Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Flat Figures by Brian Kammerer

Many, many months ago, I needed to scenic the area that increased in size as a result of opening up the aisle just south of Kennesaw Mtn. This area is at the top left corner between Kennesaw and where "Mill" is noted. The entire table of the Atlanta area is now parallel with the back wall and allows for a pleasurable 3' aisle.

I now had 3' feet of new real estate to scenic which I found artistically challenging and was a good thing. I had several ideas including a small farm, dirt road, double post and rail fencing. Mock up  structures were placed in the area. However, it all felt too busy.  Trains would be passing the Redoubt which has perspectives then a farm then mountain... So I just sat and pondered gazing into the bare benchtop. I would come back over a period of about 4-5 months. Interesting how the idea finally lands. I decided that I would create a deep perspective with distance. The backdrop / ridge line is foam core with a couple of layers of flocking. I would  need to show a 1000 yard or more distance from the ridge line to a full size (HO) foreground. 

This photo below shows the first steps to bridging the distance. At the base of the ridge line is a dark tree line. The intent is to show a tree line closer to the viewer and enhance the perspective experience. There are two figures in the middle ground. This is what I call "concept measuring" to ascertain plausibility for the entire scene. The cluster of trees is meant to be a view-through element. Once painted and flocked, I want the viewer to peer through the trees to help distribute the perspective as they see the scouts. The stream, and of course the house car, are the foreground. The fun of creating this scenic element is assessing what to place between the stream and the ridge line to foster the sense of distance.

Close up of the above photo...

Even closer image below. The figure is another Brian Kammerer creation. His film "The Other Great Locomotive Chase" is populated with a plethora of flats. When I mentioned to him what I was doing he suggested flats. I had hoped he would. He graciously created a few sheets of infantry, cavalry and artillery figures. Everyone who has viewed this scene could not tell the scouts were flat.

One of the figure sheets Brain created is below. All I did was reduce the size then print a sheet. After cutting the figures I wanted, and adding a thin sheet of cardboard backing for rigidity, I simply glued a straight pin to the back. The bench is blue insulation foam, making installment of the figures very easy.  

I am getting ahead of my process.

While still in the imagination phase, and driving around on different days, one day as I was passing a field. I saw exactly what I was wanting to build. In the middle distance from the road there was a cluster of trees. The added component missing in my scene was the vegetation among these trees. Small, wild growing shrubs, bushes and some vines. Here is the nearly final touch, close up...

A more distant view...

I want to add more underbrush among the trees and in the open field. However, for the most part, I am quite satisfied with the results.

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