Author Topic: Best Of Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover: Trees: Shrubs  (Read 26835 times)

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Dave V

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #30 on: April 30, 2008, 09:36:14 PM »
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Good point on the trees, guys...  My trees are clearly too short.  Case in point:



Also too short:



One issue I may run into in the dual-era layout idea is tree height.

In 1956 (era A), the trees along the ROW were typically just starting to recover from the clear-cutting that went on in more prosperous years.

By 1980 (era B), trees right up against the ROW were tall and mature.

Hmm, maybe I'll need to have a few removable trees, too!

3rdrail

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #31 on: April 30, 2008, 09:47:01 PM »
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Eastern forest full grown trees average 65 feet in height, with many attaining 75 feet. That's between 5 and 5.75 inches in N scale. So, yeah, most N scale model trees are too short. But then, distances between stations are too short, too. If you don't somewhat selectively compress the trees, they overpower everything else.

Don't feel bad though, Westerners have to deal with forests averaging 150 feet in height.

shark_jj

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2008, 11:06:01 PM »
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We have another good Learning Tip about tree height.  Two good points were made, firstly that the average N scale tree should be in the 5 1/2 inch range, and the second about selective compression and whether it applies to scenery as well as other aspects of the layout.  Both are good points.  My sense is that if the layout is very narrow and the tree depth is likewise narrow you can get away with full height, if the layout has 6 or more inches of depth, hillsides, etc, than it is more difficult to stick to this height because of the overpowering problem.  I have been listening to all of the suggestions and trying to apply them to my small test area.  Here is a reprise of the before picture and some samples of after pictures.

BEFORE:



AFTER










chuck geiger

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #33 on: April 30, 2008, 11:14:13 PM »
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One thing I am learning about modeling Western roads is less is more. You have to fight the temptation to add to many scenic features. This can be applied to Eastern roads as well. There are parts of PA where the sceney is simple and there are just hills or country side that can be modeled. This is a great tip for modeling in N scale. It was SAH and Tivo Prince that have taught me to model less. Here is less in a test area I have been monkeying with for weeks. Backdrop is temporary and lighting is way less than perfect. Do you guys likes the results? btw/ flatcar bridge is an experiment, it's not compeete yet.


« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 11:22:12 PM by chuck geiger »
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
ATSF/BNSF San Jacinto District
provencountrypd@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Hrp9-dhSb-Ci0stbcCpeQ

shark_jj

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2008, 11:35:56 PM »
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Chuck, I think you are on the right track.  I retired in 2000 and my wife and I took a 14,000 km trip from our home down through the Great Plains, across New Mexico, Arizona, to California and then looped back.  Anyway, we were incredibly surprised as we followed the ATSF and SP lines across New Mexico and Arizona just how desolate and scrub like the land was.  This isn't land that would sustain farming other than perhaps cattle that were allowed to roam.  There was a lack of trees, lots of small rock, and lots of small shrubbery.  I like your arroya and the flatcar bridge, I can remember constant signage about watch out for flash flooding.  For anyone modelling this area of the west, you are correct, the key would be not to overdo it but to stick with your mantra of less is more.

PS: this has nothing to do with the thread, but when we stayed over in Santa Fe we took the time to go up and ride the narrow gauge out of Chama.  WOW!  If I hadn't fallen in love with the Pennsy and the Curve 40 years ago that narrow gauge would surely have tempted me.

wm3798

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2008, 06:33:09 AM »
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But you also have to bear in mind the practical reality of a model railroad...


As groovy as it would be to model this scene with tall trees crowding the track, how do you clean the track?  How do you collect a derailed car, and how do you generally work around the trees, which can be quite fragile, without undoing the scene every time you put your big 1:1 scale paw in there?

The selective compression applies to the reality of model railroading, as well as the scene itself...

Lee
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DKS

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2008, 07:41:26 AM »
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As groovy as it would be to model this scene with tall trees crowding the track, how do you clean the track?  How do you collect a derailed car, and how do you generally work around the trees, which can be quite fragile, without undoing the scene every time you put your big 1:1 scale paw in there?

For areas like this, I make removable scenery. I'll build everything as per normal, but leave a strip of the supporting foam material along the track unattached to the layout. The joint lines are rendered invisible by the ground cover along its edges. Sometimes these sections can be tricky to remove without damaging the trees, so I will firmly attach a couple of obkects like telephone poles, and use these like handles to lift out the removable section.

