SlotForum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
This might sound a strange dilemma, but if you bear with me dear reader, my crazy theory might make sense! Or Not!


Ok, my track http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=45248 is nearing the final week of essential scenic work (and audio stuff but it may take a while longer for that). As I've said before, rather like the Lego modeller credo of "dont harm the bricks", I've decided to keep both my Scaley micro and some remnants of the baseboard's former life as part of a railway layout intact. Now, my opinion on backscenes has changed somewhat. I've seen plenty of layouts ruined by poor dioramas (both railway and slotcars), and seeing as my 'day job' involves mainly painting landscapes - I've strangely had mixed fortunes myself also.


I'm at that stage of deciding whether to have another attempt -BUT, and it is a huge 'but' - I almost feel that having a backscene actually highlights the shortcomings of all model work -i.e. that we are required to suspend belief and 'see' the model from the front aspect, which is by necessity a cross section. Without one, we just accept the models, track, cars within that fantasy boundary, and almost intuitively screen out the bits that don't belong (the room walls, furniture etc etc). But the backdrop actually draws attention to the boundaries - especially the wall behind the layout as there is a handy 'join' between the intention and the reality of it.


I hope I've not lost everyone here lol, I'm just trying to ask, is it worth drawing attention with a 2D back diorama, or better to have a fully 3D layout that relies on the same suspension of disbelief that allows the other three sides of the layout to be exposed. I've been pondering this for 10 years now, and am still undecided (except from a photography point of view where they are very useful).

Over to you


PS forgot to mention that my setup is free standing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
985 Posts
Personally based on my wargaing experience (we do shows) and on viewing lots of other folks tracks and some, very limited railways experience of commercial layouts etc. My opinion is that even a relatively crude back scene is better than none. I don't play wargames with a back scene in place because it hinders getting to the figures. I guess the same is true for slot cars. You can get near it by having tall items at the far side of the board to as my now deceased artist friend put it, "stop your eyes fall ing off the back of the board". So art wise yes, raceing wise maybe with a small board accessible completly from one side if raceing. Otherwise no.

Brian (here to aid without actually helping) ;-).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (UshCha @ 15 Jan 2012, 19:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Personally based on my wargaing experience (we do shows) and on viewing lots of other folks tracks and some, very limited railways experience of commercial layouts etc. My opinion is that even a relatively crude back scene is better than none. I don't play wargames with a back scene in place because it hinders getting to the figures. I guess the same is true for slot cars. You can get near it by having tall items at the far side of the board to as my now deceased artist friend put it, "stop your eyes fall ing off the back of the board". So art wise yes, raceing wise maybe with a small board accessible completly from one side if raceing. Otherwise no.

Brian (here to aid without actually helping) ;-).

Thanks Brian. The back of the circuit is within easy reach so no access problems. I like your late friend's comments though


Mathew - still none the wiser
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,233 Posts
yeah its a tricky one. on mexico i put in buildings to contain the set, even though they are essentially bas relief one sided things and it mostly worked, then i thought it would be a good idea to paint a bit of distant landscape and sky and i lived with it for a while but ending up cutting it off in most places as the blue needed to go up far higher to work (which would hinder access to the track), and didnt help at all in night scenes. i think you put it well in your opening paragraph, let the mind do the work, and if neccesary define the edges a bit but without being too literal. with the city the boundaries are set with low walls and /or buildings also
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (sig @ 15 Jan 2012, 21:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>yeah its a tricky one. on mexico i put in buildings to contain the set, even though they are essentially bas relief one sided things and it mostly worked, then i thought it would be a good idea to paint a bit of distant landscape and sky and i lived with it for a while but ending up cutting it off in most places as the blue needed to go up far higher to work (which would hinder access to the track), and didnt help at all in night scenes. i think you put it well in your opening paragraph, let the mind do the work, and if neccesary define the edges a bit but without being too literal. with the city the boundaries are set with low walls and /or buildings also

Thanks sig. Yeah, funnily enough I keep switching back and forth, as I mentioned. I think looking down onto my circuit doesn't help -the back scene is always going to be too low, and too small. I might do one purely for photo/video purposes -but again - no use except for a front on view. I think letting the mind do it gives the most satisfactory outcome. I've got a few low relief buildings, but I think they will still work without.

And yes, night time. I forgot about that. I experimented with low relief balsa mountains on a wood backboard once - a few grain-of-wheat bulbs to look like distant farm houses and sodium street lamps etc. It looked awful in daylight and the shadows it cast were unsatisfactory in the dark so I decided it wasn't for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (sig @ 15 Jan 2012, 21:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>some of the guys use either a blue sheet or a white one for the fotos, and seems to work wonders, look at rally p´s photos of his african tracks

Thanks, I'll check it out. Just getting up to speed with your layouts (I don't get out of the HO forum much
), love your photography and aesthetics -that vignetting is great on the Mexico thread
 

·
Ian
Joined
·
99 Posts
On my third week of backdrop painting
shouldn't I have bothered
I think, you should have a backdrop especially if the background is so blatantly different to the foreground just creates the correct picture.
That said some of the best backdrops I've seen are the simple ones sky and some clouds, the illusion of trees painted in block colours.

NB I'll post photos once complete!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
QUOTE (bleep @ 19 Jan 2012, 13:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>On my third week of backdrop painting
shouldn't I have bothered
I think, you should have a backdrop especially if the background is so blatantly different to the foreground just creates the correct picture.
That said some of the best backdrops I've seen are the simple ones sky and some clouds, the illusion of trees painted in block colours.

NB I'll post photos once complete!

Hey, I thought I was having it bad when I wasted £2 of art paper and a whole day of my life Tuesday


But I decided to have another go yesterday, and although I still have to paint the buildings and foreground foliage, and most importantly tone down the colours with a pale wash, it's growing on me. I just hope that spraymount is enough to stick it flush.

