Choosing a Prototype

Many Rail3D users get a lot of pleasure out of creating layouts, and some of the most satisfying things to do in Rail3D are creating layouts of real world prototypes.  However, it is a lot of work to do well ...

Before you Start

The first thing to do is to decide what prototype you are going to model, some of the things you might consider include:

How well do you know the line?

Is it something local?  or somewhere you visit or otherwise know well?  The better you know a railway or an area, the more chance there is of being able to make a satisfactory model.

Availability of information?

You are going to need maps, photographs, track plans, gradient profiles, pictures or plans of buildings etc.  Possibly timetables and details of train types and formations.  It all depends on how faithful a model you want.  You might want to choose a prototype where everything possible is documented and avaiable from books / internet / personal visits etc, others might be content to use information sources (Eg maps) for core information, but not worry about some of the detail.

Availability of models?

Are there models in the Rail3D library of suitable train types for your layout?  IF not can you make them (or persuade someone else to make them :-) )?  Or will you have to do without?  The same goes for buildings.

How big an area?

If you're just planning to model your local branchline, this is fairly easy to decide, but otherwise:

  • Consider natural endpoints of the layout, such as a terminus or junction.
  • Don't choose too big an area to start with - it will just take too long to get anywhere.
  • However ... don't choose two small an area. Many people have built a layout and then found later they want to extend, but are constrained by the layout limits.  So allow room to expand around your layout in case you later decide to do this.



MRG 13/09/2013 15:24:39