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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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Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman



Posted - 03/17/2008 :  4:18:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, what John said times 3


Country: USA | Posts: 4630 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/17/2008 :  4:34:16 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks everyone, nice to hear you like it. I really enjoy working with scenery, and its nice to have a large section pretty well complete. I enjoy the desert scenery, but sometime I would like to try my hand at rural America as well.

Mark,
I did not use goop on the latest scenery. Instead I painted the plaster with earth tone colors and then highlighted it with light colors. Then I built up with regular play sand, added different colors of dirt (clay) then 3 colors of ground foam. Yellow coarse, and light green from woodland scenics. Then I used a bluish green coarse turf from a company in Wyoming. I think its called Sweetwater scenery products (I threw the bag away). Perhaps somebody can jump in here and help.
I need to find out, as the bluish green is what you are seeing I think. It really gives a nice look for an arid area, a little bit like sage.





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

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/17/2008 :  4:47:00 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Mark,

Here is the link to their products. I am not certain if this is the right color though. They make some really neat scenic materials. Have a look at their tress, there very realistic.http://www.sweetwaterscenery.com/ct_PR10402.htm


John, Ken and Al,
I am flattered, especially coming from the 3 of you.

One of my goals for 2008 is to submit an article for publication, it's not about scenery though. Perhaps one of the RR mags will like it.
Thanks again, its back to work on the layout.



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

Peterpools
Engineer



Posted - 03/17/2008 :  6:03:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Peterpools's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Tim
I am constantly amazed at how realistic your scenery and backdrops are; the mark of a scenic artist.
Peter



Country: USA | Posts: 12335 Go to Top of Page

belg
Fireman



Posted - 03/17/2008 :  6:23:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tim Kerkhoff

One of the things I see modelers do, is try to get the background to detailed thus causing a tough blend between the 3D and the backdrop. In most cases if you look at the backdrop it is not very detailed where it meets the scenery. Give it a try and see what you think.
More to come over the next few days.



Tim, could you elaborate a little on your thought about not trying to over detail the backdrop? I'm trying to get my head around this concept but in the corner where you have the moon there seems to be a very well defined mountain scene on the backdrop and in your scenery, is this one of your exceptions to your own rule? Thanks and if I'm ever in your area I would love to see your layout first hand. Absolutely stunning!!!! Pat



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Brunton
Crew Chief



Posted - 03/17/2008 :  7:05:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit Brunton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tim Kerkhoff

Mark,

Here is the link to their products. I am not certain if this is the right color though. They make some really neat scenic materials. Have a look at their tress, there very realistic.http://www.sweetwaterscenery.com/ct_PR10402.htm
Thanks, Tim!
I checked out the website. I e-mailed the company, asking for their recommendations on sagebrush-colored foam (the colors in the photos on the site are hard to judge).



Country: USA | Posts: 545 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/17/2008 :  8:21:48 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Tim, could you elaborate a little on your thought about not trying to over detail the backdrop?


Pat, I think I understand what you are saying. In the open praire shots there isn't many landforms, other than some rolling hills. When you are looking at the corners you see mountains on the backdrop tieing into 3D mountains. This is what your thinking is more detailed...right?
A good example of what I am talking about is the praire shots, but also the mountains as well. If you look at the last photo you wil see an out cropping on the backdrop. To me this has a structure but very little detail. Imagine if that was a photo I glued on the backdrop in place of the out cropping. The photo more than likely would have much more detail, showing rocks that have fallen and typically warmer colors. Look at it again, you will see blues and lighter colors, thus giving it a more far away look. I am not saying that I don't like photo backdrops,, I just think they are hard to pull off when you have open sky country. Details in the backdrop draw the viewers eye, frankly I would rather have them look at the details of the scenery or the train itself.
I will give you that where a 3D mountain meets directly with a wall, there is more detail, but it is hopefully subtle.
Look again and you will see what I am talking about, I hope. Perhaps Chris could jump in and help me explain this. Ohhhhh Chris.


