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Silly me, I went to Walmart thinking I'd find mirrors that I could use on several areas of my layout, only to find out they only sell large mirrors. A quick check online revealed all sorts of options, materials and sizes. Have you used mirrors, if so, where, pictures please, and at what angle to the normal?

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Paul,

This sounds like a very unique and interesting idea.  I have seen bathroom vanity cabinets, hung directly above sinks, that are about 6 inches tall by 36 inches long, and have sliding doors in them that are mirrors, with each door being about 18 inches long by 6 inches tall.

When I was a kid back in the 60s, we had one in our bathroom and one of the sliding mirror doors got broken.  My mom just took the measurements, went down to a glass and mirror company, and they cut a custom mirror for her in short order, with smooth edges.  They even drilled a hole in it to install the little door knob.

In the olden days, there were custom glass and mirror stores pretty much everywhere.

Maybe some of these businesses are still around?

Mannyrock

I use mirrors in two locations on my layout:

Under the bridge (which is flat against a wall)

and, to double the size of the engine shed

If you REALLY want to do a good job, you should use front-silvered mirrors, since they eliminate the thickness of the glass which compromises the effect. These are hard to find, though.

There are definitely custom glass places around. Some of the big box hardware places will cut glass for you.

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@Avanti posted:

I use mirrors in two locations on my layout:

Under the bridge (which is flat against a wall)

and, to double the size of the engine shed

If you REALLY want to do a good job, you should use front-silvered mirrors, since they eliminate the thickness of the glass which compromises the effect. These are hard to find, though.

There are definitely custom glass places around. Some of the big box hardware places will cut glass for you.

Also, per John Allen, you can join two pieces of front silvered mirror together at a 90 degree angel with the outer sides toward you and get things like road vehicles to appear to be coming toward you without the lettering being backwards.  It works very well, but takes some tinkering to get it right.



In Avanti's picture the far end of the image would be moved to the left side while the near end would stay where it is.  It would take some creative tinkering to make it work.



I painted the front of trucks with different names and color schemes so they didn't look like the same vehicle coming out as going in.

Tinkering.

We have 2' x 4' mirrors all across the back and side of our 12' x 5' city scene it "doubles" the size of our layout for the layout viewer. The zoo and the street to the back of the zoo dead end at the mirror but appear to continue into what is actually the wall. The third building back on the street is against the mirror. You can see that what appears to be a 4th building is a reflection of the 3rd building on the street.

On the 5' end of the platform, the mirror is at a right angle to the mirrors across the back, effectively quadrupling the size of the layout.

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@Paul Kallus posted:

Great effects shown here. Before getting into serious stuff, I want to mess around with low-cost mirrors - in the 5" x 7" size or thereabouts, any suggestions other than the usual on-line search?

You might want to check out a local Goodwill or similar second-hand store. They may have smallish mirrored pieces, and if you have or can get a glass cutter, it should be a simple project to cut the mirror to fit. Other than that, as others have suggested, a glass company should be able to cut to your measurements, but probably at a higher price. Good luck!

@Paul Kallus posted:

Great effects shown here. Before getting into serious stuff, I want to mess around with low-cost mirrors - in the 5" x 7" size or thereabouts, any suggestions other than the usual on-line search?

I've been able to find 8"x7" rectangular hand mirrors at affordable prices in the hair care section of a well known big box store chain whose name begins with "W”. With some care you can cut the plastic frame and handle off without damaging the glass.

Great thread Paul. With some forethought one can really work some magic on a layout with mirrors as the photos are showing. But what I would really like to see is a photo from your layout of a 1:48 scale vampire standing in front of a mirror yet casting no reflection.

A few years ago, I had to install a wall of bright aluminum tiles as replacements to a backsplash in a 1960s house.  (Aluminum was considered "jet-age" and "cool" back then.)

I wonder if any supplier sells rectangular tiles that actually have a mirror surface?   Seems like somebody would, considering all of the crazy design schemes we see today for bathrooms and backsplashes.  Might want to check for these as offered by builder or tile supply stores, instead of glass mirrors.

Mannyrock

Joe, I like the acrylic mirror results. I reckon I'll pay a visit to the Micheal's craft store and see what they have to offer. As I think about, being able to cut different sizes could make for some interesting results, tall pieces between tall buildings, shorter pieces at end of streets, etc.

This is the kind subject the magazines should be covering IMO - as space or lack of is something we all struggle with. I don't have the time to do a full write-up, if I ever reach retirement, maybe, but that's a ways to come.

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