Running trains versus scenery

Discussion in 'The Caboose' started by CSXect, Apr 17, 2008.


Running/operations versus Setting/scenery

Poll closed May 2, 2008.
  1. Running/operations

    18 vote(s)
  2. Scenery setting

    14 vote(s)
  1. CSXect

    CSXect Member

    Do you focus on the running of trains or the details of the setting for the trains?:confused:
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I chose Running/operations... I like seeing them move... there is very little scenery on the layout :)
  3. abutt

    abutt Member

    Interesting question. I was wondering when it would come up. Although I enjoy running trains, I really consider the trains and track as the "thread" for my scenery designs. As a former graphic designer, My obvious interest is the scenery design and realism thereof. The hours spent on building structures, of finding elements to simulate trees and shrubs and ground cover, my true love. I can think of no other hobby that allows an individual to focus on so many aspects of the hobby. True fullfilment.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Where's the option for running trains through scenery? :)
  5. ill go with ralph on that as i enjoy both:p
  6. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I enjoy running trains more than focusing on scenery. As I've "matured" in the hobby though, I have also set the goal of having as "believable" a setting as my meager scenicking abilities allow.
  7. CSXect

    CSXect Member

    The reason for the poll and question is that I am undecided on how much scenery I will be using on the layout that I am building. I want a table that will hold track for G, O-72, On30, S, O-27 and maybe N loops with that range of dissimelar scales the scenery will have to be somewhat generic. This kinda setup will be more than a green flat surface, and it will be a blatant caboose chaser type of arrangement. Each loop will possabiley have its own elevation. with the room for some basic rock embankment/trees.:mrgreen:
  8. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    As a confirmed Barrow-ista [as in David Barrow, proponent of "domino" layout construction], my focus has evolved more and more towards reasonably realistic operations (but no CTC machines in a hidden room!). After four or five "tail-chaser" layouts, my current project has been designed as a point-to-point operation -- with a small concession to continuous running for those rare occasions when I just want to watch the trains in motion, the way I see them in real life most often. Scenery? I really get a kick out of seeing people who have the time and the skill to do it convincingly, but I'd rather apply my limited time and money to track, track-side industries, and quality rolling stock and locomotives. That's one of the great things about this hobby - what ever turns your crank is OK!
  9. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    Although I love having scenery to run my trains through; my focus would be on running trains/operations. Scenery is the necessary evil. I go for realism but I don't overdo it because that detracts from running trains. No superdetailing here.
  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Excellent question, one that I've often pondered, and wondered about asking here as well.

    I voted for "Running/operating trains" although I definitely enjoy both. If I had to choose one over the other, it would be "operation" but I still enjoy the artistic side of adding the scenery and track details.

    Quite often, I think of creating the scenery as a sort of "necessary evil" needed to make the trains look better! Sometimes, I find myself rushing with the scenery so I can get to the real fun of running trains.

    There's nothing like spending an evening working on the scenery, only to come downstairs in the morning (after it's dried) to admire how good it looks! :mrgreen:

  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I'm also a graphic designer/layout artist (I work for a magazine where I'm the layout & production person). So I do find parallels between my two types of "layouts". Many of the same design and colour principles apply from magazine design to MRR design. Both are creative and rewarding. Rob
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I chose running/operations. At this point in my modeling, I don't even want ballast because it affects the track work.

  13. TCH

    TCH Member

    I would say mainly running/operations although I like to have a minimal amount of scenery as well.
    just a small amount of ballast and ground foam can make a HUGE difference in the overall look of things.
  14. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I get the bench-work and track-work done and run trains as I do the scenery bit by bit.
  15. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    That's what I did (and do).

    For the first year or so, I didn't really have any scenery on my layout -- it was just plywood! Then, I painted the layout board green, and then kept adding scenery, little by little.

    Although you could say that the layout is now 90% finished, I'm still doing a lot of gradual scenery work, constantly tweaking it and adding new things. I think by working gradually, little-by-little on it, you end up creating a better and more realistic product. I keep adding not only more details but finer details as well. For example, I just brightened up the layout by adding some patches of yellow & purple flowers, a rail-side fence and doing a lot of track weathering. I also hope to add more people/figures soon.

    Plus, it's more fun this way and easier on the pocket book! :mrgreen:

  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Well, neither. I prefer building modelers. I then prefer for them to have a nice setting...and they must run well. I picked scenery because I'd rather have a beautiful, poorly operating layout than an ugly, flawlessly operating layout.
  17. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I don't really think you can have one without the other. As much as I enjoy seeing my trackwork all come together, I long for when I can start to focus on detailing it and making it look realistic. To have it operate flawlessly will only add to the realism and experience.
  18. abutt

    abutt Member

    I think the ultimate layout was John Allen's where he created most of the scenery and then started putting down the ties and hand-laying the track. The result being the final realism of running a railroad through existing scenery just like the 1:1ers. I haven't the guts or the patience to do it that way, but I try very hard to simulate that approach. Where else can you find a hobby that keeps you awake nights thinking these silly thoughts?
  19. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    I choose running and operations as first priority, with scenery coming little by little as time goes on. First get the railroad up and running with basic structures, then work on the details. That way you can be having fun and improving the appearance at the same time.
  20. KCS

    KCS Member

    I agree. You can't have one without the other. I try to get every detail I possibly can into my train's, track work, and scenery. They don't call us "rivit counter's" for nothing. From Proto87 hand laid track with tie plate's and all and Sergent coupler's to the air line's on a truck and the air line's under the trailer for sliding tandem's. I model the modern era, so to me, a little goes a long way. I don't like a cluttered layout where every space has been packed with as much as they could get on it and still keep on adding detail's. Some time's simple is better. I take everything from my modeling and apply everything "real world" to it even down to the smallest movment of a locomotive and how a train react's. It's only as good as you make it!

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