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Hi all.   I have gone and done it again. That is tried to contact  a former member. I wish to paint my plywood backboard. I began by “ googling “ arts and crafts, wrong. I need real advice not youtube . What I did find out was, that I needed Gesso, so I purchased some and with a house painting brush, slapped it on, wait until dry, then sand it flat. Second coat, let it dry and sand it flat again , I have done that with varnish. Now I need some proper advice from the forum, some real brushes and paints, and quite a bit of luck with the rest of the job. Would someone please tell me the next steps?   Best wishes. Kevin

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My back scenes were painted with water-based acrylics. I rolled out the gesso (any half-decent small roller will do) to be as thin and even as possible though only ever did one coat and never sanded back.
That gives the even white base to work from.  


Next came the sky for which I used JoSonja's Sky Blue which is a ready-mixed shade.  The trick to achieving great sky seems to be to slowly blend it in with increasing amounts of white (I used a warm white not the hard brilliant white) and again I rolled it on because it was a large area.  I started at the top and worked down.


I took the sky down to almost white at what would be a horizon line just through careful blending and adding a tiny bit more white each time the roller came down another few inches.  Sponges and fine-line brushes were used to add clouds 


The land, which varied from cliffs through hillsides, forests and towns to glimpses of the sea, was steadily added from the bottom up using a range of JoSonja colours and again mixing and blending randomly as I went.  I used mostly three or four inexpensive brushes.  A wide flat one for sweeping strokes which applied hillsides quickly, a couple of round ones which were used both more conventionally for adding strokes and lines and less conventionally to blob spots of paint around in a style resembling Australian indigenous art.  That was particularly effective when painting hedges and tree lines.


Then there was a smaller flat brush used mostly for short single strokes of colour which became buildings in distant towns and villages.


The total cost to paint some 35 metres of backscene, far more than most would need to deal with, was probably under £100 the great majority of which was for the paint.  You don't need the very best sable brushes.  You don't need the bargain-box acrylic-bristle ones either.  Go somewhere between.  £1 - £2 each should be adequate. And you don't need a lot of them either.


For the results take a look through my Penhayle Bay topic which includes a range of views which include backscenes - all of which I hand-painted as described.

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Not being a painter I use printed ones, there are a few freebies about for download (Google for them) or Gaugemaster sell some

http://www.gaugemaster.com/search_results.asp

The Faller ones are expensive, Gaugemasters own are more affordable.

Problem with some of the download ones is the length, can be up to 1200mm/4'  an OKI  colour laser can print that size, but a lot of printers only manage A4.

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Hi Mike.  Thank you for your reply. Printed backscenes would be fine but, until I sort out my “Printer Computer combo I am really stymied . Even at the best of times they never spoke the same language. And since that I went at it
“like a Bull in a China shop”, Wrong again, I will have to carry on.  Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Rick.  Thank you for your reply. Already I have gone wrong, with two coats of gesso. Both of which were painted with a regular house painting brush, I am going to try aerosols ( Rattle Cans ) to see if I can get back on the right foot.On my “ shorthouse” layout there are no such things as villages, just a distant skyscrape. Best wishes. Kevin

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Hello Kevin,
Years ago, having spotted a Canadian copy of an Australian G8 loco, I trudged through -35F streets of Yorkton Saskatchewan to get some pictures. 

Last year I "rewalked" those streets by using Google Maps and using the street view made screen dumps of the street and buildings I went down and back on that day with a view to shaping them down and joining them for a backdrop on my Reginald Bridge section of the St Agnes Railway.  Having done that I am surprised how far I actually walked and in that snow 4 days out of Australia, how I survived!

Seeing you have followed a prototype, is there a road that you can similarly Google parallel to your track section that you can take screen dumps from and join them together? You would need to take sections of the views unless you have about 60 feet to represent two scale miles just as I don't have room for the 8 or 9 blocks I walked but I am sure you could join representative sections that someone else familiar could recognise as being that section of line in that part of the country.

Just a different way to get the backdrop that suits you...

Cheers

Trevor

Last edited on Mon Jun 11th, 2018 09:05 am by xdford

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The Gaugemaster ones are ready printed.

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Hi Trevor.   Thank you for your reply.  My backscene idea is “ up in the air “ , it was going to be a skyscape with distant grass? then I saw the idea of trompe l’ oeil .  Now I would like the background to have life, buildings etc with OO gauge railway stuff in the foreground . Better than having a bare plywood lid. Best wishes. Kevin

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Hi Mike.  Thank you. I viewed gaugemaster, but couldn’t see any pictures. But I have seen them advertised before.And I never saw anything that appealed to me, and being as my backscene is so small I wanted, good or bad? to make an impression., not as though it will be going anywhere .  Best wishes. Kevin

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Gaugemaster has plenty of backscenes   93 of , this is just one of many
http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=FA180511&style=main&strType=&Mcode=Faller+180511

Found them easy by typing  backscenes  into their Keyword search box  top right hand corner

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Be careful with a trompe l’oueil as whilst they can be a great feature if well done they don’t always turn out as planned.

They often rely on a single vanishing point in a view from one spot. A typical model lacks the single vanishing point because it is viewed from many different angles and positions.

For the same reason it can be difficult to represent depth on a backscene unless one is skilled in the use of perspective.

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Hi Rick.   Thank you again. With your advice it seems that I had best stick with clouds and greenery?Best wishes.  Kevin

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Hi Ron.   Thank you.  When I looked on the web in the first instance , I didn’t like what I saw, and that is when I thought of clouds and sky.    Best wishes.  Kevin

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Kevin,
MikeC’s tutorial is excellent and is what I used to teach myself how to paint backscene.

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=2407&forum_id=58

Cheers 

Marty

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Hi Kevin,

It all depends on whether you want a representation to give an illusion of some depth or a detailed and true-to-life as a backdrop. As Rick said, there is a whole science to vanishing points and depth perspective. It helps if there is something between the last track and the backdrop (illusion or detailed), that provides a scenic interface. An embankment, a row of low buildings, storage sheds, retaining walls, etc. One of the issues of using for example Metcalf buildings (and which has been covered before) is that there is no reduction in size as you go further away. You can address that using downloadable prints by reducing the size but for that you need to get into vanishing points. Best approach is a distant 'scape, embankment with a fence or wall barrier in between. That way you can avoid getting into the pitfalls of perspective.

Try a ready to paste backdrop from one of the suppliers, or be like me and have no backdrop. With your clam-shell board why not just paint the back sky blue or even grey, and use some half- or quarter-depth buildings or a vetical wall between the last track and the back. There are plenty of sky-only backdrops that would save you a lot of bother. The Gaugemaster ones are less than £10, throw in an embankment with a couple of small buildings twixt the layout and the back scene, job done!

Nigel.

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Hi Nigel   I was going to have a boundary wall, as depots have around them. And beyond that , green fields to tha horizon , and the sky, maybes few clods? I could even have a winding lane because a lot of depots/ stations seem to be in the middle of nowhere . And if i experiment ? some dabs of grey or red. I had thought about N gauge size buildings? or parts thereof, stuck in place. Best wishes. Kevin


                 

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