Sunday, June 18, 2017

Back in Villeneuve

Gosh, getting back on your feet after a few months far from intense modelling isn't exactly what I call a walk in the park. However, nothing moves on until you give some impetus to the wheel!

After a good discussion at the club yesterday, it became quite evident progress is slowed down in Clermont because I'm wasting a huge amount of time modelling roads. They take a lot of time and thus are keeping us tied down. However, all the grade crossing signals are now in perfect shape in Villeneuve and D'Estimauville which means we can now think about completing this scene.

Villeneuve... ready for an overhaul

Following Jérôme's lead, we started to plan out the new structure that will replace the cement plant mockup. Scale drawings are already done and it's only a matter of building them. I must admit Jérôme did a good job at researches recently and found out bagged cement shipped by insulated boxcar was an important traffic at Villeneuve even during the early 1990s. Having a few Walthers FGE insulated boxcars and the new excellent CN decals by Sean Steele on hands, it will be easy to add two cars to the fleet. I've also started to remove some weight from the cement cars. The reason is simple, there is a limit to Bachmann GE 45-Ton's performances. We are looking for someone to install sound and a small keep alive into this tiny locomotive. All suggestions are welcomed.

As for the plant itself, it will require a lot of corrugated siding material. I used to use corrugated paper but my stock is depleting and unfortunately, I've been unable to locate that product at local art and craft stores. On Internet, it was the same, probably because I didn't search using the right English words. Personally, I'd prefer to use paper than corrugated cardboard or styrene because it is more versatile and easier to glue and stack without looking out of scale. If anybody has a suggestion for a decent material that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, let me know.

Meanwhile, I've completed the CN Suburban truck and weathered it but forgot to take a picture! And I also started to try weathering a few Intermountain cylindrical hoppers carrying cement. They generally weather badly in real life. So far, I'm happy with the results, but feel they could be far better. I'll post a few pictures when they are ready to hit the rail again.

So, if I had to set up a goal, I'd say I'd like to complete scenery in Villeneuve and D'Estimauville by our next open house which is generally during Christmas holidays. And, as a matter of fact, I'd like to complete the main cement plant structures by the end of August. Is it realistic? Maybe. After all, they are a bunch of big steel clad boxes.

By the way, I started to build a baseboard and proscenium for the new QSSR layout. I certainly won't start a revolution with that layout, but I'll try to approach the diorama from an artist point of view instead of a model railroader. In that regard, I won't approach the layout as a chunk of real world I want to model, but rather as a canvas on which I'll paint my impression of a railroad if I wanted to boiled down my love of train and convey that feeling to others.

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