Comments, Counsel, Critique and Criticisms sought and welcomed

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by grandpacoyote, May 11, 2007.

  1. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member

    Hello Gang;

    After a brief hiatus we got the roadbed down and the landscape scenery done on the middle peninsula of the layout. There are still some buildings to be added here – stock pens, windmill, water tank and county co op building etc. – but otherwise the area is basically done.

    This is the first scenery work I’ve ever done and I am looking to hear back any opinions good or bad. Feedback from my peers is the greatest and most informative guide there is so please feel free to give any you have – not just looking for “atta boy” here, although they are always nice. :-D

    The area depicted is a stock pen spur on the old AT&SF line in northeastern Arizona near Pinta Az.

    To save space on the forums I have created a photo album for the pictures at:
    Picasa Web Albums - Grandpacoyote - Scenery

    Thanks in advance for your time and comments.

  2. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Grandpa, all I can is WOW. You sure you haven't been doing this most of your life? It sure looks like it.
    The only thing I see is some of the rock outcroppings look to red to me, like spilled ketchup, but that could be the lighting. But that maybe how it really is. I have never been around there, so I don't know.
    That is a great beginning to what promises to be a spectacular layout !

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It looks good, but I noticed just the opposite of what grewsome said. Northern Az & New Mexico has a lot of iron oxide in the dirt mixed with clay so that the dirt has that red color of the background hills in some of the pics. It looks like the foreground is a little too yellow/green for Northern Az. Someone who hasn't seen that country probably would think it looks strange, but I've noticed the dirt and rocks are red enough that bushes or in the case of the area around Flagstaff where you have small pines, the green really "pops" because of the contrast with the red dirt. I did notice some of your rock outcroppings appeared to be red and shiny like polished stones, the color you need to go for is more of a dull brick red.
  4. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    The first scenerey work you’ve ever done????? Hard to believe.... The only thing to criticise is the color of the rock outcroppings. I concur with Loren that they look too red. Besides that, you’ve done a fantastic job :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: (I am not just patting your shoulder, I really mean it)
  5. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Thank you. Yes this is my first attempt at scenery - this area has about a dozen layers on it so far from where I've gone and redone and redone, but I think it's getting closer.
    I am also unhappy with the rock outcroppings; they are far too bright and also very shiny. I'm not sure how to get rid of that effect but I think I will try and repaint the today.

    Thank you again for your input it is a great help.

  6. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Your input is always appreciated sir. I agree about the green "pop" and think I may add some cover that is a more obviously green to get some distinction between it and the ground.
    Agree with you 100% on the rocks, thanks for the color info that will help a lot when I go to repaint them... I'm working off photos here and not all of them have the same color balance so sometimes it's a bit of a puzzle to get it right.
    Thank you again for your advice and comments they help a lot.

  7. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Thank you so much. :-D Yup this is the first, but mind you inside the "first" it's also about the seventh or eighth version... that section photographed took me about a month of solid work.
    I've been using the technique that Pelle Soeborg explains in his book Mountain to Desert... takes some time to get it down but it seems to work.

    ::nods:: Agreed, the rocks are badly in need of a reworking.

    Thank you for your comments and time Kurt feedback from my peers means a lot to me, it's my first and best guide.

  8. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    You could try painting the outcrops with white latex primer and try staining them with thinned washes of paint. I've had a difficult time getting the colors of my rocks to be what I want as well. I have a difficult time telling the difference between browns and greens, though. Different lighting and camera settings can make a HUGE difference in how colors are percieved vs. natural sunlight.

    As for Northern AZ-around flagstaff the rocks are volcanic and range from gray to dark gray basalt, to rusty colored volcanic cinders. Just east of flagstaff, the rocks are Permian sandstones and limestones - generally a buff color but the limestone especially can take on a darker appearance due to weathering. Further east, the Mesozoic rocks of the Colorado plateau provide more color - many reds, some purples, and even slightly green in places. Sometimes the soil is the same color as the rocks, but often it isn't. The red color in the sedimentary rocks is usually just staining of the cement that holds the individual grains together. As the rock breaks down and the cement is weathered and eroded away, the sediment left behind will have a sand/buff color.

  9. grandpacoyote

    grandpacoyote Member


    Thank you so much for the info sir. It was a great help.

    I adjusted the whiteness control on the camera some and hope it has helped.

    Many of the pictures I have from the area have too much variety between them in terms of color balance and style – your factual info helped a lot. Armed with it and some new photos from the area and a bit of resolve I went and started repainting the rocks. Here are some pictures of the first three redone rocks... I think this is a good improvement. What do you and the rest of the gang think?

    P5130008.JPG P5130011.JPG P5130013.JPG

    Again thanks for the info.

  10. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Grandpa, That much better.

  11. cnw1961

    cnw1961 Member

    I don’t know what the real rocks in the area you model look like, but your rocks look much better to me now (even though I think the white balance of your camera could still be improved). Good job.
  12. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    The color looks much better. You can "highlight" the rocks by taking some of the same color, adding white, and "drybrushing" the surface to make the features stand out. Drybrushing means putting a small amount of paint on a brush, wiping most of it off on a paper towel, then rubbing it along the surface. The minimal paint left on the brush will only rub off on the raised areas. This technique can really help details and textures stand out - makes it look like sunlight is hitting them.

  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Grandpa: I'll echo what Kurt said. I'm not familiar with the area, but the original red was unbelievable; it looked more like a ruby-shelled bug caught in the plaster.
    However, the camera doesn't always get it right. There used to be a ground foam which looked green in real life but yellow on film.
  14. joesho

    joesho Member

    wow havent seen you around here for a while! that looks good keep it up,im exited to see more of your layout!!keep going
  15. 0-4-0 Steamer

    0-4-0 Steamer New Member

    I think your doing great! The new color is much better along with the change you did with your camera. I travel interstate 40 (route 66) several times a year on my way to Texas and during the monsoonal times there is quiet a bit of green and lots of wild flowers also. I think your right on track here.

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