Building City Scenery
for your Model Railroad
Scenery for your Model Railroad
By John Pryke
Reviewed by Nicholas
The year 2000 may be the year that urban modeling came of age. At least that
is one interpretation of Kalmbach's publishing Pryke's guide to building
urban scenery. This fully illustrated soft cover book should be on
everyone's bookshelf who is interested in urban modeling. Even old timer
modelers of the urban scene will learn something new from these pages. My
only regret is that there was not more pages devoted to the modeling
techniques of Mike Palmiter, though Mike is mentioned on page 10. This book
may be the only book ever published dedicated solely to urban modeling. Yet
it does not exhaust the topic. Indeed, that is why we launched the Urban
Pryke's book of seven chapters
is divided into three sections: Designing a City; Building a City; and
Detailing a City. Chapter 1 is entitled: The Primary Elements of Model
Railroad City Scenery and goes one for six more chapters. A good deal of the
book focused on Beverly and Bob Shea's city module.
A little about the author: John
Pryke is a native of New York City who graduated in 1962 from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is working on his fifth layout
which is based on the New Haven Railroad as it appeared in September 1948.
John's layout has been featured in Model Railroader
Get your hands on these 96 pages
and read and re-read every page. Most of all, enjoy. If I might
editorialize, I would like Kalmbach to bring out many more books on urban
scenery. Perhaps Jonathan Jones would be the best candidate for authoring or
editing the next urban modeling book brought out by Kalmbach. Andy Sperandeo,
can you hear me?
Nick Kalis' "Adventures
in Urban Model Railroading." featured in
N Scale Railroading March/April 2003
A Review for
The Cannonball published by the Sunrise Trail Division of the NER, NMRA
Don't read Bill Denton's latest article in
N Scale Railroading unless you are prepared to catch the
urban modeling bug. If you have not yet discovered N Scale
Railroading you should get a subscription (1 year $26.00
from North American N Scale Publishing P.O. Box 77296, Seattle WA
98177-0296) whether or not you model in N scale.
In the latest issue, Bill Denton describes his
Milwaukee Road Kingbury Branch. All photographs (ten color photos in
all) are by the author. Bill was inspired to model these urban canyons by
a prototype article that appeared in the April 1975 Model
Railroader. Denton, Bill. In fact, Bill Denton's
modeling has previously appeared in Model Railroader
and served as one of the inspirations for my own modeling. Where my
modeling differs from his is that my prototype did not run in the street
as does Bill's. Bill uses Digitrax to run his shelf style N scale layout
set in the 1970s. Bill began building his Kingsbury Branch in the Spring
of 1994. Each of his two sections of benchwork measures six feet long by
21 inches wide. The results are superb because of Bill's attention to
detail. He skillfully blends foreground into background, among his many
tricks. He even manages to squeeze a bit of the Chicago River into one
section of benchwork. None of Denton's structures appear to be straight
out of the box which adds to his layout's appeal.
Subject: Product Reviews by
As a modeler of the urban scene, I am always
looking for items that scream - Urban. Today, I found two items that say
just that. I just purchased and placed on my layout the following neat
Woodland Scenics, besides making some great new
figures, also sells what it calls Assorted Junk, 10 pcs.
This HO scale item is in their Scenic Accents line as A1952.
Each item is very realistically painted. I heartily recommend this item
although at $9.98 this is not a cheap item. The package tells us the
item is made in China. See their web site at
www.woodlandscenics.com for further
I also just weathered Busch's HO scale American
LaFrance red ladder engine. While pricey, $29.98 at Granddads, I think
this is a neat item. The Busch catalog number for this item is 46023.
This 1:87 item is made in Germany.
Wooden Water Tanks may be
one of the most critical detail parts you will ever need to effectively model a
significant urban area on your layout. The kit is part of Walthers Cornerstone
Series. I heartily recommend it to anyone modeling in HO scale. Remember that
each package contains three kits. Frankly, the only way you can go wrong is to
buy only one package. I used a rubber band to help keep my tanks together while
under construction. It might be useful to vary the color of each tank. I like to
use Tamiya spray paint and to paint my kits outdoors. These kits should go
together easily with Model Master Liquid Cement For Plastic Models 1 Fluid
ounce. No. 8872 with the build-in needle applicator.
"Wooden" Water Tanks pkg(3) Walthers Part #