Scenery/landscaping question

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by CAS, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    I'm not sure on how to do this part.

    After i fix my track and road bed down. And where i am gonna have flat land. Should i still put some plaster, or scultp-a-mold to give it some ground? I know i don't want my ground to be higher then my track/roadbed. But i don't really want a real flat surface anyway.

  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    You don't "have to" add anything to make your terrain surface have changes of elevation but if you look at the real world, its seldom absolutely flat, even in Kansas or North Dakota. Or eastern Montana. You will usually find piles of dirt here and there along a railroad right of way. Remember, modeling is the art of trying to recreate the full size world. It just depends on your tastes and ideas.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are modeling "flat land" but don't want the terrain absolutely flat, just glue an inch or two of foam to the top of your benchwork before you put down your track & roadbed. After the roadbed and track is down and ballasted, carve washes, and valleys in the foam, and even stack the foam in places for hills if you want to have some variety.
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Why not? :???:
  5. CAS

    CAS Member

    I am in the process of making a diorama, it's not finished yet. Still needs to add some trees, more bushes, and weeds on the tracks. This will be just for taking pic's of my weathered rolling stock, and loco's.

    But as you can see in the photo's, the track is somewhat level with the ground. I really don't care for it, for some reason. I think it would look alot better if the track, and roadbed was a little higher. Maybe, i might add a .5" raiser under all my track to raise the track a little. Then add sculpt-a-mold to build up my ground. First i will check out other post pics to look at other peoples track work. Then decide.


  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    OK, one reason it looks wrong is that your tracks are too far apart. You should be shooting for 2.25" centres... maybe 2.5"... otherwise you wind up with that big space in the middle, and a really wide ditch.

    Second, I think you've got too much shoulder on the ballast... it's too thick at the sides, so it looks spread out, and lower than it actually is. You could try either removing some of the ballast from the sides, or, if you're removing the ballast anyways, trim the slope off the cork so that it's straight up and down, and let the ballast fall to form a natural slope.

    Third, if you don't really want to raise the landscape above the level of the rails (although you see this almost anywhere other than the great plains), try using some Woodland Scenics foliage to create some shrubs and bushes... there's several consistencies, so you can make low spreading shrubs and taller, bushier... well... bushes! :)
  7. CAS

    CAS Member

    My centers are only 1 5/8" center to center. Maybe it looks wider because of the distance of my camera. When taking the pic.

    I wanted enough ballast to cover up the road bed. Don't want the road bed showing through.

    Thanks Squidbait, for being honest with me. I really do appreciate peoples honesty. Then just telling me it looks good. To make me feel good.

  8. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I agree with Squidbait, the tracks should be a bit closer together, and the ballast shoulder doesn't need to be so wide.
    In the scene below, there is no roadbed under the track: it's all laid right on the plywood subroadbed.

    Here's the same general area: no roadbed, but I've used cinder "fill" to give the impression of raised track, and weeds between the two lines to suggest a drainage ditch. The tracks here are a bit more than 2 1/2" centre-to-centre.

    Here, the two mainlines, with the light-coloured ballast, are on cork roadbed, while the track beyond is right on the plywood. The mainlines here are as close together as they can be and still allow two trains to pass, due to a clearance problem to the right, out of the picture.

  9. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    CAS, this is HO scale, right? I think you might be 1 5/8" inside rail to inside rail, but not centre to centre...

    I think you should trim the outside edge of the cork closer to the ties... it's an awfully wide shoulder there. If you cut it vertically, then when you apply the ballast, it will form a natural 45' slope, unlike the 20' or so slope you have now. That will give you much better definition between your tracks and the scenery.
  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    CAS, it looks to me like you've built this on foam? Why not carve away some foam to raise the tracks even more?
  11. CAS

    CAS Member

    No HO, it's n scale.

    I did measure it. It's 1 5/8'' center to center.

    It is built on foam. This was made just to take pics on for my weathered rolling stock. Carving the foam is probably a good idea.

    On my layout, im still laying track down to get my center lines drawn.

  12. CAS

    CAS Member

    I took another measurement, and another pic.

    On these pic's, i didn't zoom in. Which i think i did in the other pics.

  13. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    CAS, I think that adding a few small rocks ( maybe just 1/2 " high ) wouldn't hurt.
    About tracks spacing, Atlas N scale has a 1 1/4" center to center tracks spacing. I'm doing some N scale cork roadbed trial test now and it looks like the N scale cork roadbed ( no brand name ) width is unrealistic ( too wide ).
    I'll start a thread about that point as I don't want to hijack your thread.
  14. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    OK, that explains it... I was eyeballing the gauge and spacing assuming it was HO. 1 5/8" is too far apart for N. You want to be 1 1/8" to 1 1/4".

    That said, it looks pretty good if eyeballing it I think it's HO! :)

    You might want to consider using a different ballast, too, as now that I see it, the grains are pretty coarse for N scale. Look at Highball N scale ballast to see what I mean.

    I was just checking the N scale cork here in the store, and it really is too wide... I think you should trim it down, just to narrow the shoulder width on your roadbed.
  15. CAS

    CAS Member

    Ok, on my layout, i will try narrowing the gap between the tracks to 1 1/4''. This section will not be included in my layout. It was for practice, and to take pic's.

    The ballast i'm using in these pics are, Woodland scenic fine ballast. I will check out the Highball N scale ballast.

    The railbed in use is from a company named Midwest, or Midwestern, which i had bought from my LHS. It is cork.

    I just measued the center to center on the track i have laid on my layout. The center to center is 1 1/8''. I don't even know where i got the 1 5/8'' measurement from :oops: .

    doctorwayne, i really appreciate your input. I also enjoy looking at your pics of your railroad. Your scenery, ballasting of your track, and your weathering, is something i want to copy. Great job all way around aussie .

  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Woodland Scenics fine ballast is just about the perfect size for ho scale ballast.

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