Author Topic: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?  (Read 10268 times)

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DKS

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2010, 06:48:45 PM »
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I understand what you're saying.  But how much texture do we want to give dirt?  I can see giving it "rolls" and "dips" and basically keeping it from being totally level due to the strata underneath, however I'm not sure dirt merits a texture... But maybe it comes down to where you live.  I know here in western NY, NW Pennsylvania, there just isn't much texture to it.  

I think a large part of what to use--and where to use it--comes from artistic interpretation. In our modeling, we're usually trying to evoke a sense about a scene, more than trying to reproduce it sand grain by sand grain. I don't think it can be distilled down to an exact science, particularly for smaller scales where we need to be less literal in our interpretation and make more artistic compromises to get a scene to read right. Thus, we may need to experiment in order to accomplish our goal with our scenery.

The first step is of course to research the area we are modeling in order to get the color palette down and get a feel for the right land contours. Then we need to set about developing the scene by building up layers of color and texture. Some of us may need a lot more dirt than others; sometimes the texture may need to be varied. Building small test dioramas may be helpful in getting the right combination of color, texture and contour, or a willingness to go through some iterative cycles where parts of the layout are built, torn out and rebuilt.

BTW, would it make sense to move this thread into Modeling Tutorials and Hints? It seems to be taking on a direction well suited for that area.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 07:01:31 PM by David K. Smith »

chessie system fan

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2010, 07:21:13 PM »
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I'm actually aiming for a wet spring look - which is common, and usually leads to a wet hurricane season look!

All your trees need to be leaning slightly sideways and in the same direction. :D
Aaron Bearden

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2010, 07:42:29 PM »
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I understand what you're saying.  But how much texture do we want to give dirt?  I can see giving it "rolls" and "dips" and basically keeping it from being totally level due to the strata underneath, however I'm not sure dirt merits a texture... But maybe it comes down to where you live.  I know here in western NY, NW Pennsylvania, there just isn't much texture to it.  

I think a large part of what to use--and where to use it--comes from artistic interpretation. In our modeling, we're usually trying to evoke a sense about a scene, more than trying to reproduce it sand grain by sand grain. I don't think it can be distilled down to an exact science, particularly for smaller scales where we need to be less literal in our interpretation and make more artistic compromises to get a scene to read right. Thus, we may need to experiment in order to accomplish our goal with our scenery.

The first step is of course to research the area we are modeling in order to get the color palette down and get a feel for the right land contours. Then we need to set about developing the scene by building up layers of color and texture. Some of us may need a lot more dirt than others; sometimes the texture may need to be varied. Building small test dioramas may be helpful in getting the right combination of color, texture and contour, or a willingness to go through some iterative cycles where parts of the layout are built, torn out and rebuilt.

BTW, would it make sense to move this thread into Modeling Tutorials and Hints? It seems to be taking on a direction well suited for that area.

You bring up a great point David about it being more "art" than "science". 

And testing is a excellent suggestion.

Of course everyone's interpretation of what looks good to them is going to vary– Obviously it's the nature of the beast.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2010, 10:41:50 PM »
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Testing s really important, I've done a number of "studies" before I even started work on the layout (itself, intended as practice). Id strongly suggest getting some scrap and just practicing, a lot.

Dave V

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2010, 11:09:11 PM »
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I've been using some fine dirt from under the crawlspace at my former North Carolina home.  I know it's not quite correct for central PA, but it's pretty close.  I strained out all but the finest particles and then did the magnet pass and baked it.  I still have just enough left to finish Enola.

However its texture is a tad too coarse.  It's not overly offensive to me, but I might go another direction the next time I do a large scenery project.  It is, in fact, made darker by the bonding glue.  I've noted that sometimes it dries a little splotchy, which is kind of cool in that it looks a little like there has been a recent rain, which is further reinforced by my use of bright greens, standing water in ditches, and even puddles on one of the rooftops.

Here's the good news...  If you're using diluted white glue and you decide the ground cover isn't what you wanted, you can soak it with 70% isopropyl alcohol and scrape it back up.
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UP1996

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #35 on: March 08, 2010, 11:38:07 PM »
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Funny, this is where I'm at on my layout too. DIRT ! :P

I just laid out some gravel and talus to model a dry creek bed/wash, I like the look so far however, where the gravel and stuff ends, the flat 'dirt' painted layout surface just doesn't look right.


I think I'm going to try a very thin coat of spackle with some subtle variations then re-paint with the dirt colored paint. I dunno. I'm watching this thread with an intense focus. 8)


CVSNE

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2010, 07:39:25 AM »
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This may have been mentioned in this thread already - if so, I apologize.

Next time you're at the big box home improvement center of either the blue or orange flavor check out something called "sanded tile grout." It comes in a variety of textures, earth tone colors, and makes ideal ground cover without the need to bake out little critters or deal with the clay that's in most soils (at least in the eastern US).

