Backdrop construction


Bill Lugg
 

I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8" Masonite (or whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility is a consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.

What do you that have handled both recommend?

Thanks
Bill Lugg


lloyd lehrer
 

bill, have you considered 4x8 sheets of .050 styrene, it will stand on end and curve and takes paint.  Luan is  much lighter than both styrene and masonite ( the untempered is lighter than the tempered version), but not as flexible. It may still handle a curve depending on the radius.

lloyd lehrer, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (310)951-9097


On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 3:23 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@...> wrote:
I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my
layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding
track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8" Masonite (or
whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the
better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility is a
consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.

What do you that have handled both recommend?

Thanks
Bill Lugg






--
lloyd lehrer


Bill Lugg
 

The radius would be something like 36".  Haven't considered styrene.  It's going behind a yard and I'm looking at commercial photo backdrops to cover it as I'm all thumbs when it comes to artwork.

Bill

On 12/10/20 4:28 PM, lloyd lehrer wrote:
bill, have you considered 4x8 sheets of .050 styrene, it will stand on end and curve and takes paint.  Luan is  much lighter than both styrene and masonite ( the untempered is lighter than the tempered version), but not as flexible. It may still handle a curve depending on the radius.

lloyd lehrer, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (310)951-9097


On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 3:23 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@risebroadband.net <mailto:luggw1@risebroadband.net>> wrote:

I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my
layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding
track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8"
Masonite (or
whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the
better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility
is a
consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.

What do you that have handled both recommend?

Thanks
Bill Lugg






--
lloyd lehrer


Russ Norris
 

Bill, I put in a backdrop from Backdrop Junction -- no longer in business -- and mounted it on sheets of Masonite (now called particle board).  The height was 19" and the length was 17 feet.  The board was easy tp work with and handle.  It was also flexible enough to curve.  I would use it again.

Russ

On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 6:23 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@...> wrote:
I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my
layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding
track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8" Masonite (or
whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the
better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility is a
consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.

What do you that have handled both recommend?

Thanks
Bill Lugg






--
Russ Norris, MMR
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
http://blacklogvalleyrailroad.blogspot.com/


Ric Case
 

My take on luan is it a plywood product and even the thin grade will split when you try to bend it. I have used 1/8 inch Masonite un tempered you can wet lightly and it will bend nicely. Screw it in place let it dry and it will hold the shape when you have to remove it! 
Luan also is very grainy! 

Ric Case 
EBT Modeler 
Hamilton Ohio 
1-513-375-7694

On Dec 10, 2020, at 6:28 PM, lloyd lehrer <lloydlehrer@...> wrote:


bill, have you considered 4x8 sheets of .050 styrene, it will stand on end and curve and takes paint.  Luan is  much lighter than both styrene and masonite ( the untempered is lighter than the tempered version), but not as flexible. It may still handle a curve depending on the radius.

lloyd lehrer, MANHATTAN BEACH, CA (310)951-9097


On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 3:23 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@...> wrote:
I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my
layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding
track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8" Masonite (or
whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the
better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility is a
consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.

What do you that have handled both recommend?

Thanks
Bill Lugg






--
lloyd lehrer


Margie & Larry Galkowski
 

I just used some 1/4in luan to face some stair risers. 4x8 sheet not expensive & I don't see any issue with a 36in radius. When I build my new layout I will probably use that for backdrops.
Larry G.


Paul Sturtz
 

I used a fiberglass? material from Lowes, sold in 4x8 sheets.  One side is pebbled and shiny (I think for bathroom use) the other side is plain and dull.  Easy to use, cost the same as Masonite but not affected by humidity or temperature.  I used it for the facia as well.  The photo shows early construction at a 90 degree corner and somewhat later after some scenery installed.


Mike Conder
 

Removable or portable?  It depends a bit on how permanent it needs to be, as something that's moved weekly or for shows would be very different from something behind a layout that may only be moved when moving to a new house.  It also depends on how long it needs to be.

Personally I'm at the latter stage and am seriously considering the 0.040" to 0.060" styrene.  We can get that in 4x8 sheets here in the Denver area.  I've also heard good things about some sort of flooring product like linoleum that can be one long sheet.  Also I've heard of aluminum and/or galvanized being available in long sheets/rolls but those may be harder to cut etc.  All these would need to be mounted on a frame I think.

