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Hello, I got a question.

How can I make the catenary work on big stations and for longer distant then just 1 poll? not like the first image because that works but on stations i am unable to get a poll that close to the track. Also i am curious how i can make them more realistic instead of just 1 line with poll


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Trial and error? Ha ha!

Seriously though, it's not like you're spending a fortune on track and accessories like you would if it were a real model... (which in itself is almost an oxymoron) My best advice is to play with the parts, see what they do try all the variations and if you build something and it doesn't look right, just start again.

After all, it's the building that's at least half the fun.

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Terrain is a case of practice making as perfect as possible, and not being a perfectionist.

Remember that unless you are one of those guys that is an expert with blender or some such model making software, you are limited to what is in the catalogue. 

But the catalogue does include a lot of models with variations. I used to absolutely suck at scenery and landscapes, but now I think I'm pretty good.


Another thing that's available in the catalogue are the "primitives" - flat planes, squares and circles, spheres, boxes, cylinders, and ramps. A bit of practice and patience and you can build pretty much anything. Animating it is another matter - that requires additional skills and software I don't have.

But as an example of what can be achieved:


It's by no means perfect but it's as close as I'll get it (except I forgot the pancakes sign). It's build almost entirely from primitives (exceptions like the clock, satellite dishes and benches)

As for track, I switched to using the "Model-Oriented" track system a while ago. It's a lot more versatile and has a lot of variants. If you aren't using it, I recommend giving it a go.

Be an "impressionist" model maker. You're not taking a photo, you're making something new. If you get frustrated (and we all do), walk away and do something else, and come back to it an an hour, a day, a week.... Have two or three layouts "on the go" and do the one you feel like doing...

This is how I maintain my enthusiasm.


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Well I am not a expert with blender but I can make some decent models. 

I will try getting something right for the landscaping. You got any tips for a small to learn skills like catenary and landscaping without it being massive.

I also know Lua pretty well so automation should be possible. 

just one question some layouts are circles how would you do something like that?

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For scenery, the best tip I can offer is experiment, Assuming you're using V8, play with the raise and lower tools. I find having the raise power set high and a "faded" circle size of around 20m (at 1:1). and moving the mouse constantly in smallish circles works best to produce realistic hills and mountains. For trees use the new auto-copy feature that lets you vary the height and orientation randomly (there was a plug-in that did this on previous versions, but it was complicated and in German).

Catenary, it really depends on the number of tracks and the spacing between them, evert one of the support structures can be modified to change the length. Have a look at photos of real German railway lines too.

There are two catenary wires available in different variations. The realistic ones remain straight, even on curves and the pylons must be placed closer together to keep the pantograph in contact on tighter corners. Then there is the "model" version which follows the curve of the track , staying in the centre. Better for keeping the pantograph in contact but not very realistic

A tip on how to lay the pantograph, place the boom first, it will lock to the track. Add the mast and adjust the length of the boom to put the mast where you want it, Place the next boom the same way, and with automatic connection turned off, position the catenary to line up with the second boom, then turn auto-connect back on and extend or shorten it onto the first boom, using both the curve widgit and the flex widgit to ensure it snaps into place correctly.

The new transverse system that was introduced at V8 is a bit complex, and while I have figured it out, I'm not sure I could explain it.

With track, a tip I have is to place a short straight (Normalgerade) every few metres where track is to curve, in the direction you want the curve to go, rather than relying on the flexible spline to put the track where you expect. It won't! In fact if you put short straights every 15-20 m along the curve, you can then extend each one in turn onto the next. For twin tracks the spacing can be kept by making a "dummy crossover" that you move  from place to place.


This will ensure that the tracks keep the same centres (Of course you can use the W790/10R in place of the 10L).

To avoid flicker where the straight tracks overlap, set the "normal" angled straight to variant "G16 Gleis mit niedriger bettung" - Track with lowered bed.

Circles? Just keep adding curves until you get back to where you started...! There are four curves "StandardKries", "Innenkries, "Außenkries" and "Großkries". Standard, inner, outer and large, in both 10° and 5°. 36 of the 10° ones will get you a circle. The inner and outer curves basically fit inside or outside the standard curve at the correct centres. The gross curve is a different angle and radius.

Hope that's of help?


PS: It's a great way to learn German!

Edited by simonjackson1964
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Not necessarily. Obviously the further apart they are, the less items you will have on the layout and the quicker it will load and run, but there's no rule that says the poles have to be a certain distance apart. (Or if there is it doesn't apply to a model...!)

On my (WiP) layout of the real Furstenburg (Havel) station (as opposed to the model that is nothing like the real station), I measured the spacing between the masts using the measuring tool on Google Earth. Many of the posts are between 45 and 65 metres apart. The model catenary spline will only extent to just under 40m before the centre "pops up" to demand a new support.

Point being if you want a prototypical spacing you will need to do what I did and use two of the tunnel entrance variants end to end. And believe me when I say that is a lot harder than it sounds! So, do whatever you think looks right. The masts will need to be closer together on curves and at junctions/crossovers to keep the pantograph on the wire, but on straight track it really doesn't matter,

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