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Clinic - Details Make The Difference

Most scenes can be improved by adding a little extra detail. In this session we will discuss the types of details you can add to your layout to bring your scene to life. 

I suggest taking a scratch pad and pencil and walking around building like the type you are detailing. Consider only the base structure then, WRITE DOWN everything else you see that has been added to the basic shape of the structure. Items like gas meters, electric meters, guttering, vents, signs etc.

Make a list of EVERYTHING on the ground surrounding the building. For example, trash cans, barrels, broken glass, cans, bottles, empty crates, pallets, old newspaper, weeds, cinder blocks, junk cars and/or parts, old boards, tires etc.

List the changes to the exterior of the structure that have occurred by exposure to the elements such as rusted metal, streaks of rust on the side of the building, decayed and discolored wood, faded paint on the structure, faded or damaged signs, dirt, dust and splatters.

A visit to your favorite Hobby Shop will offer a great deal of detail parts to give a sense of purpose to your scene. Look through a Walther’s catalog to see some of the detail parts which are commercially available. A few of the vendors that come to mind are

Grandt Line, Rix, Alexander Scale Models, Woodland Scenics, Precision Scale, Builders in Scale, Atlas, Bachman, MDC Roundhouse, Evergreen Hill, Dyna Models and of course lots of people and Preiser makes some of the best.

Another source that should not be overlooked is old building kits, old engines, cars and other parts from your junk box or if your Hobby Shop sells used items you can pick up a large amount of parts to be used as scenic details from their used/junk box.

After purchasing details and scrounging through your parts box, add details which appear to make sense around your building. A little weathering with pastel chalks, a few details and people and PRESTO, your scene has gone from a flat, lifeless scene to a realistic point of interest.

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