And just this week I heard of a thick artists' paper material that is some sort of sandwich (like foamcore but not sure it has the foam part) that takes paint extremely well (and probably glue for a backdrop photo) but I've forgotten the name.

Mike Conder

On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 4:23 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@...> wrote:
I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my
layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding
track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8" Masonite (or
whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the
better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility is a
consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.

What do you that have handled both recommend?

Thanks
Bill Lugg






Jim Marlett
 

I believe you are referring to FRP – fiberglass reinforced panels.

Jim Marlett
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/


On Dec 10, 2020, at 6:26 PM, Paul Sturtz <apa_208@...> wrote:

I used a fiberglass? material from Lowes, sold in 4x8 sheets.  One side is pebbled and shiny (I think for bathroom use) the other side is plain and dull.  Easy to use, cost the same as Masonite but not affected by humidity or temperature.  I used it for the facia as well.  The photo shows early construction at a 90 degree corner and somewhat later after some scenery installed.
_._,_._,_



Bill Lugg
 

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

On 12/10/20 5:27 PM, Mike Conder wrote:
Removable or portable?  It depends a bit on how permanent it needs to be, as something that's moved weekly or for shows would be very different from something behind a layout that may only be moved when moving to a new house.  It also depends on how long it needs to be.

Personally I'm at the latter stage and am seriously considering the 0.040" to 0.060" styrene.  We can get that in 4x8 sheets here in the Denver area.  I've also heard good things about some sort of flooring product like linoleum that can be one long sheet.  Also I've heard of aluminum and/or galvanized being available in long sheets/rolls but those may be harder to cut etc.  All these would need to be mounted on a frame I think.

And just this week I heard of a thick artists' paper material that is some sort of sandwich (like foamcore but not sure it has the foam part) that takes paint extremely well (and probably glue for a backdrop photo) but I've forgotten the name.

Mike Conder

On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 4:23 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@risebroadband.net <mailto:luggw1@risebroadband.net>> wrote:

I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my
layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding
track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8"
Masonite (or
whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the
better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility
is a
consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.

What do you that have handled both recommend?

Thanks
Bill Lugg






Climax@...
 

I guess I am here to stay, I painted my whole room with clouds, fog, mountains, trees, and dirt roads all in 3 days, all 4 walls. Second back drop I have painted and I did it right on the dry wall with acrylics which are easily painted over with regular latex. In my last layout I used dry wall to curve the corners too. Looked neat and eliminated the corners but not sure it was worth the effort. Sometimes we get caught up in the details and forget where the train is headed. Here is a few pix of my backdrop painting and I am NOT an artist.
DAve

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Lugg <luggw1@risebroadband.net>
Sent: Dec 10, 2020 11:17 PM
To: HOn3@groups.io
Subject: Re: [HOn3] Backdrop construction

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


On 12/10/20 5:27 PM, Mike Conder wrote:
Removable or portable?  It depends a bit on how permanent it needs to
be, as something that's moved weekly or for shows would be very
different from something behind a layout that may only be moved when
moving to a new house.  It also depends on how long it needs to be.

Personally I'm at the latter stage and am seriously considering the
0.040" to 0.060" styrene.  We can get that in 4x8 sheets here in the
Denver area.  I've also heard good things about some sort of flooring
product like linoleum that can be one long sheet.  Also I've heard of
aluminum and/or galvanized being available in long sheets/rolls but
those may be harder to cut etc.  All these would need to be mounted on
a frame I think.

And just this week I heard of a thick artists' paper material that is
some sort of sandwich (like foamcore but not sure it has the foam
part) that takes paint extremely well (and probably glue for a
backdrop photo) but I've forgotten the name.

Mike Conder

On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 4:23 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@risebroadband.net
<mailto:luggw1@risebroadband.net>> wrote:

I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my
layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding
track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8"
Masonite (or
whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the
better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility
is a
consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.

What do you that have handled both recommend?

Thanks
Bill Lugg









John Stutz
 

Bill

If your panels can be moved slightly sideways when being dismounted, then you can add interlockng fingers to the back side of each panel at the joints.   With panels set moderately deep groves, the pairs will hold each other in alignment.  Finger overlap need not be large: a few panel thicknesses should suffice.  Drawback is that they must then be taken down sequentially, from one end or the other.

