If you are building a model railroad diorama for competition you might want to consider visiting your local trophy shop. These shops carry commercially finished trophy bases which can be just perfect for small dioramas. You might also check to see if a plaque (minus the engraved metal message would serve you well for a larger diorama. Kessler and Winar have some great color photographs showing what a professional touch these bases can add to a scene. To see what I mean consult Chapter Eight of How to Paint Realistic Military Figures by Lynn Kessler and Don Winar Kalmbach Books. Scale Modeling Handbook No. 14. Published 1993. I borrowed my copy at the George Mason Regional Library numbered as 745.592K. Reviewed by Nicholas Kalis  

"Painting Cast Resin Vehicles" John Pryke Model Railroader January 1999, page 153. All urban modelers should read this illustrated article. Together with color photos, Pryke gives easy to follow tips for painting cast resin vehicles. Pryke told readers how he built his HO New Haven RR in the September 1997 issue of MR. Review by Nicholas Kalis  

"The New Haven's Waterbury Branch" Brian Hutchinson, Photos by Lou Sassi. Model Railroader, January 1999, pp.94-101. Hutchinson's article contains seven color photographs of his exquisite urban theme layout. Brian=s track plan was inspired by Ed Vondrak whose name should be familiar to all members of the Layout Design SIG and readers of Kalmbach's Track Planning Ideas from Model Railroader. Review by Nicholas Kalis  

"Car card box and sorting rack" Lionel Strang Working on the Railroad Model Railroader February 1999, pp. 123-127. If you are building an urban based model railroad you should build sorting racks for your car cards. Strang teaches you how to build these easily. Review by Nicholas Kalis  

How to build Dioramas Sheperd Paine, Kalmbach Books 1980. Sixth printing 1989. Get this book. There has been at least another printing since the sixth one I purchased. This book could be subtitled, "Ideas for Urban Modeling".  Here are the chapter headings: Introduction, Ideas and Planning, From the Ground Up, Weathering Techniques, Posing and Painting Figures, Step-by-step: The Elefant's Dilemmas, Details and Accessories, Superdetailing, Battle Damage, and Interiors, Step-by-step: The Lady Be Good; Structures for Dioramas; Step-by-step: The Road to Damascus; Shadow Boxes; Step-by-step: The Meeting of the Admiralty Board; Photographing Your Dioramas. Review by Nicholas Kalis