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Detailing structures vs scenery progress

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WPA
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Detailing structures vs scenery progress
Posted by WPA on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 10:55 AM

I have a few structures about 90% done for an area that I am trying to finish up scenery and I am debating on loosely securing the structures so I can go back and finish up the details and weathering later.  Trying to avoid the delay with the scenery processes.  Anyone else debate this or do you wrap up 100% of the structure before scenery.  Feel like I could get bogged down in all the detailing I want to do and can maybe get back to fine tuning after scenery is done.  

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 11:10 AM

I do what Lorell Joiner did when he built his O scale GREAT SOUTHERN.

I finish all the scenery first, but in a basic and sparse form. Usually just ballast and Woodland Scenics T49 Green Turf Blend.

This allows me to take pictures, and the layout "looks" complete, but somewhat plain.

Then I add structures, figures, details, and scenic elements as time goes on.

I also rarely plant structures permanently. I usually set them in place and tacky-glue ground cover around the bases. This makes it easy to replace old structures with more details buildings as time goes by.

A layout that is constantly changing/improving keeps my intererest more secure.

-Kevin

Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 11:36 AM

My process is basically like Kevin's.

Build benchwork, lay track. After wiring and securing track to 100% completion, I will:

1. Paint existing subroadbed in the colors that mimick ground cover, roads, parking lots, etc.  The paint does not have to cover well or be particularly artsy.  Just some green here, brown there, gray roads over yonder.  Gets the overall look of the layout up and running.

2. Build land forms and place structures in their places.  Structures are not detailed at this point.

These steps will allow for the entire layout to be "roughed in" scenickly wise.

Then I will add details to the scenery, like trees and ground cover; and add details to the structures.  Ballast at this step too.

Build Infrastructure, Rough-In the pieces, then Finish, is how I look at it.

Edit:  My layouts are table top layouts set in rolling hills, which are built up from the table.  More mountainous layouts would probably require more time to build landforms and start them sooner in the sequence.

 

- Douglas

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Posted by snjroy on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 11:48 AM

There is probably not one single-right-way of doing it. I'm trying to finalize all structures first - it's just easier to do before scenery. I'm just about done, I'm now concentrating on background structures, which I find very challenging to do...

However, I recently decided that my structures would actually "float" on my scenery: I'm making bases for all of them so they can be removed for maintenance work. The only exception is my roundhouse - it's too late for that one. So in theory, as long as I know what the footprint is, I could do all my scenery first and do the structures later. But it's hard to see how a structure really fits without seeing it in 3D where it is meant to be. I've played around a lot with my structures to see where they fit best. Can't do that very easily if the scenery is all in place. 

Simon

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 11:57 AM

 

I would do what you feel like doing at the moment to stay inspired. I have lots of structures that have been sitting on the layout for a decade or more now in semi-completed states. I usually will leave the structure floating and then go in later to add scenery and other items. Details come in waves when the mood strikes.

Any time you are building a layout there is a tug of war between building the layout and building models to go on the layout (or rolling stock). Since I tend to rabbit hole on super detailed models, I will often leave a project to go back layout construction. I also am usually working on several projects at the same time – either all part of a scene or unrelated, such as scenery and maybe building some freight cars.

I recently have had the experience of completing several models that have been sitting in the arrested development stage for several years – very satisfying.

 

Guy

 

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 11:57 AM

snjroy
The only exception is my roundhouse - it's too late for that one. So in theory, as long as I know what the footprint is, I could do all my scenery first and do the structures later.

My roundhouse will be bisected by the backdrop, so it will need to be permanently installed as the layout room gets built.

I am sure that a few others will be better installed permanently as well.

trainnut1250
I have lots of structures that have been sitting on the layout in semi-completed states.

I have had the same situation on all of my layouts.

-Kevin

Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 12:03 PM

I make everything easily removable on my layout. I use ⅛”D x ⅜”L magnets to hold my structures in place.








The magnets can also be used for holding removing parts of structures for easy access.  You can find almost any size tiny Neodymium magnets to fit your requirements with a Google Search, I buy my magnets off eBay.


Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951



My Model Railroad    
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

WPA
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Posted by WPA on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 12:07 PM

Agree SNJROY, I figured out in time that a paper cut out footprint of proposed structure did not provide the needed perspective to visualize the "finish" around it so went to town on roughing up the kits I had for the area to float them in.  Mostly followed Doughless method with timeline but started to feel like I was not making progress, wanted to really detail the structures, but also wanted to move to scenery.  I may have been over thinking the scenery around the structure base which I can fine tune later I guess.  Almost two years into benchwork and track finish so looking forward to seeing areas come tognether and also looking forward to detailing the structures.  

