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Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Tyson Rayles, Sep 26, 2001.
Any ideas on how to model tobacco plants?????
Your first post! KEWL No doubt you will have many more questions!
As for tobacky? I'm not sure how you would model them in N, but I'm sure a N modeller will be able to assist.
Welcome to the Gauge, Tyson!
I don't know what a tobacco plant looks like (Corn, yes, tobacco no - Iowa) but I'd suggest going to an artsy-craftsy kind of store and browsing through their dried floral stuff. The leaves, buds, or whatever might bear a resemblance. Sounds like you might have a neat idea for a layout, what is it?
Hi, I'm modeling a freelance version based on the Murphy branch of the Southern Railroad. It's located in southwestern North Carolina. It hauls mostly wood products but in real life there are a lot of tobacco fields and tobacco barns along side the tracks. I did find a item at the craft shop that makes a so-so tobacco plant but am looking for something better. Course it will have to be cheap and quick (have we stopped laughing yet) as it will take 300-400 of them. keep er on the rails, T.R.
Hey Tyson! Welcome to The Gauge!
The Murphy Branch, huh? I love the Southern, & I have a special affection for that branch line. I got lucky enough to have car trouble in that part of the country once, & spent the day in Canton, watching trains being switched in the yard there. I didn't care if they got the car fixed or not! I think at least some of that line has since been abandoned, hasn't it? Did you know that there was a 4.2% grade on the Murphy Branch? I think it was called Red Marble Mnt., or something like that. Anyway, it's something that cries out to be modeled.
As far as N scale tobacco, there's probably several routes you could take. Scale sized plants in that scale would be so small, I don't think you need to worry about precise detail. As long as you depict the plants in rows, you might be able to use some type of course ground foam. What about modeling late summer, & having a partially cut patch, with bits of yellow colored foam. You could include a tractor & wagon, with some of the "plants" stacked on the wagon, ready to go to the barn. The uncut plants would still be in rows nearby. Any "ol country boy" like myself, would know that was a "backy" patch!
Hi Charlie, I live on the Murphy Branch. Southern still runs as far as Dillsboro. From Dillsboro to Andrews it is now the Great Smoky Mnt. Railroad (a tourist excursion line with a couple of desiels and one steam engine, a 2-8-0). Sadly the track from Andrews to Murphy has been pulled up. There was also (untill the mid 1980's) the Graham County R.R. that ran from Robbinsville to Topton which is next to the Red Marble Grade (4.2-5.1% depending on who you ask). Ground foam won't work not leafy enough,if it has just been cut it's still green, then while curing in the barn it turns brown. Can't recall ever seeing it yellow.The plants grow 7-9 feet tall which is bigger than a scale person! The reason I know this is my neighbor grows 5 acres of the stuff, which is how I also found out a tobacco barn is not the same as other barns.When your car broke down you must have been by the Champion Paper Co. For years this part of the Murphy Branch shipped tons of pulpwood to it. Now that I have bored you to tears I'll get off here.
I'm justing thinking off the top of my head, but if you have to make LOTS of plants, and they are going to be in rows...I was wondering if printing out rows of plants on paper (with a color printer, of course) and cutting them out with a hobby knife might make a reasonable facsimile. You could color the back side of the printout with a marker or colored pencil. Just a thought...not very fleshed out...
Or just start with the right color paper in the first place - sheesh, Rory!
TR - Try looking in your backyard (or your neighbors) for likely-looking weeds. Also, I guess I wasn't just kidding about corn in my last post - didn't realize that tobacco plants grew that high. Would corn and tobacco look much alike in N scale? (Except for color maybe.) There was a posting or two here at the Gauge re corn - try the search button.
Maybe these could be adapted?
Wow! y'all must grow 'em big!
When I was cutting tobacco, the plants were about 6' tall (give or take a little bit) after they were topped out. In fact, now that you mention it, an N scale figure would be a good reference for the height of the plants.
