Monday, December 4, 2017

Henri-Bourassa Overpass - A Long Overdue Project

Things are starting to settle down on the Villeneuve-D’Estimauville portion of the layout recently. As you have noted, we experimented with a few mock ups different road configurations to find out the best results. As a matter of fact, it seems my initial vision a few years ago was the right one.

It may seem strange I focus my attention of roads, but I have a very practical reason for that. They must be built prior to many other scenic details since a lof of details depend on their proper location. But if I managed to get them done by the end of the year, I’ll be quite happy.

Murray Bay Subdivision under Henri-Bourassa Boulevard overpass

We recently worked on Sous-Bois Avenue and D’Estimauville Avenue. But Saturday, we focussed our efforts on Maizerets, or more precisely, the spot where the tracks pass through the backdrop and disappear into staging. This is the proverbial place where you hide the tunnel with an overpass. Fortunately for us, Henri-Bourassa Boulevard is located just there and, effectively, marks the end of Murray Bay Subdivision per se.

Henri-Bourassa Boulevard overpass, the pumphouse on the right.

This overpass was planned for an early date, even before we rebranded the layout in the early 2010s. However, I postponed it for various reasons, but now it’s time to work on it. As you can see, it is a very spartan yet “attractive” concrete structure from 1974. By attractive, I mean the V-shaped pillars give it some character that immediately set the location. Also, on the left, the abutment is useful to create an effective visual block at the end of the layout. And, bonus, on the right, you will notice a small one-storey cinder block structure. This is the pumphouse for the large oil reservoirs. It is a mundane detail, but add the chain-link fence, the gravel access road and pipes and you get an interesting bunch of subtle yet effective details that real gives the industrial look of the area.

For your information, we created a few mock ups to evaluate the possibility to create real oil reservoirs... but it failed. In term of size and space, it wasn't very effective. However, we found out building reservoir using a half-ellipse template created visually realistic tanks without wasting too much available space.

Can’t wait until next week to build this nice overpass! 

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