Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Bridge on the River Malbaie - Part 6

The bridge temporary installed on it final location.

I was recently reading on a blog - unfortunately, I can't recall if it was Lance Mindheim or Trevor Marshall or another one - about the importance to model a layout from a believable vantage point to ensure it would looks real like the prototype. It may seems an insignificant detail, but in fact, it's important. Personally, I never was able to see a train on a bridge from a river. Most of the time, I see it from an angle on the embankment. That kind of view is also interesting because it gives you the feeling the train is effectively travelling a lot of distance, going through the landscape. I would call it "free miles of track" since, all this is illusion created by following a more realistic relation between track location and landscape. Thus, I kept that in mind will trying to locate River Malbaie.

This shot clearly shows the layout width should be about 3 to 4 inches larger there.

With that in mind, we decided to set once for all River Malbaie riverbed last Friday. It was decided to make the river follow closely the track on the right side to reproduce the prototype embankment. Not only it is more realistic, but it will also make possible to shot picture from afar with a lot of river on the foreground.

The electric tool used to cut the fascia made too much vibration.

We also tried to complete the fascia. The right part went quite well, but the left part snapped. when we tried to recut the edge to follow the landscape. The 1/4" MDF fascia was under a lot of stress there. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn't have snapped, but the fascia drastic irregular shape focussed the stress on a singular point. Anyway, shouldn't be too long to replace it and I'll seriously consider making the layout larger than planned there to get more river.

A general view of River Malbaie, you can see the embankment on the right.

A few shot of a classic RS11 pulling a car over the complted bridge. I'm quite satisfied. Louis-Marie didn't saw the model until completion and was particularly impressed how it rendered well the prototype we visited a few weeks ago. Definitely, this scene is gonna be a postcard one!

The bridge weathering was done using cosmetic sponges from the drugstore. A light wash of artist oils was also applied here and there to blend everything together. Many washes were applied on the abutments. Very old concrete always looks yellowish, just like the sand aggregate used in the mix. Looks far more natural than pure grey.

The only question remaining is if the left embankment will be done with retaining walls as per prototype, of just rip rap. I feel rip rap would looks better for of era (mid-80s).

A few words about this blog...

Seriously, I'm totally surprised how the statistics of this blog exploded during the first half of 2014. I started this merely as a diary to follow the project. This way, every member of the club could access information about the layout from anywhere at anytime. I seriously doubt our mined path of trials and errors can add anything significant to what have already been said about model railroading, but good for you if it is a a sweet entertainment to browse through it just like I like to do with many talented modellers out there.

Since I got my first train set in 1987, a lot of things happened, a lot of experiments, many failures, many false starts, but still the same passion, intact and pristine just like the day a saw a pair of M420 stalled at Château-Richer's crossing back in 1986... I was 3 year-old. As life pass by in the blink of an eye, as many things get duller as we grow up, I must admit my fascination with rail transportation never died or aged. And  in time of hardship, that passion helped me to canalize my strengths on something significant, were my hands and mind could create an alternate world for a while. Many will look for "false paradises" when things start to go wrong, unable to grasp something that would be constructive. Thus, I always feel that someone with an everlasting passion is blessed in some way and I hope it's the same for all of you.

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