Topics

Model building philosophy

Lee Gustafson
 

Dave, Nathan & All,

Dave like you I approach model building as a model within a model until the project is complete. Yes, I want to finish the model but I've learned to enjoy each step and what it represents. Sometimes ( more often than I care to admit ) I've had to do a step over to accomplish the sub-assembly to my level of satisfaction. In the process I've learned something or acquired a new skill. Model building is problem solving and skill application. At the end of a model building session even if it didn't go well I try to leave it at a place that I want to come back to the next day or model building session. When the model is finished it may not be perfect ( it isn't, I know where the flaws are ) but I enjoy the completed model and look forward to the next project. I've been building model for 60 plus years so that may have helped me reach this perspective. My current project is the Coeur d'Alene mine that I've been working on for a year. Yes, I've worked on other short term projects but this has been like a good book I'm really enjoying the build. Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts on model building and a project you're working on.

Lee Gustafson




-----Original Message-----
From: Climax <Climax@...>
To: HOn3 <HOn3@groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Apr 17, 2019 11:50 am
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Blackstone future- US production

I have approached even my biggest projects by looking at each step in assembly and completing it then go to the next one.  I don't care if its a Fine Scale Miniatures kit, SSL kit or even a Jordan kit.  Just take it slow and methotical.  There is no race to get things done, this is a hobby and we should enjoy each step.  I just completed a 20 tub pickle tub complex and I did it one pickle at a time.

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: NarrowMinded1
Sent: Apr 17, 2019 12:10 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Blackstone future- US production

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the reply and tips! I've always had high expectations and been really critical of my work when it comes to model trains; guess I'll have to try and change that :-/ You take care as well!

"Nathan,


I appreciate how your health ( I had a detached retina ) can impact your model building ability, skill, desires and lead to frustration. Yes, Blackstone products provide a path to HOn3 that did not exist before they entered the market place. Model building can be good therapy if it's approached with simple projects and modest expectations. Scenery, pre-fab easy to build structures and completing small scenes can be satisfying if the project is small and taken at a modest pace. Model building should be enjoyable. Try not to be too hard on yourself and take pleasure in the simple projects. Take care and best wishes.

Lee Gustafson"

--
Nathan Kline
Tiadaghton Valley Railroad & Coal Co.
McConnellsburg, PA
--------------------------------------------------
Web: https://www.tiadaghtonvalleyrr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TiadaghtonValleyRailroad/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVJMoICFWw9Muse6xm8moiQ

Russ Norris
 

Thanks for sharing your modeling philosophy, Lee.  It got me thinking about all the levels of building models within models.  As a prototype modeler (EBT) , my ultimate goal is to reproduce portions of the prototype in as much detail as I am capable of.  But this is a long term project,  I've been working on my fifth model railroad for more than ten years.  Parts of it are about as complete as they're going to be -- I estimate I am about 75% there.  Within that overall modeling project, there are smaller and smaller models -- building the dual gauge yard, the coal cleaning plant, a brickyard, Orbisonia station, thje EBT roundhouse, turntable and shops, Robertsdale.  Each of these smaller parts of the whole has taken several years to complete, and each is composed of a number of smaller projects, sort of like those Russian dolls inside of dolls inside of dolls.  For example, I needed to cover a pop-up that allows me access to trackage I can't reach from the aisle.  The answer was to build a small model of the town of Mount Union on a section of extruded foam that would fit neatly into the existing scenery and look like it belonged there.  Building that module took more than a year, and it was a really fun project.  But each of the various structures and sub-assemblies was fun too.  I think that what makes model railroading so interesting to me is that complexity.  You are always working on something that is a part of something that in turn is a part of something greater and on ad infinitum.  Before starting a new area of the railroad, I enjoy thinking about it for a while -- what do I need to include, how will I integrate it into the existing model without tearing everything up.  Eventually I have a pretty clear picture in my mind of where it's going to go, how it will fit in with what's around it, what models will I have to kit or scratch build for it, etc.   The end result is something akin to a work of art -- there are so many elements that make up the whole.  At 77 I don't know if I will ever finish the overall model, but it doesn't matter.  It's a long term goal to work toward, and the fun is more in the journey than the destination.

