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Today I purchased from my LHS some Woodland Scenics autumn scenery materials, including a large bag of clump-foliage (orange, reddish brown, yellow and red) and lichen (autumn mix). I also have a bottle of Woodland Scenics orange flocking.

Can any of you folks share any tips or advice regarding how to make realistic early autumn scenery for an O Gauge model railroad?

The reason I ask is that although I'm relatively pleased with my Spring and Summer scenery in various shades of green, when I have attempted many years ago to make autumn scenery, I was not pleased with the results. My previous efforts to make autumn scenery looked very artificial to me.

Even when I tried to add a little bit of autumn colors while keeping the scenery mostly green, it still looked fake to me.

My guess is that I need to soften or mute the autumn colored scenery materials.

Any input is greatly appreciated.  Arnold

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@Artie-DL&W posted:

Hi Arnold, I model autumn, but with a bit of summer still lingering. I tend to keep some green, such as grass, fir trees, and some bushes. Other shut us and trees are further along. This works for me. What do you think?AF1D4D9D-DA99-4A1E-8D94-98854FE2052D

Looks good, Artie.

I got an idea: I have some videos of model railroads made by highly skilled hobbyists, who have some autumn scenery on their layouts. I've decided to watch those videos and look at photos on the Forum showing autumn scenery, including yours, Trumptrain's  (Patrick) and a few others. Then, I will take a stab on it.

I like your approach, Artie, of including some green as well as the autumn colors. I have 2 baseball parks on my layout, so early autumn (October when the World Series is played) is ideal.

Also, I think I will use mostly nuted autumn colors (reddish brown, yellow) and only a little of the bright colors (orange and red).

In my experience, when I get started, the results are only fair at best, and usually get much better as I make modifications. I will post photos as I make progress on this project. Arnold

Another update:

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I have started adding autumn colored scenery materials in small doses to the trees on my layout.

To my eye (I think this is highly subjective), as I originally thought, autumn colors look better when muted so they are not too bright. If too bright, they look artificial to me, which is not necessarily true in real life because autumn colors at its peak can be very vivid and not artificial at all.

I'm not sure I have the best materials to make autumn colored O Scale trees. Clump foliage does not look that good to me. Yellowish or brown turf sprinkled on  looks better, but not ideal.

If any of you have an opinion on this or can give advice regarding the use of autumn colored materials to make trees, please share same.

Arnold

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While not there yet, l plan a lot of bright fall yellow aspen groves interspersed with dark green blue spruce.  In New England, birches offer the bright yellow backed by not only evergreens, but all the multicolors of hardwoods.  Seen that in the UP (upper Mich. ), too.  I think what looks artificial is all the same color on a tree and in a same ,non aspen, grove.  This demands individual touching up with shades of green as well as other shades of your prime color.  Overpraying/ touching up comnercial trees,  laborious and time consuming, but better effect.

@Artie-DL&W posted:

Arnold, Woodland Scenics makes something called “Fine-Leaf Foliage” in an autumn mix. It uses thin weed stalks to represent trees, and has enough to fill out one of their standard trees. Here’s some on my layout. Some can be used for small bushes as well.

7049EB80-CF5F-45B7-AD15-D190DF6F02007419EC45-168F-44E4-AD69-0DAEACE8038E

Thanks so much, Artie. That Fine Leaf Foliage product by Woodland Scenics looks great. Arnold

@PRR Steam posted:

Here’s some shots of mine. I went for early fall when some green can still be found. I did about 350 scenic express super trees with various fall colored paper leaves. When it comes to ground cover I learned that a little bit of fall color goes a long way.

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C9917E18-BC7C-47F3-8617-FE90161DA6AB10DFD8D5-DA79-41D6-B912-292E00960633E36603B1-966D-4F98-99EC-03533AC5F6C23365CBB3-6016-4561-85CF-588344CFC9A0

PRR Steam, your scenery and photos are magnificent. Thanks so much for mentioning the Scenic Express product(s) you used and sharing these beautiful photos. Arnold

This thread is becoming a clinic on making scenery in autumn colors, which is very helpful IMO.

The Scenic Express product(s) mentioned by PRR Steam seem superior to what I'm currently using, which IMO is good, but not great. I will look into the availability and cost of those Scenic Express products, and consider completely upgrading my scenery down the road.

