Making your model railroad prototypical

I recently posted this video on the Facebook page, and it got me to thinking, are we striving to make our layouts “too perfect”?  It seems that I’ve seen so many, mine included, that look too “clean” and perfect.  – more after the jump –

 

Unless you hand-lay your own track…and you’re horribly bad at it or worse, have no standards of quality, your layout will never look like that prototype… but what if that WAS the prototype era or locale you wanted to model?  Come to think of it, when WAS the last time you saw ANY prototype tracks that were as perfect as the majority of the tracks we put on our layout?

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Obviously, if you’re modeling a high-speed passenger train, you’re probably not going to want rough track, but on sidings and yard tracks, I think to add a real touch of realism, the track and roadbed you install shouldn’t be perfect, or even the best you can.  Clearly, our model trains don’t have the same type of suspension our prototypes do, hence can’t handle too wide of a variation in the rails, but some of the little things you can do when laying your track, can really add up in visual cues when running trains or photographing sections.

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