Marty
Modeling (or attempting to model) the Central Vermont circa October 1954  . . .

Ian MacMillan

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2010, 09:53:16 AM »
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This may have been mentioned in this thread already - if so, I apologize.

Next time you're at the big box home improvement center of either the blue or orange flavor check out something called "sanded tile grout." It comes in a variety of textures, earth tone colors, and makes ideal ground cover without the need to bake out little critters or deal with the clay that's in most soils (at least in the eastern US).

Marty


No need to apologize! It was brought up on page 2.  I use two colors of Polyblend, "Fawn" and "Camel"
I'll have to get a better shot, but in this scene you can see the "Fawn" by the water tank and in between the siding and main line.



I learned to get a few shades darker than what the color swatch on the label is as the grout is a bit lighter than what it states.

Here is a color chart for Polyblend.
http://www.thisoldgrout.com/custom.htm

I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

Philip H

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2010, 10:02:11 AM »
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Very interesting Ian.  Imay go the grout route - the nutmeg in your color chart is actually pretty close to the surface soil in my modeled area - darkerbrown due to an interesting mix of river sediments from the Misissippi and surface clays.
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up1950s

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2010, 10:18:10 AM »
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John Sing's Peavine layout has some pretty realistic dirt modeled IMO .


http://home.comcast.net/~atsf_arizona_2/Peavine_Line_Overview_Kato_Unitrack_ballasted_turnouts.jpg

AlkemScaleModels

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2010, 10:42:06 AM »
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  have you ever used "dirt" under your ground foam?  If so, what brand and size?


Yes, all the time. I stay away from soils that contain clay as they shrink upon drying, even if they have the right color.

 I like to collect soil out west as it seems to work better. I found a spot in Utah that had a road cut through loose conglomerate. It was arrayed in bands of various colors, so I was able to get a selection of colors. I fill baggies with the stuff and mail it home in USPS Flat Rate boxes.

Once home I sift it into various sizes. The fine dust is very good.

I also like decomposed shale that you can find along road cuts in western MD and WV. There are some nice ones by Coopers Rock just east of Morgantown.  The shale can be hammered to fine textures. It looks great on rock carvings and in talus slopes.

I don't bake the rock, but I do use alcohol and white glue to secure it. I haven't spotted any critters yet.

mionerr

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2010, 11:04:41 AM »
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What a number of you have described sounds like a technique that was popular in the 70's called zip texturing. You mix pure ground, dry pigment (raw sienna, burnt umber, ocher) with Portland cement and sprinkle on the landform, then mist with water. It was always warned DO NOT USE TEMPURA PAINTS! Evidently the color changes over time. I used the technique on an early layout and was favorably impressed with the results. One of the old scenery books had recipes for different color combos. The texture is very fine, much finer than ground foam. Grassy slopes were nice.
I believe the best results are obtained by using ALL of the techniques. This gives you the variations found in nature.
I believe Tom Knapp used zip texturing for his desert scenery. His work has been in all the magazines at one time or another.
The pigments were sold by someone for Model railroaders not that many years ago. I couldn't find anything listed in Walthers or MicroMark.
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DKS

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2010, 12:06:30 PM »
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What a number of you have described sounds like a technique that was popular in the 70's called zip texturing.

Zip texturing! Wow, talk about a blast from the past. I first recall reading about zip texturing in Model Railroader's first major N scale layout feature. I don't recall the issue or the title--any N scale old-timers here remember? They used all Arnold Rapido stuff. Was that Gordon Odegard?

MichaelWinicki

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2010, 12:16:10 PM »
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What a number of you have described sounds like a technique that was popular in the 70's called zip texturing.

Zip texturing! Wow, talk about a blast from the past. I first recall reading about zip texturing in Model Railroader's first major N scale layout feature. I don't recall the issue or the title--any N scale old-timers here remember? They used all Arnold Rapido stuff. Was that Gordon Odegard?

Wasn't Linn Westcott the zip-texturing guru back then?

Philip H

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Re: Changing Scenery - what would you suggest?
« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2010, 01:07:02 PM »
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What a number of you have described sounds like a technique that was popular in the 70's called zip texturing.

Zip texturing! Wow, talk about a blast from the past. I first recall reading about zip texturing in Model Railroader's first major N scale layout feature. I don't recall the issue or the title--any N scale old-timers here remember? They used all Arnold Rapido stuff. Was that Gordon Odegard?

I think its in my original N Scale Primer (1979) - I'll have to check tonight.

Philip H.
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Baton Rouge Southern RR - Mount Rainier Division.

"Yes there are somethings that are "off;" but hey, so what." ~ Wyatt

"I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this." - Ed K.

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