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QUOTE this is TRULY the stuff that modelling is all about??

A text book at my work place describes modelling as "a simplification of reality", so I guess under those terms the question is where on the simplification scale does your modelling interest lie? I am tempted to draw a parallel with historical life story vs memoir. The first is an accurate account of events, the second a looser "flavour" of what happened. So to get back to answer your question, I think it's what some modelling can be about, but if the household detergents industry doesn't pack its wares in a container with a diameter within a few percent of your model of building / vehicle XYZ, it will not be suitable and you will probably have to roll your own.

The point I suspect you are driving at is "You don't have to spend squillions of quid on a ready made model in a box, if all you want is a good representation of something". With an artist's eye or maybe a squint, discarded every day objects may take on the shape of something else entirely.

Whatever else, that thread is food for thought and has that "Wow! that's creative" element to it;

and isn't the creative "buzz" why we do this in the first place?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I believe the secret to getting the best out of nowt lies in the detail?

looking at the handiwork on display, I note that origins are not immediately obvious?

skillful paint jobs, artful weathering, and attention to detail placement are what maks these ''creations'' stand out from the crowd??

that..and a useful,if obscure prototype photograph for inspiration?

[on readinfg the thread,I immediately went and discovered a US-style wood water twoer I'dmade years ago......NO bought-in items at all...merely a suitable plastic jar, with a conical roof out of plastic card...a nightmare to make if I recall.....measuring a problem.....covered in layers of paper homemade shingles.
the tank body was sheathed in vertical wood strips.......laboriously cut out from a piece of de-laminated plywood......I think 'veneer' is an accurate description?

electrical wire [stripped out] was wound round, horizontally,.....forgot the bottlescrews, but there are about 20 bands....all the joins ending up in a line....which got hidden under a vertical piece of wood, a few mills wide....which, when painted white, with a vertical black line, became the water level indicator......

this whole shebang was/is supported on a series of trusses made from square section wood of some sort....but is really supported by a length of 1 inch square wood, which represents the central frost box[which would have had a brazier inside to keep the water from freezing..]........

the spout ...a long conical piece...came from a cheap discarded metal biro........it's properly hinged, held in place with some discarded jewellery chain [I hope it isn't real gold!!]...i t has counter balances, a pull chain, even the thing like a toilet flush.......all copied from an obscure drawing, probably from NG&SL gazzette?

all stained in shades of brown..........the indicator provides just that touch of ''colour'....I used to like my sepia and indian inks for colouring........and boxcar red!

All done because I could not afford one of those fancy craftsman wood kits for a water tower............harrumph!
 

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As the old saying goes "Necessity is the mother of invention". Maybe we have it too easy these days.....

David
 

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What we are seeing here is real modelling requiring skill and imagination. If we were to be making a model fifty years ago then we wouldn't have to resort to kits as there would hardly be any so we would have to make stuff. The temptation now is to peruse the catalogues and buy ready made stuff off the shelf as this is the easy option. The downside of this is that all our layouts end up looking very samey; full of Superquick and Metcalfe kits.

Last year I went on a layout tour of Adelaide with the BRMA convention and the thing that really came to my attention was that all the layouts looked the same. They had different track plans however all the buildings were Superquick and Metcalfe kits. I am noticing the same here in Melbourne too. I wanted to try to get away from that so I have started making structures rather than buying them in.

I think the key to it is to start with an idea or photo of what you intend to acheive rather than starting with a catalogue of kits and seeing how many you can cram into a given space.
 

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Hi Neil,

My own personal observations is that when it comes to buildings, people build them exactly as per the plan.

Not many people paint them (I admit its hard to do with cardboard buildings)

When people build towns they generally build on the stip mentality, a single street with houses on either side (sometimes) but more likely just on one side.

Town planning is an art.

John
 

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Hi Neil,

Its not easy!

I am on revised town plan number 8 or so.

When I first started building my layout (about 8 years ago where has the time gone, thats right, children!) I delibrately left an area 50 cm x 90 cm to build my town. Not a lot happened for a number of years (well until about September last year!) when I finally started building the town kits I have.

As more have been built, I have been able to reposition them so that when it is done (maybe in the next 5 years?) it will have three streets, an alley way and about 16 buildings.

Then its finding cars, people, a tram (Stuttgart outline one from the 1920's, not easy to find) street lights, all the usual stuff to make it look good.

John
 

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I think in the UK we've been so het up about the rather tardy OO/EM/P4 debate, many modeller don't look beyond flanges and wheels to judge how realistic a model is (then forgetting about everything outside the four foot). Everywhere else in the world has been free from this and hence concentrated on the other aspects of creating realism which are is much more important.
 

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Some good ideas on that link. I like the red white and blue bunting idea.

