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Author Previous Topic: A small expansion to my layout. Topic Next Topic: SL&N construction blog
Page: of 23

Drew
Fireman



Posted - 03/27/2006 :  07:52:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I may have mentioned this here before, but I've has great success with using cheap vinyl flooring material...Many time you can find this stuff at flooring outlets that sell damaged remnants for pennies on the dollar...
I don't use the shiny floor side of the material, but rather the plain white or gray underside...this material takes paint very nicely, & can be found in rolls of a very long length...The largest one I did was for an HO layout I built...the backdrop was 18' long with no seams...I could've made it longer, but that was all I needed...
The only drawback is that the stuff is on the flimsy side, & requires something to attach it to...I used thin plywood, screwed into wall studs, & then glued the vinyl sheet to the plywood, using vinyl floor adhesive...


-Drew-

"Life is all the stuff that happened while you were making other plans."

Country: USA | Posts: 1173 Go to Top of Page

bpate
Fireman



Posted - 05/06/2006 :  7:15:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On Saturday I had a go at using a spray gun to paint my backdrop in a light blue, going slightly darker towards the top. This is a full sized spray gun and I haven't used one for many years.

I had masked everything and got started on the lowest layer with only a small amount of blue in the white base. I noticed it was laying down quite a heavy coat but pressed on as the resorvior was quite large, adding a small amount of extra blue to the white base on each pass. About 3/4s done, so far so good and then disaster. Splatter, splatter - the reservoir had run dry! Arrhhh, job ruined. To salvage it I used a roller to smooth the splattered areas, removed much of the excess paint and rolled the lot by hand. Then left it to dry overnight. I am still to see the result so fingers crossed.



Country: Australia | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

bpate
Fireman



Posted - 05/07/2006 :  03:15:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sunday and it hasn't come out so bad. I have a light blue backdrop that will do without drawing attention to itself.


Country: Australia | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 05/07/2006 :  12:06:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Whoa, Barry! That's a relief to hear your problem turned out okay in the end. Sometimes a good night's sleep away from the layout is a good thing. Yes, painting over a large area is a lot trickier at times than painting a small model! Will we see some pics of the painted surface soon?

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Country: | Posts: 11492 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 05/07/2006 :  3:10:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Cliff, thanks for sharing how you've printed the backdrops. I have a friend up here in Ottawa who has a large layout currently under construction (NYC/Canada Southern/C&O) and I'll pass along your info.

It's refreshing to see a company encourage modellers to use their services in this manner!

By the way, I'm looking forward to see how your third level progresses. Keep up the great work!


Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Edited by - Mike Hamer on 05/07/2006 3:11:25 PM

Country: | Posts: 11492 Go to Top of Page

bpate
Fireman



Posted - 05/07/2006 :  6:39:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Mike, I was pleased to be able to salvage it.

Cliff, your backdrops look great, as does the rest of your very interesting layout. I intend to do something similar having been inspired by Alan Rocket's fabulous layout. Alan used photos to great effect from the area around Puffing Billy in Victoria.

I have been taking various photopgraphs of the Yarra Valley here in Victoria in preparation for printing out to be used in a similar manner. The light blue backdrop I painted over the weekend will be the plain sky area behind those printouts.



Country: Australia | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

Bbags
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/07/2006 :  7:58:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Al posted this in another thread and I am moving here at his request.

Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy

Drew, I used exactly the same method as you, and really like it...easy to do and inexpensive. I also might mention that because the vinyl is so flexible, it is easy to curve the corners. Here is a pic of the expansion section to my layout...this section of backdrop even "bridges" (with a plywood backing) a window opening:



And here is a pic of a corner section in my main layout room...the "corner" is actually to the left of the water tower:



One more thing I might mention...I ended up with a roll of sheet vinyl about 36" wide by 100' long. I wanted a backdrop about 18" tall. So, I put the roll up on the good old WorkMate and got out my hand saw and set to work. It wasn't easy, but I did manage to cut the whole roll. I figured a power saw would melt the vinyl, so it had to be a hand saw...



John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

Country: USA | Posts: 13290 Go to Top of Page

Bbags
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 05/08/2006 :  08:59:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cliff,
Thanks for the tutorial on how to create a photo backdrop at a small cost.
I will give this a try to see if I can have some mountains off in the distance.



