Re: Backdrop construction

Bill Lugg

I initially discounted this idea since there is just a 2" separation between the nearest track to be hidden and the yard track in front of it and the hidden track is nearly 14" above the yard track. Also, the view behind the yard needs to be the view of a reasonable sized town on the edge of a fairly large rail yard...

But, on further thought, you may be on to something... I could produce a bunch of building flats to populate my scene and fasten them to a plain sky backdrop that blocks the sight of the hidden tracks, saving what appears would be a fortune in the cost of a photorealistic backdrop.  I might even be able to 3D print these building flats as they wouldn't need to be finely detailed beyond a decent paint job at 2 feet from the viewer and behind a field of freight and passenger cars.  The wall is already painted sky blue so maybe adding some clouds to that to blend and I may be in business.

Thanks for the idea.  I'll have to pursue it further.


On 12/11/20 11:24 AM, Jim Marlett wrote:
So, if the issue is removing for access, it seems as though the access will be from the front. If so, why not put a conventional backdrop all the way to the back and put removable sections of mid ground features between the visible track and the permanent backdrop. For instance, if the middle ground is rolling hills, they could come up high enough to hide the trains behind them, but low enough to allow the rear background/sky and distant hills to be seen. This layer could be built as manageable pieces with the tops following the tops of the hills. You could bring the hillside ends below the horizon of the three dimensional scenery and overlap them with the next set of hills. I plan to do something similar with the mountain tops of my railroad. It wouldn’t have to be hills. It could be city buildings or mountains or even flat fields that rose up in the back. It would allow the “true” backdrop to be conventional while still providing access when you need it.

Jim Marlett

On Dec 10, 2020, at 10:17 PM, Bill Lugg <> wrote:

Lots of good ideas. It certainly wouldn't be portable. I'm a one man show so it would need to be fairly short sections I could lift out in the event of a problem behind the backdrop. It's all just straight track, but Murphy is alive and well, so I know something will happen at some point. I've got an inexpensive security camera system set up to watch trains pass behind the "curtain".

I've just got to figure out how to mesh them together so they stay in line with one another and so the whole thing doesn't come crashing down if I take one out.

Mike, can you tell me where you get the styrene from? I guess you'd just cut it with a sharp knife and loooong straight edge, right?

Paul, likewise how do you cut the material you use?

Thanks for all the info, I really appreciate it.

Bill Lugg

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