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Thread: Good Scenery Manual???

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    Default Good Scenery Manual???

    I'm looking for a good scenery do-it-yourself manual. Please don't send me to Woodland Scenics as I have never before paid good money for a "manual" that tells me how to use WS products, how to buy WS products, and damned little else. That, my friends, is the rip-off of the year.

    Pointers appreciated.

    Jim

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    Not exactly a book, but YouTube has plenty of great scenery videos, all free. Also, try searching on this site - most everything has been covered by someone.

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    Scenery for model railroads by Bill McClanahan. Best scenery book ever. Out of print but still available on ebay.
    Charter member of CAMRRA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gary60s View Post
    Scenery for model railroads by Bill McClanahan. Best scenery book ever. Out of print but still available on ebay.
    While it's a definite must-have, "How to Build Realistic Model Railroad Scenery" by Dave Frary is more of the how-to book the OP is looking for.
    Last edited by Paul Schmidt; 9th Mar 2020 at 07:29 AM.

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    Not a book, and it's HO (gasp, the horror!) but check out Luke Towan's videos on youtube. You can search for his name or Boulder Creek Railroad. You can apply most of it to N just fine and the videos are well done.

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    Hi Jweir43,

    Here are a few model railroaders I enjoy watching on Youtube: Marklinofsweden, DJStrains, Rons Trains and Things and Jason Jensen Trains.

    Marklinofsweden uses low cost materials(styrofoam, tissue paper and white glue) to produce wonderful effects.

    DJStrains kitbashes and scratchbuilds buildings based on prototype railroad installations(He's drives a loco).

    Rons Trains and Things covers a wide range from weathering cars to multi-level layouts.

    Jason Jensen Trains works on waterfront buildings and dockside details.

    As far as books/manuals go...get a copy of Frary's water based scenery. It supports rapid scenery development, minimum odor and low toxicity.
    Happy Modeling

    Bruce

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    Another great how-to book that serves well as an adjunct to Frary's classic is "Basic Scenery for Model Railroads" by Lou Sassi.

    Both are well worth the money.

    While YouTube offers eye candy, almost all of it is based on techniques and materials found in Frary's and Sassi's books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Another great how-to book that serves well as an adjunct to Frary's classic is "Basic Scenery for Model Railroads" by Lou Sassi.
    Ordered for Frary and Sassi's books today from Amazon. Should be here by the weekend. Thanks for the pointers.

    Jim

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    Let us know what you think of them and how "self explanatory" they are and what they cover. If they are good, unlike the WS stuff, then I might be interested in buying them as well.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
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    Quote Originally Posted by jweir43 View Post
    Pointers appreciated.
    Here is a pointer:

    There's no "right" way to do scenery.
    So, experiment!

    I have settled on an approach that works great for me, and it involves some fairly unconventional methods and materials. I never use rock castings, for instance, though I do sometimes use actual rocks. I bake my backyard dirt. I grow my own tree armatures in my garden. I save my used tea bags, since they contain a deciduous forest floor. I buy scoop able kitty litter - and I have no cat.

    My point is, you can find lots of things that might get the job done, and there's not much penalty for getting it wrong, aside from perhaps needing to do a scene over. For instance, collecting the dog's fur to try to make puff-ball trees turned out to not be such a great idea. But so what? The lace-cap hydrangea blooms turned out to be so much better than puff-ball trees anyways!

    So read up on some proven techniques, but definitely don't feel like you have to master those techniques to the same level of proficiency as the author. Try some variations, try some of your own ideas, and get good at whatever works for you.

    (Then write your own book, and let the rest of us buy it!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    There's no "right" way to do scenery.
    So, experiment!
    That is 100%, no 1000% correct ... scenery isn't something that you can real mess up. There are lots of techniques, @WP&P has his way of doing scenery, I have mine, and nearly every one else here does it their way, sometimes we even do some things the same or similarly

    That being said, the most difficult aspect of scenery, in my humble opinion, is water. If you can master that, your miles ahead of a lot of people
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    Let us know what you think of them and how "self explanatory" they are and what they cover. If they are good, unlike the WS stuff, then I might be interested in buying them as well.
    Trust me, Tony, they are both superb how-to books. Frary's is almost recipe-like in structure. Everything from scenic form, to ground cover, trees, water, backdrops, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WP&P View Post
    For instance, collecting the dog's fur to try to make puff-ball trees turned out to not be such a great idea.
    I bet, the fleas aren't exactly to scale.
    Bronman - "Trains and Legos... you can't have too many of them."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronman View Post
    I bet, the fleas aren't exactly to scale.
    Maybe one could spray them with hair spray, then flock them with a static grass applicator to make the bushy tails, and call them N-scale squirrels?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    Let us know what you think of them and how "self explanatory" they are and what they cover. If they are good, unlike the WS stuff, then I might be interested in buying them as well.
    Probably the best $30 I've spent in a while. The only thing I can think of to make them a little better would be a better description of how to make roads.

    Jim

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    Dave Frary has done You Tube videos for Scenic Express which, while they feature Scenic Express products, are instructional to boot. I prefer to use Scenic Express products as I think their product selection is better and their ballast is made from real rock and won 't float when you attempt to fix them in place with water based glue. Lots of other good instructional videos on You Tube as well.

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