Author Topic: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery  (Read 3405 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2017, 02:03:44 PM »
+1
Hold on there hombre. I wouldn't say "be random" with your application of various textures and colors. Nature follows various patterns, follow those patterns.

For example, lower spots collect moisture, leading to healthier greenery, which means, greener greenery.


Dave V

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2017, 02:15:11 PM »
0
Hold on there hombre. I wouldn't say "be random" with your application of various textures and colors. Nature follows various patterns, follow those patterns.

For example, lower spots collect moisture, leading to healthier greenery, which means, greener greenery.

OK, fair enough, but I still think the word "random" is useful here.  It's been my mantra and it's served me well.  When applying weeds in a field or trees on a hillside, random is your friend.

jpec

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2017, 08:23:43 PM »
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This is very true.

Just today, Dr. Hotballs and I were discussing why it is that European modelers so often excel at capturing American landscapes while we ourselves often fall short.

I think the answer is that many of us came up reading outdated texts about how to build scenery. Stuff that includes things like "puffball trees" and that, in many cases, just boils down to "buy these products, apply the products". Sure, that can be helpful, but it also trains people in some bad habits that result in scenery that's not all that realistic (like, fields of solid green ground foam).

You hit the nail on the head...we tend to jump at whatever because "Tony did it" run with it. Europeans seem to really study the lay of the land, so to speak, before they jump in. I wish there were more muted late fall/winter tones available but maybe the market will expand expand if the demand is there. Frary is still viable, I watch his YouTube stuff and he's updated his technique to utilize newer materials plus  there's a guy under the name of Steve's Trains (noted elsewhere) on the YouTubes that has some good beginner tips. I suggest anyone looking for good techniques follow the teachings of the Railwire's own local talent through their layout journals.

JP
"trees are non-judgmental, and they won't abuse or betray you."- DKS

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2017, 09:23:59 AM »
+2
One thing to point out about "Tony did it", that should be "Tony did it 25 years ago". His current work is very different from the AM.


jpec

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2017, 01:15:49 AM »
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True, but not much need for puffballs on Indiana flatland. Then he and Lance tilted the earth espousing Super Trees. I bet Scenic Express got slammed after that technique hit the street. I like your technique better - strip and spray - no fuss about leaf sizes/textures - head 'em up and move 'em out
"trees are non-judgmental, and they won't abuse or betray you."- DKS

p51

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2017, 07:10:52 PM »
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My best advice is to look at what you want to model with all of its vegetation (because even the desert Southwest is covered with vegetation) and then take a look at Scenic Express and see what you can do to match it.
This is the best advice for scenery online I've seen in quite some time!
Even some static grass mats here and there will make a world of difference:

robert3985

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2017, 08:12:41 PM »
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I appreciate your comments, fellers, I really do.  I looked at all the "best of" and I agree, they really look great.  But they are about two to three levels beyond what I need.  They talk about stuff that I can only scratch my head and try to figure out what they are saying.  I really need this stuff dumbed down.  Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Jim

Although we can all talk about "realistic" scenery and all the techniques and materials to achieve it, the OP isn't wanting superdetailed, super expensive products or techniques...or even "realistic" scenery...he's wanting "dumbed down", "two or three levels" below what everybody else is talking about here.

As for myself and the advice I give, I make an assumption that the questioner wants realistic scenery.  I think that assumption may be wrong in the OP's case.

My first piece of advice (as others have pointed out here) is always to look at the real thing first, take some photos...or find photos of what you want to model scenery-wise.  However, the OP states quite emphatically that he doesn't want a two-lane road that is specific to "East Undershirt OH" in 1946.  How about "general roadbuilding practice in the late 1900's" ???  Maybe not that either.

Sooooo...the OP is qualifying the kind of replies and references he wants...down to the level that it ceases to be useful to the vast majority of model railroaders because they, at least, specify they want scenery to be "realistic", which the OP does not specify.

When I look at the advice already given on this thread, and I remember the quality of the work done by many of the contributors, I think about 99% of the advice is in another universe from what the OP wants.

Working with the information the OP has given us, I'm going to suggest that finding advice (which many of us here would think is bad advice) for "idiots" about scenery construction is going to be difficult to find, unless he goes back to the 1950's or 1960's and looks at some grossly outdated information.

The more pertinent advice is to pick and choose how far you want to go with your scenery "reality" and use those techniques which you can most easily understand...then, take photos, post them here at TRW and ask for critiques.  Unfortunately for you, making almost anything in model railroading is a learning process, and it is rarely done well the first time.  Do your experimentation on a piece of Styrofoam or an old box or piece of wood...so you can throw your first efforts away, rather than having them permanently stuck on your layout.  It's a simple fact...you're not going to be happy with your first efforts, and to expect that is unreasonable.

Just sayin'  :D

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 05:02:06 AM by robert3985 »

nscalbitz

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2017, 01:19:25 AM »
0
hi

My 5c worth...

Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery ?
Or Complete Guide To Scenery for idiots?

Herewith a small snapshot of turning the proverbial plywood empire into something a little more realistic. Mr John Nelsons affectionately/ unofficially code named TPW- Tonkinese Pacific & Western layout in Auckland basement. From 2010 an excerpt.

Without mincing words (and reference to Bob above), simplicity is the key.

It's about layers.
The world (and nature) has layers- albeit mostly undiscerned by humans except of the artistic or mechanical brained types.

The brown MDF base board, painted the dreaded latex brown so as to be ready for a layout tour 3 years earlier; was covered with strips of WScenics underlay (spare on hand) to even up the Kato Unitrack (tm) height as seen in the large shot.

Then white glue (wood strength PVA), applied and light layers of sifted and alternate coloured ballasts built up and secured.
On top of this and some 'sawdust coloured' sections at extreme left/ front at facsia light mixtures of WScenics flocks applied over ballast.  Details weeds and German brand tussock tufts, to 'describe' the ROW and serve as visual blocks to building (primarily the engine shed) edges and model contrasts get toned down.


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Not a huge amount of work, except the whole layout was in parts like this, so approx 400 feet of running area to detail. It kept us busy over the last few years.

regards Dave

davidgray1974

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Re: The Compleat Idiot's Guide To Scenery
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2017, 03:10:46 PM »
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You hit the nail on the head...we tend to jump at whatever because "Tony did it" run with it. Europeans seem to really study the lay of the land, so to speak, before they jump in. I wish there were more muted late fall/winter tones available but maybe the market will expand expand if the demand is there. Frary is still viable, I watch his YouTube stuff and he's updated his technique to utilize newer materials plus  there's a guy under the name of Steve's Trains (noted elsewhere) on the YouTubes that has some good beginner tips. I suggest anyone looking for good techniques follow the teachings of the Railwire's own local talent through their layout journals.

JP
Stephen Bennett on YouTube works in HO, but his goal is to capture the same look and realism that most European modelers achieve.  A lot of the products he purchases and uses in his videos are mostly from European manufacturers, but he really does a great job getting that "randomized" look of wild growth. 

As others have stated, Luke Towan is another great source on YouTube for inspiration and instruction on how to do scenery well.  He makes it look stupid easy.

A few others to mention are Trackside Scenery, Model Railroad Hobbyist, Terranscapes, The Terrain Tutor and even Scenic Express just to name a few. 

Good luck and most of all, have fun!

David




Modeling the L&N, well at least a few times a year.