Lance Mindheim Downtown Spur Video

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

#3
Wow. I knew he was good, but I didn't know he was THAT good. Is this kind of thing an inspiration or is it discouraging?

But as the saying goes, "God (or is the devil?) is in the details". He's just got all the little things that you see around a back-alley railroad. The graffiti, the trash, the bits and pieces of abandoned material--and he's got the colors and textures just right, the building materials and weeds and ground surfaces. It's a totally non-spectacular environment (hills? bridges? ha ha) but he's built it perfectly.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#5
Great video and even better modeling! Amazing what can be done on a shelf switching layout. Need to pass the video link to a friend who's constructing a shelve layout.

Again, excellent!!!

Greg
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#7
Lance also has an article in the March issue of Model Railroader and I found myself thinking O.K., here is another guy who feels model railroading should be done his way. I found myself disagreeing with a few of the things he said. I'm not going to say what I disagreed with as that would only start arguments here on the Model Railroad Forums. His article was about "Realism" and essentially he had 4 points about obtaining realism: 1. Scene Composition, 2. Color and Weathering. 3. Material Selection 4. Effective Backdrops. All of these are very good points to consider. My problem is: how "Realistic" does a model railroad need to be, when no matter what I do, my model railroad is 1/87th the size of the real one? This is a hurtle that my model railroad can never overcome. What I'm saying is not that we can't strive for realism; however, what happens to the fanciful nature of the hobby in the process? I think people can loose sight of the fact that this is a hobby which is an art form and as Art, it is about using your imagination. Example: I enjoyed immensely painting my backdrops, which per Lance's article are too detailed and detract from the focus, which is the trains. His point of view confers that we should judge other peoples layouts by his points. I refuse to do this! I think everyone should be able to model the way they want, without other peoples judgement! I guess I enjoy the serendipitous nature of the hobby, more than creating a layout that is top notch realistic.
 
Last edited:
#8
Mark, what you're saying is basically the same as what some model railroaders have said about "rivet counters", that their attention to detail means they can't be having any fun, and if they get any favorable attention, it looks as if anyone who doesn't do as much, must be slacking. I'd rather just repeat the mantra "Model railroading is fun", but add that we can't define anyone else's fun. You may like being fanciful, Lance Mindheim doesn't: don't ask me who's right. I think his use of MR's space was justified, because even if I haven't got Mindheim's skill and mental outlook, I can (just maybe) learn from his ideas. I could probably learn from you too, if you cared to share anything. I think what I admire most in other people's modeling is the "atmosphere" they create, and I thought Lance Mindheim explained that quite well, as a result of color and texture, and the amount of space between items on a layout. Oh yes, and backdrops that don't steal attention from the solid models! You might want a different feel, and it's your right.

Every year over Thanksgiving weekend there's an event around here called "Tour de Chooch" where a lot of guys who have home layouts (and one or two club setups) have simultaneous open houses, and you can travel around and visit a selection of them. I like to go around partly to see the different approaches people take, even if I don't totally like some of them. I think everyone shows something of himself in what he builds, and if it's not what I'd build, that's perfectly fine. So I'd say if you don't like Mindheim's style, maybe there's another article in MR that suits you better.

Evidently Lance Mindheim has some persuasion to do, because four out of the five entries in "Trackside Photos" have backdrops of hills or mountains, and they all look pretty good!
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#9
I remember seeing an O gauge outdoor layout pictured once, where the builders approach was that the width of the benchwork should never be more than 6" wide. Any scenery/buildings that wouldn't fit in there were superfluous to the trains. Takes all kinds.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#10
I could probably learn from you too, if you cared to share anything.

I have shared my entire layout here on the Model Railroad Forum at "Virtual layout Tours", It is entitled "My Northern Pacific Butte Montana layout". There is 35 pages of discussion and photos of my layout and other aspects of model railroading, from my point of view.

I want all to understand, I appreciate Lance Mindhiems ideas and modeling abilities. I was simply commenting on the importance of keeping in mind that this is a hobby (Something I do for FUN) which is also a form of art and is therefore subject to the Model Railroaders own individual ideas about what they want out of the hobby!

I have very specific ideas on what I want out of this hobby. I try in vain to make sure others understand these are only my ideas and they should follow their own!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#11
Well Mark, I did go and read your layout thread. Maybe not all the 35 pages, but I saw this around page 5:
Bridges, tunnels and mountains are what I like to see and I think my layout confers this. I am not saying this is what you need to build your layout like, it is only what "Trips my Trigger"! Many model railroaders today are all about reality and operations.

You're making it very clear: you want the scenic features that trip your trigger, others want reality and operations. In fact now that I recall, I've said to people while visiting their railroads or wen they visit our club, "I'd rather see a switcher shove a couple of boxcars down an alley than some long freight dashing through the mountains". And what does Lance Mindheim do, but push boxcars down the alley. It's what some of us like to see. Don't mind us, we're just crazy in our own way.
 
