Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Sir Rod Stewart reveals his epic model railway city (bbc.com)
414 points by pseudolus 22 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 124 comments



My little boy has been crazy about cars ever since he was the littlest boy.

So when he was 2 years old I made him a little city, the size of a large coffee table, using all the stuff from model railroads. Grass, roads, houses, people. I drilled holes and pushed led lights through the bottom and into the insides of the buildings. I even put little monkeys in the trees and playing on the roofs of the buildings. The only thing it didn't have was railroads or trains.

Most toys, kids play with them for a while and stop and move on to something else.

He played on that little city non stop for at least 4 years if not 5. Every morning he got up and sat down next to it and started pushing his cars around it and parking them and lining them up and making vehicle noises.

I have to admit I had a huge amount of fun choosing all the parts and designing and making that little model city.

He's older now so the table lies in a corner much loved and worn and now unused but here it is:

https://imgur.com/a/hNOSGrq


Do you remember the elaborate HBO title card that ran before their movies in the 1980s? They built an entire city, and some surrounding backroads and suburbs, in miniature to dolly the camera through before the HBO logo (itself built of wood and covered with sheet metal) spun at you -- even going so far as to place tiny model prostitutes on the street corners.

The only computer directly involved in production was used to control the sliding of two pieces of film to produce a "flare" effect late in the sequence.


CGI was expensive back then. Escape from New York (1981) had a "wireframe" city scene, which was actually a model city with fluorescent tape applied to the edges of the buildings. Cheaper than doing it with real computer graphics, and looked just as good.


>Cheaper than doing it with real computer graphics, and looked just as good.

My kids were poking fun at the rendering glitches in the titles of Star Trek: Next Gen. They explored Netflix a little further to find the original Star Trek, and agreed that it had much better CGI with their starship. No glitches at all! It never occurred to them that they were models.


I'm 80% sure (can't check right now) that Netflix actually has the remastered version that subbed in CGI for the original effects...


They do. It's the Blu-ray version, which redid the effects in CG because they didn't have the original film stock for those.


Funnily enough, TNG used models as well, I don't think it was until Deep Space 9 that they actually started using CGI starships. The versions of the first two Star Treks on Netflix are the remastered versions, so they might be pointing out CGI issues that came up years after the original airing.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Remaster


DS9 also used models! CGI came with Voyager, notably using Amigas with Video Toaster.

They had been extremely reluctant to use CGI up to that point, despite many efforts to persuade.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/CGI


Babylon 5, which (somewhat infamously) ran at roughly the same time as DS9, was much more aggressive in adopting CGI (also courtesy of Amiga and Video Toaster, I believe) for space stuff, but still used a lot of practical effects for interior shots as well. The CGI ultimately had a negative impact on the DVD and LaserDisc releases. Live action was shot for widescreen, but CGI was only rendered for 4:3 standard-def broadcast. The plan was that if they ever did a widescreen release, they'd re-render the CGI for whatever the target resolution ended up being. But when production ended the assets were lost, and they ended up having to manipulate the standard-def video into a widescreen aspect ratio. This isn't too bad for the pure CGI space stuff, but there are a few composite shots that look awful on the LaserDisc and DVD releases because of it.

I guess sometimes no matter which tech you choose, it ends up being a double-edged sword in one way or another. Especially in the early '90s.


Yes, B5 was an aggressive adopter of digital technology. The driver was costs. Models were expensive, and if they could be replaced by CGI, the cost of making the show could be dramatically reduced. B5 was being produced for the syndication market, which was a different animal than the usual networks, and doing it cheaper while retaining quality was a major goal. Short lived competitor "Space: Above and Beyond (which lasted one season) used models, with production costs over $1,000,000 per episode, and that was a major reason they only lasted a season. B5 did use Amiga and Video Toaster in the beginning, though I believe they transitioned to other equipment later. J. Michael Straczynski's partner Doug Netter had a company called Netter Digital that did the work. JMS commented that when he did pitch meetings with possible networks that would air the show, it was him and a 5 minute clip of their CGI renderings. When I saw the first episode opening, with the Vorlon craft emerging from hyperspace to dock at Babylon 5, I sat back open mouthed going "Whoa". I'm a computer guy, and had some notion of what it took to do that

The Crystalline Entity from 'Datalore' in the first season of TNG was CGI, and was recreated from scratch for the remaster:

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Crystalline_Entity#Back...


These models were at MoPoP in Seattle a while ago, big StarTrek exhibit there.


