The central VA door layout progress

Caleb Austin Apr 14, 2009

  1. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Very nice, Caleb. The only dead giveaway is the lack of weathering on the loco. Love that Chessie paint, though.
     
  2. NorfolkSouthern9708

    NorfolkSouthern9708 TrainBoard Member

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  3. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    Well, in a way yes.

    I've worked on my backdrop finally! I painted and took all these photos a couple weeks ago and since then I've decided to change the scenery a bit (More on that when I start working on the said changes!), so I will have to change the painted scenery soon, but the sky should still be fine.

    Step 1. I am using 1/8th inch thick hardboard for my backdrop. Using a box cutter I cut out the right shape.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    (2). I poured blue and white paint into the paint tray and rolled the roller in it. This isn't my idea, I picked it up from a recent article in Model Railroader and decided to give it a try. The idea here is to replicate the way the sky blends from deep blue to white around the horizon.

    [​IMG]

    I then rolled the 2 colors of paint on. I don't have a photo of that process, I was to busy rolling!
     
  5. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    The white-to-Blue effect worked fairly well, though the more I rolled the more the to colors blended together until they were almost the same, so I feathered some more white in on the horizon with a brush. In the end it look like some very faint wispy clouds in the distance.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    And then it was time to paint the scenery!:D As with 3D scenery, this is a process I particularly enjoy.

    I had on hand some reference photos and a tree from my layout to help with color blending.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    First I painted the distant mountains, these were straight up sky blue with a little green, black and whit blended in to make a hazy distant ridge. No pics of this step, sorry.

    Then I worked on the foreground trees. With these I start with a dark green base. I'm stippling that on in this photo.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    Then I added a medium green color to the trees and finally some light green highlights.

    [​IMG]

    The colors above all have plenty of sky blue and white added to tone down how vivid they are straight out of the tube.
     
  9. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    It all comes together. What a difference a backdrop makes!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    What a difference indeed!

    I just finished up one of my least favorite classes at the Academy called Color and Design. I hated it because it required painting to demonstrate color theory (I hate painting), but the knowledge I gained is certainly invaluable to my career.

    One thing I learned that I think would apply here is to mute down the middle ground.

    You captured the distant mountains great, but the middle ground on the backdrop is a little too saturated for my taste. Next time, try adding a dab or two of red to make that green more of a brown color. What that does is push the middle ground away from the foreground to create better perception of depth through environmental perspective. :)
     
  11. JSL

    JSL TrainBoard Member

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    I think it looks great for your first stab at painting a backdrop! I wouldn't change a thing. Keep us informed.

    JSL
     
  12. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, good thoughts! Thanks Mark.

    I guess I was trying too hard match the middle ground to the actual layout scenery as apposed to making it faded and distant.

    One thing I'll do in the future is paint the backdrop in the same lighting as the layout. I painted this one in my garage, where the light is very cool. When I took it down to the layout, where the light is warmer and it looked more vivid. Ah well, that's how you learn.

    Thanks JSL, actually this would be stab number two. :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2010
  13. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

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    Stab 1 stab 100 who's counting. Besides it still is much better then mine.

    The thing I like best is that Caleb who is 40 years my junior is teaching me something every time he post something to this thread.

    Keep it up Caleb, I have so much to learn.

    Gary
     
  14. Chaya

    Chaya TrainBoard Supporter

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    Beautiful. You're an artist, Caleb.

    Because the greens in the foreground are so vivid, the brightness of the distant fields fits well, suggesting a bright, sunny day with a couple of distant sunbeams breaking through clouds.

    I'm impressed, in the photo of the hill you painted, by how you managed to create a three-dimensional, believably forested hill without resorting to detail.

    And you're right: the feathered white really looks like clouds!

    Very nice.
     
  15. MOPMAN

    MOPMAN TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful backdrop. Now you don't have to take time to Photoshop a background in your pics.
     
  16. luis_lopes

    luis_lopes TrainBoard Member

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    Calleb.

    That's is really a nice job on the Backdrop. I tryed my hand at painting a backdrop using Joe Fugate "How To" DVDs, but it was nothing compared with yours.

    Keep up!
     
  17. NorfolkSouthern9708

    NorfolkSouthern9708 TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, if you don't get some type of career in model railroading, sure have it in art lol.
     
  18. stewarttrains98

    stewarttrains98 TrainBoard Member

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    very nice looking backdrop, thanks for the update.
     
  19. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    Aright then!

    I mentioned in my backdrop post that there have been some changes on the layout. These changes were brought on by a few things.

    First, I visited the former C&O Mountain Sub on Afton Mountain, near Charlottesville VA. Actually seeing the real line I model and exploring the beautiful mountain made me want to model real scenes along the line and not just capture "The feel" of the place.

    I also recently purchased the Morning Sun book: The Chesapeake And Ohio Railway, in Color, Volume 1". Finally seeing photo's taken in the 60's and 70's of the line's I know well made me want to be more prototypical in the scenes I model.

    So, here is the plan for the one side of the layout. I am still planning the other side.

    [​IMG]

    This plan represents two scenes on Afton Mountain.

    On the left will be the two Blue Ridge tunnels.

    [​IMG]

    This is the now abandoned BR tunnel. It was built in 1858 and at that time was the longest railroad tunnel in the world. I was abandoned in 1944 when the C&O built the new Blue Ridge tunnel. The new tunnel is next the the old one but lower down.

    [​IMG]

    Working right from the Blue ridge tunnels will be a service road. This photo was taken from the road, looking toward the tunnels.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Caleb Austin

    Caleb Austin TrainBoard Member

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    On the right side of the layout there will be the Little Rock tunnel. This is the only one of the tunnels left on the mountain that was built in the 1850's and is still used.

    This is the same tunnel I modeled previously. Though I liked that scene, I built it before I visited the real Little Rock tunnel and was un-prototypical in quite a few ways. This second go at the tunnel will be as prototypical as I can make it.

    The western portal.
    [​IMG]

    The Eastern portal.
    [​IMG]

    I think this will be my final major change to the layout, I know, I've said that before. :D But I leave home in a year, so I'm running out of time to finish this thing!
     

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