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August 1999 - Page 51


l east clouds. Take these photos with s l ide film so that you can use them to project onto an unpainted backdrop. Outline the scenery with a light pencil . Then paint in the clouds. Next fil l in the outlined areas. There have been several excellent articles that deal with backdrop painting and most use the "fill-in the-blanks" approach. For many people, a wel l -done backdrop can i nstantl y identify the scene. I had mine done by a professional landscape artist. Be prepared to scratchbuild most, if not all , the structures si nce few real buildings have been captured i n kit form. You may also consider scratchbui lding the trackwork to better match the prototype. This is espe cial ly important for turnouts since the proto type has m u c h l onger turnouts ( l i k e # 1 2 through #22s) than any commercially avail able turnouts. E ven i n N-scale, h a n d l a i d trackwork i s not diffi c u l t ( see April-June

1 996 MR G ) . A fter a l l , w i th o u t the train , probably only the track tells the viewer that this is a railroad scene. Both the ATSF bridge and the two build ings on my N-scale FoamRail module were scratchbuilt. I used a computer-aided draft ing (CAD) program to develop the Santa Fe bridge. Fortunately, I had prototype plans to work from for the Moffat Tunnel building, but I still used CAD to refine the prototype p l a n s into model for m . Photos 4-6 show some of the rubber m o l ds that I created w h i l e scratchbuilding the various compo nents for both scenes. Photos 7 and 8 i ll us trate the basic structural models used on the Moffat side of the module. The other proto type photos i l lustrate various details around each of the two scenes that I modeled. They are provided to i l lustrate a sample of what to record when visiting the selected scene. A s a fi nal note, mode l i n g a prototype

s cene can earn you the N M RA Achievement Progr a m ' s Prototype M odeler certificate. Few modelers h ave o b t a i ned t h i s award because of the challenge i t represents. B u t for s o m e , a m o de l i n g c h a l l en ge i s w hat keeps the hobby fresh.

C oncl usion
M o d e l i n g a p ro t o t y p e s c e n e c an b e rewarding, especially i f y o u consider your self an advanced modeler. Prototype model ing is not for the beginning model railroader. Research takes time and commitment. Find ing that elusive piece of data can be frustrat i n g a n d r e w a rd i n g . C o m p r e s s i o n a n d compromise w i l l become necessary watch words during design and mode l ing. Dupli c a t i n g scenery w i l l b e d i ffi c u l t, but not impossible. Finally, the knowledge that you have captured a piece of time and h istory in model form makes it all worthwhile.

P h oto g r a p h a l l w a t e r courses i n the scene.

R ecord all the g rade crossings and their placement along the track. Photograph d e ta i l s l i k e t h e telephone poles.

Ta k e h e a d - o n s h ots of a l l sides of all buildings i n the i m m e d i ate v i c i n ity of t h e chosen site. P h oto g r a p h t h e d i sta n t c l o u d s a n d backg ro u n d for l a t e r d u p l i c a t i o n on t h e backdrop. If p o s s i b l e , r i d e A m t r a k through t h e chosen s ite to g a i n access not n o r m a l ly perm itted. Tra ck is p a rt of the scene, so record a sample of each secti o n for later d u pl i c a t i o n of c o l o r and tie spaci ng.

Ta ke photos of a l l the tracksi d e eq u i p m e nt l i ke this power switch machine.

If s i g n a l s a re i n c l u d e d at t h e s i te, p h o to g r a p h each one.

Even small details l i ke a t e l e p h o n e box should not be overlooked .

P h o to g r a p h e a c h b e n t o f a t r e s t l e whenever possible t o avoid d i screpan cies later. F i e l d n otes d o n't have to be neat j ust reco rd every thing and plan on revisiting the site to o b ta i n o v e r looked items. Signs play a very i m porta nt rol e in d u pl icat ing a prototype scene. Note the relationships betwee n the h i g hway, b r i d g e p i ers and retaining wall.

P h otog r a p h s c a n record the orienta tion and juxtaposi ti o n of va r i o u s deta i l s at t h e scene.
A UG U ST 1999

The e n g i n e i n this p h oto g ra p h p r o v i d e d a ro u g h m e a s u re m e n t o f the span l e n g t h o f the La r k s p u r b ridge !
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M O D E L RAI LR OA D I N G

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