I think the thing about America is, there may not be a handy model shop nearby where you live, and you have to resort to using whatever's to hand. This is the nation that thinks nothing of driving 40 miles to a restaurant for dinner, or 60 miles to church, so I'm not surprised at some of the ingenuity in the modeling.
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 15 Jul 2008, 19:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>http://cs.trains.com/forums/1/1484260/ShowPost.aspx#1484260

I find it amazing that this sort of modelling still goes on?

OK, so US prototypes do tend to lend themselves more to inspiration than UK prototypes, BUT.....this is TRULY the stuff that modelling is all about??

Yes indeed it is.

When you come to think of it we are all like architects in one way or another, planning a city or road, modelling,scratchbuilding, kitbashing, creating housing areas, supplementing those areas with scenary etc..just like a profesional architect does, the only difference being a railroad is passing thru all these.

Baykal
 

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QUOTE (nevardmedia @ 16 Jul 2008, 15:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think in the UK we've been so het up about the rather tardy OO/EM/P4 debate, many modeller don't look beyond flanges and wheels to judge how realistic a model is (then forgetting about everything outside the four foot). Everywhere else in the world has been free from this and hence concentrated on the other aspects of creating realism which are is much more important.

***Funny Chris: I rate your modelling very highly and always enjoy your photo essays as your work both sides of the camera has a real artists touch but..... as a modeller who is fussy about track among other things I'd say exactly the opposite:

I really don't ascribe any dilution of quality in scenery or model realism to an obsessive focus on track - exactly the opposite in fact.... they usually ignore it as an issue.

UK Modellers will often complain loudly about the quality of running or thickness of the windscreen wipers yet happily run their loco on peco's "relatively clunky, unreliable and wildly innacurate by any measurement anywhere in the world" track with nary a comment.

With apologies to the hundreds this will offend (and ignoring the gauge issue totally as I model happily in OO fine, EM and P4), a layout using Peco or any brand of set-track can look "good" but will never ever be "very realistic" because the railway itself is fundamentally inaccurate in turnout design, geometry, rail size, sleeper spacing etc etc... The track and its infrastructure surroundings ARE the railway after all.

Thats not to say a nice model cannot be built or enjoyed, but it IS to say it will never reach its full potential or achieve true realism no matter how skilled the scenery work...

Quality UK modelling is as good as any in the world and real modellers in any country rarely use off the shelf kits, certainly never building them "as is" .... Absolute miracles are frequently accomplished by UK prototype modellers with imagination, plastic, card, DAS modelling clay and a bit of time.....

As to the current thread - yes, in general there is some clever use of waste materials in that US email thread but none of those examples are really very good models, are they... be honest!

Regards

Richard
 

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Yes, to a certain extent we do have it very easy these days. Many of the items used in the link would be very, very diffecult to work out their origins.

Refreshing to see that modelers still use ingenuity & look further than the rails.
 

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I think that irrespective of the prototype or scale, great modelling will always shine and impress people.

It is about attention to detail and building an overall scene where the trains are as much a part of it and the scenary.

Like Richard I think there are some interesting ideas but very little that leap of the page and says "wow look at me". Some of it looks like paper stuck to blocks of wood.

I find it funny that good trackwork lasts forever and poorly laid track is a source of frustration from day one. My first attempts at track work were poor, now they are much better.

John
 

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I have to admit that I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to accesorising - if something looks useable it goes in the scrap box. It's amazing what can be done with discarded household rubbish.

Regards
 

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Well I have to keep you occupied.

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 16 Jul 2008, 17:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Neil,

Its not easy!

I am on revised town plan number 8 or so.

When I first started building my layout (about 8 years ago where has the time gone, thats right, children!) I delibrately left an area 50 cm x 90 cm to build my town. Not a lot happened for a number of years (well until about September last year!) when I finally started building the town kits I have.

As more have been built, I have been able to reposition them so that when it is done (maybe in the next 5 years?) it will have three streets, an alley way and about 16 buildings.

Then its finding cars, people, a tram (Stuttgart outline one from the 1920's, not easy to find) street lights, all the usual stuff to make it look good.

John

I have 50cm by 180 cm however a lot of space is taken up buy the provision for the Faller road system. I may narrow this on one side and put in half relief houses.

QUOTE Like Richard I think there are some interesting ideas but very little that leap of the page and says "wow look at me". Some of it looks like paper stuck to blocks of wood.
The one that really stood out for me was the bridge supported by two sawn off paint brush handles. It looked like a bridge supported by... two sawn off paint brush handles.

QUOTE (nevardmedia @ 16 Jul 2008, 17:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think in the UK we've been so het up about the rather tardy OO/EM/P4 debate, many modeller don't look beyond flanges and wheels to judge how realistic a model is (then forgetting about everything outside the four foot). Everywhere else in the world has been free from this and hence concentrated on the other aspects of creating realism which are is much more important.
Couldn't agree more.
Well said.
 
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