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Big scale scenery problems

Started by Hector Bell, May 06, 2007, 12:59:43 PM

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Hector Bell

Hi all, Back on a railway kick, I was thinking how large scale scenery is a pig to make realistic compared to, say, 1/43 or 1/48th.  I took to walking round the garden with a cup of tea in one hand and a tape measure in the other actually measuring grass.  It's bigger than you think. An average tuft where it doesn't get mowed every time is up to two feet long with every blade 1/2" wide lower down.  Now that means you gotta make a model of each blade because it's just as scaleable as, say, a steam pipe, or a hand rail.
And therein lays our problem. Since no-one will reasonably take on the modelling of thousands of blades of grass, the compromise necessary in 1/24th scale and above is unnacceptible and so the model starts to look toylike if much vegetation is required.
Damn, so many beautiful model buildings, but a barren land to plonk them in.  What sy you all?  Cheers, Hector


Hmmm.....barren landscapes....a slate quarry, railways in Sudan, chalk quarry, sand quarry, sugar cane operation where all the fields have been cut and burned over....I think you could get by with selective and minimal verdure on all these.  ;D

...of course there's always the light railways such as the interior of the Maginot Line, port railways, tunneling operations, or something like this postwar clean-up RR in Germany.....

I am an unreliable witness to my own existence.

In the corners of my mind there is a circus....



I agree with Marc. For years I have felt that it is far more logical and easier to depict man made scenery than natural scenery (except for dirt and rock).

Years ago, when I erroneously thought I would build a 1:20.3 scale project layout, I chose a waterfront diorama with piers, brick streets, and a lot of structures but no trees. It would have been pretty revolutionary had I ever gotten close to completion. Even with the help of friends it was such an overwhelming project I traded it to a friend for some scratchbuilt rolling stock.

Bottom line: Model an urban or waterfront scene and forget the half inch wide blades of grass. -- Russ

Hector Bell

Hi Russ,  I'd hate you to think I go about measuring grass!   I just wandered about with a cup of tea wondering.  I find it so relaxing.  Wandering and wondering, you can't beat it.  I then watched the rare-breed cows in the next field whilst sitting on a log and happened to feed them with some long grass from the back of the shed, honest.  I'm a simple soul, really.  Cheers, Hector

Chuck Doan

A few issues ago, Uncle ran some great photos of the Coronado mining 3' and 20" guage lines (and others). No trees there! You could also place your line downwind from a smelter to solve the vegitation problem.
"They're most important to me. Most important. All the little details." -Joseph Cotten, Shadow of a Doubt


Hector Bell

Hi all, gentlemen, I percieve a running away attitude here<g>  In England or more so, Wales, it really ain't possible to not have grass.  England's green and pleasant land isn't just a song line in Jerusalem.  It really IS that verdant.  Coarse grass, nettles and dock plants are everywhere and unignorable. I'm playing with oakum, which is coming out of my old boat at the moment and it might be useful.  It is a little like plumbers' hemp, but not so stringy. It has a flat nature which might do for large scale grass.
I'm standardising on 1/32nd scale once curent projects are finished, so my need is not so great as Chuck's, for example.  Hector