Monday, March 6, 2017

Essex Junction Backdrop update

Bernie came by for a short, but productive session on Sunday. His main tasker was to complete the Main Street backdrop scene in Essex Junction.  As you might recall, back in January, he came over and started to do a computer drawing of the buildings along one side of Main Street (essentially south east of the trainshed). Before he left that day we printed out a size test version of to make sure the scale and perspective would work and he finished up the drawing at home.
Yesterday he showed up with the final drawing and his bucket of backdrop paints and an assortment of brushes. He dove right into painting the background foliage and distant treeline. We’re keeping the horizon line fairly low in this section of the layout since it represents a relatively flat town.
Instead of cutting out the buildings entirely, he actually painted the sidewalks, and some bushes and grass texture onto the paper.  This proved pretty effective.
Then he cut out the printed sky from the upper portion of the printed buildings, sprayed the back of the paper with photo adhesive, and placed it on the backdrop. 

After blending the road coloration, and adding some leafless “foreground” trees, I think the finished section of backdrop looks pretty good (the 3-d structures shown here are strictly stand ins!)  Next step is on me to finish the three-dimensional scenery in the foreground, and add the “real” structures to both sides of the street to not only get the right look but to hide the edges of the backdrop section, and add the foreground foliage.
That has to wait until I finish the tracklaying/wiring in this area. While Bernie was working on his art project (and after he took off), I managed to get the track complete from north staging to the trainshed.  Over the last couple of weeks I’ve handlaid a half dozen or so turnouts in Essex Junction, so it should be a simple matter to “connect the dots” with the rest of the track. 


Todd Hermann said...

Looking good! I'm following this Adobe Illustrator + hand-painted backdrop technique with great interest, as I may need to do something similar. I look forward to future updates.

Chris Adams said...

I'm with Todd - totally gonna do my best to crib off your experience here, especially as I try to figure out what to do about the backdrop in Wethersfield. Unless I can coax Bernie into a trip north...

Bernie said...

You had your chance last January!

renegourley said...

This is a great idea for those of us without the luxury of being able to go out and photograph the scene. I wonder if one could use SketchUp from a fire insurance plan in a similar way? Perhaps that would even enable you to play with the angles, although I have to say it looks like Bernie nailed them.