Russ Norris

On Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 8:16 PM Lee Gustafson via Groups.Io <bagustaf=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Dave, Nathan & All,

Dave like you I approach model building as a model within a model until the project is complete. Yes, I want to finish the model but I've learned to enjoy each step and what it represents. Sometimes ( more often than I care to admit ) I've had to do a step over to accomplish the sub-assembly to my level of satisfaction. In the process I've learned something or acquired a new skill. Model building is problem solving and skill application. At the end of a model building session even if it didn't go well I try to leave it at a place that I want to come back to the next day or model building session. When the model is finished it may not be perfect ( it isn't, I know where the flaws are ) but I enjoy the completed model and look forward to the next project. I've been building model for 60 plus years so that may have helped me reach this perspective. My current project is the Coeur d'Alene mine that I've been working on for a year. Yes, I've worked on other short term projects but this has been like a good book I'm really enjoying the build. Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts on model building and a project you're working on.

Lee Gustafson




-----Original Message-----
From: Climax <Climax@...>
To: HOn3 <HOn3@groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Apr 17, 2019 11:50 am
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Blackstone future- US production

I have approached even my biggest projects by looking at each step in assembly and completing it then go to the next one.  I don't care if its a Fine Scale Miniatures kit, SSL kit or even a Jordan kit.  Just take it slow and methotical.  There is no race to get things done, this is a hobby and we should enjoy each step.  I just completed a 20 tub pickle tub complex and I did it one pickle at a time.

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: NarrowMinded1
Sent: Apr 17, 2019 12:10 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Blackstone future- US production

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the reply and tips! I've always had high expectations and been really critical of my work when it comes to model trains; guess I'll have to try and change that :-/ You take care as well!

"Nathan,


I appreciate how your health ( I had a detached retina ) can impact your model building ability, skill, desires and lead to frustration. Yes, Blackstone products provide a path to HOn3 that did not exist before they entered the market place. Model building can be good therapy if it's approached with simple projects and modest expectations. Scenery, pre-fab easy to build structures and completing small scenes can be satisfying if the project is small and taken at a modest pace. Model building should be enjoyable. Try not to be too hard on yourself and take pleasure in the simple projects. Take care and best wishes.

Lee Gustafson"

--
Nathan Kline
Tiadaghton Valley Railroad & Coal Co.
McConnellsburg, PA
--------------------------------------------------
Web: https://www.tiadaghtonvalleyrr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TiadaghtonValleyRailroad/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVJMoICFWw9Muse6xm8moiQ

Climax@...
 

