Saturday, September 5, 2015

Scenery Test Module, Part 5a

Just a few quick addition to yesterdays post.

I gave the static grass areas a quick vacuum which naturally neatened up their appearance.  Here I flipped the module around so the front would be against the background to show the grass better from a lower viewing angle.

Lower angle view
And here was a top view from the typical orientation of the module.

Top view right above light source.
It's surprising how much color difference there is between the two shots. Both were taken under the same light source, but the lower angle shot possibly had my hand and phone shadowing the scene a bit. I'd say the real color is somewhere between.  And for anyone curious all the photos taken in the last few months were captured with a iPhone 6.

I also got out some Bragdon weathering powders and rubbed some dark rust along the front set of rails using a small microbrush. This really helped make the joint bars visible like I questioned in Part 2 of this module project. I'm a little more enamored by the joint bars now and would like to try out the ones from Precision Design Co. to help make a final decision on how best to use them in the future.

Front track weathered with Bragdon powders.
Today I also stopped by the local Pet Supplies Plus and found they no longer carried the aquarium substrate I used for the cinder/coal ballast in this project. The bag I bought on clearance must've been the last one they had. I know I've seen similar stuff at Petsmart, so I'll investigate their supply. I also have a local specialty fish and aquarium supply shop nearby I should check out as well.

I just hope at either place I don't have to explain why I need a specific texture...

And lastly I wanted to share while investigating static grass techniques I stumbled upon the work of Martin Welburg. His work with static grasses to build very fine looking trees, bushes and weedy fields is completely out of this world.

Here's a link to a 21 page thread where he shows tons of photos of his work and how he did it.

It's totally worth looking at all 21 pages if you use or plan to use static grasses.

Quick links to the rest of this Series

Scenery Test Module Part 2
Scenery Test Module Part 3
Scenery Test Module Part 4
Scenery Test Module Part 5
Scenery Test Module Part 5a


  1. Not only does the green scenery look good, I like your track too. I'm all about super-detailed track, and yours is some of the best I've seen. The weathering powder and joint bars really make it look great. You can find a lot of track super-detailing parts at too. I tried out some tie plates with handlaid track a few years ago but found them too small to work with effectively. I then found Central Valley tie strips and turnout kits and they have great tie detail but are much easier to use. Their turnout kits come with optional plastic turnout details like rail braces, joint bars, and other turnout hardware.

  2. Thanks Jeff! Those weathering powders really helped but I wonder sometimes if the rails are too orange now.
    Central Valley and the Proto87 shop have some great stuff. I have one of the CV turnouts just to check out.
    As much as I love the look of those nicely detailed switches, I'm debating trying out the Fasttracks system as I weigh the cost of buying all those switches I'll need versus time spent building switches and of course solid reliable track work.

  3. I was thinking I might try Fast Tracks myself, especially for curved turnouts and double slips. I think FT is a large up-front expense but if you have enough turnouts to make I'm sure it ends up paying for itself. I've been using the FT objects in AnyRail 5 for my layout design because they use standard NMRA templates for turnouts which CV uses as well.

    Let's keep each other in the loop if either one of us decides to get any FT products so we don't duplicate purchases. Given the expense of the jig plates, filing blocks, rail benders and such, we could definitely share those items and just buy our own rail & ties and other consumables. I am quite sure I will at least buy the #8 straight turnout jig from FT if I buy anything from them.