Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [z_scale] Z Scalers Building Session in Houston

Expand Messages
  • Jeffrey MacHan
    Hi Bill and Billy and Terry and all, This is an interesting discussion concerning layout height and optimum viewing angle. I would like to wade in with my
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 22, 2000
      Hi Bill and Billy and Terry and all,

      This is an interesting discussion concerning layout height and optimum
      viewing angle. I would like to wade in with my .02$ Canadian worth (about
      .013$ US!)

      First of all, my layout is placed at the height of the supporting structure
      at the train show, i.e. standard banquet table which stands at a height of
      30". Add another 5" for the depth of the suitcase and the viewing height of
      the track would be 35" at train shows.

      At home, I install all 3 suitcases on top of a counter unit (36") on which I
      have placed an IKEA table top (1.5") which brings track viewing height to
      approximately 43".

      I find this height of 43" quite acceptable for my viewing since I don't have
      to crouch down very far to get that ground level perspective! On the other
      hand, I can still reach over the layout to do maintenance and uncouple cars
      (I use the MacHan manual uncoupling technique!).

      I agree with those of you who enjoy the view of a passing train from the
      perspective of a ground hog rather than from an eagle's point of view. This
      is especially true for operating sessions amongst fellow initiates.

      Where I tend to differ from the norm and side with Terry's observation that
      lower may be better, is when I participate in a train show. Train show
      audiences tend to be highly appreciative of the kid friendly presentation of
      our trains. In fact, at the NTS, our layouts were the only ones that
      allowed the very young and the very old alike to approach the trains up
      close and personal...no height nor crowd barriers.

      Parents can relax while their offspring marvel at the trains at their eye
      level. For the kids, the Z trains become 'their' trains at the show because
      they can get close while the big folks tower far above them and also because
      the trains are "cool" to the small and "cute" to the tall.

      I think that I have said before that I personally enjoy seeing the kids
      having fun with my trains. I am not for an instant suggesting that everyone
      should adopt my presentation style. My choice is based on a pragmatic and
      easy to obtain support for the layouts and my very personal preference to
      allow the kids to approach the trains. Yes, there is some risk to allowing
      them to breathe on the trains. Once in a rare while there may be a
      derailment because of a curious finger wandering onto the right of way. But
      derailments seem to entertain the kids just as much as having the trains go
      by. Why do you suppose that is?

      There is much more that I could share with you about the numerous very
      enjoyable and touching moments that I have had with youngsters and the not
      so young leaning over the layout or peering into the depths of the car shop
      or turntable or discovering the dinosaurs in the forest! When the crowds
      thin a bit, I have been known to let a wee friend run the trains and blow
      whistles. You should see their faces then! Perhaps I have been lucky to
      have never lost anything from the layout or had anything more serious than
      some bent shubbery in over 7 years of train shows and exhibits. It
      certainly has been worth it.

      The great thing that I am reading in these posts is that there is a good
      chance that we'll have a Super Zone at the NTS 2001. Who knows what kinds
      of mischief we can get into with Terry Sutfin, Rob Kluz, Bill Kronenberger
      and Billy Roden, all in the same place at the same time!!!

      I shudder to think of the cosmic implications of such a conjuncture...

      Best regards to one and all,
      Jeffrey MacHan

      Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.