Reconstruction of the Lafayette Street backdrop required a bit more work than just paint and glue. However, the overall effect is far stronger and cleaner than my first effort, and offers a vista unique to The Hills Line.
I’ve come to understand the pros and cons of using rolled aluminum flashing for my backdrop. On the plus side, it offers a continuous solid surface that can be coved and formed to fit any radius with no seams to fill. On the other, it’s a less than stable material that bends, creases, and chips at the drop of a hat. Removing the original photos did not damage the backdrop, but did require it to be repainted.
My sky color of choice is Behr Paint’s Nevada Sky. Unlike a lot of modelers, I do not feather in different tints or shades of the base hue to create a feeling of distance. That’s an effect that’s much easier accomplished with modern photo editing software. Moreover, to get the best results from a sky removal tool, you need a consistent color to remove. Hence sticking with one hue throughout the backdrop.
To address the previously mentioned road color issues, I went back to my original panorama in Adobe Photoshop and overlaid an opaque gray layer atop all the concrete and asphalt surfaces. The result is a much less jarring transition between foreground and backdrop. However, I still used PanPastels to blend a few rough spots.
Overall version 2 of the Lafayette Street photo backdrop far outperforms the original edition. The lesson for today is obvious but worth repeating. Don’t be afraid of change.