Those animated autos and trucks. Don't go There..

MarkInLA Apr 15, 2017

  1. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    Hi. I'm sure many will not agree but, I wish those animated cars and trucks which are slowly making their way onto MRR layouts would not be. My reasoning is this: A model railroad's focus and only focus is trains. By adding these slot cars without slots detracts from that focus. The vehicles and figures not moving is one of the aspects of this hobby which, just like non-moving flora and fauna keeps your eye from gazing at them too long (though they can be excellently done) and back on the subject at hand, the trains. If we start animating everything on the layout which normally moves we are no longer building and running a MRR. We'll become 'model neighborhood-ers'; no longer called MRRers !! For me, this same thing applies to model ferris wheels, baseball stadiums, airports, and huge parades..They detract too much from the focus, railroading. Continue to recreate the railroad environment, not the entire world's environment...OR ! (And this is fine) build a model car and truck layout with spurts of non-animated trains and start a forum site for this if there isn't already one..
    Listen, I know I'm ticking off some folks. Please leave the bitterness out of it and make a constructive reply....... Thanks, Mark
     
  2. SLSF Freak

    SLSF Freak Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Model RRs are like movies, music, food or art. To each his/her own. Some people like bang bang boom zoom movies, some like cerebral thrillers, some like both. For a lot of people, Model RRs are little worlds, and why not have that little world do as much as you can within the limits of the technology? If you're distracted from your trains by spinning ferris wheels, then simply don't put a spinning ferris wheel on your pike. No big deal. Nobody should be ticked off or bitter by how you do your layout. If you visit my layout and complain about little bicyclists peddling down the street then don't come over - nothing to fuss about there. Some people do have model car/truck layouts, by the way, have you seen what these RC guys are doing these days? Pretty neat:



    -Mike
     
  3. MarkInLA

    MarkInLA Permanently dispatched

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    Mike, you confused what I said. I do not have those things on my layouts of past (no layout at present due to relocating to small quarters). You're insinuating I do. I'm asking to not put animated ferris wheels and the rest on layouts, unless you want it to become 'model neighborhooding'...M
     
  4. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    So, he's resistant to new things, so he must be a conservative. But he's telling people what to do for no particular reasonable reason, so he must be a liberal.

    A truly bipartisan post!
     
  5. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Automation has been modeled since the beginning of model and toy trains. Crossing gates, loading and unloading, and Lionel realized that a long time ago. They designed their trolley and gang cars to hit bumpers and change direction, providing automation.

    A few months ago I took the kids to the Lego Discovery Center in Arizona. They have a great room with many Arizona scenes, including downtown Phoenix. The cars automatically driving through the streets were impressive, even the traffic lights worked. To me, it added a lot to the realism, and it wasn't overwhelming.

    Many of us add little details to make a mini scene, like the hobo camp under the bridge, a cop writing a ticket or a group of kids playing baseball. Lance Mindheim even wrote an article on how to make a road crossing flair. Adding a few driving cars is not an issue to me.
     
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  6. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    I saw at least one layout with a scene where someone was welding inside a train shed, using an ultra-bright LED to simulate the welder's arc. I found that pretty neat.

    Anyone who wants to add such animated accessories to a layout should be able to provided the resources, time, technical and financial are there. That all falls into the #1 rule of model railroading - (one does what one wants with one's own railroad).

    So long as one doesn't add smells to the stock yards.:confused:
     
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  7. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    I'm fine with automation, as long as it is done to scale. I don't like when the cars go a scale 100 mph. Then again, I don't like when the freight trains do either.

    If you don't want it on your layout, don't put it on. If you want it, put it in there. Just don't tell others how they should or shouldn't enjoy the hobby.

    I model part of the world the railroad happens to run through. None of my roads connect, so I don't see cars moving anytime soon. I am going to add sound and hopefully lights at some point to my flour mill. They are noisy places, why not model that too?
     
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  8. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I shouldn't have said what I did. Some liberals are just as intransigent about concepts they haven't encountered before, and some conservatives are quick to tell people what they should and shouldn't do...

    I'm curious, though. If I build an amusement park on my layout, I understand I'm not to motorize the ferris wheel. But what about the train ride? If I put a Z scale train with the roofs cut off and HO scale children on board on my HO scale layout, am I allowed to run it? On the one hand, it's the same thing as the ferris wheel. On the other hand, it really is a train. So, what am I supposed to do...?

    Of course, if it's a zoo train, then it's not an amusement park ride. Then it's just a narrow gauge railroad. So am I allowed to run the little train if I scrap the amusement park and replace it with a zoo?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
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  9. MaxDaemon

    MaxDaemon TrainBoard Member

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    I'm getting a great amount of enjoyment in planning my Winery on my layout - a whole tourist destination with a lake, some boats, a dock with swimmers and if I can manage it, a "half scale" live steam railroad consisting of various HO people riding on top of an N scale train. In fact, in that whole 4X4 foot space, the only railroad will probably be the stub that the little switcher, owned by the winery, uses to take their product to market. Which is of course, silly in and of itself. I mean, it's a little winery with a couple acres of grapes - why in the world do they need a switcher or even more than a truck, at most, taking their product.

    But .. it's a world I make and control.

    And it makes me happy. Is there anything more important than that?

    .
     
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  10. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    That's it, Max! There is nothing more important than being happy and enjoying the hobby.

    It must be fun to do it or one is in the wrong hobby.


    So if it pleases you to put animated things, whatever they are, then so be it. The only judge is you. You make and control that little world on the table. Unless the Russians hack your DCC and take control of your trains and other animated thingies. :cautious:

    That would raise a stink that would make the one coming from the stock yards smell like a rose garden.:D
     
  11. trainman-ho

    trainman-ho TrainBoard Member

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    Who said "There's nothing wrong with progress as long as nothing changes!"?