I loved that intro when I was growing up! There's a documentary about how they made it that can be found on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agS6ZXBrcng&t=408s



That was fun to watch. The NG warnings at the end are pure gold.


Interesting that John Dykstra who was pioneering motion control cameras in Star Wars actually got some of the idea from working on a late sixties / early seventies Berkely traffic simulation that used a tiny city and a camera moving around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QJr2FvQlqY&feature=youtu.be... This technique was actually used much earlier for flight simulators as well.


have you ever seen the one the BBC did for People's Century where they had a street going along as it go forward, it also goes forward in time, along with shots of people

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUwDSd1tSiI here it is


Computers were also used to control the physical camera.

Captain Disallusionment does a video on Back to the Future special effects when he talks about how this was the era before CGI but that used computer controlled cameras to achieve certain special effects.

https://youtu.be/AtPA6nIBs5g


I like the Game of Thrones intro with the elaborate mechanical world. They should have filmed and episode in that world :-)


Love it! When I was a kid, my dad my brother Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys out of PVC-pipe. It started with a turtle headquarters, and then he made a car and airplane out of pipes. I didn't realize they were custom built until I was at least 5 years old.


Depending on the scale this can be repurposed for wargames, there's many that could use this terrain, and it's a fun hobby

Is that a miniature B-24 Liberator?

I was lucky enough to help hand-crank one of its props[1] once, and subsequently watch it take off. The rumble and the noise of the engines were majestic.

[1]A part of the take-off procedure, see https://aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/29561/why-do-gr...


This is awesome. I wish I could take the time out of my daily routine to start building something like this. I liked these since I was a little boy. But there's already too many unfinished after-work and weekend projects around the house so that I just can't justify starting yet another thing.

But I watch Luke Towan on YouTube every now an then to compensate. :-)


That was the whole room for me and my brother when we were growing up. Put there a bed and a closet.


He migtht ignore that object for many years, decades even, but keep it around and he'll be very grateful in the future for sure :)


That's lovely. Thank you for posting this.


Same for me, but with a Lego city ;)


Very cool! -


I wonder where the fascination with trains and railways (that I share) comes from. Maybe from the 19th century industrialization and technological revolution when railway was one of its main symbols ("locomotion of progress")? Related to this, it was a great surprise to me when I first found out about the origin of the term 'hacker':

"3. The Early Hackers

The beginnings of the hacker culture as we know it today can be conveniently dated to 1961, the year MIT acquired the first PDP-1. The Signals and Power committee of MIT's Tech Model Railroad Club adopted the machine as their favorite tech-toy and invented programming tools, slang, and an entire surrounding culture that is still recognizably with us today. These early years have been examined in the first part of Steven Levy's book Hackers [Levy] .

MIT's computer culture seems to have been the first to adopt the term `hacker'. The Tech Model Railroad Club's hackers became the nucleus of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the world's leading center of AI research into the early 1980s. Their influence was spread far wider after 1969, the first year of the ARPANET. "

Source: http://catb.org/esr/writings/hacker-history/hacker-history-3...


A few possibilities for why people find trains fascinating:

1. Their place in history. Sailing has been around forever, but only recently in the grand scheme of things did land-based travel become quick and convenient. And trains did it. Cars came later. Trains revolutionized both industry and personal mobility.

2. Nostalgia for a time in the past when they were at their peak, before they were partially supplanted by cars. There's something intriguing about a technology we don't use nearly as much anymore but was once able to bear a key part of the burden of making society tick.

3. Cars and trains are both neat machines, but most people own or have access to a car, so there isn't a feeling of mystery or exclusivity around cars. How many people get a chance to drive a train even one time in their life?

4. Where they are used, trains naturally make themselves the center of attention. With cars, they come and go constantly, so the arrival or departure of a car isn't really an event. The arrival or departure of a train is an event, often with a schedule. When they were the dominant form of transportation, in a small town, probably everyone in the entire town knew what time the train arrived. Trains also make a lot of noise (whistles, horns, engines, etc.), so that's another way they're the center of attention.

5. A passenger train is part of the public sphere and is a location where things can happen. So it is its own social setting, like work, school, church, etc. are social settings.


Your list reminded me of a brilliant adventure/detective game "The Last Express" that manages to capture quite a few aspects surrounding trains - joy of traveling, historical significance, nostalgia, confined social setting...


Trains were also responsible for the need to make advances with another geeky / hacker favorite:- Accurate time keeping, along with standardized time zones.


