time these first four photos were taken there was not much scenery on
the layout. Most of what was there was placed as either a trial
of different techniques or as settings for structures already built.
The first photo is of a structure unique to Southern Maryland - a
tobacco house. Most people call this a barn, but "house" is
really the correct term. This tobacco house model was thoroughly
researched and is prototypical in its construction. The model was
built board by board using Kappler scale lumber appropriate to the
framing parts. A plant (unidentified, but growing profusely on my
lot) was used to represent the air curing tobacco (seen in the
open panel on te left end -front of the house. In Southern
Maryland tobacco is air-cured before being stripped and tied into
"hands" for sale at auction. In contrast, most tobacco grown
elsewhere in the country is flue-cured (cured in a special building
where a fire heats the room and force dries the tobacco).
The next three photos
are a progression of work in using a photo to create the illusion of a
road disappearing up a hill and around a corner to fill in an obvious
"hole" in the backdrop. It actually turned out better than the
photos represent. The first photo - Road Original
- is the actual
photo taken to be used as the basis for the work to follow.
The second photo - Road Before
- shows the "hole" in the backdrop to be
filled. The idea is to use photo editing software such as
Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, or PaintNET on a copy of the original
digital image to create a small section of backdrop which will blend in
with the scenery already in place.
The third photo - Road After
- shows the result of editing the first
photo, expanding its content, and cutting it to fit into the space
needing to be filled.
There is probably an
official term for what is shown in the following photos but, if so, I
don't know what it is. So, I'm going to call it RTR
Bashing. Like kit bashing, but on ready to run models right out
of the box. We have probably all at some point purchased a piece
of rolling stock that just didn't quite make it up to the
standard we would have liked. With a little effort, and
some detail parts, an out of the box RTR model can be improved,
Several years ago, I picked up a Bachmann gondola from the sale table
at a hobby shop. It didn't look very prototypical, but the price
was right and I thought "I can do something with this". Here are
two pictures of the model as it came from the manufacturer.
The biggest perceived defects were the outsized truss rods and brake
wheel staff. The next problem was the "under the Christmas tree"
paint job. I disassembled the model and removed the truss rods
and brake wheel staff (the brake wheel also - it was all one
piece). I then repainted it with Floquil gray primer. The
new truss rods are 12lb. test monofilament fishing line with Grandt
Line turnbuckles threaded on. The new brake wheel staff is a
piece of thinner brass rod with a different brake wheel CA'd to the top
of the rod. I then painted it with Floquil Boxcar Brown (I think - I'm not sure of that).
After the paint was thoroughly dry, I decaled it, then overcoated the
entire body with Dullcote. On top of that, I used light gray
chalk pastel powder to weather and age it. With just a few detail
parts, and a little imagination, I had a model that I was satisfied
would not embarass the railroad. The results are shown in the
photos below. This car is used on the S&P to haul oyster
shell from the packing houses to the limekiln.
One of our principal customers
Leaving Prince Frederick