Sunday, March 28, 2010

Launch pad layout

I like to read the Micro / Small Layouts website from time-to-time. I'm always impressed with what people are doing with small footprint layouts. The timesaver track design I've used is a fairly common track plan in these railroads. So, in some ways, even though my layout is 6 feet by 5 feet, I often think of it as having a kinship with layouts seen on Micro / Small Layouts.

When I saw this picture of NASA's launch pad 5 for the Mercury project (it's a NASA photo) it sort of jumped out as being a good candidate for a micro-layout of some sort. I really need to try and design something based on this great photo. It would probably have a launch pad or two at one end, and some sort of vehicle preparation building or facility at the other. I'm sure if E.L. Moore were designing it, it would no doubt have the ability to launch rockets with much attendant smoke and fireworks :-)

I've also got this kit of Jupiter "C" rocket in my stash that I bought a couple of years ago that I'd want to work into the design. It's in 1/110 scale, which makes it a little small for HO (1/87) and much too big for big for N (1/160). If it was used with small diesel switchers and other small freight cars, I don't think it would look too out-of-place on an HO-scale micro-layout.

The rocket itself looks very easy to build, but the railcar gantry that straddles two parallel tracks looks much more interesting. I suspect with a little modification this could be turned into a functioning HO-scale car.

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