Interesting point. I'll mention though that accurate time keeping that worked on sailing ships was a navigation breakthrough in the 1700s. It's what you need to figure out your longitude.

https://sites.udel.edu/materialmatters/2018/03/21/its-all-re...


Ah yes, indeed they were accurate. I should have been more explicit about widespread agreement as to what the precise time that should be accurately measured actually is/was.

My pet hypothesis is that train systems are intellectually complex, but bound in a framework of knowable rules. It seems like some people just can't resist diving deep into systems like that (credit card rewards, board games, or, of course, computer programming).


OMG I think you've just explained my wife's obsession with frequent-flyer points to me. (And she flies a lot, which is a desirable prerequisite.)


I think you just summed up the reason why I enjoy games such as Factorio and OpenTTD so much :-)


There's something that seems to make train sets much more universal. Compare it to slot cars which are nearly identical technologically but don't have the same geek cred. The only complexity difference is that you get some track switches if you're lucky, but I remember some slot/rc car systems having things like that too. The other big difference is the speed, maybe being slower let's the analytical or imaginative parts of the brain engage?


Described my Lego addiction to a T.


Link to TMRC's site:

http://tmrc.mit.edu/ (no SSL/TLS available)

It's amazing how in a model, such as this one, the control system has gone from a bunch of mini-computers and relays over the years, to these days, in modern layouts, tiny DDC control modules and very compact hand held DCC controllers. And on top of that a reasonably mature common control protocol defined by the NMRA (https://www.nmra.org/) that's pretty standard world wide.


I was a rail fan growing up, and my dad and brother are still in the hobby. I always thought the fascination was pretty simple: trains are the biggest machines that are ubiquitous and can be observed up close in virtually any populated area.


Also why no (or almost no) female model railroad hobbyists? I think there's a male aspergers thing going on.. same reason you'll see men programming for fun, but not so many women.


They are big engineering problems that move and in the case of steam if not managed properly explode.

That’s innately cool to a certain subset of people (including me) also the minutiae and detail required to run a complex rail system safely is again fascinating.


Here's my anecdote. Ever since I was about 3, any large machine fascinated me. Construction vehicles, trains, planes, even the garbage trucks making the rounds in my neighborhood, and the dumpster trucks making their rounds at my school. At least for me, it's simply a fantasy over big giant machines. Maybe not so different from how native Amazonian tribes sometimes mistook airplanes flying over the rain forest as gods.


Some of this is the romance of steam. My love of steam comes from my father, he was around in the 50's and 60's when steam was superseded and disappeared in a very short period of time. He spent hundreds of hours photographing the last mainline steam in the UK - before it was gone never to return.


This deserves a video walkthrough. The photos are indistinguishable from cityscape photographs, which speaks to the incredible level of detail. However it's hard to sense the scale.


Yeah, the whole thing looks pretty amazingly massize, but there isn't a single photograph that shows the whole thing.

I'm also really curious what the sky is painted onto.


Most all the photos I've turned up are garbage :| I can tell it's massive and also very detailed but the photos are all too close and too far away at the same time to capture either end of it.


i agree


So one can view Rod Stewart's entire career as an attempt to achieve enough fame to preserve his model railway layout after his passing?

Tongue in cheek, but I do think modelers keep these questions in the back of their mind, about the worth of this thing they put thousands of hours into. You accept that you do it because you love it, whilst recognising that most don't share your passion. Hopefully it goes to a good home after you depart, but finding that home is a big ask for others. Even then, if the value is in the journey/making rather than the destination, will another "passionate" even benefit from the ownership?


From the looks of it, he’s been keeping his career going all these years just to support his train hobby. ;P


Scale cinder blocks 'aint cheap.


that reminded me of a startup I read about in one of these ask:hn posts: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16429467

they're really not cheap


That’s why a play construction video games too... although it’s hard for anyone else to enjoy


Some of my earliest memories as a child was watching my dad working on a huge model railway set that he built when I was only about 3 or 4. We had an entire room of a house dedicated to his train hobby. Strangely, when we moved house, my father never recreated the same thing in any of the other places we lived. It was almost as if he completely turned his back on that passion and hobby.

I never thought about it until my 40th birthday when he presented me with some of the carriages and engines that he had saved even after we had emigrated to Australia (we had sold/burned/threw out most of our possessions for the move).

