This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Digital cameras and road trips


How photos and travel can be valuable tools/Bob Walker L


ong ago two famous modelers, who were long time friends, got together one day for a little


show-and-tell. They were John Allen and Cliff Grandt, neither of whom needs a bio here. Cliff had just scratch- built a locomotive, an On3 Climax I be- lieve, and John graciously pho- tographed it for him. When the prints were done, Cliff studied them closely with his modeler’s critical eye, and was disturbed at what he saw. The camera is a harsh but honest critic. The model’s flaws (for that time peri-


od, it was a magnificent piece of work), were glaringly apparent. Most of would have missed them but not Cliff. He used John’s photos to make all the cor- rections he felt he needed, and the re- sults were an even more stunning model. In the end, John was polite enough to not mention the flaws, and Cliff put aside any ego and addressed the issues that he felt needed atten- tion. The end result of all of this extra effort was better modeling and a con- tinuing friendship.


I did a column in the recent past about digital photos for making build- ing walls and signs and the like. I will not be covering the same ground for this one and will take things in an en- tirely new direction.


I started writing for Carstens Publi- cations in December of 1970, and in the intervening 40 plus years I have taken (and submitted) a lot of photographs. A


PHOTOS BY THE AUTHOR


Scratchbuilder’s Corner


lot of those pictures were less than complimentary of the model work be- ing shown and were the cause of some re-work, and new photography as well. The camera is difficult to impossible to argue with. You either accept the flawed work as the best you can do or try to correct the problem with a little careful reworking. The choice is yours, or in some cases the second harshest critic, an editor. Now Bill Schaumberg and Tony Koester before him were two of the nicest guys (and best modelers) I ever knew. Try to slip second rate work past either of them and they would be on you like white on rice. I freely admit to being called on the carpet by both men. Remember, all you potential au- thors out there, an editor’s suggestion is much like a golfer’s swing: it is best if you follow through.


After a while in this game you get to know your skill levels pretty well and of- ten decide what is your best effort, as well as what can be improved. I have found that if you keep trying to improve your skills you will. Take a few photos of your work as a project progresses and stop to study the results once in a while. You may be surprised at what you learn


from your own model pictures. I keep my camera (a Pentax K20D) near the workbench, mostly because of my association with the good folks at Carstens, but also to keep me honest in the modeling process. This is a habit developed in and because of the digital era. As a long time professional photog- rapher, I was deeply into film. My first real camera as a college freshman in 1963, was a Nikon F. I stayed with the pro versions of film cameras (for me, Nikon) until my last day at Rush Uni- versity Medical Center in December of 1987. It was Editor Bill that dragged me, kicking and screaming, into the Digital Age when this column started, and he insisted on digital images. That was almost ten years ago, and I am now 100 percent digital, having sold all the Nikons. The films that I used have disappeared from store shelves, too, which also has something to do with it. And, thanks to Accurail’s staff artist Eric Cote, I now can muddle through the basics of Corel Photopaint®


.


I am not advocating photography as a second hobby, although it is a fine one, and I guess you could say it is one of my few other hobbies. I still recom- mend a digital camera for use as one of the many tools at our disposal for building models from raw materials. In many ways, the camera is as useful as the other tools on your bench. Take it to museums, where vintage equipment resides, and use the photos to accurate-


When a modeler is on the road, he or she never knows when a building or scene will inspire a model (left). With a camera in


RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


hand those photographs can help one reach a certain fidelity with the models that will end up on the layout (right).


73


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100