This might be a good place to share a philosphy with the forum, not that it is right, it's just mine.
When one enters the layout room I feel it should grab the viewer, its the WOW effect. The backdrop sure helps with that. However, then it's important to guide the viewers eye, what is it that you want them to see next, or what is it that you don't want them to see. In either case I pay close attention to their reactions and what they notice. No matter what the size layout you can pull off some pretty neat stuff. Here is an example I saw on a small layout.

When you walked into the train room his lights were turned up bright. The backdrop was painted blue with a nice horizon line, plus some distant trees. You instantly saw one of the main attractions, which was a huge viaduct. You couldn't miss it and it was the first place you walked up to. You seen the overall layout, but yet it pulled you into the loop, to gain a closer look. The WOW effect. Once you drooled over ever inch of the viaduct you couldn't help noticing something catching your right eye. It was one of his scratchbuilt structures that had exterior lighting. Fromm there you seen other structures that was not so detailed on the outside, but the interiors were lighted and detailed. All of this guided the viewers eye. At no time did I see the pole that was in the middle of the layout.

For those who love the wide open spaces, I wanted something different. That is why the backdrops are painted like they are. To help create that illusion. I could go on and on, but I want to add that a backdrop alone is only a part of the illusion. The lighting and 3D scenery will play important part as well.

I will share a couple of comments that I have had from people who has operated on the layout.
One of them said, Tim I don't want to hurt your feelings but when I operate trains you really don't notice the backdrop. You have to pay attention to the signals etc. (hmm no kidding) At that moment I felt very proud, of course that ended shortly as I watched his train derail going through a crossover.
Another comment came from a non-railroader after viewing the layout. He said that he felt as though he was being pulled into scenes one at a time. Once he was done looking at that scene there was another one to pull him in. In this case the backdrop and lighting plays a large part.
My point is to consider these things when you design and build the layout. Don't get me wrong, operations are very important to me as well, but I believe it's important to consider such things

Okay I am done ranting.

Thanks Peter, Mark if I happen to find the color I will let you know. I thought I had a couple of extra bags.




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

Cigarguy
Fireman



Posted - 03/17/2008 :  8:34:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim,
I just finished looking at the last round of photos. Like others, I too am truly awestruck by the magnificent scenery. I completely share your philosphy of the "WOW" factor when it comes to the layout and the backdrops.
You have truly wet my appetite for seeing your great layout in person (2 weeks and counting!).

I think that MR should include your layout in the top 20 of all time!


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

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

hunter48820
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/18/2008 :  12:44:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
[i]I enjoy the desert scenery, but sometime I would like to try my hand at rural America as well.



Hey Tim,
I just live up I69 from you and I have alot of space for rural America on my three deck Nashville Road layout. I'ts a blank canvas just waiting for an artist. I've determined that I'm not, not that I can't or don't want to learn!!

Now doesn't that just make your mouth water???


Look out for #1, but don't step in #2!

Andy Keeney
Dewitt, MI

Country: USA | Posts: 6117 Go to Top of Page

MarkF
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 03/18/2008 :  1:28:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tim Kerkhoff

[quote] My point is to consider these things when you design and build the layout. Don't get me wrong, operations are very important to me as well, but I believe it's important to consider such things



Tim, I couldn't agree with your philosophy more! I've always said to local friends that in building a layout, especially a large layout, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the scenery and the backdrop. There is a fine line between not enough detail and too much detail. It really all depends on what aspect of the hobby interests you the most. If it's operations, then during design and construction, this is where your focus should be. If it is more for display, then focusing in scenes, building placement, the backdrop, etc. is where your focus should be. Of course, both are important aspects to the layout as everyone wants their layout to operate smoothly and look good as well.

I think that you've captured it perfectly, and to your credit, to have done so on such a large layout is amazing! I too am more of an operator and having operated on many layouts, I've noticed that I am more focused on the trains and what I am doing rather than on the layout itself. You see the scenery and details, but more as a backround to what you are doing. It amazes me sometimes that on some layouts that I've operated on dozens of times, during down times I'll walk around and see things that I've never noticed before!

