label each location for a possible scene with ideas taken from Ian's track plans. The two level are separated by 8-inches in the 3D renderings, but that can easily be increased for more finger room. There is also no reason why a third upper floor couldn't be add, if the layout owner wanted more operations, or more scenes to detail.

When I posted this to the group, a discussion ensued about the possibility of adding a working car elevator inside the building instead of the manually lifted fiddle stick. I had actually toyed with the idea when creating the concept plan. I was considering put the elevator either where the shipping warehouse is, or where store room scene is located. I think the best option might to just go with the fiddle stick for now and add the car lift in the future, since I can see that being a project that would require a lot of think time and trial and error.

I can also see a lot of possible animation in this building as well: a working belt/pulley system for the machinery; a flickering orange glow from the furnace; some working machinery with sounds and maybe smells; a working overhead crane; carts moving around using magnets under the floors; the coal dump could be made to tip the cars; working outside doors on the dock, then on top of all that, the inside lighting for the building. I think this layout could really be quite the showcase and a great feat of engineering, if one was so inclined.

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TAGS: Theme: Industrial Railway, Layout Size: Micro Layouts, Design Feature: No Run-Around Track, Theme: Single Industry, Design Feature: Train Elevator, Types of Industries: Manufacturing Plant

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