East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

January 2020

Downward Extension

The very first Construction blog entry on this website from December 2006 was about painting the backdrop.

At the time, I was preparing to host an Open House for the January 2007 Meet of the James River Division. At that Meet, I gave a clinic on backdrop painting, then invited attendees to my home to see my backdrop, which was the only thing to see in the train room at that time.

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The bottom of the backdrop is high above rail height, and many areas are not completely painted.

Once construction of the layout progressed to scenery, it became clear that I had made a serious error in judgement regarding the backdrop. I painted it only as far downward as I assumed was necessary relative to the 3D scenery to be built in front of it, and my assumptions were incorrect. In general, the background tree and foliage patterns on the backdrop needed to be extended downward. There were places where the actual backdrop itself needed to be extended downward as well.

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Strips of Masonite were used to extend the backdrop down to rail height or slightly lower in several areas.

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The seams around the new extensions were spackled, sanded, then painted with white primer. Afterwards I dug out my acrylic paints. Also dug out the handouts from my backdrop painting clinic in 2006 to relearn the process of painting my backdrop.