Background Techniques - Redford Model Railroad Club

Background Techniques
Methods Available & Tips On
Background Techniques2.ppt
Available Methods
• Pre-printed backgrounds
• Internet photos
• Stenciled backgrounds
• Photo backgrounds
• Low relief backgrounds
Pre-printed Backgrounds
• Number of backdrops available thru Walthers. See catalog or web.
• Realistic Backgrounds (
Mountains, hills, city, farm, steel mills & other industrial available.
Printed on heavy cardstock - cut out and glue to backdrop with spray
adhesive or wallpaper paste to facilitate removal. Removing sky
avoids having to match with paint.
• Join scenes for longer backdrop scene. See examples.
• Backdrop Warehouse
( has 100s of
scenes, typically 3’ x 12’ with some as long as 78 ft.
Will custom make.
• SceniKing –BPH Enterprises, 22 Brunton Crescent, Barrie, ON L4N
7H4 Many available (printed on plain paper – not as durable as
others on card stock).
Pre-printed Background Examples
• Backdrop Warehouse – Industrial scene
• Realistic Backgrounds – City scene
Combined Pre-printed Background
Joined scenes
Internet Photos
• Search Internet for photos of interest (landscape, industrial,
chemical plants, steel mills, refineries, mines, etc)
• Enlarge on computer or by commercial printer.
• Can be printed grey scale for high contrast and to give appearance
of distance.
Internet example
Layout example
(grey scale)
Internet Photo Example
Colored photo printed greyscale as background
Completed with refinery model (note impression of distance)
Stenciled Backgrounds
Paint clouds, mountains, hills & cities using stencils and spray paint. See Railroad Model
Craftsman March & April, 1986 article
Paint sky. Use Sherwin Williams #33-4 Universe Blue (Out of stock but can be mixed)
Clouds – use flat white. Lightly spray paint top first with1/2” stencil stand-off. Turn stencil upsidedown and paint bottom of cloud. Leave center blue or lightly fill-in using additional stencil.
Cities, hills & mountains- Use grey primer for buildings & dark green for hills/mountains
- Mist over with flat white to make them appear more distant
- Apply second image over first and mist with flat white over all. This makes all recede further into
distance. Do three or four times to get proper effect.
Hand paint foreground trees over spray painted stencil scene. Use brush stroke for trunk and dab
on foliage. Makes background appear farther away. See examples.
Stencils available from New London Industries or make your own from heavy cardstock available
from art supply stores.
VHS tape “the sky’s the limit” with stenciling instructions & background painting tips. Highly
recommended. By John Lowrance & Miles Hale - available from New London Industries
New London Industries, 8611 Norwich,San Antonio, TX 78217
VHS tape & stencils also available from
Stenciling Examples
Photo Backgrounds
• Take your own and have them enlarged
• Take panoramic photos and combine yourself on computer or have it
done by commercial printer (Kinkos, etc)
• Splice photos together. Use vertical objects such as trees or
buildings at seams to disguise discontinuities.
Low Relief Background
• Use building fronts as low relief structures.
• DPM & newer Walthers modular kits make good “flats” when glued
to wall. Use thin stand-offs of varying thicknesses for added 3D