When you cut the plant, you turn it upside down, & spear it on to a stake with about 5 or 6 stalks to a stake. By late summer, the bottom leaves are starting to turn yellow, & after a day of sitting in the hot sun, cut plants can turn very yellow. (I'm starting to sweat just remembering that @#$! sun!)
If you want green plants, though, how about chopping up on of those astroturf doormat things? With a little doctoring up, you could possibly get quite a few plants out of one of those.
Keep us posted, & let us know how it goes.
Hi Guys, You are certainly friendly here at the Guage. I posted the same question at Railroad.net and Trains and got 1 response. Thank you for all the ideas. Charlie I am 6 ft. 3 in. and the plants are a little over my head (walked down there today). You were right about them turning yellow before they turn brown, hadn't noticed that before.Rory the cutouts on paper would be to flat looking cause these can be viewed from several angles. Billk I have tried looking for weeds, found some that make really good trees but no luck on anything that looks like tobacco. Tried a floral shop but no luck there, guess I'll stick with what I got for now. Rory thanks for the link to alkem, great looking corn, will order some to try in the veggie patch. If there is a way to post a picture here of this farm when (if ever) I get it done I will. Good talking to all of you, T.R.
Hey Tyson - Still thinking about doing tobacco plants? I just read an article last night in one of the Kalmbach scenery books about modeling corn that had some ideas maybe you could use. Let me know if I should send you the info. Looked like the method was a little too tedious if you were doing a lot of them, and I think it was geared towards HO, but oh well, what isnt'?
Hey BILLK, Just finished the first farm, took about 600 plants (doesn't look like the many, funny how that is). Don't think the corn article would help as the two plants don't resemble each other, however I have been thinking about a veggie garden for the farm. If you could e-mail me that info I would apprecitate it. Thanks
Welcome to the gauge. ( I'm kinda slow, but I do awful pretty work!)
Being from Virginia originally, I should be able to suggest some thing...but, I've been in California so long, I'd almost forgotten what tobacco looks like in the field...until I was in North Carolina a few years ago...well..."Bertha did it"....there weren't many upright plantings in the areas I was assessing for damage for Red Cross Disaster Services. So, unless you want to model 'after the Nor'easter', I'm afraid I haven't any good suggestions, off the top of my head.... Of course, if you want it to be Spring, the 'sets' would be tiny...
I'll need a farm or two nestled along the New River Valley, eventually...so...I'll be givin it some thought...
Please pass along any ideas you come up with...I'll do the same.
Hi Virginian, as soon as I get the veggie patch filled in or at least somthing in that bare spot I am going to try to post a picture of the farm if I can figure out how. Let me know if the plants suit you. If they do I'll give you the info.
Here's the recipe for the corn plants I mentioned earlier:
- Get some plastic asparagus fern from an arts-craftsy place.
- Cut off an end of one of the many, many branches as long as you want your corn to be high (as an elephants eye on the Fourth of July?).
- There should be several leaves on it, they're not the right shape but pretend they are and trim them to the right length.
- Then mash each leaf flat with a pair of pliers. Make sure the mashing surface on the pliers is flat, we're not making corrugated siding here!
- Now the hard parts. Using smaller pliers, taper the thickness of each leaf from the stalk to the end, and then with little scissors shape each leaf.
- Plant as desired, repeat until you have at least 100 acres or you go blind.
WHEW! Don't know if I can handle that or not billk. But I will check out the fern when I get to town, thanks.
Well it will take a better man then me to turn that fern into corn. I know the lady at the shop and she gave me a piece for free (after several minutes of insane laughter) when I told her what it was for.I now have some badly mangled fern for sale cheap.Meanwhile back at the farm I took some clippings off the end of some Hemlock branches. Looks like it will make a decent stand-in till I can scrape together enough $$$$$$$ to buy some of that neat etched brass corn from Alkem.