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 2:13 PM

MRR January 2020 pages 72-73 showed an interesting variation on removable structures. In N scale the modeller created interchangeable footprints for collections of structures that made a destination or a scene. He could then swap different collections of structures mounted on the same size footprint. His objective was to allow him to build more structures than he had room for on his layout. He'd change them outs from time to time. He didn't include any track insidevthe footprint on the base but you could easily do so.

Same concept would allow a small but collective scene with a structure or structures to be modelled over time and still be fit into the layout partially finished from time to time.

In the future a whole new structure or scene could be built and swapped in.

This modeller used a 3/8" tempered hardboard base of a set size and built the structures on that like a mini module which is what he called them.

You build up the surrounding ground scenery to match that 3/8" base depth and conceal the join. 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 3:20 PM

Any large structure on my layut is removable. I glue blocks of wood to the layout and the structure just sits over it. On most of my builds the roof is not on yet when I locate the structure so I but the building in place and glue the wood to the layout snug to the inside of the building, glue drys and I can remove the building any time I want or need to.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 4:50 PM

I do things in small areas anyway, so I do a few square feet from pink foam to static grass and ballast.  Part of that process is detailed structures, starting with 4 walls and a roof and finishing with an illuminated, decorated structure with an interior, connected to roadways and sidewalks and even roof detail.  Yeah, commercial buildings get era-appropriate decals, mostly downloaded and printed.  That's why my normal time to build a simple 4-walls-and-a-roof kit takes me a month.

I don't like to go back and add details.  I would rather do it all at once and end up with finished structures.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by pt714 on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 6:04 PM

I like to think of it like increasing resolution on an image across the whole layout. I started with pink foam and track, then at the next level of resolution made the track look better, put down an earthen layer and got basic shapes for buildings. Then everything focuses gradually, it all sort of increases in detail at more or less the same rate-- so scenery and buildings get additional detailing as I go. I'm never unhappy with where it is at the moment because it's never going to be done, anyway-- could always be improved with more details, that's what keeps it interesting. Smile, Wink & Grin

Phil

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Posted by cowman on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 6:19 PM

One of the nice things about this hobby is that you don't HAVE to do all of whatever at once.  If you overload on scenery, take a break and work on a structure or two.  Yes, there are certainly things that need to be done before others, but there still is a  lot of flexability.

Good luck,

Richard

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 11:24 PM

MisterBeasley
I don't like to go back and add details.  I would rather do it all at once and end up with finished structures.

I have known many people that have built their layouts one section at a time. My friend Randy did that with his NORFOLK SOUTHERN layout. It took us years before we could run a train all the way around the layout, but when we did, the layout was "done".

I would rather have the whole layout covered with scenery, then go back and build all the buildings and add details.

Like most things, I guess it come down to what works for you.

Because...

Music Music Music The World Doesn't Move To The Beat Of Just One Drum

What Might Be Right For You Might Not Be Right For Some Music Music Music

-Kevin

Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, May 13, 2021 6:37 AM

Totally agree that there's no "right" way of doing the scenery versus detailing structures.  I lay down the structures first and then build scenery nearby to make everything blend.  

I also don't secure the structures to move them around, or add lights (whenever I bother doing that).  That's another reason that I've not glued down any roofs.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, May 13, 2021 10:03 PM

As important as the finishing touches, I get a lot of the layout infrastructure done first so I can run trains.  The mainlines are laid with roadbed and track first, which gives me years sometimes to check out the trackwork with engines and rolling stock.  I like really bulletproof track, and the only way to get it is to build and test it forever.

No matter how much time you spend on structures, your trains won't stay on the track any better.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, May 14, 2021 12:10 AM

WPA

I have a few structures about 90% done for an area that I am trying to finish up scenery and I am debating on loosely securing the structures so I can go back and finish up the details and weathering later.  Trying to avoid the delay with the scenery processes.  Anyone else debate this or do you wrap up 100% of the structure before scenery.  Feel like I could get bogged down in all the detailing I want to do and can maybe get back to fine tuning after scenery is done.   

If by scenery you mean stuff like ground cover, trees, etc., that is the last thing that I do.

I start with laying track and testing it once wired. When I have what I consider "bullet proof" track work, then I ballast the track.

During that process, I lay down cardboard footprints where the structures will go. That helps immensely in the spacing process with my track work.

Once ballasting is completed, I get the structures in place. Then, finally, I add the scenery.

Rich

Alton Junction

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