User-Friendly Composition and Design

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Duration: 5:43

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Ron Kuykendall’s composition of design makes his layouts user-friendly, easy to run and use. Everything is within arms reach and winds around the outside of the room. The depth of the layout is a typical reach from shoulder to the wall – 36 inches to be exact. The trackage is not overly elaborate. The circuitry, mechanics, and electrical features are not too extreme. Many things are on wheels such as the caddies or service carts.

Cheap plastic versions of these can be found at most hardware stores and are ideal for general storage. When not being used they can be pushed under the curtain beneath the layout. Ron has scratch built these caddies as well as other low-tech tools. Cheap and useful tools can be designed easily such as a dowel with a mirror attached to view unseen spots on the railroad, or tools for grabbing trains and cleaning.

Ron has written more than 40 articles on the hobby for magazines such as the National Model Railroading Association Magazine over his long career which started in the 70’s. Ron regrets that he is unable to hear responses to his articles. It is frustrating to reach a public audience and get nothing back from them. Ron grew up as an urban kid in San Diego and San Jose so has modeled many urban scenes.

Most modelers model places where they would want to be while Ron models where he has been, lived and enjoyed. He enjoys the urban flaws and junk that make a layout so much more human. The human impact on the environment for good or for bad can be seen, and he finds this interesting. For more model railroad design tips, visit the Model Railroad Academy website.