Sunday, November 6, 2011

Office Layout: Downtown

I was sitting in my office on a pone call that didn't really involve me anymore and I glanced over at my office layout. "ESCAPE!" I thought, so I moved over to the set (thanks wireless phone headset!) and had a look at my little empire I have going there. I have to say, I was a bit shocked. It was looking pretty good.

It snuck up on me - the fact that the layout was so complete. I had stopped buying buildings a while back and my main focus has been detailing and figures. When I took a look, I was pleased with the progress to date.

The overall layout is not bad. I like it for the time being. Large buildings at the North end, smaller buildings in the center with a bus station towards the back. The Downtown area of Briddon has a cineplex for showing mainstream movies and a smaller venue for classics like 8 1/2.

There's a helipad at the hospital for emergencies, a few hotels, a government office and a few small businesses. They even have places to eat ranging from a burger joint to a fancy restaurant called DRAKE'S in the downstairs area of the ultra-fancy INDIGO HOTEL. (My son and daughter.) :)

My 14 month old has a toy store named after her - Talia's Toy Town.

But, I think the thing I'm most interested in is the fact that everything came together slowly and calmly. There was planning involved, but it wasn't painful. I love that aspect of the layout coming together. It went from "I really don't have space for a layout" to "I have an office now - I can put some sort of train there" to "Whoa...I love this." Really nice. But, far from done, of course.

The bus terminal area.

The heliport hospital.

Waiting at THE INDIGO HOTEL for lunch at DRAKE'S. :)
As you can see, I've used blue tack for the people all over the layout. This will be replaced later - slowly over the course of months, most likely - with small plastic sheets that the figures will be glued to. This will be less obvious for one and will still allow me to move figures around at will. I've played with the process for the Woodland Scenic Picketers and it works really well. True, it takes some time, but that's the beauty of this layout now - small details and the like. That's what I want to keep me busy in the hobby.

My plan of action is to go in and do more detail work on the set. I've started to focus on people, continuing to populate empty buildings with people and floors and making "action spots" where things are happening. The bus terminal area is one of the featured spots. I want to have people waiting and getting dropped off for bus travel.

I also want to continue making this very Japanese. I had a fantastic suggestion from Tom Barbalet of the MODEL RAIL RADIO podcast. He suggested using GOOGLE MAPS and STREET VIEW to see areas of Japan for my modeling. It is working really well and actually seeing where these building and street styles are coming from is a huge value.

The hardest part about the layout being at work's at work. If I have the desire to work on things, I need to remember to bring them home. Having a set at home is nice. It keeps a balance going. (Pictures to follow later)


Comments welcome!



  1. Looks fantastic, you've really got a little world going and it has been neat to watch it come together.

  2. Gracias!
    Yeah, it kinda snuck up on me. It's a lot of fun. Now I need to spend some time on my Old Town layout at home. :)