While working on them tonight I thought it would be a great opportunity to create the blogs' first "Layout How To" in case anyone is interesting in achieving similar results using Sceniking or other numerous backdrops on the market.
Disclaimer: Opinions represented in this post are mine only and do not represent the official opinions of Scenking. These kits were purchased as a model railroad customer and not received as a gift in exchange for favorable reviews. Results may vary and nor do I guarantee them as each kit offers the modeler endless varieties and combinations of backdrops.
|Layout Panoramic with the Residential Backdrop added on the right and the additional deciduous forest on the left.|
Planning / Selection
So beings I model Mid-Michigan in the summer I had to find backdrops that were suitable and plausible as a background. Since my time is very limited having a young family, making my own at this point is not an option so turning to a commercial product was the way to go. Going commercial meant I needed some requirements to fit the layout:
1. Price - Reasonable to allow completing entire layout in a realistic timeframe
2. Availability - How easy can I get it
3. Quality of print - Is is a photo or is it artwork?
4. Ease of installation
5. Selection of prints that would fit my era / location / season
After much search I found that Sceniking (www.sceniking.com) met all of these requirements and then some. Their online catalog allows you to view the backdrops and even print in smaller size to test mockups or get inspiration while working a scene.
Huron Eastern's Wenona Yard located on the northwest side of Bay City really sparked the inspiration for this area along Bay Yard. Looking at Bing or Google maps one can see the yard is bordered by large decidious trees in a way isolating it and on the north side transitions from Bay City to Kawkawlin / Linwood, Michigan which gave me the inspiration for the homes on the east end of the yard at Chessie Junction.
|Image from Bing Maps - apologize its a little blurry, but this is the north end of Wenona Yard.|
For this installation we are going to be using the R026 kit which is a trackside quarry with hardwood trees on each end. As you will find with Sceniking kits some of them connect to make really long backdrop scenes if you prefer. This particular piece will help begin the transition from treeline to quarry (I am using as gravel lot) which will be part of the large MAC Terminal Elevator.
- Good Workspace
- Sharp Scissors
- Hole Puncher
- Metal Ruler
- Glue Stick
- Hobby Knife
As always with a project - make sure to read the directions about working with these backdrops. While they are very forgiving to work with, having an idea on how handling and their process is encouraged.
Once you select the piece you are going to be working on (In this case their are 12 panels for this kit) we are going to be working on panel #12 which is the far right side of the kit. First I cutout a rough shape along the treeline since I will not be using the sky. If you are using the sky I suggest then following the kit instructions.
|Basic treeline cutout - ready to begin nibble process|
Once the rough shape has been cut out, it is time to the use the hole puncher to nibble around the tops of the trees to give them more definition versus a real smooth cut line as you see above. When making the rough the closer that you can get to the basic tree outline will reduce the amount of "nibbling" needed.
|(BEFORE) Beginning to "nibble" around the top of the treeline|
|(AFTER) Nibbling complete - definitely alot more defined treeline than just a basic outline cut.|
InstallationOnce the nibbling has been complete for one or all of the panels you are going to use, it is then time to install the panel on the layout.
|Adding glue to the back.|
|Finished product - will blend the joint in color with trees / scenic material|
Now you have a fantastic looking backdrop that helps add a lot of depth and substance to an otherwise bland scene that was just a blue sky. I hope you have enjoyed my first Layout How - To, appreciate feedback so I can improve on others in the future. Questions or comments feel free to post. Anyone interested in the backdrops the folks at Sceniking were very helpful and always ready to answer my questions.
A few more of the finished backdrops:
|Bay Yard view to the west.|
|East Bay Yard / Chessie Junction.|
Disclaimer: Opinions represented in this post are mine only and do not represent the official opinions of Sceniking. These kits were purchased as a model railroad customer and not received as a gift in exchange for favorable reviews. Results may vary and nor do I guarantee them as each kit offers the modeler endless varieties and combinations of backdrops.