#12
A comment on switching cars......

I personally like to watch trains, but with a qualification. There's nothing wrong with a switcher moving rolling stock. When I rail fan I do watch the switching operations at the UP Butler, Wisconsin yard. Or, watch trains on the CP, UP or CN mainline.

On my layout, an operating theme is being developed. But in the mean time, if I clean tracks, I'll move the rolling stock out of the track cleaning train area using switchers or just the reverse, I'll use a switcher to return the rolling stock. This can take some time to complete when you add in the track cleaning time.

Simple operations? Just fun running trains.

Greg
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#13
Well Mark, I did go and read your layout thread. Maybe not all the 35 pages, but I saw this around page 5:
Bridges, tunnels and mountains are what I like to see and I think my layout confers this. I am not saying this is what you need to build your layout like, it is only what "Trips my Trigger"! Many model railroaders today are all about reality and operations.

You're making it very clear: you want the scenic features that trip your trigger, others want reality and operations. In fact now that I recall, I've said to people while visiting their railroads or wen they visit our club, "I'd rather see a switcher shove a couple of boxcars down an alley than some long freight dashing through the mountains". And what does Lance Mindheim do, but push boxcars down the alley. It's what some of us like to see. Don't mind us, we're just crazy in our own way.
John P, I am unsure if you are wanting me to respond here; or, what? "Making it very clear" seems as though you are stating that what I've said, people must heed! I think the only thing I have made "clear" is that I feel everything you model is your choice and shouldn't be dictated by what another model railroader feels is "Right"! Maybe you could explain what your trying to get at?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#14
As far as backdrops are concerned, certainly Lance's opinions are one way of portraying them. If you look through the layouts presented here and at other forums; or, locations that people display their layouts, I would say Lance's opinion on how to accomplish a backdrop is in the minority. I want everyone to know, I am absolutely fine with how Mr. Mindhiem feels backdrops should be performed! I'm not O.K. with his suggesting how others should perform their's! At the same time, I feel Mr. Mindhiem has excellent modeling skills and much of what he says is very useful!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#15
Inadvertently, I have ended up hijacking Brickbuilder711's thread. I will back away now and let others admire Mr. Mindhiem's work.

(Edit 11/15/2018) The above comment that I was going to back away obviously did not happen!
 
Last edited:

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#16
This year, the 2018 issue of Great Model Railroads, a yearly magazine edited by Steven Otte of Model Railroader, leads off with another of Lance Mindheim's Shelf layouts, entitled "Modeling the LAJ". That the layout is very well done, can go without saying as Lance is an expert at detail, layout design and building. However, I read the article and looked at the photos and thought that this was really only a show piece. I strongly suggest that you look over the article yourself. The layout is very small and fits the corner of a room. It is 9 feet 6 inches long, with a 4 foot long L . There are two No. 6 turnouts and the minimum radius is 24 inches. I have very little interest in switching layouts and this one in particular, I would have to say would be my least favorite of those I've seen. In my opinion, this is simply to small and simple a layout to hold my interest.

Nuff said, I know that many of you modern era modelers might take offense to my thoughts about this layout, so I will keep them to myself!
 
Last edited:

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
#17
Thanks for sharing the link. Lance's layout is nicely done. Not what I would do, but nice work. The thing I like about internet groups like this one is I see lots of layouts that would never be accepted by the modeling press. I'm reminded that anyway you do it is valid for you. I'm OK with everyone doing what interests them. I've been inspired by a few visions to reflect on my own. I just don't need anyone telling me which is the correct way. Technical stuff like wiring and track laying is one thing, other than that, the point is to enjoy what we are doing. If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong. If you're preaching to me that you're approach is the only acceptable way, then please go away. (No offense meant to anyone)
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#18
One of the things that strikes me as unrealistic about this layout is, there is no place for trains to come from; or, go to when done. That means trains would need to be "Fiddled" right there on the layout. This could easily be fixed by making up a cassette that folded down when not in use. Still, I just think this layout is to simple to be much fun.
 
Last edited:

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#19
I will admit that I don't understand the attraction of a layout such as the one Lance Mindheim has described in Great Model Railroads this year. Understanding that this is the type of layout that Lance builds is easy to enough to understand, as the layout is easily transportable and he is in the business of custom building layouts for people who do not want to build a layout for themselves.

John P states: "I'd rather see a switcher shove a couple of boxcars down an alley than some long freight dashing through the mountains". And what does Lance Mindheim do, but push boxcars down the alley. It's what some of us like to see. Don't mind us, we're just crazy in our own way.

Maybe that is all I need to know! If an extremely simple layout such as this one is what your after, far be it from me to attempt to get in your way. So, have at it!

If you haven't gathered this from what I tend to post, I like open discussions and AM NOT interested in starting discord amongst the readers here, only in hearing what you have to say.
 
Last edited:





ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Top