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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-17-2013 03:11 PM
catherine yronwode
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

Yes, Homo Habilis, you are that old ... and so am i. I am 66 years old and remember Berkeley Hardware before it was "Aced" -- and the other fabulous Bay area model train venues that you mention.

My possibly flawed childhood memory is that Berkeley Hardware also ran a float every year in the annual U.C. Homecoming Parade, and that it carried aboard it a miniature steam locomotive that was of the same size as (and may have been somehow integrated into) the 5" scale Redwood Valley live steam ride-on train in Berkeley's Tilden Park -- the latter having been another huge inspiration for my late-onset garden railroading interests.

The No. 11, a 4-6-0 Baldwin type loco, is, of course, my favourite. Perhaps this link will show it to you --
11-17-2013 08:11 AM
Homo Habilis
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

Yes, the two "big" places to see model trains was Berkeley Hardware, before it was "Aced" and the Emporium's"The Spectacular Train Exhibition" in San Francisco. It was a big deal taking the Key System train across the Bay Bridge for the rooftop carnival during the holidays. I also seem to remember small Christmas displays at the Kahns and maybe Capwells in Oakland. Quite a treat for me as a snot-nosed bumpkin from San Leandro.

Man, am I that old?
11-17-2013 12:28 AM
catherine yronwode
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

Naptowneng --

Thanks for the links -- very interesting raticles indeed. To me, growing up in California, Christmas Trains also included going to the local hardware store, which ran a huge and ever-changing layout, and just standing there in awe, watching them run around. Berkeley Ace Hardware -- a memory of Lionel greatness.
11-14-2013 07:49 PM
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

You then might enjoy these articles from a very nice website local to Baltimore, MD and environs which lists the multitude of train gardens to see at the holidays
and the back story of Baltimore train gardens and local Moravian culture
11-14-2013 07:04 PM
catherine yronwode
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

Thanks, all for the great responses!

Pete Thrnton -- this started for me because i am going to commission a replica of my own 1875 era barn to go in my own layout, and that set me to pondering infinite regressions of self-similar patterns.

There was a tradition of this among German and Moravia Americans, by the way -- connected specifically to Christmas and Christmas trees -- in the same way that small trains are a Christmas tradition -- and this was called "The Christmas House." It is a scale model of the house in which one is standing, depicted as covered with snow. Some Christmas Houses were made of wood, others of glitter-sprinkled pasteboard (putz houses or glitterouses), others of gingerbread. These Christmas House decorations often extended to include the barn, neighboring houses, and so forth, depending on the interest of the person who made the diorama. They were displayed on a table top, under a table-top-sized Christmas tree. And yes, as clockwork and electrified train modelling took off, some did have train layouts incorporated as well.

There was an entire book published on these 19th and early 20th century German American Christmas House lay-outs, filled with vintage B&W home snapshots of the table-top arrays, which had been collected by someone who really considered them an artform and went out of his way to locate the old photos of them. It came out in the 1990s, i believe, and was one of those labour-of-love publications aimed at the collector and hobby world. It was not a mass-market book, alas.

This is what i am talking about, from the 1920s, featuring a little bungalow home:

From what i have been told, it was this tradition of scratch building a snow-covered Christmas House version of one's own house for display on a table-top that gave rise to the phenomenon of mass-produced putz houses or glitterhouses, and then to the resin-cast "Christmas Village" buildings and figures, as well as the much-loved table-top Christmas train layouts of our own hobby.
11-14-2013 04:54 AM
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

Great vid!
Anything with MC Escher had to be seen....
11-13-2013 09:05 PM
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

11-13-2013 08:29 PM
Pete Thornton
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

Has anyone ever built a large-scale garden layout in which the little figural people have built their own identically-modelled large-scale layout in their own little garden?.
Then it hit me. So I have a garden railroad. (Catherine - you listenin' ?) And I make a model of my house somewhere appropriate on the layout. [Which I don't recall anyone doing yet, btw.]
And in the garden of the model of my house, I make a model of my layout - maybe using T-gauge, maybe something else.

In the model garden railroad layout, of the model of my house, is a model of my house with a garden ralroad in the garden . . . .

Talk about recursive - my mind was boggling this afernoon. And what about the model garden of the model house that is in the model of your model house in the garden of your model house in the garden railroad of your actual house. . . . And so adinfinitum.
11-13-2013 07:14 PM
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

The local club sets up a holiday train display in the green house at Brookside Gardens, outside Washington DC. in Maryland
They have on the layout a model of the greenhouse you are standing in with a tiny model of the layout in it, all static of course
But clever

11-13-2013 01:51 PM
RE: Self-Similar Pattern: G-Scale in a G-Scale Layout

If you want to get technical..
T gauge, at 3mm, is the smallest commercial model railroad gauge available today. That's exactly 1/15th of G gauge (45mm). To make an exact model of a G gauge layout using T gauge, the larger layout would have to be a 1/15th scale layout - reasonably close to 7/8n2. Thus, in theory, you could make a working scale model of a 7/8n2 layout as part of the layout.

Until somebody comes out with a smaller working model railroad scale, a fractal layout would have to be static for any scale smaller than 7/8n2. I would suggest 3D printing as the most practical way to do it today.

And in case anybody is interested, the math is simple. The scale of a given fractal layout is an exponential function of the scale. The first iteration is the scale squared, the next smaller version would be the scale cubed, and so on as far as you care to take it. For 1/24, that means 1/576 and 1/13824. For 1/20.3, it's 1/412.09 and 1/8365.427
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