Yes, it truly has become all-consuming. Jay is furiously building track and determining just how many miles he can possibly place on the plywood without making it look too ridiculous.
In the meantime, I’ve been reading every article and book that I can find on how to best model N-Scale scenery on train layouts. Not only am I concerning myself with scenery, but also finishing the itty-bitty buildings that need to go into the layout, too. N-Scale is a 1:160 ratio, so if I’ve done my calculation correctly a 6′ person will be just under 1/2″ in this scale.
That means TINY buildings with TINY details. A two-story building (figuring about 20′ tall) is about 1 1/2″ in this scale. Jay wants a small-town looking city space on the layout so he purchased a box of thirteen buildings to make up the main street.
The details are really great, but if you’re not an artist it’s kind of hard to get a realistic finish.
Then I tried a different technique on the hotel, which you can see the back of it here. I painted everything the brick color. Once that was dry I dusted it with the dust from artists’ pastels to fill in the mortar.
I think that I just made a dirty-looking building.
I’m not done painting the itty-bitty details, though. I think that the brush I’m using is so tiny that it only has about three bristles on it and at times that feels like it’s too big!
We are doing the best that we can and learning as we go. The good thing is that as we continue building (which will take a number of years to really build this correctly), we will continue to improve our skills. We can always change out buildings at a later date. Jay wanted to get the buildings assembled, though, so that he could get an idea of where the track will go for good.
In the meantime I’ll continue refining my painting skills. I never did very well in art class when I was in school. I tried drawing a tiger lily and it ended up looking like an orange banana peel. I have problems drawing stick figures! I even have difficulties painting walls in the house… more paint ends up on me than on the walls!
I think that this will be an exercise in perseverance….