What To Do First

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by msh, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. msh

    msh Member

    While I've got a couple of real good books on scenery techniques, and am rady to begin those steps, I am still stuck on the decision between adding the base paint / texture / step or the hill / mountain / tunnels step. These guys writing these books are pros and seem to do both, mentioning neither as a first step but showing both as a first step.

    I know it's up to me, what ever I want, etc, etc. But there must be SOME rule of thumb on this subject. Once ballasting is finished... what next?
  2. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    Hi MSH, You know you make a good point...its always tough to find a starting place:D

    Whenever I've built a mountain or a hill that the rails are going to run thru via a tunnel I've always started by installing the tunnel portals and then built the mountain/hill between them using what ever method. When that looked right then I applied a base color to the terrain and when I was satisfied with that I would move on to ground cover, then trees and etc.

    Once you get the terrain in and a base color on it don't worry about going by the numbers...whatever you do will look just fine. Scenery is one of those things that you just can't mess up...just do what you want and have fun with it.

    Suggestion...once the ballast is finished how about trying your hand at adding some hills or possibly a mountain? Once you've got your track in place the sky's the limit...and you don't have to stay with one thing until its done...keeps things interesting.
  3. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    This time on my "practice layout #3" ( Practice for my future dream layout), I'm going to add the ballast AFTER the base scenery is in place. I'm tired of white plaster spots on good looking ballast after the terrain is "hydrocaled". I've always covered the track and ballast with masking tape while slinging plaster, but some seems to always find it's way onto the ballastanyway!! I would suggest figuring out where structures and roadways will be once your trackwork is complete, what kind of structure base you're going to use and then begin your ground contouring in whichever method you prefer.(cardboard webbing, screen wire, styrofoam or whatever!)

    Have Fun !!!

    Matt--Chocolatetown, Pa.
  4. msh

    msh Member

    Slept On It

    After sleeping on this subject, and reading the words a la Vic, I'm going to go with the following order of steps:

    #1 Finish ballast - very high rating on the Doplar-McKinley Paininthebutt Scale
    #2 Add the hills, valleys, mountains and tunnels - makes me want to sing something inspiring, but it's too messy
    #3 Paint base color and add texture, trees and details to #2 - I'm getting complaints from the little plastic engineer about his yard being so bare
    #4 Details & junk - sure glad I saved all that belly button lint and fingernails (eew)
    #5 File for Bankruptcy - this is killing my gold reserves, so I'm going to have to sell the Monet

    Thanks All!

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