Lee and others:
I know this may make a few cringe as it's not pure HOn3, but I do both.  Over the last 60+ years I have built and acquired over 500 cars.  I have built all of the Ambroid 1 of 5000 Series 1 adn 2, Heritage Line, and their regular issues.  I have built probably 90% of the Labelle cars, HO & HOn3, almost all the Mainline mondels, many Quality Craft, Red Ball, and all the Central Valley cars, Scratch built many and a lot of odd balls.  In fact I have a Redball Rotory Snow Plow kit coming my way....never saw one  of them before.  I had more than hundred Central Valley Box, Reefer, and Ventilated Reefer cars.  Over the years their drab paints and details started to take a real hit.  So I started repairing and repainting them.  I used Cover House Dry Transfers on them and now they pop out.  During this refinish I made 3 or 4 orders for more Clover House dry transfers and ordered all the Heinz Transfers.  They go on easy and are much sharper with no decal film after final finish.  Back to the Heinz cars, after dooing a dozen and running out I had a bug.  So I built a Heinz Vinegar Tank car out of an O Scale article where the tank is built around a piece of PVC tube wrapped in wood.  At first i forgot to half the sizes and the PVC sure looked too big for HO!.  After making the adjustments I built the car and it looks great.  Now the lettering had to be perfect and there is nothing commercially available.  I down loaded several logos of the Heinz "57" log until I had the right size, then carefully cut it out.  I placed it on my yellow painted tank and held it in place while I pushed very tiny holes along the logo edges.  I hand painted the logo and used commercial DT's on the rest.  Looks great.  Well now what I said.  I had heard or had seen a picture of a large pickle on a flat someplace and used a Christmas Tree "foam" pickle for a flat car load.  I built a frame for it to sit in, put the Pickle in and wala had it done.  I took it to a SSR  meet and showed it to a couple of friends.  One stood up and took me to a table where a guy was selling some books he has written.  One was Pickle and Vinegar Makes of the MIdwest by David J. Leider.  There on the cover was a picture of my Flat car with a pickle on it!  After reading most of the book I though with all this I need a pickle salting station.  I chose one out of an old RMC article that looks very similar to the American Model Builders Pickle Salting Station.  My first challenge was to build the 8000# tanks.  I looked around for some of the old Athearn Pickle tank car tanks and in fact got one on eBay.  I am impatient so I took some scribbed wood and tried wrapping it around a piece of 1/2" dowel.  It immediately broke.  I didn't want to put water on it as that warps the wood.  I selected alcohol and just brushed it on to saturate the wood.  Now it wrapped around a 1/2" piece of PVC easily and I held it in place with rubber bands until it dried.  It took the curve perfectly.  I removed it and glued it the 1/2" dowel and it fit like a glove.  I little trimming and it was perfect.  I then stained and streaked it with typical tank darkenings in wood from wet spots.  After it dried I painted the inside of the tank with light green Floquil paint.  After that dired I got some spice seeds and glued them on the light green paint.  After it dried they looked to big even though  had cut them a in hallf.  So off to the grocery store I went to look at spices.  I found Rosemary a better size.  Back home, smeared white glue each tub and poured on Rosmary seeds, pushed them into the glue and poured the excess into the next tank on kept that up for 40 tanks!  Yes, 40 of them!  I was building two Salting Stations at the same time, one for my buddy in Soddy Daisy TN and one for me.  I only did 14 tanks which were open where you could see the floating pickles.  After the glue dried I painted them again and put a dab of Woodland Scenics water in each tub and smeared it around.  After that died I again painted it a light green.  After that dried I dry brushed a dark green on the pickles that were sticking out of the water.  Once that dried I sprayed Testors gloss over the tub content to make them shine like wet pickles.  I then purchased 6 bags of 1 x 3 inch HO Scale Evergreen Hill Styrene strips and glued them around the tanks, 6 to a tank.  After that dried I painted them all silver with a felt tip pen and then dry brushed a white gray mixture in streaks down the tanks to resemble salt seeping through the tank sides.  Strip wood was used for making the tank tops.  My buddy thought I had gone nuts making 40 perfect water tanks, but I assured them it was a better project.  The decks were all individual boards cut as was almost all the rest of the structure.  I plan on soaking the base in pickle juice right before I take it in to the contest room.  I remember a friend who hung a small bucket of BS under his table with a tiny light bulb under it to warm it up   Every once in a while he would add some water to refresh it and only turned it on under the cattle yards when visitors were present.  We use sound, lights, and motion, why not smells too?  Now stepping in the BS would be just a little too much wouldn't you think?
Moral of the story, let your mind wander, follow your curiosity,and enjoy the ride and laugh a lot.
Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: "Lee Gustafson via Groups.Io"
Sent: Apr 17, 2019 8:16 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: [HOn3] Model building philosophy

Dave, Nathan & All,

Dave like you I approach model building as a model within a model until the project is complete. Yes, I want to finish the model but I've learned to enjoy each step and what it represents. Sometimes ( more often than I care to admit ) I've had to do a step over to accomplish the sub-assembly to my level of satisfaction. In the process I've learned something or acquired a new skill. Model building is problem solving and skill application. At the end of a model building session even if it didn't go well I try to leave it at a place that I want to come back to the next day or model building session. When the model is finished it may not be perfect ( it isn't, I know where the flaws are ) but I enjoy the completed model and look forward to the next project. I've been building model for 60 plus years so that may have helped me reach this perspective. My current project is the Coeur d'Alene mine that I've been working on for a year. Yes, I've worked on other short term projects but this has been like a good book I'm really enjoying the build. Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts on model building and a project you're working on.

Lee Gustafson




-----Original Message-----
From: Climax <Climax@...>
To: HOn3 <HOn3@groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Apr 17, 2019 11:50 am
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Blackstone future- US production

I have approached even my biggest projects by looking at each step in assembly and completing it then go to the next one.  I don't care if its a Fine Scale Miniatures kit, SSL kit or even a Jordan kit.  Just take it slow and methotical.  There is no race to get things done, this is a hobby and we should enjoy each step.  I just completed a 20 tub pickle tub complex and I did it one pickle at a time.

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: NarrowMinded1
Sent: Apr 17, 2019 12:10 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Blackstone future- US production

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the reply and tips! I've always had high expectations and been really critical of my work when it comes to model trains; guess I'll have to try and change that :-/ You take care as well!

