July 25, 2015
Since my last post on the Harbor Project Layout for the book a few things have changed. I had planned to model Beaumont TX, but I had to drop that idea because I didn't have enough photos to illustrate a feature project. The new layout theme is set along the East Basin of the Port of Los Angeles. I made a rail fan trip there last year and got lots and lots of great pictures. It is also a really neat place to model. More specifically, the track plan is based on the Fries Ave area on Mormon Island, Wilmington, CA with some additional features from nearby areas to add a bit more more activity to the layout. The image below shows the current draft of the plan.
Now that I have a detailed track plan, I need to get the backdrop printed. Once the benchwork and backdrop are up, the track and buildings will be sited in their final locations to match the backdrop.
Using the plan as a guide I made a large photo mural of the backdrop in Photoshop CS5.1. The base image is 57,000 pixels wide. Thank goodness for my Retina 5K iMac (3.5Ghz, 16GB RAM) as it handles the file without any problem. This image sample here has been scaled to about 5 percent actual size. The total image is 32 feet long.
If all goes well, this mural will be printed in two 18-inch high by 16-feet sections. The mural utilizes about a dozen images composited together over a synthetic blue sky. The features on the backdrop, such as cranes, buildings, oil tanks, etc, are roughly where they would be in the prototype. I paid careful attention to the area with open water to match the track plan. I also tried to get the perspective lines to point to the corners. This should be fun to see how it works out.
My brother visited today and he thought that the hidden staging track in the closet was a very worthwhile addition. So I need to make sure the benchwork is the right height to clear the stair landing at 54 inches.