Our first desktop layout is clearly a desert-themed operation so I wanted to go in a very different direction on this second layout. With the recent release of the AZL Milwaukee Road GP38-2, Rob Kluz over at Ztrack Magazine suggested I do a Milwaukee Road layout. Not a bad choice at all when you consider the Milwaukee Road ran from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to the Pacific Northwest, which covers a lot of diverse terrain.
With the size of these desktop layouts, 14.5” x 16.5”, it’s a bit of a challenge to recreate a specific geographic area. What I like to do is to take some basic shapes from the area I’m modeling and expand on these themes, often dramatically. At the end of the building process, I want to have wonderful detail and a good sense of location but the layout as a whole has to be fun, it’s a balance.
With this Milwaukee Road layout I started by looking for prototype images for inspiration. I found lots of great shots, but I wanted to find a scene that I could reduce to the desktop layout size while still keeping the flavor of the real scene.
I came across an old print ad for the Milwaukee Road Hiawatha that featured a scene that looked perfect. There’s lots of compressed imagery in this ad, ideal as a model for the desktop layout. I sketched a quick outline of the ad, overlaid it on the original and once the original is removed, a reasonably good sense of the shape I’m going for.
There are differences of course between the original ad and the layout, but I think the flavor of the scene in the ad comes through.
Category: Ztrains Build Corner