First: May all of us here in the USA remember our Fallen Heroes on this Memorial Day. Our freedom is not free. Let us all take time to pause and reflect on the cost paid so that we can have the priviledge of being an American.
Well... the hardest part of my modeling technique is: Textures. I essentially use photo textures exclusively to texture my models. I just can't seem to hand draw textures that come close to the results I can get with suitable photos.
If you have been following along here at VSC (been quiet lately, huh?)... you'll know that I have been dead-in-the-water trying to get textures suitable for 1890's towns/cities. (Tough order. Try it sometime.) This is the the main reason my fever/enthusiasm for my CM project cooled. Not near enough textures. This is easy enough to understand.
Then along comes Steve and Ann... and out we go for a Mini-Tour of the Ozarks with a side-order of Ozark railroading thrown in for good measure. One of the haunts we hit was the town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Fascinating town, Eureka Springs. I've never seen any other town in the US that has the same verticality as Eureka Springs.
Steve and I spent some time down at the Eureka Springs depot area on the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas RR viewing the static displays. Static, non-functioning displays that also consisted of slowly decaying steam engines. Steam engines that used to live and breath... working daily. Steam engines that I have RUN... and have some superb memories thereof.
Well... since our walk among the dying at the ES&NA... I have oft been reflecting on the impact the Eureka Springs area, the ES & NA RR, as well as the overall "spritual" nature of the Ozarks has had on me over the decades. It is unbelievable the prototype railroads that dared to venture into these tumbled mountains called the Ozarks. It is also unbelievable the railroads that propsed to build into and through them. Vast systems were envisioned, almost as if traversing these mountains would be chid's play. Only a small percentage of these envisioned lines ever laid rails, and NONE of them reached their far-flung goals: The harsh realities of these mountains essentially did them in long before maturation. In fact, when the very railroad experienced and knowledgable Steve saw some of the most rugged portions, I asked him how he'd like to try to shoot a rail line through them. His exact word: "Inpenetrable."
Needless to say, being in the Ozark mountains again, and walking among my steam-roots at the ES&NA... a myriad of emotions coursed through me. The empires that could have been.
But what has this to do with textures, you ask? Well... it has dawned on me that Eureka Springs is a tresure trove of 1880's-1900's structures. Structures that have been restored. Structures that can be used for TEXTURES. True, the tight confines that make Eureka Springs so fascinating is counter-productive to good texture photo-ops... BUT... given the right time of day and lack of traffic (pedestrian and automotive)... texture PARTS can be grabbed that can be used.
It should come as no surprise then, that I managed to fit in a quick exploritory trip to the Hallowed Ground yesterday after the wife and I finished a visit at her folks in Springdale. As I expected, it is going to be tough order to shoot complete structures... HOWEVER... getting "parts pictures" is gonna' work. Just need the time and circumstances now to spend up there nabbing what I can. I offer a few sample shots from yesterday: