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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been taking a look at my layout as it is from old pictures and also taking a look although it is not completed but when I compare pictures of what I have and what other people are or have done and I can't work out why my design/scenery doesn't look real like others.

I know that it is down to skills and items being available to add to the layout.

Can anyone make suggestions to try and make it seem better or is it me just being hyer-critical considering this is only my 2nd layout.

I don't mind brutal comments I can take it.
 

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Without having seen any pics of your layout, it's hard to pin down what he cause may be. However usuall unrealistic scenery is down using too course or unrealistic material and lack of detail.

The pics of Madkitten's layout are excellent examples of how good a layout can look...
 

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I not sure if this is helpful, but when I do my scenery I try to have a Picture in front of me to compare what I am try to create. My layout is made up of sections of photos from steam world ect. magazines.
 

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No harm in being critical of your own work. It's the best way to be

Good suggestions already, but it's hard without seeing it. You mentioned photos - poor lighting can make them seem less realistic. Some good cast shadows can work wonders, but you won't get them if the lighting is too weak or is all-pervading and from all directions.

Mike
 

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Are you being too hard on yourself?
What about doing mini dioramas until you're more satisfied. Practice makes perfect! Don't give up though.
 

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QUOTE (harkins77 @ 17 Dec 2007, 05:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have been taking a look at my layout as it is from old pictures and also taking a look although it is not completed but when I compare pictures of what I have and what other people are or have done and I can't work out why my design/scenery doesn't look real like others.

I know that it is down to skills and items being available to add to the layout.

Can anyone make suggestions to try and make it seem better or is it me just being hyer-critical considering this is only my 2nd layout.

I don't mind brutal comments I can take it.

***A good modeller is never satisfied, so its positive U are seeking improvement - and we are all more critical of our own work than others would be.

Failing being able to see some of your work the only advice I can give is model what you DO see, not what you THINK you see - as someone else said, use photo's and real world reference a lot and really do think about the scale of detail (much of it is far too coarse; done), its placement and its colouring - generally lots of subtlety and things that look "right" in relation to each other is the key to a harmonious model.

Richard
 

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I always glance at a picture to gauge the colour then work with out it. I would reccommend that you do not just use one type of cover to create the ground colour - I use 8 - 10 different colour coverings to build up a complete range of different shades and textures. No ground ( except maybe football pitches etc ) are flat so try and create a rough cover before you start to cover with Flocks etc.

If you could post some pictures of your work so far so we can see what you have done.

If you need any help please IM me with any questions i will be happy to help you. If you want to see what sort of scenery i do please look here.

http://www.modelrailforum.com/forums/index...amp;#entry42020

Nikki
 

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Colours- Try and use natural colours, earth tones, greens, ochre etc. avoid blues and anything that is bright unless you are trying to attract the viewer eg pillar box, fire hydrant etc.

Static grass is rather good and easily available from Blackwells of Hawkwell Static Grass
 

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I would agree it's hard to judge without evidence of where you perceive the problem to be. If you mean the scenery doesn't "flow" then maybe look at photos, visit your local station, or even look around the streets. You'll soon see what you think is missing and be able to act on it.

Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry for not adding the pictures to this feed I was rushed into hospital last night I had to cut the feed short.

I have since got back with a semi clean bill of health and I can't find the pictures that were on my fotopic site that I just erased.

I am frantically searching my cd/dvd collection to try and find the backups but if I can't then I will take some more tomorrow to show you what I mean about my layout seeming a bit naff.
 

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One thing that I have found helpful is to photograph my layout and when reviewing the photos I usually see loads of mistakes or blank bits that need sceniced or whatever. I then go back and do these bits. It's a process of continuous improvement. Never stops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I must admit there are parts of the layout that I like but I feel there is somethings missing and I can't work it out.

It just doesn't seem real enough to me.

Hopefully when I get the pictures online you will be able to see what I mean.
 

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I have had a look at several of your pictures. There are some suggestions below but I hasten to add that I would not claim to be able to do any better.

1. It would have helped if the backscene could have been at least twice as tall. Is it possible to do this at this stage? Also to my eye the sky looks too dark a blue. I think that it needs to be a lighter blue or if dark then more of a grey colour.

2. Much of the grass looks a bit too light. On the other hand the bit by the tunnel mouths looks good.

3. The yellow building is . . . well too bright a yellow.

Hope this helps. Cheers, Robert.
 

