Brian is putting some final touches on the pieces now. Here he is adding the town name to the tender. Love the flag in the back.
The Jedi Master of creative dimensional sign building, Dan Sawatsky at Imagination Corporation, suggested we get creative with textures, paint techniques,and sign making and use the alphabet as a study for sample purposes. Thanks for suggestion and the inspiration Dan!
Here is our rendition of the alphabet…
and here is a little bonus of the Alien Queen in metal…
Painting and Finishing is so much fun. this is where we get to see the work come alive. Brian and Mark have primed everything and have some extreme painting to do…
Railroad Ties: Insanity has set in – we decided to paint everything as if our faces were pressed against the sign – here is a single railroad tie – only 47 to go!.
Brian used several layers and faux painting techniques to create the wood color, the steel of the rail bracket and the rust.
Terrain and Rails: Once the ties were worked out it was on to the large terrain pieces, the rails and the letters. It’s really coming together!
The Engine: We knew from the beginning that this would be the most important element of the sign – the WOW factor. So after assembly Brian spent a considerable amount of time testing different finishes to come up with the perfect “black steel” look of the train.
After doing more intense painting techniques and aging the steel Brian began adding the little details to really make this engine come alive. Here you can see him adding brass and steel bars.
So here is engine #1 ready to go into final assembly.
The CNC Stage is here – we have all of our files designed and they fit together (on the computer) and we’ve added the textures – we are ready to lay down our precision board HDU on the MultiCam 3000 CNC to start cutting.
We started with the letters for the sign first – these were the easiest cuts so we got them out of the way and right over to paint shop.
3D Design – So the client is happy and now its time to get to work taking the concept sketches and turning them into 3D files that we can use to build the sign. This can be real tricky because we have to create the physical sign from nothing, mixing all of the textures, colors and materials to look like real trains, steel, dirt etc. (Oh man what did we get ourselves into.)
There are many stages of the 3D Design – sourcing files, creating elements from scratch then manipulating the images to work together.
Once we have the pieces laid out and designed in 3D its time to add some texture. Here you can see we’ve added a wood grain texture to the railroad ties and terrain texture to the dirt area. Now I know what you’re thinking – this is a sign and no one will ever see these details. You are correct but this is the fun part for us is knowing these little details are there and pushing ourselves to create this amazing one of a kind sign.