I am sure those old Fleischmann models are worth a bit nowadays as collectors items, and when he gave them to me, it made me realise how much that hobby meant to him and how much he must have missed it for all those years that he couldn't go to his room and spend time with his trains.


His layout was featured in Model Railroader back in 2007:

http://mrr.trains.com/magazine/press-releases/2007/10/rod-st...


My pal has a decent Model Railroader archive and is digging out that issue for me to read. I'll scan the article pages and put them somewhere for others to see when it arrives.


The project is twice as old now as it was in 2007. I wonder how much has changed.


Gorgeous! I love imagining new cities. One of my projects after I am done with farming is to create a future world with future cities..not unlike Italo Cavalo’s imaginary cities but in the future.

Does anyone want to share how they imagine new cities?


I have an imaginary city that I started sketching out as a kid. In my imagination it is situated in a real-world place, so a few years ago I transferred my sketch into Google My Maps and I tweak it from time to time, like a garden. Thankfully the location is still uninhabited :)

Are there any tools people like to use for this kind of urban dreamscaping? Google My Maps is pretty rudimentary but it's all I know. Games like Sim City don't fit the bill for me because there's too much other stuff going on -- I just want to sketch roads, buildings, transit lines, etc., on top of a map.


A game, heavily modded, like Cities: Skylines might do it for you. You can mod away most of the management minutae and just focus on the infrastructure, transit, and building. It's not hard to basically turn the game into a virtual model builder.

Here's some examples:

https://www.reddit.com/r/CitiesSkylines/comments/doxh7h/50_i...

https://www.reddit.com/r/CitiesSkylines/comments/bvxh5i/urba...

https://www.reddit.com/r/CitiesSkylines/comments/busrvi/topv...

https://www.reddit.com/r/CitiesSkylines/comments/boxbp2/expr...


I used to enjoy Second Life. What was it..a decade ago?..until it became mired in controversy and then the farm happened.

I have created a couple of absolutely impossible templates..mostly my imaginations of cities from books I have read..not just sci fi but also Victorian fiction. My fav genre is cyberpunk. I also like to imagine cities in space and underwater and Mythology and fairy tale worlds.

It all still feels ‘flat’ ..you know? I wish there was some way I can make my words become three dimensional landscapes and cities. I enjoy doing garden designs and urban homestead concepts on paper because there is a sliver of chance that I can actually convert them to reality.

Have you ever come up with fantasy materials..like imaginary metals and materials with fabulous properties.. like walls that can become fireplaces in winter or underground gardens beneath homes..detachable homes levels.sides of homes that are full scale apiaries etc. sometimes I get carried away but who knows..might be possible some day.


OpenGeofiction seems like it would fit the bill


Transport Fever in sandbox mode?


Amazing achievement. He really nailed down the 1940s-1950s urban look. The skyline looks like an inventive pastiche of Chicago and New York. I do wonder if he included an automat.


I used to take the train into Union Station at Chicago every day and I thought I recognized parts of the model almost right away, it really is quite well done.


What a cool project. I wonder if there's been an essay or treatise on these kind of agglomerative, ever-expanding labors of love. There are points of similarity to the installation art of Jason Rhoades (https://www.davidzwirner.com/artists/jason-rhoades), or the Rodia's Watts Towers (http://www.wattstowers.us) among others. It's trying to capture an entire world.


I don't understand this:

> He told Railway Modeller he worked on the skyscrapers and other scenery while on tour, requesting an extra room for his constructions in his hotels.

> "We would tell them in advance and they were really accommodating, taking out the beds and providing fans to improve air circulation and ventilation," he said.

I can understand taking parts on a tour, but maybe I'm missing something? Assuming Rod's moving from hotel to hotel frequently, how is he going to have the time to do something so massive? And, wouldn't this kind of thing be well-known?


He might not have moved hotel that frequently. http://mrr.trains.com/magazine/press-releases/2007/10/rod-st...:

”For example, during a 63-show North American tour in 2007, Stewart relocated his wife Penny Lancaster, the couple's toddler son Alistair, and seven massive traveling cases of model kits and tools to a suite of rooms in Chicago. From this central location, he flew to each night's show. After the performance, a limo would rush him back to the airport where his private jet would be waiting. After a quick flight back to Chicago and a few hours rest, Stewart would be up bright and early and busy at his model railroad workbench. Stewart said he could usually manage a few hours of steady model building each morning before setting aside his tools and spending the remainder of the day with his wife and son.”


Great article (from 2007), including the fact that was a railway worker!

