Trolley Modeling in N Scale

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A Useful Illustion from the Exploratorium ~ Monday, August 20, 2012

We visited the Exploratorium last weekend. This was Nate's first visit, and he really liked it.

The museum has many exhibits demonstrating aspects of human senses, including a bunch that demonstrate optical illusions. Take a look a this column, for example.

Looks fluted, doesn't it?

Have a closer look:

The stripes are actually solid shades of gray--it's just the contrast with adjacent lighter and darker shades that creates the illusion of a gradient, suggesting shading from a concave contour.

That could be a useful trick in modelling--custom print a wraparound decal with gray stripes, apply it to a plain piece of styrene rod, and instantly you've got a believable fluted column for your neoclassical town hall, Carnegie library, etc...

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