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· garage hobbit!!!
1,717 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, its been awile but work keeps getting in the way!

HAve been busy making 'Milldale' and have got to a stubbling block, I need to start fixing the various building that my brother and I have made and really need to get the back scene in place. Only problem is that I dont like any of the peco or simular printed ones as if I see another 'A Glugg' building again it will send me mad!

I would love to do photo manipulation but I am thick when it comes to digital camera's and photo editting suites it gives me a head ache.

Does anyone know if there is a retail or willing expert who would do it for me, 'Milldale' will be over 30ft long so its a bit out of the range of a normal home printer, I know Jenny from Photojenics used to but she gave up last year and now I am stuck,


Bro Sewell

· Premium Member
2,740 Posts
I was going to say that every long exhibition layout seems to have a painted backscene.

What we don't know is the period being modelled.

Photographic backscenes can be very complicated if extended lengths are required for periods other than current unless it is to be a pure scenic scene with absolutely no buildings, cars, people, etc. present.

There is an American company that produces photograpic backscenes although 30ft could prove expensive and sections do not join that well. Joints can be hidden with trees.

And there is a German/Austrian company that does a 3m roll (is it Busch?) and I just happen to have this!

Picked it up at the Warley Show a few years ago and have forgotten the manufacturer.

You could go for the combination of Peco and cut out pictures from magazines.

Or have a look at the off the shelf products from that German/Austrian company if you can find the products.

Somebody looking in might be able to help here.

There are some interesting products in this link including "The Whoppa", "The Valley" and "The Forest" with a claim that 23ft is available without any repetition:-

The really good news is that it is a UK stockist in Wales!

In fact the products look really interesting!!!

Happy modelling

· Registered
303 Posts

I have had a little experience with backscenes over the years, and I have tried everything and my current approach is nothing at all, as the layout is a portable oval, 18 feet x 10, designed to be operated from one side and viewed from the other, and I don't fancy reaching over a backscene to operate it. When I want to take a photograph, I use a mid blue back board and merge in a sky with the my photo editor, Photo Impression 4. If I see an interesting horizon without too much modernity in it, no pylons, no TV aerials, no modern housing or industrial estates, I will sometimes photograph it. Currently I rely on some photos taken in Eire for landscape backgrounds. They have plenty of 1950s streets as well.

When I built my first layout, which was so long ago that there was only one blue diesel, I tried painting my own backscene with water colours, and despite my O level Art, it was fairly poor. I later concluded that you should paint it with the perspective of a model figure standing beside the track, then it becomes mainly sky, with a few trees and buildings in the foreground. You can, if you like, introduce low relief buildings and streets with buildings diminishing gradually in size the further they are away, painting in the last few houses on the backscene and curving the road upwards so you can't see the join. The same principle applies to rivers.

Distant objects become increasingly greyer the further they are away due to atmospheric pollution, and the colour of the sky, even a blue sky, fades almost to grey as it approaches the horizon. So the way to paint a backscene in water colours is to start at the top with a wash of clearer blue and white clouds and add in white and grey as you work your way down to the horizon. I agree with using real photographs for near buildings and trees, and I would scan actual photos, enlarge them to required size and adjust the colour intensity and tone down the contrast.

I think that the International Models backscenes are far too distinct and the hills rise far too far up for our purposes.


· Registered
5,598 Posts
As I said I'm starting a water colour course tomorrow. I have painted my own scenes and it's very simple, especially if you use some cutout mounted card backdrops in the foreground. I used acryrillic wall paint for the rest. These samples you get in B&Q or Focus are ideal for that and cheap. Just remember colours get lighter towards the horizon and you've cracked it.
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