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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With my wiring of the layout almost complete I am wanting to make a start on the scenic part of the layout.

The trouble is I have an idea in my head on how I want it to look but where do I start. Is there a rule that you follow when you are planning what your layout is going to look like scenic wise and how you go about making a start.

I mean I was wondering if there are any programs like the hornby hvr2 program where you can build scenery including adding scatter buildings and other things like signals so you can try first away from the layout until you are happy with what you want without going head first onto the layout and then having to rip it up and start again when it just doesn't look right.
 

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QUOTE (harkins77 @ 24 Jul 2008, 21:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>With my wiring of the layout almost complete I am wanting to make a start on the scenic part of the layout.

The trouble is I have an idea in my head on how I want it to look but where do I start. Is there a rule that you follow when you are planning what your layout is going to look like scenic wise and how you go about making a start.

I mean I was wondering if there are any programs like the hornby hvr2 program where you can build scenery including adding scatter buildings and other things like signals so you can try first away from the layout until you are happy with what you want without going head first onto the layout and then having to rip it up and start again when it just doesn't look right.

*** To be honest I think that the right concept is to decide then plan the look and features of the layout before the track is finally planned in any way - that is the only way to create a natural looking set of scenery, as then, just like on the prototype, the track goes where it can due to geography and the railway goes to where it needs to go to service industry. Rai lservice facilities end up placed where convenient for the services needed after the PURPOSE of the railway is already decided.

Putting down the track then trying to shoe-horn in buildings will always be a challenge to realism.

Richard
 

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As Richard said you really need to do this before laying track. Your scenery has to be planned first, as with a real railway, otherwise it looks like an add on or afterthought.

I start with the topography and plan my slopes and contours, then figure where bridges and tunnels will go. I do all of this on paper first before building anything and mull it around for months before actually getting any tools out. The most important thing is to have a railway cutting through a landscape rather than having scenery built round track. This is what differentiates a train set from a model railway from my perspective.

Once the landscape has been designed and decided on I start from the bottom up. First plaster for the base, colour it place model grass or whatever on it, bushes then finally trees. Before you start your model railway you would be best to plan what areas will be urban or rural and what is going where. That way the terrain will be appropriate for the topography you intend to put on it.

I have done a fair bit of scenic work on my layout to date. I have shown photos of various scenics in my blog which may give you some ideas. I'm not saying it's any good just that it may give you some ideas about what stuff to use. I would recommend Chris Nevard's website for some ideas on how to make good scenery as he seems to be the best at this.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 24 Jul 2008, 23:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The most important thing is to have a railway cutting through a landscape rather than having scenery built round track. This is what differentiates a train set from a model railway from my perspective.
A point that seems to get overlooked too often, although I've been guilty of that myself in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so with me already planning and laying the track on my layout is it all lost before I have even started doing the scenics then or is the way I have designed my layout with sidings in mind and a depot area built in to it still saved me a little bit?
 

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QUOTE (harkins77 @ 25 Jul 2008, 16:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>so with me already planning and laying the track on my layout is it all lost before I have even started doing the scenics then or is the way I have designed my layout with sidings in mind and a depot area built in to it still saved me a little bit?
To be honest it depends on your track plan. Can you show us it? If it is a depot then you're probably OK. It is when you want rolling hills, cuttings and bridges that you need to plan at the beginning. Depots are usually in flat areas so you may well be OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok here is the essential scenic areas I have based the layout with at the moment.

As you will see the backboard will have 2 opening 1 at either side of the layout for trains to come and go from the front scene to the fiddle/storage area.
 

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Hi,

While it is easy to build up unless you have planned to build "down" when building you baseboard you could have some difficulty. Here are a couple of pictures kind of showing what I am talking about. Note that the layout is 1.2 meters wide at this point and has a single line curving its way through it.



