50 Ways to a Better-Looking Layout

50 Ways to a Better-Looking Layout

Jeff Wilson

Item # 12465
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New detailing projects from Jeff Wilson, plus favorites from the pages of Model Railroader, help modelers add the finishing touches to their layouts and create a higher level of interest and realism. Projects range from adding weeds to creating signs and billboards, and all can be completed easily in an evening or weekend. Key areas covered include structures, scenery, vehicles, locomotives and rolling stock, and more.


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Author: Jeff Wilson
Softcover; 8 1/4 x 10 3/4; 96 pages; 250 color photos; ISBN: 9780890248195


Jeff Wilson has written more than 20 books on railroads and model railroading. He spent 10 years as an associate editor at Model Railroader magazine, and he currently works as a freelance writer, editor, and photographer, contributing articles to Model Railroader and other magazines. He enjoys many facets of the hobby, especially building structures and detailing locomotives, as well as photographing both real and model railroads.
BUILDINGS
Convert a boxcar to a shed
Detail an industrial loading dock
Cardboard cases by the stack
Signs out of matchbooks
3-D signs from stir sticks
Advertising sign decals
Give building a level base
Improve roofs on structures
Build cardstock structures
Impressionistic interiors
Scratchbuilt exhaust fans

STREETS, VEHICLES, AND PEOPLE
Show vehicles turning
Detail sidewalk scenes
Roadway striping and weathering
Set an era with roadside billboards
Add locomotive cab crews
Paint your own figures
Place drivers in vehicles
Open truck doors
Upgrade a truck
Detail semitrailers
Apply license plates

TRACKSIDE
Gravel road with grade crossing
Asphalt road with grade crossing
Paint and detail track
Build an operating derail
Detail a signal
Signs along the tracks
Model weed-grown track
Add junk between yard tracks

SCENERY
Use forced perspective
Weeds from fake fur
Make realistic trees
Plant a soybean field
Add cattails to a water scene
Build and install board fences
Rural wire fences
Chain link fences
Communication poles

LOCOMOTIVES AND FREIGHT CARS
Diesel number boards
Renumber locomotives and cars
Freight car markings
Chalk marks on freight cars
Galvanized boxcar roofs
Model an open boxcar
Weather models with chalk
Weather freight car trucks
Add rust with oil paint
Weather a flatcar deck
Realistic hopper loads
An adage of model railroaders is that no model railroad is ever really finished yet if one is, then itís time to start a new one. A reason that one is need never be finished is that once the track is down, trains running and scenery created, then one can focus on adding more detail to all of those components. Indeed, one could spend as much time super-detailing a box car as most of us spend creating a rolling layout! 50 Ways To A Better-Looking layout presents 50 ideas to make your layout a unique showpiece.
Author Jeff Wilson is a freelance writer and model railroader who worked for Model Railroader magazine for a decade. Mr. Wilson emphasizes that one can try all or none of the ideas presented within these covers, introducing this concept with his first sentence: "Too many modelers rush to finish their layouts, losing sight of the fact that this hobby is not a race: itís a journey."
Mr. Wilson assembled and collated this concise series with both original articles as well as a few he published in Model Railroader, focusing the tips and techniques into this useful reference book. Mr. Wilson presents these 50 processes and techniques through 95 pages in 5 sections.
These ideas are from the imagination of Mr. Wilson and several other model railroaders, some of which are very well known. The book is well laid out and written in a manner that easily conveys the projects.
One sound precaution is to check copyright on images you reproduce, understanding when it is acceptable to reproduce items yet not distribute them.
The author even points you to online modeling sources Ė very useful!
While I will not recount each idea in this book, I will highlight a few that are particularly impressive. Many tips may seem obvious yet are frequently overlooked, i.e., adding fire hydrants to sidewalk scenes, drivers in vehicles. He lists the source of many models used in the details such as Blair Line; Walthers; Bar Mills, et al. Several tips are to use everyday items for advertising, such as using matchbooks to duplicate signs.
One very important technique that is addressed is how to renumber locomotives and cars. Adding weeds to track is a good idea, too. Ever wanted to put a convincing busy interior into a building quick and easy? This shows you how!
Photographs: Plenty - 250 in fact! All in full color, too. Each part starts with a primary photo of the finished scene. Multiple in-progress images guide the reader through the process visually. These photos are also useful as they portray inspiration extracurricular to the described subject.
I appreciate books like these. Often the subjects are articles gleaned from the host magazine yet that is fine with me. Donít get me wrong, I am a magazine subscriber and hold onto them like treasure just to reference past layouts and articles like these. (Several years ago I donated 65 years of subscriptions to local libraries, and still have probably 25 years taking up shelf space!) Which is why I am a fan of this book and those of the genre: the articles are all together in an easily accessed format without culling through advertising; I can find what I want without trying to remember which issue the subject is published in.
The wealth of ideas is well worth the price of this title. These ideas are appropriate for beginners and experienced model railroaders. Many have good crossover potential for any modeling genre. I recommend this compilation and look forward to using many of the ideas within.
-Frederick Boucher, RailRoadModeling
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