Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thoughts on The Swamp…

We’ll probably finish the benchwork this coming week, which means we’ll be laying track soon. There are so many things that I have to figure out and quickly. Now, keep in mind I’ve been designing this layout for about five years, so it is nothing new. I’ve even built some test modules as well. But I’ve never been happy with everything.


Prove that focusing layout design on people rather than trains can produce a higher level of realism and interest.


To produce an On30 model railroad layout that focuses on the PEOPLE of the Okefenokee during the 1920’s when heavy cypress logging was in full swing. The layout will provide an insight into their lives and times as well as to the mythology of the great swamp.

Swamp Layout Objectives:

  • Reproduce the flavor of swamp logging in the Southeast. Absolute accuracy is not important.


  • To use Theatric Scenery to provide the richness of life and mythology in the railroad and to convey a sense of time, mood and feeling. See the theatric scenery spreadsheet.
  • Use Six Inch Square construction method for scenery, focusing only on intently detailing six square inches at a time.
  • Convey prototype logging practices in the southeast swamp areas.
  • Use story telling to help set the stage for the characters that live in the swamp. Make visitors feel that they know these people and can sympathize with their hardship.


Theatric Scenery – As with a theater, the backdrop and scenery set the mood. Likewise, I want to use the scenery not to just say “hey, we’re in a swamp” but to use it to build a mood and a feeling that the swamp itself brings. In the swamp, its people are the most important factor. I want the scenery to reflect not only where they live but how they feel and live. The swamp is a hot, sticky, infested place where few are hardy enough to exist. As you move deeper into the swamp the hard it is for humans to exist and the more mythology becomes prevalent.

Click on grid to expand...

Six Inch Square – The ability to concentrate your focus in one place allows for a significant depth of detail. I will mark off the railroad into these blocks and will build them one by one. This does not include the water pours.

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