This part is the bit I'd been dreading most of the entire layout. The issue is that I needed two shuttle lines right at the back of the layout next to the backboards, and, I needed to install the backboards after I had installed a fair bit of track. I had a fair idea of how I was going to do this and had spent a fair bit of time thinking about it so off I went to Bunnings (local equivelant of Homebase or MFI) to get all the materials.
First part was to assemble the backboards. There were to be two of these which would interlock in the middle to provide a town backscene appropriate for a Bavarian town scene. I'd have liked a city scene but you have to work with what's available, and Rottenburg was available, so I took two of those put together. First up the one that would go in the back right corner. Here's the basic boards;
..and here it is again with the backdrop pictures applied;
Yep the corner looks a bit messy but there's a plan to sort that. It'll all get sorted by the time this gets finished. Next up is the straight section which will go to the back left. This was easier to make;
So far so good. Yep it's the same picture twice but there will be sufficient other items in front to prevent this becoming immediately obvious. Next thing now is to start on the shuttle lines. Due to the innaccessability of this area everything will have to be created, installed, laid, weathered, sceniced etc before instalation. These sections will have to be lifted in their entirity across a metre or so of track. Yep, it would have been a good idea to do this first before installing all the track, but this is real life and things don't work like that in real life. So I have now transported both backdrops through to the train room for further work. This is the left backdrop with attached base for shuttle lines as brought in from the garage/ workshop.
From here it gets track laid and wiring done, ballasted, a bit of weathering and integrated into the back scene. Once this is done I raise it to eye level to finalise things before the big lift;
Ok I have now laid the last two pieces of track to the right and the curved base and track section to the left. Now all installed and ready to go. Cables have all been labled for future wiring.
This needed to people to lift clear across the other track section to the rear. The plan was to position the rear left part first. Once in position the rear right part would slide into a slot which would hold the two backdrops together. I did this initially and guess what: it was an inch too long. I had to remove the rear right backdrop and take an inch off it. That was fun!
This picture shows the two backdrop sections fixed together. Rubbish lighting I'm afraid however that wasn't my priority at the time. I've glued the two sections together and held the top part with a vice. Parts of the base have been screwed into the baseboards to keep the structure solid. You will note that this backdrop pretty much blocks out most light from the window. That's intentional. Sunlight here is strong and will bleach colour and melt plastic. I don't want any of those expensive models wilting in the summer sun. The window goes down to the floor in any event and will allow some light through the bottom part.
This is the join where the two back drops meet. I've used a tree to conceal the join however the sky doesn't match. Bit unfortunate but may be resolved by airbrushing at some future point.
This is lengthways view from the right. The trees integrate reasonably well into the backdrop.
View from the left now. Overlap joins more visible from this angle. I'll fix these up when mixing more wallpaper paste for the next batch of backdrops.
Overall view of the entire backdrop. Looks ok from a distance. I intend to have different backdrops all the way around the layout. I think a decent backdrop makes a big difference.
The plan from here is tidying up what I have done, scenic the back part and get the shuttle line operational. I have plenty new track and some more points and motors to instal so that'll keep me busy. I've got more building kits on the way so I can fill up the city area to the right. I'll add a further country backdrop to the left and forest over the join in the corner, then finish up the end of the shuttle line. Still deciding whether to have it go straight or to curve towards the operating area which may be more convenient for taking off and putting on stock.
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