We tend to get rather picky about our rolling stock, they must be utterly authentic, we compare the dimensions against prototype general arrangement drawings and complain if anything is even slightly out of whack. And yet we seem have very little interest in anything beyond the track.
Is this caused by a lack of understanding of the subject, this may be the case if we have no regular access to the subject beyond an occasional spending binge at Modellbahn Lippe. Surely, if this is the case, a few guidelines are needed:
- Is the location identifiable as Germany even without any stock on the layout?
- Is the track layout prototypical or merely what I can fit in the available space?
- Are the locos and stock prototypical for the region and era?
- Do the surrounding buildings seem part of a whole picture?
- Are the road vehicles in period?
These are just a few questions that help to ensure that a realistic scene is created and each has a simple solution.
Hinged turnouts in Bayern
To ensure that a location is readily identifiable, careful examination of the prototype is essential. Thankfully, the subject has always been attractive to photographers and numerous albums are available, many by location and period thus helping to research the correct place during the appropriate era.
Prototypical track plans to suitable almost every location and period are available, try: Lokalbahn for smaller examples or even the nebenbahn page on this blog for inspiration.
For the research of buildings, it is worth repeating that the excellent book - Malerische Doerfer abseits der Strassen is both cheap and a wonderful introduction to the villages of rural Germany.
Finally, road vehicles - let Wikipedia be your friend.
Other interesting links include the 04 Historische Bahn section of the DSO Forum.
The great thing about research is the relative cost - the internet is free and books are really cheap compared to a Lenz wagon but more important is the achivement of increasing knowledge- priceless.