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Author Previous Topic: Pot Topper: How I use it in scenery construction Topic Next Topic: Electrical Requirements
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Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/04/2006 :  7:35:38 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I decided to open a separate topic for scenery and construction. I hope you enjoy.

Well I got around to trying this goop mixture that I have heard some of you talk about. I have to say my first time of working with it was quite fun. I can see playing with the amounts might be needed as I followed the mag. article to the letter and for my taste it has to much vermiculite in it. I might use half the amount on the next batch.
The first 3 photo's is where I started at this morning after painting the white hardshell. I used to not do this, but have found its one of the best things to prevent those little white specs from showing later and it helps seal the plaster. Otherwise it will absorb the moisture from whatever you use for gluing scenery material down.










I used some different scenic materials today, and I like the result. A product from Scenic express called Silfor. It makes nice looking grass and pretty easy to install compared to using the WS grass.







You can see the silfor in the next 2 pictures. Look for tufffs of medium green grass with some of the tops painted, like dandelions. Its very effective, and I will be ordering more of this soon.





Suprising enough, I worked for about 6 hours to get this much done. I spend more time in areas I feel will get photgraphed more often. Once I get away from the bridge it will go faster. Plus working under a bridge when your fingers hardly fit can be challenging.

Country: USA | Posts: 5879

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/04/2006 :  7:58:47 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I found another use for the goop that really works well.


The first thing I did was to sacrifice on eof the super trees I made earlier.



Break off a stem



I use a pinvise to drill a hole for the tree/bush. Leave the pin vise in the hole as it sometimes can be hard to find the hole.



Put some goop on the stick part that goes in the hole. It fills the hole with the basic color of the scenery. Plus you can move the bush and it stay put.



The next 2 pictures show some of the bushes planted. I know they are hard to see from this angle, but they really look good when looking at them form a lower angle.





I will get better pictures of these little bushes tomorrow and post them, I am real happy with how they turned out.

The last picture shows ground up OAK leaves, this is something new as well for me. I went out in the yard and pulled off some dead leaves off of some OAK tress and used the coffee blender to grind them up. The texture is totally different from what I have ever seen. It has tiny pieces of stems that look like dead bushes that are decomposing. You can see the darker brown in the above photos as well as my first post.







Country: USA | Posts: 5879 Go to Top of Page

Cigarguy
Fireman



Posted - 03/04/2006 :  8:26:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim - Great job on the scenery. It really has that "scrub" look that I remember seeing out west. I have used ground up leaves for years, although not oak leaves. I make some trees from sedum, and I pull the leaves from them when they have dried out. I also pick quite a few various plants from around my flower garden, such as astilbe, when they have dried out. I put these dried pieces in a ziploc bag, the smash the living bejesus out of them. I rub the bag between my hands, rolling it back and forth until it is well ground up. Then, I put these crumbs in an old parmesan cheese shaker (makes a great dispenser, similar to the newest WS dispensers). I usually add into this mixture a bit of finally cut up colored lichen (not the greenish stuff, but the COLORED stuff - red, pinkish, yellow, etc.) I chop the lichen VERY fine, then add it into the mixture. After I lay down the grass on an area, I usually shake a little of this "rough" mixture over it. It just seems to add to the texture, and I believe that texture is the key to good scenery! You obviously have the feel for well textured scenery also.

I continue to be very impressed with your work! More photos! More photos!


Mike
D&B Lumber Co.
"The Best Wood You Ever Saw!"

Country: USA | Posts: 3895 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/05/2006 :  12:52:58 AM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Mike,

This is the first time for me to use ground up Oak leaves. I have tried using sedum for bushes and trees but with not much success. I never thought of grinding them up to use for ground cover...
I don't know about you but each time I do a different segment of the layout its like learning all over again. There are always new products coming out, and I read the articles in magazines that come up with new ways to make scenery look more realistic.
I can tell you enjoy doing scenery on your layout as well, it really shows.

One thing I find with modelers are that scenery is something they like but are reluctant to try. I wonder if that is why there are not more interest in the scenery threads in this forum.

BTW...I like your avatar, but is it my eyes or has it changed again recently? I ought to come up with something, one of these days.

I have really enjoyed sharing photos of the layout, but I don't see very many doing the same thing. Why is that?



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Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/05/2006 :  07:45:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim,
I'm glad that there is another new fan of ground goop. I think that there are two types of vermiculite, one with large chunks, and one with much smaller pieces. Keep your eye out for the smaller stuff. It should be on a lot more shelves as spring approaches. BTW, the stuff will last months in a sealed tupperware type container.


