October 30th, 2008

Not much has been done on the layout, due to a 2 and a half week camping vacation. I did clean up a little in the layout room, it was getting quite messy. Thanks to Jamie (website), a fellow Trainboard member, I have got the bug in me to start painting the backdrops. Thanks Jamie! I began by countersinking the screws and then using wood filler to fill up the holes and the seams between the sheets of masonite. Once these were sanded down, I started painting. I had previously spent quite a bit of time at Home Depot trying to find a good sky blue. I also wanted to have a lighter color for the horizon, and a darker color for the rest of the sky. I finally settled on Behr's Isle of Capri for the main sky, and Costa Rica Blue for the horizon.. Back in the layout room, I started on the horizon color, and then added the sky color. Everywhere I've read says while the paint is still wet, take a large brush and blend the 2 colors together to get a nice transition. Well, that didn't work for me. I kept getting lines and no blending. Ugh, I hate painting!
After this failed attempt to do a blending of the colors, I went back to my computer and looked at some of the pictures I took of the area I'm modeling, and to my suprise, there wasn't that much color change. Down in the valley where the town of Bishop is, the blue is quite a light color and the mountains are further away. The light color doesn't start to change to a darker color until pretty high up in the sky, so this will work great on my lower level, since the backdrop is pretty short (15") and pretty much my entire lower level is down in the valley. On the upper level, the railroad is more in the trees and closer to the Sierra Nevada mountains. Looking at pictures of this area, the blue is quite a bit darker. So I'm going to go with the lighter color on the lower level, and the darker color on the upper level. Once the plaster mountains are put in on the upper level, I think it will look correct. I guess we'll just have to find out! Anyhow here are some pictures around Bishop and Bridgeport, CA. Compare them to the painted backdrop colors.



Looking west at the Sierra Nevada Mts. Note the light color sky.



Another picture looking north-west at the Owens River. This picture really shows how light blue the sky is.



Up into the Sierra Nevada Mts near the turnoff to Sonora Pass. Note the darker sky blue.



At the lower end of the Walker River canyon. Since most of the upper level with be close to the mountains like this, the blue should be ok.



Wow, all cleaned off. I should have done the backdrop painting before any track was put in. Oh well, guess I'll have to work around it.



This is the area that I've finished filling and sanding at. Wood filler was used in the screw holes and seams.



Here we go at the first attempt. Did a little dark at the top and I'm working on the lighter at the bottom.



I'm trying to work fast. In this picture the blending next to the edge looks ok, but in person it really sucked.



So here is the completed upper and lower level. Compare this picture to the other pictures I have at the top of this page.



Couldn't resist putting in a layout shot of some trains. These 2 were in the yard, but now they are parked on the upper level while I painted.




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