A virtual branchline

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Ralph, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    I have a steel mill on my layout with a blast furnace that isn't really served by sidings. It rests against the backdrop so its suggested that the track for coal and ore cars lies behind it. I thought it might be fun to support this concept with a visual so I constructed a highline that travels along the backdrop and appears to duck behind the steel mill complex.

    It starts in a corner of the layout with a real HO engine and cars. The second hopper is cut at an angle so it seems to travel into the backdrop.

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  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    It then appears to roll behind some 3D scenary, hiding behind trees on a hillside...

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  3. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    To get the train into the backdrop I placed some cars on my scanner and created slightly smaller paper replicas to convey the illusion they were a little farther away. I also scanned a bridge for them to roll over and disguise the wheels which scanned poorly.....the highline is routed between buildings in the foreground and background of the backdrop

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  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    ...a little further down the line just before reaching the steel mill....
    I positioned the cars with spray-on adhesive that allows items to be removed in case I decide I don't like the idea afterall. I'm leaving it alone for a couple of days to see what I think....
    Ralph

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  5. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    That's an interesting idea Ralph, looks great.
  6. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

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    Works for me Ralph! :cool:
  7. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

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    Ralph...

    ...my dear darling boy- You have it backwards!!!

    Your supposed to have the train in front and the Blast Furnace as the backdrop.

    Now don't be upset with my comments. I am enthralled with the PC loco and READING coal cars- truely I am~~~~~~~~~~~

    I am doing PC/RDG

    But, you leave me perplexed. I am inna quizzle over this puzzle. I'd run the rails right up and say, "Load 'em"! (Even if ya hafta cut the Blasted Furnace in half and make it twice as long or half as deep or both).

    Uh, I faint with the thought.

    Mark :( :confused:
  8. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Hee-hee, Mark instead of modeling the blast furnace operations I went for the rolling mill pictured below. I just didn't have room to put together a blast furnace scene that I'd find convincing.
    Ralph

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  9. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    The furnace is just to the left of these buildings nestled between backdrop and mainline.....not much room to spare! :)
    Ralph

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  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    neat concept Ralph wounder if it would work for deeper in background if reduiced in size.
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    With the re-usable adhesive, you could program those cars into your operations computer and start shuffling them around in your operating sessions.:D
  12. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

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    "And now...

    ...we know the rest of the story!", As Paul Harvey would chime.

    That's pretty sneaky Ralph! You've removed my quizzle though. The coils ready for loading. The various roof lines shattering the skyline. Now that's kewl!

    Your highline concept now rings when I think of the seperation in grade at the old Beth Steel plant in Bethlehem, PA.

    Very nice Ralph. I'm not saying that to kiss yer butt either. Well, maybe I am just a little. I love heavy industry.

    Mark:D
  13. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Ralph, I think it's a great idea! It looks real good to me.
  14. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    David,
    Love the idea of operations programmable paper backdrop trains! I think you just started a whole new branch of the hobby! Loads in, loads out, etc! :D Don't have a lot of money for multi-loco consists? No problem, just scan one engine over and over! :)

    Mark, glad the concepts works for you. I know you're a PC/Reading fan so I was wondering. :)

    Ralph
  15. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Very nice idea that Ralph, the visual effect looks good.
    Shamus
    [​IMG]
  16. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Ralph,While that looks good I must agree with Mark..The track should go in front of the blast Furnace .this could be done by using a 2 tracks as a "interchange for the steel mill.The steel mill's locomotives would remove the cars.This would give you a true loads/empties in and loads/empties out.All you will need to use is 2 switches..1 from your main line and 1 for the interchange tracks.This takes very little space and improves operation.:D
  17. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

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    I like that idea Ralph. I might try something like that on my layout.
  18. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Brakie,
    I appreciate the idea...and think the next time I build a layout I will include it. Thing is, this section is nearing completion and it would take a major overhaul to provide track to serve the furnace.
    The pic below will explain. I have a long dog bone style plan. Here is the "middle" of it where the tracks create the illusion of a double track main. The rolling mill actually covers the main a bit to break up the view of the track. There is a bridge on the right that goes up and over the track and also takes your eye away from the fact that the main is emerging from the mill.

    As you can see I have only a couple of inches between the main and the backdrop as it goes up hill. There's just room for the furnace in between track and backdrop so I thought I'd leave tracks serving the furnace to the imagination.
    :)

    Next time for sure though Brakie!

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