Saturday, December 12, 2015

Yoe, it's been a long time..

It's been a hectic couple of months.  We held the 3rd annual Garden State Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet (Formally known as the NJ LD/OP Sig and RPM) and though it was another huge success, constant friction and problems with one of the staff members took it's toll.  It took a while for me to recover from the aggravation and anxiety caused by this.  Ultimately the person quit, the show went on, people were happy, and the students of UCTECH once again benefited with the meet being able to donate $1000 towards scholarships and SKILLS USA competition costs.  A big shout out to my friend Jim Fawcett who came through at the end and brought along a friend to help set things up the day before the meet.  He also was a big help during the meet. Another shout out goes to the UCTECH custodians who are second to none.  They chipped in getting things set up and broke down for the meet. We were also able to put a lot more money away for future meets this year, so hopefully things can only go up from here.

The meet took up a lot of my time but now that it's past, I have time to work on the Ma & Pa.  I have started some scenery, specifically the helix, with the top passing siding scene, and the lower  loop with the town of Yoe.  

Both upper and lower loops have been getting the scenic treatment
I used street view from Google maps to capture front images of houses in Yoe and manipulated them in photo shop.  The Hotel is a paper model I drew using Clever Models textures.  Yoe station is a beat up plastic model that is standing in till I build the model from plans.  The streets are paved with sanded grout.

Here's another view of the hotel in Yoe and another house flat.  All the buildings have to be flats because there is only about 1 1/2 inches from the roadbed to the backdrop.  The background on both the upper and lower loops are backdrop photos produced by Railroad Graphics and is in their Vol. 5 set.

The upper loop has the Railroad Graphics backdrop.  Ballasting was done using Highball Products limestone ballast.  The rail fence was a bargain $2 find at a local train show.  It was a bunch of the Atlas fence kits that were thrown in a bag and found under the table.  I painted and weathered the fence and installed it.  Both loops received basic ground cover with more to go and I will be going back planting static grass and some trees and shrubbery.

 I've been waiting awhile to try out some scenery work and it's been fun.  I hope I get better as I practice more.


  1. Welcome back. The helix scenery is looking very good. Blending flats into the backdrop is a problem for me; what solutions do you use? LED strip lighting works very well in the photos. What camera settings did you use for color balance? Dick Bradley

  2. Hi Ted,
    The progress on scenery has been inspiring. Even with an outside curve photo backdrop, the area at Yoe looks like it works. Can't wait for more. I have actually made it back into my garage to try and re-start my Ma & Pa - still way behind you and Dick.

  3. Hi Dick,

    Believe it or not I take all my pictures with my iPhone 6 phone. It takes 12 mega pixel pics. For building flats I guess it's important to get them as straight on in view as possible. I use the skew function in Photo Shop to get as much of a straight on view as possible. The landscapes are from the commercial pictures I mentioned in the post. I've trimmed it down and cut out hills I didn't need. It's a lot of trial and error to get something you'll like in the end.

  4. Hi Art,

    We missed you this year at the meet. :) Keep plugging away at your layout! Thanks for the feedback too.