Simulating wind on a layout

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WaterleyShunter
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Simulating wind on a layout

Postby WaterleyShunter » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:44 am

It recently occurred to me to consider the depiction of weather on indoor model railways. Most all of them seem to depict calm and sunny weather with not a breath of wind. But this past year I have barely seen a day when there has not been a little wind to make the trees and bushes waggle about.

This made me think that, seeing as windy weather is so common, there really ought to be some layouts with wind.

How, then, to simulate wind on a layout? Not just create air movement, that's probably the easy bit, but how to make grass and trees, washing on lines, flags, etc, move in the wind as they should. Most modelling materials used are far too stiff to be disturbed by scale wind.

Any suggestions on this matter?

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Postby fatmac » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:21 am

A bit drastic; but if you actually want 'movement', then I can only see it having to be applied electrically, mechanically, pneumatically, or hydraulically.
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Postby Gerry Bullock » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:03 pm

fatmac wrote:A bit drastic; but if you actually want 'movement', then I can only see it having to be applied electrically, mechanically, pneumatically, or hydraulically.


Agreed have never seen such a layout and I doubt that you will unless you move to Garden Railways where you have the elements in play. :wink:
One layout I've been involved in does have a wind element - Secciole Salina to be found in the Virtual Exhibition.
Here's some photos and as Fatmac said electrically operated.

Image
Image
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Postby Adrian » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:48 am

G'day All

Did once build a layout ( G scale Z track ) that had a moving palm tree.

The trunk was a flexible plastic tube with a slightly bent wire going up the centre. The leaves were just stuck on top.

When the wire was rotated, the tree flexed.

Simples
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Postby John New » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:51 pm

The thread title reminds me of the old flatuline wagon!
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Postby Booga » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:29 pm

I remember reading an article in an old American magazine, possibly Model Railroader or Railroad Model Craftsman, suggesting that a figure could fly a small brass kite using fine brass wire as the string. Gusts of wind were then created using a fan and an irregular shape powered by a motor turning in front of it to disruspt the regularity of the airflow.

A weeping willow tree with foliage made of some sort of fabric or string could also sway in the wind, as could flags made of fine material like silk.

I guess these techniques would work more easily in larger scales such as Gn15.
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Heres a plan

Postby WaterleyShunter » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:55 pm

Ok, here is my very crude diagram for an embryonic wind simulation scheme. Feel free to laugh.

Image

The wind is created by a big old-fashioned portable ventilation fan for offices. It enters the scenic area through a battery of thousands upon thousands of tiny pore holes in the end backscene board, giving an evenish blow across the whole layout depth and height. Loss of air speed through the holes should bring the wind down from a buffeting blast to a nice gentle blow. Foliage is based on lightweight string covered in foam scatter and it is mandatory that there should be some weeping willows to show off the effect to the fullest. Flags, washing, etc are made from silk strung on similar strings. At the other end of the layout the scenery should be so arranged as to direct the wind either up and away from the layout (or forward into the audience!), as if it buffets against the other end backscene board there will be some unrealistic return flow.

For the moment I will ignore the need for the wind to interact with the trains and the people, though it would be good to see a loco with a smoke unit running in this wind!

The most obvious problem I can see with this scheme is that it precludes having a fiddle yard at one end and heavily dictates the scenery at the other.

What do you think? Am I mad? :mrgreen:

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Postby Jon Randall » Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:31 pm

If you weren't mad you wouldn't be here :twisted:
So carry on, I'd like to see how this pans out 8)
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Postby Adrian » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:59 am

G'day Daffyd
The wind is created by a big old-fashioned portable ventilation fan for offices. It enters the scenic area through a battery of thousands upon thousands of tiny pore holes in the end backscene board,

Might I suggest the use of cut down drinking straws ?
Not my idea but seen on the Mythbusters when they made their own wind-tunnel for one of their 'projects'.
This is just the sort of thing that I really enjoy.
Keep up the good work.
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Postby WaterleyShunter » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:09 am

Adrian wrote:G'day Daffyd
The wind is created by a big old-fashioned portable ventilation fan for offices. It enters the scenic area through a battery of thousands upon thousands of tiny pore holes in the end backscene board,

Might I suggest the use of cut down drinking straws ?
Not my idea but seen on the Mythbusters when they made their own wind-tunnel for one of their 'projects'.
This is just the sort of thing that I really enjoy.
Keep up the good work.


Thanks for that idea Adrian. It might be easier to build, but not as easy to conceal as 1-2mm diameter pore holes.

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Postby HansvdL » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:05 pm

I like the idea of modelling the effects of wind on a layout, but I have serious doubts about using actual airflow to make it happen. Scaled down versions of everyday objects tend to move much faster in an airflow than the full sized object would. That would take away most of the realism.

To obtain slow and realistic movements, perhaps one might use memory wire, because of its inherently gentle and slow operation.
I have experimented a little with memory wire, but haven't tried it yet to simulate wind movement, so I can't confirm that it would work.
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