Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tree Trimming at the Curve

I finally took on a project I've been dreading for a while, redoing the trees at Horseshoe Curve. My first pass at the foreground trees was a product of my desire to finish the scene before my son was born. And the more I looked at it, the more I decided it just didn't look right to me. The trees were too tall and as such made the curve look too small. Also, some were the wrong color

The "Before" picture with oversize trees.
Unfortunately for me, pulling the trees wasn't that easy. It was no longer possible to climb up on the layout to get to them, necessitating going in through the access hatch. Not pleasant but survivable. I removed the trees, repainted some of them and trimmed them down to size and started replanting them.

The "After" photo. Much better.

I had another "ah ah moment" came when I was thumbing through noted railroad historian Don Ball Jr's excellent book Pennsylvania Railroad 1940s - 1950s. Back in the 50s, trees at the curve were much more sparse than they are today, owning no doubt to the constant procession of steam locomotives spewing cinders into the air. 

With that in mind, I'm keeping the trees clustered into a few distinct stands and kept further back from the tracks. Anyway, other than trees, all that's left for the curve is turfing a small area. Then I finally get to move on.

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