Another great tip from Mark

“Hi Al.

Here is my ‘Tip for the Day’. Trying to complete a lot of scenery on your layout all at once can become very tedious and sometimes frustrating. I’ve found that taking a small area, planning it out and then completing it before moving on to the next project is more rewarding. This method allows you to try different techniques using various materials. If you complete a scene, and are not truly happy with it, you haven’t wasted a lot time and material.

You can continue to ‘tweak’ it until you are completely satisfied and then move on to the next project. Every time I complete a project, I like to add a small “signature” of some sort – much like putting a cherry on top of the ice cream! Sometimes it’s just a small sign that I remember from my younger days, or naming something after a friend or, in this case, I placed “myself” in the scene enjoying two of my favorite things – railroads and fishing!

Anyway, whatever you do on your layout should be fun and bring you great satisfaction at completion. Attached is a ‘before’ picture and two photos of the completed scene along with a short video.

Keep your rails shiny!

Mark”

Badwater FINAL Photo

Badwater Trestle East 3

Badwater Trestle Water test BEFORE



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

Wise words from Mark – and it’s a tip that is echoed by others in the Beginners Guide too.

That’s all this time folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

Best

Al

23 Responses to Another great tip from Mark

  1. John Deamer says:

    great tip Mark my two favourite past times as well

  2. david howarth says:

    Love the trestle bridge Mark …well done .. ..Dave

  3. Rod Mackay says:

    Never been fishing, but I gather it has some advantages – like making your leisure time seem to last three times as long!
    I’ve just spent some time trying to sort out a set of points that seemed to be derailing the train that normally uses it. The train worked fine round the rest of the layout so I assumed it had to be the points, right? Wrong. It turned out, when I realised it was always the front end of one particular coach that initiated the derailment, that it was a vehicle problem – I think what was happening was the sprung swan-neck of the close-coupling was catching on a slight blemish on the vee plate in the mounting. Gave the vee a gentle scrape with a craft knife, problem seems to be fixed, fingers crossed. What I want to know is, why do these things always rear their heads when you’ve got someone round to play with the trains?
    Rod

  4. Keith Miller says:

    Thank you for sending such an interesting and informative ‘before and after’ set of photos. Plus the video – really nice work. Excuse my ignorance (living in England) but what are the barrels on the bridge for? Do they still have wooden bridges or is this set some time in the past? Whatever: great stuff!

  5. Charley Taylor says:

    I have an box elder in front of my house. It put out several suckers which I removed . After they dried I saw a source for some really realistic logs, they even have bark. They range in diameter from about 9 scale inches, up about two feet. And about 174 scale feet long.

  6. Randy spicer says:

    Lots of new and some old,stuff. I like your houses but would like to see some inexpensive industrial tanks andplants. Loading docks etc. Otherwise great stuff!

  7. Thierry Pochet says:

    Thanks Marc, this is indeed a very appropriate advice…. that sometimes I forget, and then I have to go through disapointment.
    Very well done. Thierry

  8. Jerry Suits says:

    Great trestle bridge! I agree that it is best to have fun building your layout, and to create scenery that is personally meaningful.
    Jerry

  9. Bob Bouskill says:

    I really like your layout, especially that the town is at the level of the bottom of the ravine. I never heard a diesel sound like that. The question about the rain barrels is that they were supposed to be there in case there was a fire on the bridge. In Canada, where I live these wooden bridges were filled in with rocks and soil by Chinese labourers who worked for little and lived in tents along the railroad. They used wooden carts to pull the fill out onto the bridge and then dumped it. Eventually you would see the railroad as if it had been built on a berm, all hand made. For more information on this story study the Canadian Pacific railroad on the west coast. More interesting railroad building techniques were encountered going over the top of the Great Lakes as piles had to be driven deep into the ground.

  10. ARNIE STEINER says:

    Hi, your right-on-the-Mark (pun intended) with your scenicking tip.

