As many of you probably guessed, I was out of town during most of May and early June... In fact, more precisely, out of the country and visiting Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun being all about trains, it was a excellent occasion to board many of them and visit some related museums which, I hope, will be described in future posts.
As for Hedley-Junction, we held our last meeting yesterday and took time to assess the several tasks to accomplish toward completion. In terms of layout, many, many things remain to be done, but all depend on backdrops. They are probably what we should call my "bête noire" and I especially don't like to create them even if I like their overall effect. But things must be done and neglecting that won't do anything good for the project. While I'd like to work on many things, it's time to concentrate my effort to complete Clermont and the Donohue paper mill before moving to other areas.
In terms of motive power, we decided to concentrate our efforts on less locomotives to better fine tune the ones we regularly use. For this reason, GP9s, RS18s and GMD1s will be upgraded to LokSound Full Throttle as initially planned. All the rest will be stored for a while, maybe much longer.
I also came to the realisation many of my recent experiments with roads are failure. No, it's not easy to accept given the huge amount of time and resources wasted, but I don't feel comfortable showing that work to anybody visiting the layout nor am I proud of my work. Roads are common elements of our daily lives and can't be represented by half baked efforts. So far, plaster, lightweight spackle and concrete patching products didn't yield convincing results. It may be my own lack of practice, but I feel I don't have the level of control I want with these materials. I'll probably go back to illustration board roads which give a lot of latitude in terms of coloration, distressing and details. I particularly appreciate to work on a road at my desk then later glue it in place.