Bruce

Country: USA | Posts: 32764 Go to Top of Page

Cigarguy
Fireman



Posted - 03/05/2006 :  08:08:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting that you mention this, Tim. I have been helping my neighbor build his first layout. He asked about how to do some scenery, so I let him come over and do some scenery on my layout. There was a small area behind my engine facility (maybe 18" square) that really just needed some basic ground cover. I brought out all my supplies, and told him to go at it. I told him what things to use, in what order, etc., and it was just hysterical watching him try to do it. He would CAREFULLY sprinkle the ground foam down, taking forever. I got laughing at him, and I said, "Just sprinkle it on! It's nature, there is not set pattern to grass, sprinkle it on." He said that he was so worried about "messing it up" that he wanted to be exact. I replied, "The only way you can mess it up is to be exact! Nature is random - throw the foam down. If you don't like the looks of it, sprinkle some more on top until you do like it." After a short while of kidding back and forth, he was slinging foam with the best of 'em.

He mentioned that doing the scenery was probably his greatest fear about building the railroad, but when we were done with our mini-tutorial, he said he couldn't believe how easy it was. Now, he comes over and isn't afraid to help out with the scenery, and is learning to just do it!

We may be a separate breed, Tim. I can't tell you how many people I have spoken to that don't really care about doing the scenery. There are those whose primary focus is moving trains, and that is ok. There are those, like myself, who get more enjoyment out of building a mini-world, and the trains add animation to it. There is no right and there is no wrong - it is up to each individual to decide for themselves how best to enjoy this great hobby.

Which leads me to respond to your next question, "Why don't more people post photos of there work?" I can only tell you my own experience. For years I have been a "lone-wolf" modeler. I am building my layout for ME, and only ME. I never wanted to share it with anyone. My fantastic wife kept telling me that I need to share my layout with others, as they would enjoy seeing it. However, deep down inside, I felt that my work wasn't good enough for public display. I am a regular operator on about 5 different model layouts, and really enjoy sharing with this group of friends, although it is more appropriate to say they shared with me. I never had anyone over to see my layout, I always went to theirs.

That changed one day when my friends and I were driving to a swap meet about a year or so ago. We were having this same discussion, and one of the guys (that is quite an accomplished modeler) asked me why I didn't show people my work. I told him that I really didn't know and that I just felt funny about it. He asked me if it was because I thought my work wasn't good enough to share with others. That question kind of hit me like a ton of bricks - yes, if I was being honest with myself, it was my own insecurity about my work that prevented me from sharing.

A short time later, my friend Larry (Clinch Valley here on RR-L) asked me if he could come over and see my layout. I told him that I would be honored to have him come over. He brought with him several friends of his that I really, really respect as model railroaders (one being John DePauw of E,J, & E fame... the layout you operated on). I must admit I was scared to death about what they might think - and then out came the cameras. They kept telling me how great the details were, etc., and that I should be open for the NMRA tours. The final straw was when one of the guys told me, "People would line up to see your layout." Since I respect the high quality of these gentlemans work, I took their words to heart. Later that same month, a local RR club asked about coming over and I said, "Sure." Since then (this has all been in the last year or so...) I have had probably over 100 visitors to my layout. I have joined this great forum, and have not been afraid to share my work publicy (via this site).

So, it may just be that many people, like me, lack the confidence to share their work. Will I ever be in the same league as some of the great modelers that frequent these forums? Certainly not, but I have learned to quit trying compare myself to them, to have confidence in my own work, and to just quit worrying about what others might think. I can tell you that this has certainly improved my enjoyment of the hobby, and I continue to learn new tricks and techniques from great "artists" such as yourself.

Well, I guess I have rambled on long enough. Sorry to diverge from your great thread, I don't mean to take away from your work with my ramblings. I look forward to seeing more great photos of your fantastic work.

Oh - and yes my avatar has changed. It was somewhat hard to read, so Joe T. was kind enough to doctor it up for me a little to make it easier to read.






Mike
D&B Lumber Co.
"The Best Wood You Ever Saw!"

Edited by - Cigarguy on 03/05/2006 08:13:24 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 3895 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/05/2006 :  9:18:31 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Back to work on rural bridge, its ready to be set in place. I added nuts and bolts and weathered it today.


had to modifiy it do that where it meets the backdrop was not straight on. That is harder to disguise, than a road going at an angle.





the last two pics show some of the nut and bolt castings. I like how it makes it more realistic looking, at least I think it does.






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Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/08/2006 :  12:53:59 AM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I am almost finished with the Rock Springs bridge scene. The bridge and terrain is modeled after the prototype.
I have to say I really like this Silfor, but it does take time to install it.









Ah ha..I see a bit of plaster to hide yet



All that is really left foe this scene is a little touch up and ballast/weather the track.






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jknapp
Fireman

Posted - 03/08/2006 :  09:11:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit jknapp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Tim.....that looks REALLY good! Great job...


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Cigarguy
Fireman



Posted - 03/08/2006 :  10:40:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome, Tim!

Mike
D&B Lumber Co.
"The Best Wood You Ever Saw!"

