Sunday, September 20, 2020

Backdrop Time!

With the lighting in place and most roads and structures in their final location, it's finally time to finish the backdrop for Clermont. I waited many years before doing it because, well... it's not my cup of tea. But if we want to move forward with this part of the layout, we can't postpone any further. If fact, we waited far too long to finalize it.

The original photobackdrop in Clermont dates back to July 2014 and was never replaced with a permanent version. However, it did fit well with the scene and I only slightly retouched my photos to make it a little bit large. The biggest challenge was to merge together early Spring and late Autumn pictures together. In that regard, I suspect we should have set the layout in late Autumn to get rid of that problem and have the opportunity to use dead leaves and vegetation all around to add texture and depth to the layout. That is something I could indeed put in action in the future.

Rivière Malbaie

Many years later, we added a photobackdrop in Wieland. It was a test printed on a cheap laser printer. Nothing fancy, but it was a neat test bed. Basically, it looked neat and we thought we could expand on that idea. After a few trips in Charlevoix, I now had enough panoramic pictures to sew them together. A lot of artistic license was required to stitch them in a way that would compliment the layout. Trying to be 100% exact would have been a foolish endeavour. My main concern was adding much more buildings and junk into the backdrop to better represent the transloading operation in Wieland. Another key element was providing a well-detailed backdrop near General Cable siding. This area is extremely narrow and don't provide enough space to plant trees and bushes in a realistic manner. For this reason, most of the visual effect must be done with photographs.

Wieland backdrop

I hope to print these background this week and expect to start putting them in place by next week if everything goes as planned (which never does!).

I'm also working on the last structure required at Donohue. It is quite a technical challenge but most of the largest parts are now together. This is a much more complex building than we ever thought it was. Each time we look at pictures, we find new details that could affect railway operations in a significant way.

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