Here's the website of the article that OP is referring to. https://peco-uk.com/pages/railway-modeller

(different magazine)


He also had a residency in Las Vegas for a bit that could have provided some longer periods of little relocation needed.


Ok, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks!


I used to be a roadie for one of America's biggest rock bands. The amount of non-essential gear trucked from city to city in heavy hard shell road cases was mind blowing. I'm talking more or less a full gym's worth of equipment brought "just in case" the artist in question felt like exercising. I don't remember ever seeing it used...

for reference, we're talking a full crew of 90+ roadies, 14 tractor trailer trucks, 9 tour buses. I figured it cost over $1MM per show day. Yeah I can absolutely see this being a reality for Rod Stewart, as zany as that sounds.

Also factor in that Rod is, uh, old. My experience was with an act in a similar age bracket. They were not playing back-to-back shows. Usually had a least a day break between gigs. They would also fly to the next city, where we we left to the buses. This equals more down time, and hence time to work on trains! Maybe Rod's not like that, but a hunch.

Also - Neil Young is also a big model train enthusiast. I believe is part patent owner on some model train components and also some tie-in to the board of Lionel Trains. Wonder what other rock stars are also huge train nerds!


Neil Young's interest in model trains is influenced in part by his two sons' cerebral palsy. When they were young, his train set--seeing it and ultimately controlling it with custom controllers--was one of the few ways they could interact with the world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Young#Personal_life


Very interesting. Knew of his sons’ condition, but did not know of the connection to the modeling. Thanks!


> Wonder what other rock stars are also huge train nerds

Pete Waterman[0] (of Stock, Aitken and Waterman record producers - think Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley etc) is a huge enthusiast of the hobby. When he got into the hobby as an adult he was deeply disappointed with the quality of the rolling stock in his preferred scale (O gauge) that it's said he practically rebooted O gauge modelling in the UK by working with manufacturers to improve their products.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Waterman


I know there was a whole arc on Trailer Park Boys with Sebastian Bach being a model train champion and his rival was Patrick Swayze, but I'm not sure if there was any truth to it in reality (but I hope there was!). Lead to a great and clever end of the season.

Here's a clip I found, have to skip through a bit to see the Sebastian Bach stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAbZi14-i6s


He has a whole crew to install his stage setup, which includes a big drum kit and a full-sized harp and lots of lighting and stuff. They can probably pack up his train sets into black instrument cases in no time.


According to this older article, his "train set" is 23 feet wide and 124 feet long. On tour he'd just bring the buildings he was working on, some of which were five feet tall.

http://mrr.trains.com/magazine/press-releases/2007/10/rod-st...

(Link is from orpheline's comment here.)


It says he was working "on the skyscrapers and other scenery". For model railroads and other diorama work, those are usually made separately and then added to the layout.

He was just having a room set up with a desk and area to build those smaller components, then would take them home and add them to the layout.


He's not bringing the whole layout, but the skyscrapers are pretty big; having a dedicated room for the models plus tools (including glue and paint, both of which are fragrant) would make it a lot easier.


Slightly off-topic but HN-appropriate, Alan Cox of Linux kernel fame runs a model train business:

https://www.ultima-models.co.uk/


The jaw-dropping model aside, the magazine cover is my favorite part. Whenever I see someone get appreciation outside of their known position of recognition - it gives my renaissance muscle a little tingle. I wonder if this is more common or less common than we think.

"...like Rod Stewart on the cover of Railway Modeler!"

Can anyone think of other examples of this?


I enjoy these too. A few off the top of my head:

James Hetfield of Metallica is a well-known beekeeper

Tony Bennett is an avid painter

Bryan Adams is an excellent photographer

Paul Newman is in the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame and had an extensive auto racing career

Geena Davis nearly made it to the Olympic archery team

Steve Martin is an excellent banjo player and has won a couple Grammys for it


Some off the top of my head:

Bruce Dickinson is a commercial 757 (later 747) pilot (also fenced internationally for England.)

Maynard James Keenan and Sam Neill are both (I believe) renowned winemakers.

Terry Crews is also an avid painter.


Brian May receiving his PhD in astrophysics gives me a similar feeling.


Jeff Bridges is an excellent photographer.


Sir Rod Stewart donates to Market Deeping Model Railway Club https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-48332649

Vandals damaged model railway exhibition, Rod made a donation to help restore it.


That is awesome! Now I have an all new respect for this guy.


Same here! The level of investment and his work on it is staggering.