Country: USA | Posts: 3895 Go to Top of Page

Jim T
Fireman



Posted - 03/08/2006 :  11:27:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks great, Tim. I really like the coloring on the rural bridge.

Jim



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Bbags
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/09/2006 :  08:21:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim,

Looks really, really good.
I have been busy printing out pictures from your posts as the sparse look of vegetation is something that I will also use and the pictures really tell the story.

I noticed no backdrop where you are now working.
Are you going to use a printed one or will you be covering the scenery so that it can be painted on the wall.

I am sure you might have posted this in the past but just how big is the area for your layout.
It just seems to keep going and going.

Keep on posting these great pictures and descriptions so that I can keep on copying them.



John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

Country: USA | Posts: 13326 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/09/2006 :  8:22:11 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
John,

In this particular case I will have the backdrop painted later. The reason being is there a number of scenes that tie directly into the backdrop, roads, bridges, and buildings. In my mind painting now would only create a nice looking backdrop but not an integrated one.
Actually it will be nice to post photos without the backdrop and then with them.

As far as the size of the layout goes it has grown over the 15+ years of modeling. It started in one room and then grew into another. Julie and I then decided to add on to the house and I told Julie that if we just dug down another 3 feet, we could have a basement. I recall mentioning something about a game room etc but she knew better That gave me more room to expand and build a better track plan. Well that was in 2001 and after a lay off from RR for a couple years, I am now here. The RR occupies the whole basement approx 2500 sq ft. except for the crew lounge. It is way to big for 1 person, but there are a number of fellows that have been helping the last couple years and we have made great progress. Plus it has been great fun to get to know each other better.
Wow I really rambled..sorry.



Country: USA | Posts: 5879 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/09/2006 :  8:44:03 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Mike,

I have been thinking about what you wrote and I think you are on too something. I know personally when I first got on this forum I looked around and I thought, wow I am out of my league. But after hearing all the helpful hints and the willingness for people to share, I thought to myself, I have things that people might be interested in and I started making post. It doesn't matter how great a modeler you are, its just more important that your a modeler. No matter what your skill level.
When it comes to people sharing scenery work I think Mike there is an uphill battle. But one that can be overcome if we and others start sharing their techniques and our scenery adventures. We might get others to do the same. I do know that that scenery is one of the most active sites on the forum, so that tells me there is interest.

I don't know of anything that can be as rewarding to a modeler that to see there engine running through a scenic area or their structure positioned in a beautiful setting. I hope that if others read this that they will start posting and asking questions. Scenery work in my opinion is just as challenging as building a fine craftsman kit, or as easy as building a beginner type model. It can be whatever you want it to be.
The challenge is to get people to try it. Hopefully this forum is one way of doing that.



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Bbags
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 03/10/2006 :  09:29:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mike and Tim,

I can add a little history maybe to this discussion.
I have been a member of this forum since it's infancy and also this forum was once closed for an extended period of time due to a flame war.

When the forum came back on-line there was only a hand full of members who returned and aside from the good morning threads the forum was very quiet.

What rejuvenated interest in the forum was a construction thread for Foss' Landing and there were really only 4 of us who were actively involved in that discussion.

However other people were reading and did get involved in building other kits and then there were the original Challenge projects.

Thus the main focus of the forum seemed to be on building kits and dioramas which many still only build at the present.

While we have probably the largest collection of premier modelers anywhere on the web we also have at this point in time an influx of new members such as yourselves who are interested in showing progress in modeling their layouts.

The model Railroad Construction forum was not very popular back then and as a means of creating more interest in this part of hobby I decided to set up as stickies some of the basic topics that are needed to make a layout.

Tim, you are correct that Scenery is one of the most read topics on the forum and Backdrops is not far behind.

So thanks to the people such as yourselves who have stirred interest in this part of the hobby for you and others deserve credit for opening a new door to the forum.

As to whether or not people are afraid to show their work I would hope not.
I am a complete newby as far as layouts go as I am just starting my first one but I learned a long time ago in the construction threads that the best way for me to improve my modeling was to post what I had modeled and then ask for suggestions as to how to improve it.

I will continue to do so and hope others will continue to do the same.

Sorry to be so long winded but Tim you asked a good question and Mike you also gave a very good answer.



John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

Country: USA | Posts: 13326 Go to Top of Page

Cigarguy
Fireman



Posted - 03/10/2006 :  11:33:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim,
I have been studying the last set of photos you posted here, and I have a few questions about the silfor. I looked on the Scenic Express website, and to me it looks like the silfor comes in "sheets" of landscape. If this is the case, do you just lay it down and then put dirt, etc. between the clumps? Your ground is so realistic looking, I can't imagine that it is right out of the box. Certainly you have added to the silfor, but can you elaborate on how?


Mike
D&B Lumber Co.
"The Best Wood You Ever Saw!"

Country: USA | Posts: 3895 Go to Top of Page
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