"Nathan,


I appreciate how your health ( I had a detached retina ) can impact your model building ability, skill, desires and lead to frustration. Yes, Blackstone products provide a path to HOn3 that did not exist before they entered the market place. Model building can be good therapy if it's approached with simple projects and modest expectations. Scenery, pre-fab easy to build structures and completing small scenes can be satisfying if the project is small and taken at a modest pace. Model building should be enjoyable. Try not to be too hard on yourself and take pleasure in the simple projects. Take care and best wishes.

Lee Gustafson"

--
Nathan Kline
Tiadaghton Valley Railroad & Coal Co.
McConnellsburg, PA
--------------------------------------------------
Web: https://www.tiadaghtonvalleyrr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TiadaghtonValleyRailroad/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVJMoICFWw9Muse6xm8moiQ

burr.stewart@...
 

I had a thought the other day that there is a "depth of focus" issue in modeling, related to "storytelling". There are places on my layout only 2 square inches that tell a story, and some that are 30 feet long. But many places where things are jumbled together and don't tell a coherent story, like two otherwise nice buildings or roads that don't make sense being so close to each other. Perhaps this applies to parts of a particular model as well. I've seen layouts where the entire room tells a coherent story, but sadly mine misses the mark, and appears somewhat chaotic, like a storyteller that keeps getting distracted from his main point. I would keep talking about this, but fear that it would only confirm my suspicion that my writing style is just as chaotic as my layout! :)

lloyd lehrer
 

So Burr, is the philosophy that your layout should "tell" a story that is consistent with the scene being modeled or that the layout overall should have a realistic/coordinated story? Or am I missing  it?  

I was just admiring the images of Jeff's images of Jefferson and probably would not have noticed his sawmill being a noisy operation just across from where the school marm was trying to get kids settled in for some instruction. Having a lot of teachers in my family, I am atuned to their concerns, but did not notice it until he pointed out the sawmill being relocated.  

I find a lot of things very incongruous in the real world that we have and would tell a story if we knew how it got there. So is the story the  problem or just reflecting reality?


lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097


On Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:11 PM <burr.stewart@...> wrote:
I had a thought the other day that there is a "depth of focus" issue in modeling, related to "storytelling". There are places on my layout only 2 square inches that tell a story, and some that are 30 feet long. But many places where things are jumbled together and don't tell a coherent story, like two otherwise nice buildings or roads that don't make sense being so close to each other. Perhaps this applies to parts of a particular model as well. I've seen layouts where the entire room tells a coherent story, but sadly mine misses the mark, and appears somewhat chaotic, like a storyteller that keeps getting distracted from his main point. I would keep talking about this, but fear that it would only confirm my suspicion that my writing style is just as chaotic as my layout! :)


--
lloyd lehrer

Russ Norris
 

I have a scene on my layout in the mining town of Robertsdale that features a row of houses with the back yards facing the tracks.  I think I got the idea from an article in RMC.  Three of the yards have typical activities with families working in the garden, watering and mowing the lawn.  The last house has a board fence, a yard full  of trash, and old Jack Booher on the back steps having his morning beer while the cat explores the garbage.  The whole scene is a story!

Russ 

On Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 3:35 PM lloyd lehrer <lloydlehrer@...> wrote:
So Burr, is the philosophy that your layout should "tell" a story that is consistent with the scene being modeled or that the layout overall should have a realistic/coordinated story? Or am I missing  it?  

I was just admiring the images of Jeff's images of Jefferson and probably would not have noticed his sawmill being a noisy operation just across from where the school marm was trying to get kids settled in for some instruction. Having a lot of teachers in my family, I am atuned to their concerns, but did not notice it until he pointed out the sawmill being relocated.  

I find a lot of things very incongruous in the real world that we have and would tell a story if we knew how it got there. So is the story the  problem or just reflecting reality?


lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097

On Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:11 PM <burr.stewart@...> wrote:
I had a thought the other day that there is a "depth of focus" issue in modeling, related to "storytelling". There are places on my layout only 2 square inches that tell a story, and some that are 30 feet long. But many places where things are jumbled together and don't tell a coherent story, like two otherwise nice buildings or roads that don't make sense being so close to each other. Perhaps this applies to parts of a particular model as well. I've seen layouts where the entire room tells a coherent story, but sadly mine misses the mark, and appears somewhat chaotic, like a storyteller that keeps getting distracted from his main point. I would keep talking about this, but fear that it would only confirm my suspicion that my writing style is just as chaotic as my layout! :)

--
lloyd lehrer

Climax@...
 

