Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Hedleyville Shows Its True Colors

I'm actually writing an article for a small book documenting the case for the return of strong passenger services to Quebec City. It means I went back to Quebec national archives to dig for more informations. Little did I know I would be rewarded with Quebec Montmorency & Charlevoix Railway original track plan showing how they shared properties with the Quebec & Lake St. John Railway and the exact location of the long lost town of Hedleyville and its station.

While it may seems rather uneventful for most people, this is the first time I finally see a primary source documenting this era and the first generation of infrastructure dating back to QM&C founding days. I've heard about his railway for over 30 years and many books, yet, I finally have a definite image in front of my eyes.

Also of interest, this plan was drawn in 1898 when QM&C and Q&LStJ were concluding a deal that took almost a decade to come to fruition so QM&C could build a station in downtown Quebec City. The document is signed by none other than Horace Jansen Beemer, one of the most memorable railroad baron in Quebec.

Plan annexed to agreement between the Quebec & Lake St.John Rly Co. and the Quebec, Montmorency & Charlevoix Rly Co (credit: BAnQ)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

1:87 Railfanning in Wieland

Instead of writing yet another "I added some static grass" post, I thought it would make for a change to simply present the results altered with Photoshopped backdrops. While scenery is far to be complete, simply adding a muted sky can help a great deal to better appreciate how far we've gone since August 2018. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Subtle colors...

While shooting pictures of my recent scenery progress in Wieland, I photographed the CFC shops with a pair of GP15. Interestingly enough, the camera caught a small detail that was less visible in real life: colors.

As it stands, the shops can't play the role of a background for locomotives because they are too close in colors and too dark. It indeed merge everything in a dark bluish blob where details are hard to appreciate.

Also, the dark color of the shops doesn't blend well with the pale dead grass and photo backdrop. Thus, I'll have to fade the structure and filter the colors to bring it closer to a medium gray. Nothing very hard there, quite similar to freight car weathering, but it should make a sizable difference. Just like a painting, we need to balance the colors of the layout elements so they play together instead of competing.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Grass for Wieland

Wieland used to be a wasteland of painted fiberboard and cork. Such a large swat of nondescript terrain made it quite hard to imagine the final effect, but after an evening, basic static grass covering is in place. While some areas need to be covered, mainly the highway and the barn vicinity, it is now possible to experience this large Clermont yard and Wieland area as a single and cohesive scene.

As designed, the track is now perfectly blended into grass and weeds, minimizing its visual impact while telling us we are now reaching "end of steel" territory. I feel it is uttermost important to convey a feeling of a rural branch in the countryside. Only carefully scene planning and refraining from cluttering the layout with railroad structure can support such a narrative.

But as you will probably agree, this first layer of scenic material is still quite drab and will need much more to be brought fully to life. This will include installing the photo backdrop - a task that I postponed as much as I could but can anymore - to convey a sense of place and depth to the layout.