It also reminds me of a Canadian treasure (possibly NSFW/language)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAbZi14-i6s

It's surprisingly prescient being a rock star with that kind of ... smokey voice...


I'd love to know how he safely accesses the inner/back parts. Some other large models have gaps, and you climb up from under, but at least in the photos it was unclear where that would be in some pictures (too dense).

The detail is simply breathtaking. I particularly loved the boat/old warehouse with the rust and exposed metal.


Anyone interested in epic model railways/cities - i've just been to Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg which is very accessible and entertaining (i'm in no way into model railways) with tons of cute little details; well worth a visit!


An addition for anyone in the Baltimore/DC area: the Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department has an annual model train display that they set up every year. Believe it’s from right after thanksgiving through the new year. It’s not enormous from a square footage view, but it is absolutely packed with detail. They even have a scavenger hunt sheet they give to kids to see if they can find stuff like all the Santas, Harry Potter miniatures in a hidden cave, etc. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area!


If not for model railroads the computing scene would look entirely different today.


BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine talks to Rod about his hobby on his show[0]. They're then joined by Jools Holland who is also an enthusiast, and then after a tune Steve Lamacq and the guy from Railway Modeller, who wrote up the article mentioned, chat for a while longer about modelling.

As a modeller myself it was nice to listen to a reasonably respectful and decent length piece about the hobby.

[0]: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000b4vn (skip to 35 mins)


I wonder how the lighting was done. The shadows are really sharp, as if they're coming from a single source, without overlaps. This really adds to the realism of the scene.


I don't see anything moving in the photos, so it could be done using a single small light source, a tripod, and long exposures.


Brings back some long forgotten nostalgia. Growing up in South Florida, where trains aren't much utilized, I was amazed as a little kid visiting Holland how much trains were used in Europe, and how big the model train scene was there. I'll always remember walking into a shop in Eindhoven that was like the most beautiful model train museum I've ever seen.


Nice. Look for the Pennsylvania T1 Duplex in the second photo.

(For those not familiar with the term: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duplex_locomotive#PRR_class_T1)


If you are interested in model trains you might like this video about the largest model railway of Russia from RT Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fNBlLWYthQ


Watch some videos of Luke Towan and then say that you're not enticed to start putting something together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxhZ7uE7glY


That's some beautiful job. My mother in law's friend has something resembling built that takes the whole basement and I was deeply impressed when saw it. I can only imagine what Rod's creation look like when you actually see it.


I love this kinda thing and - if I had Sir Rod's bank account - would probably purchase some augmented reality goggles and bring the city alive with traffic, pedestrians and King Kong with bi-planes.


If I'm interpreting the second picture right, he may be one step ahead with traffic. It looks like each carriageway has a continuous slot, so I'm going to guess that traffic is on a very long loop, one for each direction so the traffic is constantly moving over that bridge.

Can't tell from what I can see of the city detail in the last photo if that's the same.


Maybe there's money in specialist toys like that. How much would Sir Rod Stewart pay if you built him that? Or maybe there isn't. After all, if it isn't exactly like what he'd like maybe he wouldn't pay.


I have always wondered how do they keep such sets from being covered by thick layers of dust? Is it special ventilation, or do they just clean and wipe everything every day?


Also https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21527206 (but no comments there).


I showed this to my dad, who used to do model railroads. He said just the first photo looked like it cost about $10,000.


> I enjoyed the building more than I did the running.

So true!

His layouts are incredible. I'd love to see them in person.


When Rod Stewart travel he always books two rooms. One for him and the other for his trains.


After reading about the true meaning behind Boris Busses the other day:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21506443

I'm afraid I have to ask: what's he trying to bury? Hopefully nothing more shameful than he's secretly been a Ruby-on-Rails developer for the last 10 years.


Being a rails dev for the last 10 years is shameful?


Only if you're a rockstar.


Phew! Glad I dodged that bullet, though I guess I’m more of a JavaScript dev these days


I hear that's where all the rockstars ended up.


Sir Rod you truly are an artist!


Would be great for a Godzilla disaster movie


This is the type of celebrity news i can get behind. Looks fantastic!


[flagged]


"Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents."

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


..


..


I had no idea Rod Stewart covered the Tom Waits song "Downtown Train".

I do not thank this article for informing me of this fact. It is a horrible cover. The world needs more Tom Waits and less Rod Stewart.


Looks like he is a lot better at modeling than singing :)


Guess his singing has more fans than I’d think!




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: