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Trees and Weeds CRAFTSMAN/Bob Walker, photos by the author


Variety Tip The trick is to use more than just weeds. Stones, standing water, scrap lum- ber, animals, even a few humans liven up a scene.


Twine Jute twine in green and various Fall colors are ready to plant. The knot gives a fi rm hand grip while you cut it. Splay out the ti p of the twine with a sti ff brush. An old toothbrush worked in this case.


This month, we will delve into using the other (artistic, not me- chanical) side of our brain. Most of what we discuss here is very precise and mechanical-type work. Scenery brings out the art- ist in us all. Well, mostly. A high- ly skilled and very mechanical friend of mine decided to model Colorado narrow gauge. He had built some exquisite models and was well into the mechanics of a very nice model railroad. He was


what one might call a “rivet coun- ter” and demanded total precision of his modeling. After his first vis- it to the prototype, he gave up the idea and now models urban rail- roading. The grandeur of the scen- ery in southwestern Colorado was so magnificent that he claimed: “Nobody can do this justice! You would need an amphitheater to model this place, not to mention 50,000 trees.” My standards are a little lower, so we’re going to


branch out into some scratchbuilt scenery. Yes, I consider scenery scratchbuilt.


There are not many junk shops, antique stores, or book- stores in Colorado that my wife Donna has not visited, and none in our home area of northern Il- linois. She never spends a lot, but often comes up with some strange off-the-wall item that she thinks might be of use on the railroad. It is a rare occurrence that the answer is negative, and many of the items she brings home turn out to be brilliant ideas. A cheap ($1) tapered wooden “lighthouse” — crude by the most forgiving of standards — was covered with corrugated tin and became a very credible slash burner. You get the idea. Well, to make a short story a little longer, one day, she comes home with a cute stuffed bunny rabbit and a ridiculous-looking toy moose. Now, I’m wondering which of her friends or co-work-


82 RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


SCRATCHBUILDER’S WORKSHOP


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