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My new garage layout needs a backscene of 29 feet. Now it so happens that peco large backscenes are 29 inches, so I would need exactly 12 of them. I'm not worried about the cost which would only be about £12 as I have one unused from a previous layout already. However, what does concern me is the idea that they would be rather monotonous. I don't want any village, town or city or dock scenes as I am modelling a secondary main line station that, like many real ones, are (or used to be) two or three miles from the place they serve. I'm not sure that mountains are apprpriate for most of England so this really leaves me with the general country scene and twelve of those in a row would be a bit repetetive!

So what about a hand made backscene, bearing in mind that I'm no artist and my idea of painting is doing the whole wall in one colour? Has anyone done this? How easy is it for someone like me? I have in mind just a sky blue with enough cloud to make it look like England with something brown and green for the bottom couple of inches. Would watercolours be best? Can anyone advise about the best place to buy them or the make to get?

I wonder about the idea of getting peco sky with cloud backscenes and doing the land part at the bottom myself, however this would lose the advantage of a continuous sheet that I could get using lining wallpaper. Is there any other option that I haven't considered?

Thank you in advance for any help. Robert
 

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Hi Robert,

We sorted out the backdrop problem by the help of BUSCH's CD " hinter grunland ". The only catch is you need a photo shop kind of a program.

It comes with all sorts of infinite number of elements which you can paste according to your choice. Then can be printed at a desired length and width at a profesional photo printers shop. We had ours done at approx 5 quid as shown below:



Baykal
 

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[quote name='Robert Stokes' date='16 Oct 2007, 21:01' post='37415']
My new garage layout needs a backscene of 29 feet.

Hi Robert

to me there is nothing that screams "toy train" more than the Peco backscenes in any form... they are truly appalling and 20 years overdue for replacing with something less trite.

My own backscenes are always as high as I can make them (usually layout to ceiling) and seamlesss / made with 3mm customwood. I actually try to avoid anything painted on them other than sky and clouds, with hills applied as a separate layer, and textured with the finest screenings of flock powder I can get, appropriately "muted" colour-wise to represent distance.

So... I'd go with the lining paper at lest full width for height plus sky and clouds... plan the the scenery then decide whether you do in fact need any painted on hills at all! - better nothing than either Peco or a less than accurate bit of artwork!

My own layout is in the process of moving to a new location so FYI here's a few excellent examples from a friends layout demonstrating the effectiveness of combining magazine pictures and texturing rather than painted on hills etc... .

as an example, the near side of the airport to the backscene is less than 6", and at the hunt scene, there is less than 2" between the front horse and the back of the backscene... the pictures are flat, stuck on to the backscene and brought to life by the skilled use of texture...most of the hills only "flats" with realism added by texturing

regards

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Richard. They look very good. The most obvious thing when looking at them is that the sky should be more of a light grey colour than blue. I get the impression that blue should occur here and there, very muted, rather than being the predominant colour, especially when trying to represent a British sky. Also clouds are not as pure white as one might think. Am I right?
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 16 Oct 2007, 15:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>to me there is nothing that screams "toy train" more than the Peco backscenes in any form... they are truly appalling and 20 years overdue for replacing with something less trite.

regards

Richard

Like about 50% of the rest of the catalogue !

Excellent backscenes though Richard & thanks for posting the pics.
 

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[quote name='Robert Stokes' date='16 Oct 2007, 22:18' post='37423']
Thank you Richard. They look very good. The most obvious thing when looking at them is that the sky should be more of a light grey colour than blue. I get the impression that blue should occur here and there, very muted, rather than being the predominant colour, especially when trying to represent a British sky. Also clouds are not as pure white as one might think. Am I right?

Hi Robert

yes, the sky should be pale, with a difference in intensity from horizon to top - take a look on a "flat but sunny day" any you'll see what I mean. I prefer a gray blue "wedgewood blue?) as the primary colour - the "blue-blue" so often used is far too strong. Sort of" add blue to white not white to blue" for the sofness needed!

Re the clouds, yes, paint them with a an almost dry sponge (dab in paint and dab most of the paint off before using) and use a very small addition of gray for the lower edges - the pictures sort of describe it better than I can :)

Most important with backscenes

(1) Be subtle - a little less is better than a little more colour-wise.
(2) Really look at the world before U start.. also look at some of the better landscape painters such as constable or similar and really look closely at their works... there shouold be lots of images online, and if U analyse what they really do, you'll do well!
(3) "Paint what you really DO see, not what you THINK you see!"
(4) remember texture also adds scale and distance - coarser flocks up front, almost powders in the rear.Same with colour - more subtle/paler shades of the same colours should be used at the rear.