There's two of them in the photo I posted previously.

asciibaron

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2008, 10:44:35 AM »
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here's Lee's WM going under the B&O's Camden Cutoff in ghettolandia, aka Westport.  notice how much room there is on the sides of the ROW and it's even in the city.



here is how i would love my scenery to look - notice the lushness of the scene - and how the forest yields to the ROW - this is the B&O's Old Main Line near Woodstock, MD



here is a shot that shows how much larger the world is than the trains - the B&O's Old Main Line at Hartman Tunnel near Ijamsville.  Ed should like the barren forestscape




that should give you some ideas on transitions


-Steve
Quote from: Chris333
How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

shark_jj

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2008, 11:08:07 AM »
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Love that Westport shot.  If a modeller built track like that his peers would be all over him about his poor tracklaying skills.  It is a fascinating subject, the size of the surroundings since in most cases we want people to see the trains.  In real life the trains are often hidden.  Unless you are doing a diorama, or a small layout where you can access from the top, I think Lee is right, you have to selectively compress the surroundings just for operational considerations.  Where this type of scenery would be really effective is in a small scene leading to the entrance to hidden trackage, we have too much of a propensity for using tunnel portals to accomplish that.

lashedup

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2008, 11:10:08 AM »
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The other choice is to leave the MOW a little more barren and not quite up against the tracks with trees.

I think in the past the materials we had to work with to produce realistic looking trees were far more limited in terms of realism and scale - especially in n-scale. Now with super trees and other commercial and hand-made techniques you can produce trees that are much closer to scale. The flip side is that Super Trees can be tricky to work with as some of the larger pieces can be 5-6 inches tall (66ft. to 80ft in n-scale) tall. However the trunk structures aren't large enough to balance the height proportionally. I find that on larger pieces I need to bundle some Super Trees together to get them to look right.

I have this curve module that I need to cover heavily in foilage, trees and bushes:



I very quickly covered it in static grass to get some green on it for a show a while back, but I'm going to go back and build it out. Maybe what I'll do is just make progress updates in this thread as I go - that will help keep me motivated.

Ed you mentioned dirt roads and such and Tom brought up the Smith & Sons fine dirt from Scenic Express. I used the Smith & Sons dirt on a dirt farm crossing and at the back of a depot and found a technique that works reasonably well. I created the farm crossing with lightweight spackle and then painted it a muddy tan color (Mississippi Mud from Home Depot). Then I painted on straight white glue and sprinkled on the dirt. I press the dirt in lightly to pack it into the glue. Then once it dries I rub off the top layer of larger material with my finger and that leaves a nice textured road underneath that looks more to scale. Here are a couple of quick pictures. Sorry for the horrible depth of field issues, I used a macro lens but didn't take the time to setup a tripod.





I'm still working on it, but I'm getting happier with something that looks more like fine scale dirt than large bulky rock. I'm going to filter the Smith & Sons dirt down even further to try more stuff.

-jamie
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 11:12:07 AM by lashedup »

shark_jj

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover: Trees: Shrubs
« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2008, 11:49:41 AM »
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I had originally suggested trees and shrubs as a separate topic, however, we have clearly spent a good deal of time in this thread on the topic of trees and shrubs, so you will note that I changed the Title to consolidate the topics.

asciibaron

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover: Trees: Shrubs
« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2008, 12:49:15 PM »
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i need to fine-tune this armature, but it is prototypical in size - when i put it next to the trains, the tree dwarfs the boxcars.  with the price of copper being high, i'll have to find my wire in junk bins.  this is 14 AWG stranded - notice the number of strands.  the next thing to do is solder the trunk and the various branch points then hit it with some primer.  i might have it finished one day.

my layout will have about 200 trees on it, in some places a tunnel effect will be created.  the benchwork puts the trains at chest height an it shouldn't be too hard to reach into pickup an errant car or engine.

i have spent a few hours in the backyard studying the oaks and maples and think i can pull them off.  when my wife asks me what i'm doing staring at trees while smoking a cigar, i tell her "working on my train layout."

-Steve
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 12:51:33 PM by asciibaron »
Quote from: Chris333
How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

asciibaron

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover: Trees: Shrubs
« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2008, 12:54:35 PM »
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here is another long lens shot - i love the tunnel effect here - this is at Harper's Ferry on the Shenandoah Sub.  notice the way the vines creep up to the rails from the transition areas

-Steve
Quote from: Chris333
How long will it be before they show us how to add DCC to a tree?

Dave V

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover: Trees: Shrubs
« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2008, 01:58:15 PM »
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...trees while smoking a cigar...
-Steve

What's your brand?  I enjoy a good CAO Brazillia but typically buy Sosa Macabi.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Interactive Scenery Clinic Week1: Ground Cover: Trees: Shrubs
« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2008, 02:11:08 PM »
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Looking at Dave V's photos and his admission that his trees are too short, it got me thinking.

Scale size trees can be that first step on a slippery slope.

Once trees are properly sized, all sorts of other stuff starts to look too small. Ugh.

It's actually one of my biggest issues in planning the next door layout. I understand some stuff needs to be compressed, but it sure gets tough when you start right sizing things.