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Author Topic Next Topic: Turnout/Track Compatibility
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terry hansley
Crew Chief



Posted - 09/14/2004 :  10:13:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Harold and Terry

I`m also into this Backdrop thing.

I spent last night studying the Santa Clara pictures for backdrops I liked. I think maybe the less detail looks better.

I`m thinking maybe Masonite with sawtooth cut pieces of screen wire painted and ground foam glued on.Placed against the Backdrop. Then in front of that 1/2 inch insulation painted and WS Small pine trees. I have seen moss from the craft store stuck between individual trees and it looked pretty good as undergrowth.

I ordered the tape on backdrop painting but I`ve already gone back to blue once, at this rate the paint thickness alone will be 1/4 inch

Terry H



Country: USA | Posts: 600 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 09/14/2004 :  11:48:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terry , all I can say is give it a try ( whatever you're ideas ) and don't be afraid to make a mistake . It's only paint and time . At one point I had a sunrise where you see the white morning mist over the trees in the mountain areas . It looked pretty bad . I just slapped blue over it and tried something different .
Hopefully you will get a feel , early on , for what you are trying to accomplish .

TERRY



Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

mnguy
Engine Wiper

Posted - 01/24/2005 :  11:46:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
(Posting this for TeeJay, whose having some problems with his $#@!^% PC):

I still haven't got the machine fixed yet , can't post on RRL ...was going to put them on the Backdrops Thread of Scenery when I can get at it . maybe you can update the site with them . There is still foliage of various sorts to go on the walls and between the walls anf the buildings ....I'm getting there .

(The pictures can be found at his site http://www.tjolliffe.com/backdrop.html at the bottom of the page.




Country: USA | Posts: 398 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 01/24/2005 :  2:16:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for posting them Bill . I thought the 'smoke ' looked a little 'wispier' in real life than in the pic ...apparently not , I'll have to touch that up some .
The shadowing/sunshine on the building looks right since the sun will be at that ( East ) end .Now for the yard/Hulett/dock/Edmund Fitzgerald/Bascule bridge in front of all this .

There is a gap of about 4" between the cement wall and the base of the Mill building . This has now been filled with a 45 degree slope made of cardboard webbing and plaster cloth .
TERRY



Edited by - teejay on 01/24/2005 2:19:30 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 01/29/2005 :  4:09:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not certain if my question even belongs on this with the high level discussions of painting,etc. Please excuse me for this little mundane question.
I got a problem.I'm rebuilding and trying to do a better job on my backdrops then on past layouts. This time they have to be on a backdrop of their own rather than on the surrounding walls. For making the corners less visible, I have chosen to use 1/8 masonite curved to go through the corners. This is screwed to uprights made of 3/4 inch plywood. No problems with the construction until I painted. Two coats of latex. I had used drywall mud to fill and conceal the joints. No tape was used due to the hardboard not having grooves at the edges as drywall does to hide the tape. I placed a three inch wide piece of plywood behind each joint and screwed the ends solidly with drywall screws. I have cracks developing already in less than a week. Any suggestions what I did or did not do or ways to prevent future problems? I have several more to go and would like to do better. Any thoughts on using a paintable caulk as it would be more flexible than the mud?
Richard



Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 01/31/2005 :  08:02:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Richard , long time no see/hear .
I had the same problem , to a lesser extent , on my layout . The caulking/plaster will shrink in any circumstance . You need backing to cover the joints whether it be drywall tape , or good old masking tape ....even duct tape . THEN put the plaster over that and sand/feather it out . I do have a bit of a 'bump' that I can see if I look closely but so be it . It will probably take a thin coat of plaster over the initial heavier coat . Fluctuations in temperature probably don't help either .

TERRY



Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 01/31/2005 :  10:30:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info, Terry. I have the tape on hand but had not used it as I thought the hardboard was pretty secure. Wrong.
I have several more ready to go so I should know soon if it is the solution. I also have thought of another possible mistake I had made. Using Masonite is part of the learning experience I had with doing the Larry Project last summer and I wanted to try it here. One big difference is that the there was no way to round the corners on Larry's project and still leave it easy to dismantle to move. I had that in mind as my major thing to watch here. That turned out to be no problem but the weather is potentially a major difference. The masonite had been in my garage at about forty degrees and I cut it to shape there and brought it inside to about 65F to mount it. Quite possible that gave me more expansion trouble as I did go straight to finishing the seams without waiting a day or so. I hope waiting and the tape will solve the prob.
As to the lack of my presence here, that is still something I'm mulling over a bit. I've found that things I say in person and have well received can not be said at all in the online style. Too often taken the wrong way or out of context. I think the forums will be well off with me listening more often and only speaking when I have a problem.



Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 01/31/2005 :  11:23:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Richard , I think the 1/8 Masonite is the way to go . Any thicker and it won't round the corner as easily and will be 'springier ' and more difficult to secure . I've heard of people using old linoleum rolls for backdrops but have never tried it .
I secured my masonite to 1x4 uprights that went right to the floor as part of the bench legs ....for stability . I didn't want anything moving if I had to jump up on the benchwork for some reason ( excitement from winning the lottery etc. ) Although there are a couple of 'warts' in my backdrop , it isn't anything I'm going to lose sleep over . Paint and putty are wonderful coverups . It would help to have a couple of people around when putting it up . I didn't and have a couple of waves in mine , but made up a story as to how I did that for effect . It actually does add a 3-d effect to it so maybe it was meant to be . Get Larry to help you after all the help you gave him .