John Stutz

On December 10, 2020 8:17 PM Bill Lugg < luggw1@...> wrote:  ....

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 Conder
 

Bill, their name is Plasticare.   About a block west and a block south of Santa Fe & Orchard in Littleton (or is it Englewood there? Close enough)

Ok it's Englewood. 

4211 S Natches Ct, Englewood, CO 80110
(303) 781-1171

And they have amazing stuff. 

For about $50 I bought 4x8 sheets of 0.040" & 0.030" & 0.020" and had them cut into 12"x12" squares.  Haven't bought plain sheet styrene in years!

So if you know the widths, they can cut it for you lengthwise, makes it easy.  Otherwise yes, long straight edge and I'd use an acrylic scriber from HD or Lowe's in the section where they sell acrylic sheet for windows.  Just scribe and snap!

Thanks place has all kinds of plastics, I bought Delrin 13/4" rods to use as pins for aligning my modules.  And all kind of casting resins and supplies. 

Hope that helps. 

Mike Conder


On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 9:17 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@...> 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


On 12/10/20 5:27 PM, Mike Conder wrote:
> Removable or portable?  It depends a bit on how permanent it needs to
> be, as something that's moved weekly or for shows would be very
> different from something behind a layout that may only be moved when
> moving to a new house.  It also depends on how long it needs to be.
>
> Personally I'm at the latter stage and am seriously considering the
> 0.040" to 0.060" styrene.  We can get that in 4x8 sheets here in the
> Denver area.  I've also heard good things about some sort of flooring
> product like linoleum that can be one long sheet.  Also I've heard of
> aluminum and/or galvanized being available in long sheets/rolls but
> those may be harder to cut etc.  All these would need to be mounted on
> a frame I think.
>
> And just this week I heard of a thick artists' paper material that is
> some sort of sandwich (like foamcore but not sure it has the foam
> part) that takes paint extremely well (and probably glue for a
> backdrop photo) but I've forgotten the name.
>
> Mike Conder
>
> On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 4:23 PM Bill Lugg <luggw1@...
> <mailto:luggw1@...>> wrote:
>
>     I'm getting close to needing to construct a removable backdrop on my
>     layout.  It will be in sections and be about 24" to 30" tall, hiding
>     track that runs behind a yard.  I'm considering either 1/8"
>     Masonite (or
>     whatever they call it these days) or luan.  I figure the lighter the
>     better and I'd like to form part of it into a curve so flexibility
>     is a
>     consideration too.  I've never used luan so don't know what it's like.
>
>     What do you that have handled both recommend?
>
>     Thanks
>     Bill Lugg
>
>
>
>
>
>






John Hutnick
 

We have not mentioned a popular backdrop material: aluminum trim coil stock.  Comes in white rolls at Home Depot, about $93 for 50ft x 24".  It bends to any radius.  If you want to order from various suppliers, you can even get blue.


Paul Sturtz
 

I used poster board to hide the staging yard on my 2' x 7' portable Nn3 layout.  The blue sky was removable for transport; the mountains were permanently attached.
Paul
Paul 


Jim Marlett
 

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
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/

On Dec 10, 2020, at 10:17 PM, Bill Lugg <luggw1@risebroadband.net> 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


rick@...
 

I dunno. I smell trouble. If you have a derail or other mishap back there, you need to remove a backdrop and then reach over whatever is in front, hoping you don't crush something. The yard is just storage then, as making up trains seems like a royal pain.

Can you drop that yard tracks down, move the front stuff on top of them, and get to the yard from underneath?

Rick


Bill Lugg
 

Jim,
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.

Bill

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
http://flatheaddrag.com/
http://jimmarlett.zenfolio.com/


On Dec 10, 2020, at 10:17 PM, Bill Lugg <luggw1@risebroadband.net> 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





tonyk537
 

That Nn3 layout was incredible Paul !


Mike Conder
 

I wasn't sure if that was still available.  I am really interested in trying that but may need 36"wide im some areas. 

Mike Conder

On Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 8:18 AM John Hutnick <johnhutnick@...> wrote:
We have not mentioned a popular backdrop material: aluminum trim coil stock.  Comes in white rolls at Home Depot, about $93 for 50ft x 24".  It bends to any radius.  If you want to order from various suppliers, you can even get blue.