Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

Lennart's Model Railroad Blog

About this blog

This blog is about my current model railroad layout project; The N scale "Summit" layout, which is a freelanced interpretation of the Southern Pacific Tehachapi tunnels and their surroundings. Or at least, that is what it is meant to be. What it will turn out to be is another matter. The banner photo above shows what I want to recreate in N scale.

Teamwork on the Aroostook Valley RR

SceneryPosted by lennart Thu, December 29, 2011 21:19:24

The Internet is a great thing. The following would not have happened without it, for instance.

Some time ago I was contacted by one Geoffery T. Smith of Ma, USA. A gentleman I was not earlier acquainted with. He was asking about the photo backdrops I had on my former Tap Creek layout. He was building a shelf layout of the Aroostook Valley Railroad, and was looking for backdrops showing trees and farmland in a Maine autumn setting.

We discussed various ways of obtaining photo backdrops, and it all ended in me volunteering to take some photos here in Ekerö, Sweden, for Geof to print and use as standin maine scenery. He sent me descriptions of the various scenes he had in mind and the kind of background he wanted for each scene. Based on that I scouted the neighbourhood for suitable photo locations, took some photos and sent them off to Geof for his review. Here is a typical example:

As you can see, this is not an autumn scene, but at this point we were just looking for suitable scenes. Actually, what I did show Geof was not single photos as above but several pictures stitched together in a panoramic fashion (using ArcSoft PhotoStudio 5, which I got for "free" with my camera). Once Geof was satisfied, we just had to sit down and wait for autumn to arrive. At least I waited. Geof probably worked away on his layout.

Well, at last autumn arrived and the trees turned yellow and red, and I could shot the final photos. Like this one...

..which is actually the same location as in the prevous photo. Once again I stitched the photos together into complete scenes, and removed unwanted fences and buildings by means of some digital editing. From here, Geof took over; printed the backdrop photos and installed on his layout. In my opinion it all turned out great! The backdrop photos blend in nicely with the rest of Geof's scenery work, and it all comes together as believable Maine autumn scenes.

To prove my point, here are a few photos of Geof's layout, taken by his son Greg:

The scenes are not yet complete, the scenery is only 50% done, Geof says, but I think they are awesome already.

You can follow the progress on the AVR on Geof's blog.

That's the story of some god across the ocean teamwork. Thanks!

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Posted by Brian Woods Thu, July 28, 2016 14:01:54

This story reminded me of how I got started building model trains many years ago. It was rough at first, I have to admit. I would get caught up surfing the Internet for ours on end for answers or would spend too much time going through the painful process of dealing with inexperienced sales people at my local hobby shop. But somehow I learned to create my own detailed model train layouts without having a big budget or a lot of space, even though I wasn't good with my hands nor was I an electrician, a carpenter, or an artist. Now me and my two boys spend all our free time with this wonderful hobby. I'm glad that we are having fun together and they are doing something educational with their time. By the way, if you're interested in learning about model trains quickly, you might want to check out this great article, which will save you tons of time and money and keep you from making a lot of easily avoidable mistakes:


Hope it helps anyone reading this!