TERRY



Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 01/31/2005 :  4:16:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just for an update, I have hung the masonite after letting it stay in the room for a few days and now have the drywall mud first layer drying. I probably could be called a master at overlooking those warts you mention. I've had old rental property with plaster ceilings to patch. Man, did I leave some warts. Makes this patching seem a bit easier since it is not straight overhead. I just aspire to a better job now. I'm sure Larry would volunteer to help me get this going but I've moved and lost that option. He used to live in St. Louis and now I do. Do you think it's anything I caught from him??? Richard


Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 02/01/2005 :  10:43:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One little trick you might utilize if you do have some 'warts' is to do the usual blue sky background and then white /grey clouds but do RAISED CLOUDS with plaster just for fun instead of having them painted flat on the backdrop . I'll be different and will also help cover an area that is not smooth . You can also cut out pictures and paste them to the backdrop . Thats what I did and fogged them in for the hazy industrial scene .Post some pics when you get 'em , Richard . St. Louis , eh ? Didn't think you were a city dude .

Later , TERRY



Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 02/01/2005 :  11:32:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Richard, I had the same problem (cracks, shrinkage, etc.) several years ago with 1/8" masonite. I had butted two 8' sheets together and screwed them to furring strips that were in turn glued to the basement walls. That was in the summer. The following winter the cracks started appearing in the drywall mud I used to hide the seam. A few weeks later, I had a gap of about 1/16" to 1/8". I later learned that masonite is not dimensionally stable - it expands and contracts with changes in humidity. I haven't tried using masonite as a backdrop since.

Which leads me to this: a few weeks ago while browsing the aisles of our brand new Lowes, I saw 1/4" sheet rock. I have never seen sheet rock that thin before, but it started me to wondering how it would work/hold up as a backdrop for a layout. (I've used 3/8" for most of my basement projects, and it's been just fine.) I haven't tried it yet, but here's an idea: I've seen builders/sheetrockers create coved or rounded walls in new homes by slicing the back of the wallboard at regular intervals and bending it to fit the shape. A sheet of 1/4" wallboard doesn't weigh much more than the masonite, so why couldn't that work for your rounded corners on your layout? Just a thought....




Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

teejay
Fireman



Posted - 02/01/2005 :  12:46:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I cringed a bit when I saw the " slicing the back of the wallboard ". I'm no expert , but it would seem to me this may be asking for trouble by exposing the insides of the wallboard to the elements , humidity , changes in temp , etc.
My basement is insulated and finished with dropped ceiling and carpeting . I'm sure there are temperature variations but they would be minimal at worst . The one seam that had plaster mud ( of the 5 seams I made ) was the seam where I did the poorest job of butting and securing the masonite .I think it was my fault . The other seams have seen about a year of life and ...so far , no .Knock on wood . It probably depends heavily on whether or not the area is suitably finished / warm / dry . Unfinished basements , garage attics and the like would be more suceptible to problems IMO .

TERRY



Country: Canada | Posts: 5853 Go to Top of Page

MikeC
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 02/01/2005 :  2:22:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terry, the nice thing about sheetrock (aka wallboard) is that it's dimensionally stable (unless it gets real wet). That's why it's so commonly used in housing and commercial construction. I have watched my (now ex-) brother-in-law, who is a builder, slice it part way through the back and make really nice flowing curves with it. I don't know how well it would work with 1/4" thickness, though. That might be too thin to try working with.




Country: USA | Posts: 21584 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 02/01/2005 :  2:35:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just checking in here with some new thoughts. The drywall mud is really slow drying right now. I have been doing the construction type stuff to get the room ready. It is a room at the end of the basement that had been used as storage by the previous owners. As such it had one stud wall and three concrete. Since there is ductwork above for central heat and air and the plan called for an around the room layout, I did not finish the concrete walls beyond filling and painting them. I've added sheetrock to the back of the stud wall, added heat/ac ducts and boxed in the ductwork. After adding a suspended ceiling it is a clean, dry and fairly temp stable area. With the construction I'm doing I have kept the temp down to avoid sweating. Probably 65F most of the time. I think most of my trouble was due to bringing the masonite in and hanging it without giving it time to acclimate to being inside. I am thinking of changing to patching plaster to finish the seams. With the lower temperature and the fairly thick layer I am wanting, the drywall mud is taking forever to dry. While patching plaster is a pain to have to mix and hurry to get it in place I think it may have some advantages that will make it work. It seems a bit stronger, dries plenty quick and hard. With the masonite and plaster I think I can switch to power tools for sanding and avoid the arm-strong stuff. That way I can get all my "warts" built a lot quicker. LOL I'll check back if it works out. I'm wanting to get to the trackwork.. Richard


Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page

MP Rich
Fireman



Posted - 02/01/2005 :  2:39:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did you see the bit in Model Railroader about using styrene sheets for backdrop? He has a different supply or a different banker than I do. Richard


Country: USA | Posts: 1762 Go to Top of Page
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