Nice scenery is just as important to me  maybe more important  than any locomotive. Scenery is almost medicinal for me, something I need to appreciate, enjoy, relax and be at peace.

Something else PRR Steam said resonated with me: a little fall color in ground cover goes a long way. No doubt, that is absolutely true, IMO, especially because of the baseball park and World Series theme of my layout,  which is in October, fall colors includes a lot of green.

So, in 3 minutes I went downstairs and removed two-thirds of the fall colors on my ground cover.

Here is my latest update:

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My favorite is the 2nd photo from the top. I didn't realize when I took it that the giraffe car was in the background with the giraffe looking directly at the camera. LOL, Arnold

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Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

Always enjoy your queries, Arnold!  Scenery is my least skilled task in model railroading, so I have spent lots of time learning and practicing before committing to the layout.  I have an around the room layout and display all 4 seasons. Fall was my first attempt at any serious scenery. I started out with some sculptamold, then painted the surface, then sprinkled various products from Scenic Express.  Decided the colors were not right (too monotonous), so removed the whole set up and started again!!

I added some photos of the final product, which was much better. I also added a photo of a typical rail bed in the fall. Note all the different colors and debris.  On the layout, I usually begin with an earth colored paint, then sprinkle an earth blend turf, then add lots of different colors of Flock and Turf from Scenic Express.  Trees of various sizes and colors are also great.  Add lichen with fall colors and brown moss.  Don't forget debris and dead leaves.

The backdrops were from a retailer, and customized to add a road and creek.  I tried to mimic the same colors on the layout. FYI, the scene is supposed to be a seaside cliff. It also is on a lift up section to enter into the center of the room. As you can see, it transitions into a winter scene.  One of the last scenes will be a waterfall under the bridge leading to winter!

Hope this helps. Enjoy creating fall!

Michael

Real sceneFull sceneClose upLift up

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Last edited by Michael Pags

Great thread Arnold!  Some very beautiful fall scenes from everyone too!

In this photo the bushes in the foreground are by Martin Wellburgh ( sp? ) Studios sold by Scenic Express.  IMG_6331

This photo shows a late fall scene ... with a tad of summertime activity at the lake.  Using fall color lichen between the rocks and bushes from Martin Wellburg Studios. IMG_6292

The photo below ... taller trees immediately in front of the bridge ... I purchased at the last York show from a gentleman in the Silver Hall.  IMG_6290

Fall lichen in the foreground with fall ground cover between the two sets of tracks.IMG_6347

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Another outstanding thread, thank you Arnold. My plan is to go with an autumnal theme. To this end last Fall, 2020, was even more vibrant than usual; in my area of Pennsylvania. In the late afternoon I took photos of mountain sides, farms, and whatever colors caught my attention. My goal is to get them blown up and use them as backdrops. Something to keep in mind with Fall having arrived.

@trumptrain posted:

Great thread Arnold!  Some very beautiful fall scenes from everyone too!

In this photo the bushes in the foreground are by Martin Wellburgh ( sp? ) Studios sold by Scenic Express.  IMG_6331

This photo shows a late fall scene ... with a tad of summertime activity at the lake.  Using fall color lichen between the rocks and bushes from Martin Wellburg Studios. IMG_6292

The photo below ... taller trees immediately in front of the bridge ... I purchased at the last York show from a gentleman in the Silver Hall.  IMG_6290

Fall lichen in the foreground with fall ground cover between the two sets of tracks.IMG_6347

Patrick, you were the 1st person I thought of when I started this thread. Your beautiful layout captures essence of the glory of Autumn. Arnold

Here  are some shots of my efforts at a Halloween scene. The buildings and other accessories are Lemax. The figures are a mix, including Lionel.  After several experiments, I found the following technique works for me. The tree armatures are dried goldenrod. I spray paint them with a heavy coat of flat black from a rattle can. (Cheap is good!) Then I sprinkle yellow, orange , and red  on the wet paint in that order. Try yellow on one side, orange in the middle, and red on the last side. Stick the wet and foamed tree on a piece of styrofoam and allow to dry. Plant said tree on the layout. Don't worry about what falls off and lays underneath the tree. It will look very natural.

Chris

LVHR

Halloween 1IMG_0528IMG_0563IMG_0750

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