    I too learned the hard way over the years that it’s always better to be in control over a project’s progress rather than let it run ahead of you and lead to frustrating results. Pacing yourself with reasonably sized scenic work areas of about 12-18″ is the way to go! Then continuing along reproducing what works rather than repeating errors over large areas has always worked for me.

    By the way, I love the Badwater Trestle scene and the video with that 1st generation diesel (VO-1000?). Nice work! Thanks for sharing it with us. – Arnie

  11. Carl in Kansas says:

    There it is again: frustration at trying to get your entire layout done at one time. Good advice Mark, do a little at a time. However, we all hate to see a little area looking great but it is surrounded by bare plywood and Styrofoam. Try this approach. Paint all that plywood and Styrofoam with dirt colored brown paint, or grass green, or a mixture of both. In a very short time you have a semi-finished layout. Not good enough? How about using some of Al’s paper buildings? Use them as temporary space fillers. Move them around and test your ideas for finished projects. Now concentrate on smaller areas one at a time.

  12. Robert W. Hamilton says:

    Your trestles are super great! Where I grew up, back in the Maine woods, we had quite a few trestles and as a kid they always amazed me (they still do), albeit I have not tried building any – as yet. I might try one, now that you have given us such great pictures. Thank you, Bob

  13. Dr Bob says:

    Great job on the trestle and scenery increments Mark.

  14. Tim Morlok says:

    The red barrels on the trestle are water for fighting fires. If a spark from the locomotive or a car with a hotbox (over heated axel journal box) started a fire the conductor could stop the train. Then the crew would use the water to put out spot fires so that the whole trestle would not burn down. A Maintenance of Way crew would then be dispatched to inspect and repair any damage. Very nice details on the trestle and the whole scene. Tim

  15. Ron Schultz says:

    water barrels on wooden and some steel bridges are use as fire control. hot ashes dropped on ties can cause them to catch fire. Steam engines were the worst . diesels today eliminate that problem but we still have vandals that have set some wooden structures on fire . they burned a wooden trestle or bridge on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic RR in N M a year or so ago. and several old stations that were no longer in use have been set on fire . Like the consist on the G N . the boom car used as the work caboose is an other thing I had not seen . I some times add a flat car in front of the boom car as there are some places I have to switch and run it boom forwards .

  16. Mike O'Connell says:

    thank you for your post. I enjoyed the video. Gave me new ideas to liven up my layout.

  17. paul Otway says:

    great looking trestle bridge, reminds me of the ones in wild west movies.

    Paul from down under

  18. tom keller says:

    A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work! Great post!

  19. Ian says:

    Very nice scene, and a valuable tip. Thanks.

  20. Ian Mc Donald says:

    love the bridge cant imagine the time spent on it love the video with the train.

  21. Carl Halgren says:

    Here is an interesting, true story about one wood trestle. This railroad had orders that when a hot box is noticed, the engineer is required to stop the train and not move it until the situation was rectified and deemed suitable to move. Well, the conductor reported a hot box while on a wood trestle. As required, the engineer stopped the train immediately. The hotbox was hot enough to start the nearest tie to catch fire. All personnel abandoned the train – nobody got injured. However, the entire trestle burned to the ground, dropping the entire train into the ravine.

    Had the rules allowed the engineer to use his common sense, he could have removed the train from the trestle, and saved the train. By continuing off the trestle as soon as the chance for fire was recognized, he could have even saved the trestle. Had there been water in the water barrels (assuming there were water barrels), they could have cooled the hotbox and structure. But – rules must be obeyed.

    Keep on Training,
    Carl in Kansas

  22. Fred Svoboda says:

    By the way, the technique of building a trestle and then filling in with earth to make a tall embankment (mentioned in another comment) can be seen west of Omaha, Nebraska, USA on the Union Pacific Railroad line.

  23. Cary B says:

    Beautifully detailed scene, loved the video.
    Thanks for reminding us to concentrate on one project at at time. Cary B

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *