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November 1999 - Page 49


-r"h QrQ o r Q "-\ '-!) riod of \JJ ondQrful I products available to help modelers
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I i n e s and drop l eaves. The natural world

create convincing scenic ground cover. There are also plenty of materials we can find i n our backyards or around the neighborhood that can be used in scenery construction. Mak i ng real i stic looking ground texture is not d i fficult. It requ i res observation of nature, correct application of materials and an understan d i n g o f a few "detai l s and tricks." The observation part is easy. We can journey to the prototype l ocation of our model scene, or rev iew resource pho tographs. (Do not make a model based on a p h o t o g r a p h o f a m o d e l r a i l ro a d . T h i s would b e similar to drawing a cartoon o f a cartoon. ) Some observations o f nature t o consider: where there are cl iffs there is rock debr i s called talus. Under trees there w i l l be fal len leaves and needles, dead branches and even rotting trees. Water courses w i l l have high water marks defined by erosion, color dif ference and the deposit of flotsam. Field grasses w i l l b e in d i ffer e n t c o l o r s and shou l d i n c l ude weeds and flowers . S o i l s contain veins of m i n eral deposits causing the dirt to be multicolored. When people and l ivestock are present, nature is altered. There w i l l be trai l s and paths, fences, vehicle roads and parking lots that i nvade the natural world. There may even be piles of rusting junk and old equip ment. When structures are present they too interact with the scenery. Weeds creep u p foundations and wal l s . Grasses grow in the cracks of pavement. Trees grow above roof
N OVE M B E R 1 999

tries to reclaim its territory. These are just a few of the many things to think about when planning ground texturing for a model rail road layout. Let's discuss some of the com mercial products avai l ab l e for ground tex t u r i n g . Woodland Scenics offers a full l ine of poly foams c1assitied as: Blended Turf, Fine Turf, Course Turf and Extra Course Turf. They also produce fol i age mater i a l s w h i c h are ideal for m a k i n g shrubs and b u s h e s that

should be i nc l uded as part of your ground cover. The turf materials come in an assort ment of colors that work together and are d e s i gnated a s : Earth, S o i l , Yel low Grass, B urnt Grass, Green Grass and Weeds. In the Coarse Turf l ine the names change slightly, b u t t h e c o l o r s s t i l l w o r k t o g e t h e r in a matched system. A . M . S . ! , Scale Model Supplies i s another popular source for ground covers. They have more than 25 colors in three texture grades. A.M.S . ! , also offers 1 7 colors for flowers.

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M O D E L RA I LROAD I N G

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