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Thread: Scenery Dilemma (What Would Koester Do?)

  1. Default Scenery Dilemma (What Would Koester Do?)

    Hi y'all, I have an industrial switching layout that is supposed to loosely represent the Cleveland, OH metro area. All of the benchwork and trackwork is installed and functional, now I'm ready for the final phase: scenery.

    The layout is oriented on a north-south axis - Cleveland on the northern end, the B&O Pittsburgh-Chicago main line [staging] on the southern end. The track at the southernmost end of the layout disappears behind a sky-blue scenic divider:

    ...and this is where I'm at with it now:

    I want to be able to shoot head-on photos of trains coming straight out of staging, but obviously I can't have them coming out of a hole on the horizon!

    One option is to put a hill with a tunnel portal over the hole:

    Another possibility is to have an elevated highway hiding the hole:

    Finally, I could just cover the area around the hole with a dense cluster of trees:

    I'd like to do the tunnel portal, but I'm trying to measure up to the standard promoted by Tony Koester that a scene should accurately reflect the region you are modeling - and I've never seen or heard of any tunnels around Cleveland.

    The highway overpass would definitely be found in Cleveland as well as any large city, but the spot where it abruptly ends at the divider wall would be very difficult to conceal.

    Having a small forest would be easy enough, but prototype Class 1 railroads like the B&O generally kept their right-of-ways clear of surrounding foliage. as you can see, each approach has its "up" side and "down" side. Which one would you choose if you were in my situation?
    - keN in Maryland

  2. Default

    Tony would write a book.
    I'd go with the overpass and have tree cover behind it!
    Nice thing about a bridge is it fits anywhere and is a chance to show off some nice vehicles.

    Try a mockup and be sure to post some pics!
    Questions answered, Answers questionable.

  3. Default

    Ken - I agree with Rico in using a combination of highway and trees. Trees could also go in front of the wall/highway juncture to hide it.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Caboolture in SE Queensland, Australia


    If this is an inner city area, or it's outskirts, wouldn't it be appropriate to have a city skyline on the wall? That opening could be from beneath an underpass as you have proposed, with relief buildings/photographic buildings disguising the highway's end. Here's one of the YouTube videos of Vic Smith's "City Edge" layout. Note the entrance from beneath an overpass at the beginning, and at the very end where the upper track disappears under a building across the tracks. Not saying you have to go to the extent he has, but some adaption of the scene/s
    Last edited by tootnkumin; 05-18-2017 at 06:14 AM.

    I'm lost. I've gone to look for me. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

  5. #5


    I also agree with the overpass and trees. Toot, I have seen numerous videos of Vic's layout. Second to none. Just outstanding.
    ................................ Chet

    Video - Switching in Churchill -
    VIDEO Tour of the layout -
    New cab ride -

  6. #6


    Overpass!! And a small mirror behind it to extend the scene.

  7. Default

    I vote with Gene!

    Gonna miss the salt pile though.
    I am starting to think I will never be old enough to know better!

  8. #8


    Ken, it's unanimous. Use an overpass, with trees and appropriate foliage, as you would find around Baltimore, Cleveland or any other place. Tunnel portals don't work without mountains, and dense foliage screams secondary line on it's last legs. I also agree with Rico, Tony would write a book.
    No Whimpering!

  9. #9


    When doing the overpass and trees, I would also curve the road. I couldn't find a reason for an overpass, but did curve the road into the town in the backdrop and put a building blocking the road where it went out of sight.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMAG1155.jpg 
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ID:	61683 There is a school bus on the road but pretty well hidden.

    The track would go where the road is in this photo.
    Last edited by montanan; 05-18-2017 at 10:51 AM.
    ................................ Chet

    Video - Switching in Churchill -
    VIDEO Tour of the layout -
    New cab ride -

  10. Default

    Try to light up behind the opening and scenic there as well.
    Then an overpass will not have a black hole underneath it.

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