This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
In addition to serving fish dinners, Carl’s Troutateria also offers patrons a chance to ride a 15″ gauge railway which loops around the property. PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR


Carl’s Troutateria A large scale in a small space makes for an interesting layout/Christopher Creighton C


arl’s Troutateria is the latest in a long series of narrow gauge ex- hibition layouts that I have built in the past 20 years or so, and, as with most accomplishments of


this type,


this project was not created in a vacu- um. Its success is the direct result of lessons learned and techniques devel- oped in previous projects. I learned many years (and layouts) ago that, while switching cars is enter- taining, it gets old pretty fast when you have to do it for six or eight hours at a show. For that reason I began incorpo- rating a loop of track into the plan to allow for continuous running. This phi- losophy eventually developed into a single loop with no sidings to both sim- plify operation and save space. It isn’t a smart idea to make a portable layout that is larger than the space you have in your car to carry it. As I see it, the success of a micro- or


42


mini-layout for exhibition is dependent upon several factors, of which the con- cept is the most important. Trackwork, structures and scenery make the lay- out, but without an engaging story or scenario,


it’s simply a collection of


parts with stuff that moves. Good ideas don’t always translate into good layouts, though. Typically, I scrap every second layout that I start. This isn’t all bad, as experimental techniques and effects developed for these layouts are often carried over to subsequent projects. The trolley turned trout stand on Carl’s is a piece from a previous, ill-fated layout, as are the log skids that the rails are laid on. Not much goes to waste. I see the process as Darwinism wrought in


half-inch


scale: only the strong (or in this case, the interesting) survive.


One of the real advantages of build- ing small layouts is that you can actu-


ally finish them. I’ve been working on my On30 basement layout for a num- ber of years, and I’m not ready for scenery yet (and that’s my favorite part!). By contrast, Carl’s has taken about two months to get to the point that you see here. Carl’s Troutateria is fairly small,


just 24″×32″. The construction is typi- cal of my layouts with a 2″ foam slab glued onto a ¼″ plywood skid plate. For this layout I’ve added another layer of 1″ foam on the top, and this has been cut away to provide the area for the pond. I use rigid foam because it’s light, strong and dimensionally stable. As mentioned previously, the Gn15


track is laid on skids. The story is that Carl, being a frugal man, realized that ties would cost money whereas skid logs could be had for free. The bridges are also built on skids and that provides in- teresting focal points. My attitude is that


SEPTEMBER 2012


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100