John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

Country: USA | Posts: 13290 Go to Top of Page

bpate
Fireman



Posted - 05/20/2006 :  05:12:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First inspired by Alan Rocket’s excellent layout and his description of how he used photos of the area he models to form a transition between the layout and the sky, and building on what has already been said earlier in this thread I have been researching how I could do something similar. No commercial Australian backdrop scenes of a suitable size are available and having a single wide photo printed professionally would be cost prohibitive. I have used the panoramic photo merge options in Photoshop Elements 2 which works well enough to get a panorama photo from several frames that overlap. All well and good so far. A problem arises when it comes to actually printing the panoramas. I found that the photo programs I had could not handle the task. Trying to print specific sections using eithe Elements or some other programs resulted in very clear colour variations at the joins amongst other problems and was basically unworkable. I looked on the Internet for a program capable of breaking up a panoramic photo and enabling it to be printed on a ‘print to the edge’ A4 or Letter format colour printer. I have a Canon Pixma iP8500 which is an excellent colour printer and is able to print right to the edge of the page.

The program I found is actually Freeware which is a bonus and comes from http://cpicture.net/en
The developers have done a great job of making a very easy to use program. I hope this is suitable copyright acknowledgement for them. BTW, this is a German program with a good English translation version available so ensure you download the English version.

After installing the program, which is straightforward, you will need to go to the Tools menu and click on ‘Activate additional functions’, which is where you will find the ‘Split Panorama Picture’ function. This screen shot shows how the Split Panorama Picture function works on a photo, breaking it up into printable sections.



This screen shot shows how the program segments the photo based on printer settings.



Printing each segment produces a series of photos that can be butt joined on a suitable surface. I used the foamed PVC sheeting as described below.

Here is my first effort. I had to look from less than 12 inches away to actually see the page joins in the panorama.

This first picture shows an ‘under construction’ area of Britannia Creek with just the blue sky backdrop behind the also ‘under construction’ mine.



This photo shows the backdrop panorama photo temporarily in place behind the mine. I think in the final positioning I will have it raised a bit higher but it serves to illustrate the point.



I am quite pleased with these early results and will be making good use of the cPicture software in the future as Britannia Creek progresses around the hobby room.



Edited by - bpate on 06/22/2006 3:47:52 PM

Country: Australia | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

Mike Hamer
Engineer



Posted - 06/21/2006 :  9:10:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mike Hamer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Barry, it's amazing how we can now use software to create very realistic backgrounds, and to think...some of it is freeware available on the net! Thanks for the "heads up"!

Mike Hamer
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
http://www.bostonandmaine.blogspot.ca
http://www.craftsmanstructures.blogspot.ca
http://modelrailroadsivisit.blogspot.ca

Country: | Posts: 11492 Go to Top of Page

wbbho
Engine Wiper

Posted - 06/21/2006 :  11:25:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Barry,
Useful little program. Nice to see there is still something useful for nothing!
Will S



Country: Australia | Posts: 199 Go to Top of Page

bpate
Fireman



Posted - 06/22/2006 :  3:51:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Indeed Mike, this program helped me with one aspect I was having trouble with so am happy to give them the nod.

Will, I am just back from the UK. I've corrected the link. Thanks for pointing that out. You, Paul and I must get together soon. I have replied to your PM.



Country: Australia | Posts: 3090 Go to Top of Page

Will Robinson
Section Hand



Posted - 08/01/2006 :  2:45:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi guys.
Thanks for tip on using vinyl for backdrop. I'm just starting to build a new layout and was looking for backdrop material ideas. I'll post when I find some in my area and start to put it up.
thanks,
Will.



Country: Canada | Posts: 71 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 09/11/2006 :  11:07:20 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
My painter friend got started tonight on painting the backdrop. The overall project is about 80' in length and I thought you might be interested in following along.
It will take a couple months as he can only work a couple nights a week. It is exciting to see it come together and if anyone has questions please ask and I will try to get the answer.

This is the first night and he pretty well covered the whole 80' with blocking in the hills and mountains. I am always amazed how fast he does this and how it helps to visualize the scenes coming together. All this painting was done with a 3" brush.

Were started




Country: USA | Posts: 5879 Go to Top of Page

Tim Kerkhoff
Fireman



Posted - 09/11/2006 :  11:12:23 PM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
hmmm for some reason I cannot post photos, I will try again later.


Country: USA | Posts: 5879 Go to Top of Page
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