Saturday, April 25, 2009

This Month's Field Trip

Each month the NCIOG is going field trip. We think it is the best way to learn about model railroading, mainly through invading their layout and baraging them with questions. My kind of fun.

Today we marched over to Rick Wade's Richlawn Railroad, which can be see on Youtube at Rick has a deep layout designed for breathtaking scenery. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and a lot of good fun as we asked questions. You can take a ride in his camera car as well!

Rick is certainly a scenery guy and it jumps out at you the minute you walk in the door. His highly detailed and well balanced city is fantastic and I took a lot of pictures which I'll post soon. The benchwork is deep and makes the mountains in the background (along with their forced perspective engineering) seem like they are miles away.

He has a lot of finished scenery and still more to go. The layout runs well with two trains running behind each other and never failing. Rick's using Digitrax like most of the group.

Some key takeaways:

  • Deep scenery is better scenery
  • You can fasten your layout skirt to the layout using inexpensive clothes pins attached to the back of the facia.
  • Brining the mountains off the backdrop adds a large amount of depth to the layout.
  • Mountains are not 100% green and some dead spots make them look very realistic.
  • Detailing the inside of a tunnel portal really improves the appearance
  • Great care must be taken in planning for the use of camera cars on the layout with regards to scenery.
  • Always carry a camera and a note pad, or a recording device, so that you can make notes on what you see.
  • Using clear acetate sheets and popsicle sticks you can build an easy barricade along an unscenicked right-of-way in order to keep trains from taking the short trip to the repair shop, and even in hidden trackage areas.
  • Work on key scenery items off the layout. Build scenes on transportable modules and do the detail work on the workbench, then install on the benchwork.
  • The entrance to the layout room counts! First impressions make all the difference. Put a key focal point right in front of the door.
  • Sound affects are really nice and add a lot to the scene to make it lively. Having them fade out as the session moves along is helpful to prevent "burn out" on the noise.

Next month we visit Neil Thomas's Diamond River

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