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Alex W,

when you start with an excellent subject, the rest is just careful execution. Thanks for the compliment!

I have an around the wall layout connected to a modest yard section in the center. I like running large engines & they need a minimum of 072 curves. With only a 13 foot width for my layout, usable space is critical. To add depth & complete the illusion of space & distance, scenic backdrops are the answer. At just a hair thicker than a piece of paper, no space is infringed on. Best yet, it can be installed in no time!

About 13 years ago, I created some custom backdrops to go behind what were some of the original "Tin Plate Trackers" modules.  Owned by a fellow modeler and friend, Dallas Dixon, we did a lot of repairs and improvements to the modules so they could be used for public display again.  At the time I had access to a large format color printer.  The images were cut and spray-mounted to hardboard backing that was clamped to the back of the module.

The concept was to depict Arizona from the deserts to the Chapparral and finally the tall pines of northern AZ.  The images were pasted together using Photoshop to create the various transitions.  The only downside was that being printed on bond paper, slight changes in humidity allowed some of the back drops to bubble, but overall, it was a great way to add depth to what was a 24" deep layout.  We had enough backdrops to do about a 12'x40' railway as I recall.   

Adding backdrops is a great way to enhance our little worlds and make them feel bigger.



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Well, Joe and Norm did the heavy lifting, my contribution so far is posting this thread!

It's not hung yet, the pictures are a clever combination by Joe of my yard and what the backdrop will look like when I get it mounted.  Looks pretty real, I can certainly say that!   Love the fact that it goes all the way to the ceiling, I think that makes a significant difference!


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Thanks Norm for your endorsement! I have no doubt, anyone with a blank wall for a backdrop, looking to add realism to their layout in an afternoon, would benefit.

The backdrop is available in all the popular scales & the buildings can be rearranged & customized to fit almost any space, width & height.

I do commission work on request. I can take any personal, high quality photo & produce a backdrop of anyones favorite panorama, to personalize their layout. Call for a quote. My contact information can be found in my forum bio.

Thank you,

Joe (ironman1)

I like the shot with the Phantom 1 cars since I had the full set at one time. When Joe asked if I'd be willing to have my current layout scenery as a commercially available backdrop I agreed to it since I thought it would be a pretty cool project. So if anyone is wondering, it has my full endorsement!

The Phantom just happened to be parked there as I was working on the locomotive and had it there for testing.  That's the one I added a second motor to so it performed well enough to pull the six cars.

Getting close to attempting to put the backdrop up, I'm mounting it on thin Formica and then just using construction adhesive to stick that to the wall.  I know I'd never get a 12 x 4 piece of vinyl up on the wall without wrinkles if it wasn't on a stiff backer.

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