Looking forward to seeing your pictures matey


Armco and hut roof



Safety barrier and hillside;

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
I plan to add loads of trees around my layout, as well as buildings, spectators, sign posts and so on and so forth.
Then once it is complete I'm going to paint the loft a nice sky blue colour - I may even add some clouds. That's as much as I'm doing.
I've tried it before in a bedroom with model railways to stunning effect, especially when photographed from lower levels.
Sadly, I no longer have any pictures of even my most recent railway project seeing as they got lost while moving house/changing computer
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,699 Posts
Great topic! I am a while away from this point but still think about it.

I am in the design business and I can tell you that high wave length colours, like red and yellow, attract the eye and our attention. Blues and greens have the opposite effect depending on which one you choose. (Guess what colour the wall is behind my set?) If you have a bright coloured wall and want the audience to ignore it and focus on the track, consider painting in medium to dark blues, greens and even grays.

At this point I think I will be doing something simple with mountain silhouettes that lead to the sky. It is similar to what you have done OppositeLock but less sky. I think the simplicity also means viewers will tend to look at it once and ignore it. Lots of psychology here!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cool, I now have visions of a blue green room with abstract fluffy blobs -the whole room as the minimalist backdrop
Afraid I can't do anything subtle, there will be bright colours and lots of cursing and obscenities from the opposite lock household before the weekend's out
 

·
Rich Dumas
Joined
·
3,547 Posts
It is always nice to have some sort of a backdrop when you take pictures of a landscaped layout. In this case space is limited and there is no room to model the landscaping, even if you use forced perspective techniques. You might get a cheap camera that takes panorama pictures and get those printed as a banner. I have taken a series of pictures and stitched them together with Photoshop. Free software is available that works well. I have looked at a number of commercial backdrops and they tend to be very expensive. The cheap ones looked......well, cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE (RichD @ 19 Jan 2012, 16:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It is always nice to have some sort of a backdrop when you take pictures of a landscaped layout. In this case space is limited and there is no room to model the landscaping, even if you use forced perspective techniques. You might get a cheap camera that takes panorama pictures and get those printed as a banner. I have taken a series of pictures and stitched them together with Photoshop. Free software is available that works well. I have looked at a number of commercial backdrops and they tend to be very expensive. The cheap ones looked......well, cheap.
Good ideas there Rich. I'm without photoshop and a printer since a terminal computer crash just before christmas so having to get the paintbrushes out. The only thing I find with photos, and this is purely subjective, is that they are just too detailed and 'realistic', and distract sometimes. Maybe softening them in Photoshop with one of the art filters is the key?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
QUOTE (RikkiGTR @ 19 Jan 2012, 15:04) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I plan to add loads of trees around my layout, as well as buildings, spectators, sign posts and so on and so forth.
Then once it is complete I'm going to paint the loft a nice sky blue colour - I may even add some clouds. That's as much as I'm doing.
I've tried it before in a bedroom with model railways to stunning effect, especially when photographed from lower levels.
Sadly, I no longer have any pictures of even my most recent railway project seeing as they got lost while moving house/changing computer

That's a shame, Rikki, would have been good to see some railway pics. Think most of mine only still exists on VHS as a 'film'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,057 Posts
Two more words to add the slot racing dictionary:

"backup" = copying all of your precious files and pictures to an external device in the event something goes wrong when changing house/computer.
"thumbdrive" = a.k.a. USB stick... cheap way to do a backup.

Trust me... after having a computer replaced at work when on vacation I now have at least 2 backups of all files... one at home and one to move between work and home. Buy a couple of thumb drives and you will never look back. (32GB thumb/flash drive link)

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
QUOTE (sealevel @ 20 Jan 2012, 00:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Two more words to add the slot racing dictionary:

"backup" = copying all of your precious files and pictures to an external device in the event something goes wrong when changing house/computer.
"thumbdrive" = a.k.a. USB stick... cheap way to do a backup.

Trust me... after having a computer replaced at work when on vacation I now have at least 2 backups of all files... one at home and one to move between work and home. Buy a couple of thumb drives and you will never look back. (32GB thumb/flash drive link)

Cheers!

I have a backup drive for my backup drive too after all the bad luck I've had. Lost 500GB of film work and graphics a while back from an external 'pro' HD.
However, a lot of files from my old computer (that suffered a fatal crash last year) aren't supported by my new one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
581 Posts
I have had some kind of background on almost all of my layouts, and these have generally included some kind of blue sky, although my current circuit simply features a cutout line of trees painted in two shades of green to imply depth.

I have tended towards very simple, and simply painted backgrounds, mainly because I want to expand a sense of depth of field...sharp focus on the cars and detailed track structures and a more de-focused, less detailed treatment to the background that does not command too much attention. I also tend to think in terms of foreground (cars, track, structures, figures) and on close, middle, and distant layers of background. Not all of these beckground elements need to be present at every place in the backdrop, but weaving them together imparts a real sense of depth and place I think.

When painting a background, it is important to consider where the horizon line will be in relation to your track elevation. Rolling hills will appear be lower in the sky, mountains will be higher in the sky. If one paints rolling hills high up in the sky the effect might well be that the circuit is in a sink hole!

I also suggest that a different approach might be called for if a lot of photography is part of one's hobby. I design simply for the eye, and I find that sometimes what is appropriate detail-wise for the camera might be a bit different from what I am after.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Afternoon all

I have been planning my track for a while now and trawling the web for ideas and stuff came across these back drops that dont look to bad

The pics are screen shots as the download(free) is in PDF you can print out and mix and match the 2 scenes

Search for scale X racers then go to scenery the download is there



 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top