Author Topic: Scenery Costs  (Read 8613 times)

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tmlbk

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Scenery Costs
« on: July 14, 2006, 01:58:22 PM »
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While all of us would like to have our layouts look like those in magazines, I'm beginning to realize there is no way I could justify spending the dollars it would require to do so. :'(  I guess I'm stuck with puff ball trees and real dirt sprinkled on white glue.  Maybe I should have never built a room size layout?

How much money do guys like Joe Fugate spend on scenery?  It's got to be a lot. :o  How do they justify it to their spouses/kids? ???  I feel pretty guilty spending nealy $10 on a bottle of ground foam or ballast.

tom mann

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2006, 02:02:03 PM »
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I hear you.  This is my latest order with Scenery Express:

1     FINE NATURAL SOIL & DIRT- Quart
Item: SS0011   Price: $11.98 
   $11.98 
1    TALL 4MM LATE SUMMER PRAIRIE TUFTS
Item: MN72723   Price: $19.99 
   $19.99 
1    SHORT 2MM SPRING PRAIRIE TUFTS
Item: MN71721   Price: $19.99 
   $19.99

The key is to think small - I guess. :D  Oh, and work slow to spread the cost out.

John

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 03:24:04 PM »
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The key on large layouts is to catch the flavor .. and only detail small scenes ..

puff ball is good .. especially for the large area ..



This scene is made from puff balls, I got them out of an old couch I was trashing .. it was in the stuffing .. a couple of cans of black paint on the puff balls, covered with colored saw dust, then a couple of shades of woodland scenics, and it does a credible job ..

up1950s

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2006, 03:39:47 PM »
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That scene looks great John . With that red ballast it would look right at home under DM&IR jenny's .

3rdrail

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2006, 04:41:23 PM »
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Scenery more than any other aspect of model railroading is an area where time and money are tradeoffs. Make trees out of old stranded wire or twigs and weeds found along the road plus "puffballs" and ground foam, they'll be a lot cheaper than "store-bought" ones, but you'll spend a lot more time making them. I could find enough lichen growing naturally around here in the wintertime to do a large layout, but I'd have to pick it, clean it, dye it and preserve it myself.

Plaster of Paris, powdered cement coloring, fiberglass screen, and  industrial grade paper towels are cheap enough. You can't find extruded foam thicker than 1/2 inch in the Florida Panhandle. Compared to the price of structures, "landscaping" itself is cheap!  :D

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2006, 04:50:28 PM »
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I wouldn't say time and money are direct trade offs if you're looking for quality.

I don't think 100 ready-made trees by Woodland Scenics will look as good as one done in the way Bob Hundman suggests... (ie, build a model of a tree like it's a piece of rolling stock, part by part)

Scenery is just one of those things, like all of the hobby, where you have to determine your depth of participation based on your skill & available cash levels.

Iain

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2006, 07:48:02 PM »
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For me the cost is in distraction.  Scenary is not my strong suit.
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

http://jdulaney.com

umtrr-author

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2006, 08:37:27 PM »
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My background scenery is literally hundreds of Heki "bottle brush" pine trees.  The intent is to be uninteresting so as to direct the viewer back to the foreground, where the details (and the better trees) are located.

up1950s

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2006, 08:40:53 PM »
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With me . it's easy . My scenery is plastic boxes . Kind of like a hobby shop . Whenever I go to a hobby shop , which is almost never , I look at their display cases . If well stocked and stacked , my thoughts are , " Well scenic ed " . No track , no trees , no bench work , none of that cost and time consuming stuff . I have enough of stuff for a very large club , train , and vehicle wise and 2 big turntables .  The layout is in my head , and the head is defective . I am not a collector , in so much as I have a theme , and if there was a layout all this would fit the pre-conceived layout in my defective head .

CoalPorter

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2006, 09:42:07 PM »
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1. Think used. I've bought tons of bags of half used ground foam, ballast, tallus etc. for pennies on the dollar.

2.For basics like hard shell material, plaster cloth, paint, styrofoam, and glue STAY AWAY FROM THE LHS!! Allot of products , or a suitable alternative, sold at the LHS can be bought at major retailer like WAL MART :D OR HOME-BOY DEPOT for allot less.
Positive Trading Post With JustTraincRaZy, Railhead, OldBillIndy, Freighttrain

Ian MacMillan

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2006, 01:43:30 AM »
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My scenery is planned to be as Proto 1:160 as possible, and with a 22'x36' layout it seems like a lot....but spread over 10+ years its not that bad.
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

randgust

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2006, 12:43:26 PM »
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I'm using goldenrod by the garbage-bag full, and it's free.

Ground foam, can't remember the last time I bought any.

Woodland Scenic tree trunks, those actually cost something.  But I only use those on the foreground model trees.  Bags of foliage are pretty cheap, I stretch the heck out of them.

Cork for rocks, and plaster, negligible.

I really like Iain McMillan's Horseshoe Curve layout - best example of massive amounts of trees for next to nothing with all those cotton balls painted and turfed.  Mine are cheap, but incredibly labor intensive.

You can spend a lot of money on pre-made trees, that's for sure, but I think that's a terrible mistake except for foreground models.



I want to add a lot more detail, but again, a heck of a lot more labor intensive than expensive.

oakcreekco

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2006, 05:55:15 PM »
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I look at scenery like the rest of the "hobby". Cost is proportional to size of the layout, and how "detailed" you want to get.

It's just like locos and rolling stock! How many locos and cars do "we" have, and how much did they "cost".

Maybe that's the problem for a lot of us. Buying $75 worth of scenery "stuff" is the price of a loco ??? Maybe we (I) have accumulated to many locos and cars ;D

Seriously though, however it's done, spread out over time makes it "manageable" to the budget. The family will still be able to eat :o
A "western modeler" that also runs NS.

Ian MacMillan

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2006, 01:07:51 AM »
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I really like Iain McMillan's Horseshoe Curve layout - best example of massive amounts of trees for next to nothing with all those cotton balls painted and turfed.  Mine are cheap, but incredibly labor intensive.


Why thank you!

I had lots of fun building that layout, but its prototypical track plan left me gettting bored running it, so I have moved on from it. It lives only now in photos :-[

The new layout will look great, and operate very well....I promise!
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

Chris333

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Re: Scenery Costs
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2006, 04:33:22 AM »
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Ian,
Some of these MEC boxcars can surely find a way to the new layout.

http://www.blwnscale.com/BLW-Millennium%20Series.htm

...and stop calling me Shirley!