Richard
 

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I would say do it yourself every time - The Peco backscenes are frankly awful and look just like awful backscenes as they don't seem to have any relevance to scale.

Personally I have used a dull green which just rises above the embankments, the sky is a very pale bue streaked with whiteish grey.

Regards
 

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There are some other backscenes out there: Townscene is available via Frestone Model Accessories and I think includes some rural elements, while until recntly there was a company Photojenic who produced photobackscenes, rthough I think they may have suspended trading
 

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Excellent work in those, Richard. Thankyou for sharing that. One of the biggest problems with two-dimensional backscene buildings is perspective, but those are disguised and embedded so well that I doubt it's a problem at all!

Mike
 

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I would also agree with Richard and the others. Don't use the Peco ones. I have used some of the Photojenic ones as I needed the sea as a background but they have ceased production. Painting your own as outlined by Richard would provide the best results.
Nice pictures Richard.
 

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Hi Baykal,

The BUSCH program you used, does it have UK back drops or can you add your own?

Also where can I get it from, tried to goggle it but only found this thread

I need to do a back scene for Mill Dale thats between 1 - 2ft in height and 35ft long

Brian
 

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Hi Brian,

I am afraid no UK type backdrops but you can make one of your own by simply intermingling with the buildings and industry.
i.e, you create your own backdrop as you seem fit.

We got ours from ModelbahnKramm. Look into Busch-Zubehör-Video and you'll find the below:

CD-Rom Backgrounds of north of Germany
CD-Rom Backgrounds alps
CD-Rom Dutch backgrounds
Background scenery for model railroads

Cheers
Baykal
 

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when modelling railways...[or, railway modelling??], I think we probably all agree, one tends to acquire many more skills than when one started out?

I find the photos of those textured backdrops absolutely delightful.........but they do demonstrate one thing....[for possibly skills reasons?] a backdrop can be created in stages.

For example... simple sky board to start wth...painted white [matt]...I used household emulsion....then gradually as you head towards the top, add tints of colour [from matchpots?]..these can be blues, or greys...depending on what sort of mood you wish to set? Also, what season you have set the rest of the scenery in?

Once you have played around with the basic sky colours, to your own satisfaction [not anybody else's].....the board can be left as-is.....or, if the mood strikes [gosh, shades of NG&SL Gazette?]......then start playing around with things like, distant hills or geographical features...[a volcano would be nice......can later have visual and sound effects added?] go out and simply observe what you see?....Make some notes AT THE TIME.....important, as one's memory also relies on impressions, which may get clouded over time?]......digital cameras are such a boon too.....although colours can be changed in the process?

if you come across a photo of a structure you like....it can be scanned to produce a size more appropriate, cut out and pasted to boads much as your friend has done......but this can be a progressive creation......not necessarily something that HAS to be done immediately.

also.....eliminate sharp coners in the skyboard.........also be careful of unwanted shadows?

That a backdrop done by oneself will be infinitely better than one bought in.....?

Absolutely!!! Simply because it will be unique.

Best of luck.......don't forget the 6 inch brush!
 

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I really couldn't add anything furter to the above.

Regards
 

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QUOTE (alastairq @ 27 Jul 2008, 20:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>now, that's a shame, because this thread could have been a marvellous resource?

I wasn't actually meaning it quite that way. I feel sure that there are still plenty of people out there who can add to the thread.

Regards
 

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Slightly off topic from the 'create your own' theme of this thread but is there nowhere you can purchase professional photo/painted sky backdrops which could be used as a template? NOT the Peco or Townscene ones but more realistic plain skies?

It strikes me that this would be most useful for those of us who know that our own efforts will fall short of the real thing. I have some artistic skills but skies can be very difficult to get looking accurate.

Also I note that none of the produced backscenes seem to include any railway scenery. Couldn't someone do some examples with goods yards, depots, freight terminals? I know we're usually including such things on our models as part of the actual layout but if you're just modelling a station or depot it would be good to have a railway related backdrop which would flow nicely from our models.

For e.g. I'm currently building a small TMD which is set off a main line on a 4' by 2' board. What I wouldn't give for a backscene which included a marshalling yard or lines of track and associated rolling stock in the background.
 

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Try having a look on the web for suitable photographs which can be cut and pasted into a plain sky backdrop.

I've had a quick look and there are literally thousands of railway photographs available. A lot of them are free downloads.

It's just a case of scouring through them to find the 'right' ones.

Cheers,

Expat.
 
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