Placement of figures?

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p51

Marty, it runs on steam!
I was looking at a Model RR magazine today and got to wondering, if a layout is a static display other than the trains and whatever else you built to move or show action of any kind, why would you place figures into a active setting where they don't move? I saw a photo of figures showing firefighters repsonding to a "fire" and of course, there is no movement.
Of course, you cannot normally make figures move realistically, so why you pose them frozen into a position when the trains are moving?
I'm starting to plan a layout (On30) and have started to buy figures, but they'll all be in static positions, sitting or standing in positions you would expect people not to be moving (waiting at platform, leaning in something, etc).
Just wondering why folks pose figures to be colored statues then have other aspects animated or moving? Am I the only out there thinks that's odd?
 

cncproadwarrior

North of the 49th
Actually, I've wondered the same thing. That's why I don't plan to have vehicles (other than parked) or people on my layout.
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
It would be really nice to be able to have people moving around and doing things. There's a little problem with what system you'd use to do this. Some attempts have been made with magnets and such but they just looked like people moving around like drunks. :) Come up with an idea to do this cheap and realistically and you'll make millions. Otherwise, you have to suspend disbelief and pretend all your little people are doing things.
 
I'll probably move mine around. just like any animals. they won't stay in the same place all the time.

too bad you can't get tiny liliputian robots yet. wouldn't that be cool?
 

CNR Glen

Member
I consider everything outside of the moving trains to be a diorama. So having people waiting at the station and never getting on the train, pedestrians stopping in mid-step and dock workers forever pushing a crate hasn't bothered me.
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Most of my figures get posed for pictures then removed.
Only the standing/sitting ones are secured in place, kind of like government workers.
(ouch?)
 

blownoutcylinder

Active Member
Larry I painted all my people---in N scale. --You? Nuts?----naaaahh!! Now. If'n you look at me---well that may be a different story!! :):):)

I figure it this way. The people we have on our layouts are representations of what, or rather who, we are. No more or no less. I do not need to get into some kind of argument with myself about why the fellow fishing by Big Thompson R. has not moved since he was placed there several months ago. I just know that he represents---there's that word again--a specific type of action occuring in that spot. Now. Because I model a mainly rural scene/area it is not like I'm going to have several dozen activities going on---see more activity in the bigger towns but even then-----
 

Larry

Long Winded Old Fart
No-No-No barry, HO Scale. I glue all of mine down w/superglue, but, if you want to move them around use modeling clay or that stuff you get at the Dollar Tree that make pictures easy to move around. It doesn't stick permanent & is easy to remove from your figures or the table top w/ease.
 

blownoutcylinder

Active Member
Larry Mine are in N scale----so I need a microscope to paint mine---heeheehee:rolleyes::rolleyes::):):);) The temporary placement---especially when doing photo shoots---makes things a lot easier. As for that dollar tree stuff that would be stick tack. I just avoid that ding blue stuff as I discovered that it likes to leave coloration behind:confused::(
 

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
Larry, Barry (& Gary --- sounds like a law firm) I decided to paint a bunch of figures (HO) during these evenings that its too cold in the basement to spend too much time down there. I can do it at the kitchen table. Let me tell you I'm not having a lot of fun!

That said I do like figures on a layout. although I guess it makes sense for them not to be in too dynamic a pose. I don't care for the ghost town look but a basketball player in the middle of a lay up is a little too much. I do like the way you guys show people standing or sitting around with a very obvious reason, telling a small story. This is one of the things I'm trying to add to my own layout to make it more interesting.
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
To me, my layout is like a still picture with trains that happen to move through the still like. I can move things like vehicles and people around to stage scenes but they are all still static scenes. I'm not even sure why this is an issue. Even museum dioramas don't have lots of people walking around. :)
 

rock4329

Member
I guess the REAL easy answer to this question would be that no manufacturer has come out with figures that can move around, walk, on their own. I wonder what the price would be for an "operating" figure???...
 

DirtyD79

The Sarcastic Jedi
I guess it comes down to suspension of disbelief. I mean operations for example require you to spot cars for loading and unloading at things like mines, factories, grain elevators, etc. but we never really see the process of the freight cars being loaded or unloaded. Maybe you can count manually adding or removing loads in and out of open hoppers and gondolas but still we act like that freight car is being loaded or unloaded despite no evidence of tiny crews doing any actual work.

Even bridge traffic requires you to imagine that the train is going to and from an actual location and not one end of the layout to another. We imagine a hotshot intermodal came from California and is bound for east coast ports or a block of stock cars is bound for meat packing plants in the midwest.
 

PNKFLOYD

Mikey
The scenes we model on our layouts are the same type of "snapshot" we remember when we drive by a prototypical scene everyday. If we drive by a factory and see a forklift unloading raw material from a boxcar, we assume it will be used in the factory.
However, it would be rather un-nerving to notice an approaching car on the road without a driver at the wheel.
 
ooohhhhh man.

My former neighbours in the Canadian/Ontario equivalent to the Ozarks used to live across the road from me.

Barry, and his younger brother Larry. I'm not kidding. I might have to share some stories. those guys were WEIRD.


jeeezzz, I hope we don't have any one from the Ozarks here. oooop.
 

p51

Marty, it runs on steam!
I don't care for the ghost town look but a basketball player in the middle of a lay up is a little too much.
I saw a module group last month who had that exact thing going, as well a a parade that was frozen in place along the street. That's what got me thinking about it.
Got lucky, found two groupings of O scale figures, all painted, and in standing/sitting poses. Over 150 (for less than $25 total!)of them should solve all my figure issues.
But when the layout is built, they'll all be in poses that make sense as to why they're not moving. I also intend to have someone sitting in car at a red light that never turns to green. Beats me why, but I always found that idea funny...
 

blownoutcylinder

Active Member
ooohhhhh man.

My former neighbours in the Canadian/Ontario equivalent to the Ozarks used to live across the road from me.

Barry, and his younger brother Larry. I'm not kidding. I might have to share some stories. those guys were WEIRD.


jeeezzz, I hope we don't have any one from the Ozarks here. oooop.

I hearby proclaim that any resemblance to my name is purely coincidental:eek::):)

As for anyone from the Ozarks-----wwweeeeeeelllll--:rolleyes::rolleyes:;):D:D
 

Trussrod

Well-Known Member
I was just wondering about using something like UHU Stic? It's meant for paper but might work for figures as a temporary tac substasnce.

Say as long we're putting in requests for the type of figures we'd like doing something I've got one. I model Turn of the Centyury 1900's and there were a lot of breakmen needed to climb the grab irons on the cars and turn the break wheels to help set the breaks of the cars on a grade or to even help slow the train down if it got going to fast. So that's my choice, a Breakman to climb the grab irons and at least grab hold of the high break wheel on the Box cars, Refers and Cattle cars to make appear as though he's really doing something.

P51, I think either a skateing pound or ferris wheel or carosel is as close as your going to come to animation in most of the Scale model RR stuff. Lionel does tend to have more things that moive but that also O guage too. Animation is great and would make things more realistic but it highly impractical.
 




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