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Hmm,

well i've now looked at some pix and my first thoughts were the sky is to dark and the grass is to green. On top of this I would suggest that you need to blend the backscene into the foreground and possibly vegetate some of the open areas.

My personal method for grass is to mix an assortment of flocks so that the colour is not uniform with darker areas under trees to represent fallen foliage etc.

Having said that I think the basics are there they just need a bit of fettling.

Regards
 

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I would have to agree with other people on this thread. The grass is far far to green and flat. I would firstly use some different greens and also introduce some browns into the mix as well. I suggest you get a mist sprayer and mix a glue mix of about 60% water 40% PVA glue ( i use evostick PVA ) keep spraying building up odd patches of colour. Also i would reccommend using static grass or static flock ( noch or Gaugemaster ) and a puffer bottle. Spray the ground area and then puff the grass on to it - it will stand on end. once that has dried - use a different colour and lightly dust with that etc. Keep doing it till you have built up a nice colour that you are happy with. To create rough ground either use lots of small bits of seaform glued down onto the grass layer than spray that with gluemix and then puff over it till it just looks like the ground layer - this will allow you to build a completly natural ground layer. There are many other methods i use as well - But im not very good at explaining it here so if you want any more help ask me questions and i will answer them as best i can. I dont mind if you IM me.

The backboard i also agree with others on - I think the blue is too uniform and too dark. It might be best to try and lighten it up and also to maybe add clouds to it etc. I will say though that other parts of your work are good and any help i can offer then just ask.

Hope this helps

Nikki
 

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Thanks for the comments so far the actual back scene as been painted by using proper painting oils that my father did for me.

I see what you mean about the backscenes not being too big I too was unsure on wether it needed to be bigger when I first had it built. I just didn't know how high to go with it that is the problem.

With regards to the grass I think that the lights I have in the shed make the grass seem lighter than it is but I will give mixing the flock a try and try and build up the levels to make it have more texture to the grass and levels.

With regards to the backgrounds would you suggest me using the backscene rolls?

The problem I have is that where the track has been laid down I will be struggling to add much more depth to the backing.

With regards to the details is there anything else that could be added/taken away to make the layout come to life?

I am having a creaters blank at the moment and even going down to my local stations and tracks nearby I'm struggling to find things.

At the bottom of the main loop though I am making platforms with the possibility of adding a bridge over the tracks to join them up and also to add a station building or two.

There are also signals that I am going to have to add but the space where the track leads off from the main loop going into the sheds are I am struggling to work out what to put in the space left wthout adding more tracks which will mean ripping up existing ballasted track and adding from lines.

Do you think I should keep it as an industrial site and if so apart from what I have in metcalfe kits what else can you guys suggest to use as buildings? I have the new heljan building to add which was just the white building on my fotopic site and not the yellow one. I just don't want to have this area that seems to come to nothing.
 

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QUOTE I am having a creaters blank at the moment and even going down to my local stations and tracks nearby I'm struggling to find things.

The thing that struck me about the yard photo was the uniformity of appearance. It reminds me of the look you get when there's been a fresh fall of about a foot of snow - all the undulation and subtle colour differences disappear. Perhaps adding some "untidiness" with height would make a difference. Rummage through your "odds and sods" box, maybe you've got some stuff which would make some convincing clutter - a stack of sleepers, a small hut for the fitters to brew up. A boundary fence, some discarded packing cases, a skip? Maybe a telegraph pole. These yards are rarely tidy places unless they have just been cleared for redevelopment.

David
 

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I agree you need a taller backscene. At 22ins high mine might seem like overkill, but it definitely helps by focussing attention on the miniature world I'm trying to build. Photos are far better for it. Perhaps you could experiment with a sky painted onto a taller board that can be propped up behind things when taking photos. I found that very helpful myself before the backscene was done.
If you vary your grassy areas by adding some different colours as suggested already, or by creating some paths or gravel roads or even some bare patches I think they'll look better. Can you undulate the ground just a bit?
Another thing you could try is carefully weathering the buildings, especially low down, by sparingly rubbing or brushing on some powdered green and brown pastel. They would sit down better. Don't overdo it though.
Maybe as David mentioned the ballast is a bit too much around the loco sheds, although I have no knowledge of the real thing. It looks as though it would be very rough to walk or drive on. I like the older shed alongside the new. Apart from the bright yellow one, I think all your buildings look good.
Some planked track crossings in appropriate places would help too.
That said, these are only things that I'd be trying if it were mine, and I think yours is coming along really well.

Mike
 
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