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August 1999 - Page 46

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or many, modeling the prototype can lead to several alternatives. One can su perdetai l a d iesel to represent a speci fi c type and even a specific locomotive. Or one can model a real building, down to the inte rior deta i l s and all the roof l ines and vents. A few try to model the scenery around a real b u i l d i n g . B u t fewer yet try to model a whole prototype scene, i n c l u d i ng track l ayout, b u i l d i ngs and surrounding scenery. The thrust of the hobby these days (and probabl y even more i n the fut u re ) i s to wards more prototype perfection. The free lancer is becoming a m i nority as more products are developed that s i m u late the real thing. For me, prototype mode l i n g has been l i m i ted to l ocomotive and rol l i ng stock detai l i n g u n t i l recently. As a member of the Boulder Model Rail road Club (BMRC ) N-scale FoamRail group ( s e e J u n e 1 9 9 5 M odel R a ilroadin g ) , I e lected to design and b u i ld an 8 ' N-scale foam module (see Photos 1 and 2). With my commitment to fine-scale N-scale (see July 1 996 and October 1 997 MRG) a nd an inter est in doing further prototype model ing, I chose to m o d e l t w o c o m plete prototype scenes near where I l ive: the east entrance of the Rio G rande's Moffat Tunnel and the large Santa Fe g i rder bridge found on the J o i n t L i n e j u st south of Denver. W h a t I found during the process was eye-opening, especially since I am usually a died-in-the wool freelanceI'. In this article, I hope to give you some idea of what I faced in modeling the prototype and how I solved it. For many who have done this type of modeling before, this article j ust contains common sense. For others, maybe I can alert you to some of the problems and joys in modeling the prototype scene. The photos w i l l both entertain you and g i ve you perspective on my efforts. I wish to thank John Templeton of the BMRC for his comments and camera knowledge in writing this article.


L eft: R i o G r a n d e S 045 exits East Po rta l of t h e M offat Tu n n e l on t h e a uthor's N-scale FoamRail module.


C hoosing a Site and Era
A ll o f the decisions y o u m u s t make dur ing the project w i l l probably be dependent on each other. Change one decision and that w i l l change another. One of the first and maybe the hardest decisions to make is the choice of location to model and when to model it! You have only a fixed amount of model real estate and there are probably ten times more railroad scenes that interest you. Maybe it's a bridge or a particular piece of scenery that has captured your attention. Maybe i t ' s a particular track arrangement A U G U ST 1 999

T he N-scale Moffat Tunnel mod ule is posed next to the real thing !


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