Here is IMHO a very good site showing layout plans and scenic interaction. Note that it is in germans and the track plans are probably no good for a british layout, but some great ideas about scenic interation.

http://lokalbahn-reminiszenzen.de/gleispla...an_frameset.htm

Cheers

John
 

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Fear not! I think all is not lost.
It is still easy to add hills and even cutting after the track is in place. I used blocks of insulating faom covered with plaster cloth and plaster, which is easy to sculpture to rock strata while still wet.
Other option with your lay out is to consider an urban/industrial setting which can all be of basically the one level, or with a row of houses lifted up a few inches behind a nice arched retaining wall, the arches of which could also be converted to small workshops etc.
Or the possibility to put a higher section in one corner with a canal and lock, the main length of canal being at your base level, perhpas then going to a large mill building at the other corner which will 'frame' your centre section nicely.
Check out magazines for other insperations, Good luck!
Duztee
 

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This is why I decided to make a 'Model of the Model'.

My layout design meant that there is hardly any level track anywhere apart from actually in the station areas and I needed to work out the topography of the land so that, as has been said before, it will look as though the railway line has been carved through the natural contours.

I did post some pictures in an earlier thread but here are a couple of them again to show how I set about it.

Wood Rectangle Beige Floor Flooring Camouflage Wood Flooring Landscape Scale model Wood Rectangle Wood stain Floor Flooring

I know that not everyone has the time, or maybe even the patience, to do this sort of thing but it has been well worth the time and effort. For example, you will see in the first picture that I had originally intended to have a level crossing just before the branch line terminus but when I built up the scenery it made more sense, topographically, for it to be a road overbridge.

All I can offer as advice is that if you are going to do the real thing straight away, keep an open mind and be prepared to change any pre-conceived ideas you may have had.

I have actually finished the model now and am putting together backgrounds from photographs which will, hopefully, give more depth and realism to the whole thing. I will post more pictures when this is done.

Cheers,

Expat
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 26 Jul 2008, 09:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Look at International Models website for some good stuff.

Hi Neil,

Yes I've looked at their backgrounds but they are a bit flat and seemed to be aimed at single level layouts.

At the moment I'm scouring the web for suitable photos to 'Photoshop'. I've got most of what I need from a site called 'Pictures of England.com' but am having difficulty finding post WW2 urban pictures in colour. It looks as though I might have to settle for the ones from Townscene with low-relief buildings in front of them.

Just need a few hours to merge pictures together and find a way of printing them out 2 metres long.

Cheers,

Trevor
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok so I've been messing around with the Windows paint program and I have drawn what the basic board and back scenes are going to look like. Of course the front backboard is missing so you can see inside of it but it gives you the idea. I'm just trying to work out now how to draw the buildings with perpective in mind so it looks right on the picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I think it's about time for an update.

Things on the layout came to halt recently with work being so stressfull trying to get back upto speed so I can complete all of my duties as I did before my illness reared it's ugly head.

I had ideas of what I wanted to get done on the layout and I started back on the layout again tonight by getting the backscene boards cut for round where I stand tonight and I will making a concious effort to try and get them fitted to the layout tomorrow whilst the family is out for the day. So hopefully it will give me a good base to get the rest of the backboards sorted over my days off and start to make some more progress instead of just running trains on the layout with no scenery to add interest.

I will try and get some pictures online tomorrow once i get it sorted out and fitted up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I've got the boards in place to hide little old me from sight when they still need a little fettling and filling in certain areas due to my ability not to be able to cut boards straight as I need. Don't worry though filler in the corners will hide my mess ups. all I need to do now is to make the rest of the backboards that will hide the front part of the layout to the back and the wood is over my parents and will hopefully get cut tomorrow whilst i'm over there for dinner.

I've also ordered from North Eastern models some peco girder plate bridge sides to act like a tunnel entrance to the back of the layout.

The pics will show you how much I got done today and the 2nd pic will show the the view that the locos will see heading off the layout to the fiddle yard area at the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well since my last post earlier I have managed to get the side bits of wood cut and this evening I have fitted them in place and I'm really pleased with the results.

Have a look below and see what you think. Now to just do the side boards for the edges and I will be set. Apart from that I'm just about ready to start the scenics of the layout.
 

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Is there any reason you decided to go with square corners rather than curved corners?

Scenicing really is the fun, I can actually see some result phase!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Do you mean the square corners round where I stand if that's it then it is basically going round where i stand but the edges won't be a problem as I'm planning the scenics to hide the sharp edges to the joins of the wood. so if I get it right you won't notice them well on the side bits anyway on the bit that goes down the front of the layout I will try and smooth them out but it's basically following the line of the inside edge of the board where i stand.
 
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