    Some RR modelers have in the past, and in the present run DC only, and are not interested in DCC, Radio, computer, and/or Iphone controlled layouts. That is their choice. AND the rest of us should respect that choice.

    Then there are other RR modelers who are at the other end of the scale, and fallow the high tech (at least to me) world of innovative electronic and computer controlled systems. I bet somewhere there is a RR modeler who can flip a few switches and instigate a 2 or 3 hr. operating session without doing any thing else. If there isn't one now there will be at some time in the future. and I applaud that.

    I worked as an auto mechanic for the majority of my adult life starting in the 60's. When I started I was amazed that some parts suppliers could provide oversized brake shoes when they resized abused brake drums. When I left the trade I was mostly involved with high tech problems; fuel management, safety systems, and accessories.

    Technological innovation is every where around us. We can embrace it, ignore it, complain about it, even refuse it; but it ain't goin away!

    I can't wait to see a video of an operation session involving animation of vehicles, people, and maybe even trees that sway as a train passes at speed.

    The human race has created the illusion of barriers: things that cant be done; 100 mph barrier, sound barrier, light speed barrier.

    And now we face the imagination barrier; can we really replicate all the nuances and details surrounding a minute, or an hour, or a day, or however long YOUR operating session is in a model railroad (in what ever scale YOU operate in) ( because all scales are all model railroads) to completely take imagination out of the equitation.

    Personally, I guess I am a simple person, and my objective in Model Railroading is to have fun using my imagination to present a reasonably acceptable example of a miniature railroad that is entertaining to, for me and others, mostly me!

    The purpose of a hobby is to distract one from the dire consequences of life. Progress is one of them. Embrace it or ignore it! But it will happen regardless!

    There a fore mentioned opinions are those of the author and are not intended to change anyone else's opinion, but to allow for a meaningful dialogue on the how we each embrace the many different aspects of the model railroad culture.

    Enough said!

    Jim
     
  12. Rocket Jones

    Rocket Jones TrainBoard Member

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    To my mind, having one or two little animations, like the welder mentioned above, or the simulated TV screen in a store window, is a great start. But maybe just the one or two stand out because the rest of the layout - except for trains - is static, and that's where it jars the imagination. Small, subtle things here and there would make the entire layout appear to be alive. Even sound can do the trick, like those little boards and speakers so your farm has the occasional moo, or the rare siren in the background in the town.
     
  13. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am of two minds on this subject. I have seen well done scenes with lots of animation, and trains running through. But I agree with Mark -- the modeller was clearly focusing on a whole scene, and the trains were simply a part of it. On the other hand, simple animation (be it just lights, or working crossing gates) adds tremendously to the visual impact. It all depends on what the intended effect is. My big bug-a-boo about any other animation is it should be well done -- if the motion distracts from the scene, don't do it.
     
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  14. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen these cars (Faller car system) a lot on those European mega-layouts like Miniatur Wunderland, and I am unsure what to think. Sometimes, yes, I feel it takes away from the impact of the trains. I am not sure whether to look at the trains, or the cars on a highway. On the other, it feels more alive with cars. If the trains move, the currently static cars should be moving down the road as well. Some viewers of large public layouts may feel more connected when they see cars, since the everyday person interacts with their car more than a train. The only time they may see a train is when they get stuck at a grade crossing. A car system starter set is pretty expensive, and vehicles are mostly European prototypes, so it would take some work to make an American model.
     
  15. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Member

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    Well, if you happen to be modeling the early 70's and you've modeled a couple of crazy men in a beatup 64 Olds, personal experience says 100 scale MPH would be totally prototypical.
    Seriously, a model rr is, after all, a time machine. It's each individual's decision as to how best to model his/her personal chunk of history, be it 1870, 1970, or 2017
     
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  16. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    Or a model of the desert between Tehatchapi and Mojave in the mid 1990's...an 86 Mustang doing 140ish.....allegedly.....
     
  17. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Or an American LaFrance pumper truck of the 1930s with Wagoner, Oklahoma volunteer firemen clinging to it for dear life, and a grossly inefficient, but truly monstrous V-12 under its long hood, running north on U.S. 69 toward an after-midnight fire in Chouteau at 60, and just keeping up with the Texas Special on the Katy mainline running parallel to the highway.

    If they had blown a tire, I'd likely never have been born.

    Will those Faller HO systems do one foot per second?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  18. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    My answer to the original poster can be summed up thusly: If you don't like it, don't add it to your layout.
    Conversely, don't tell others what they can and cannot have.

    I have been to train shows where there are modular model railroads, and on some of those railroads non-rail-related animations are in play. One impressive one is a tornado bearing down on a farmhouse, and yes, the tornado is rotating. It's also complete with roaring winds, a tornado-warning siren howling in the distance, and lightning flashes. I have also seen scale drive-in movies with films showing on a smartphone placed in the display.

    I may not have any such animation or special effects on my layout, but I won't throw rocks at folks who do.
     
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  19. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Seeing the remnants of that narrow, two-lane road running alongside the much newer, four-lane highway, that must have been a heck of a ride.
     
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  20. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Half a century later, Dad seemed to remember it as if it were yesterday.

    I'm sure part of that was blasting down that narrow ribbon on a twenty thousand pound open machine on cord tires and without power steering at a mile a minute. And part of it was that he was just a teenager (Grandpop was assistant fire chief).

    But a good part of it was the Texas Special. He liked it. He used to wake up when he was sleeping out on the screened-in porch on summer nights, just so he could listen to the six-wheeled Pullman trucks rattle through the Katy-MoPac diamond downtown, the tempo increasing as it accelerated away from the station.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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