I like that, my company houses are too antiseptic, the only thing in the back yard is a clothing line.  My workers at the MC :Pulpwood Mill need to loosen up a bit and trash the area.  Perhaps even paint one house with a red door and light outside the door! hahahahha  Same over at the sawmill.
Other things I do is name structures after people I know.  I built a general two story store called Barron Bro's, and right below that name Oliver, Richard, and EArl, then put the date above it all 1919.  My Fathers brothers and his name was Early and he was born in 1919.  Another structure has the Law Offices of Harry Hertzburg a friend who has passed and he was a Jewish New York attorney so I put a shark outside the office.  A mill, reverse immage of the ProPatina Mill with additional structures was names the Sunshine Mill & Mine after my female cat who passed on.  A tug boat with the registration of TX2001 and name on the Transom Sparky, and other cat who has passed.  A buddy of mine for a RR car ferry, the Willy C, and on and on.  Sky's Chandler's, another cat.  It gets fun to figure out different names.  I may even name a few things after people that either did me wrong or that I never liked but make the structuers of things like grave yards, sewage plants, scum ponds or tar pits.  Ya gotta have fun or its not fun.
Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: Russ Norris
Sent: Apr 20, 2019 8:09 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Model building philosophy

I have a scene on my layout in the mining town of Robertsdale that features a row of houses with the back yards facing the tracks.  I think I got the idea from an article in RMC.  Three of the yards have typical activities with families working in the garden, watering and mowing the lawn.  The last house has a board fence, a yard full  of trash, and old Jack Booher on the back steps having his morning beer while the cat explores the garbage.  The whole scene is a story!

Russ 

On Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 3:35 PM lloyd lehrer <lloydlehrer@...> wrote:
So Burr, is the philosophy that your layout should "tell" a story that is consistent with the scene being modeled or that the layout overall should have a realistic/coordinated story? Or am I missing  it?  

I was just admiring the images of Jeff's images of Jefferson and probably would not have noticed his sawmill being a noisy operation just across from where the school marm was trying to get kids settled in for some instruction. Having a lot of teachers in my family, I am atuned to their concerns, but did not notice it until he pointed out the sawmill being relocated.  

I find a lot of things very incongruous in the real world that we have and would tell a story if we knew how it got there. So is the story the  problem or just reflecting reality?


lloyd lehrer, (310)951-9097

On Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 12:11 PM <burr.stewart@...> wrote:
I had a thought the other day that there is a "depth of focus" issue in modeling, related to "storytelling". There are places on my layout only 2 square inches that tell a story, and some that are 30 feet long. But many places where things are jumbled together and don't tell a coherent story, like two otherwise nice buildings or roads that don't make sense being so close to each other. Perhaps this applies to parts of a particular model as well. I've seen layouts where the entire room tells a coherent story, but sadly mine misses the mark, and appears somewhat chaotic, like a storyteller that keeps getting distracted from his main point. I would keep talking about this, but fear that it would only confirm my suspicion that my writing style is just as chaotic as my layout! :)

--
lloyd lehrer

Ken Martin
 

On the club layout there is a row of three houses built from the same kit with variations.
I put a cat on a lean to on the back of one house, Another member added some firemen and a little girl.
One fireman is climbing a ladder to get the cat.

Ken



On Apr 20, 2019, at 5:42 AM, Climax@... wrote:

I like that, my company houses are too antiseptic, the only thing in the back yard is a clothing line. 

 Ya gotta have fun or its not fun.
Dave

 

Model Railroading can be many things to different model railroaders.  It can be high art.  As such the "art" should tell a story.  A famous example is Da Vinci's Mona Lisa which also has that element of mystery.
One other thought I've mentioned before.  Some of the best art has a bit of abstraction in it.  How much abstraction doesn't matter as long as it's consistent across the visual or mental field of the viewer.  In spite of that if anything in that picture looks out of place it must be a fundamental part of a story or the whole thing fails.  So you can tell a great story with a scene full of cheap plastic structures or Brio trains.  But drop a contest grade fine scale building in the middle of that and it will tell a story of some sort. But it will change the story.
There is a Depression era artist who produced some very moving but kinda abstract industrial scenes as well as other subjects of every day life.  They really catch my eye.  I think because the artist simply leaves out real world details that are not relevant to the story he wants his painting to tell.  I think in the chase to recreate reality our model scenes often get too busy to tell a good story.
Ed Weldon