Yet, as you say, when I am visiting a layout, this is when you notice the details, because this is what you are now focused on. Visitors see the trains, but are more focused on the scnery, buildings, backdrop, etc.

I also consider the layout room as part of the entire presentation, completing the 'WOW' factor. I like to see a nice valence and fascia that creates that diorama look. Scenes that pull the visitor into the layout.

From what I've seen here on the forum, you have achieved all of this on a large home layout. That is quite an accomplishment!


Mark

Country: USA | Posts: 13728 Go to Top of Page

belg
Fireman



Posted - 03/18/2008 :  5:11:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tim, thanks alot for clarifying your philosophy, you explained it so well I can't think of any rebuttal question at all. The effect you have created flows like it was all created by the man upstairs. When I visit a layout I take in the whole room in one quik view and then like you and Mark mentioned you start looking for the next thing to draw your attention, since I'm NOT operations minded I'm usually more drawn towards the scenery and the structures on the layout and seeing how it all relates together. I have to say I have learned to pick out the ideas I like and the ones that don't spark my interest I jut let go.
I'm in the process of trying to come up with a track plan with the help of Peter(pools) and Chris(trainclown) as they can both atest I am even less than useless when it come to designing but I know what I would like to see happen. They have both done several versions and we are trying to see what will work best and info like yours is helping to figure out a small part of the overall picture. Thanks again Pat



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LVN
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/18/2008 :  6:32:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit LVN's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Tim. I just got back from Kingston. Three of the last four days back and fourth. Work and play. Anyway. I agree with you about the backdrop. The purpose is to create depth and perspective... establish horizons etc. The problem with photos are they have a tendency to be to real and it is next to impossible to match the colours and texture with foreground materials. The models are not real so when a photo is more detailed than the model it can draw the eye to it and depending on where you stand the effect can be most disturbing. There is a glossy glare as well. Not to mention the problem of shadows. What I want to do is just give the impression of distance and continuity between the foreground and background so the eye appreciates the scene, sees a little more detail in the model and provides dimension to highlight the work you did on your scenes, structures, groundwork and trains. As in real life the details diminish as the objects get farther away and it is easier to create a forced perspective and make the scene yours rather than one everyone else has. And it is not all that difficult.

Chris Lyon
http://www.lyonvalleynorthern.blogspot.com

Edited by - LVN on 03/19/2008 09:22:35 AM

Country: Canada | Posts: 5293 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/18/2008 :  10:58:04 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Hi guys,


Thanks Chris for helping me out, I agree it really isn't that hard. You just have to try it, is the first step.

Now lighting is a whole other topic.

Mark, thanks for the input.

Pat you are in good hands with Peter and Christopher, it's nice to have help like that.



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

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 03/19/2008 :  03:59:08 AM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Mike and Andy, I did not see your post.

Andy, Sounds like you have quite a project, and a lot of scenery to do! I am not sure I would be much
help, installing trees might be a real problem for me. You don't get much practice with desert type scenery.



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

CDF
New Hire

Posted - 03/19/2008 :  10:07:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As a new hire here on RRL there is certainly nothing more I can say about your layout that has not already been said. I say that with great certainty having spent the last three days looking at the last 60 pages. I never expected to view all 60 pages when I started on page one, I was just trying to get to know what was going on around the forum, however, once I started, well you get the picture. One thing that stands out for me besides the incredible modeling is the time spent on this layout. You mentioned that one of your backdrops was painted some ten years ago. This helps to remind me that this is truly a lifelong hobby, and should not be rushed. I am in the very beginning stages of building my first real railroad. I have built a small layout before, and now I am making the leap to a room size. I find myself getting anxious about my lack of progress, but I am reminded now that there is no hurry, and that a well thought out plan, implemented properly over time should yield the best results. Thank you for sharing your layout with us. I am very impressed by your candidness when it comes to re-do's or just plain do overs. This is another very valuable aspect to good modeling, don't be afraid to try it, if it does not work the first time, try again, its not a race to completion, its modeling. Thanks again!


Edited by - CDF on 03/19/2008 12:40:28 PM

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