Backdrop "holes"

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Matt Probst, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

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    After installing a double sided backdrop to visually separate two different scenes, I'm faced with the question of how to hide or conceal the holes that rail must run through. There was an article in MR awhile back I must locate, but I was wondering how anyone here who has faced this type of "problem" decided on how to go about it. I've attached a rough drawing of the area under consideration with a couple of ideas!
    Thanks in advance!

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.

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  2. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

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    Hi Matt.......heres a thread about Charlies layout with a backdrop going thru the middle. Scroll up from where the link takes ya, there's a good pic of his tunnels.

    Hope this helps and I hope the link works!


    tunnel-backdrop thread
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Matt, The bridges work well, I have two myself, one of them is the wood vehicle bridge which appears in several of my posted shots. Of course, tunnels work easily where appropriate. Also consider buildings on either side of the tracks and connected by a walkway above the tracks. In some cases you can just have the tracks disappear behind trees. Or a combo of structures and trees and angles which block view of the tracks as they go thru the backdrop. One scene I have in mind uses city streets over a depressed mainline. Maybe later I can post a drawing of it. It is from a photo of the Boston and Albany.

    Check photos of the stretch of NYC main your loosely modeling and look for something to duplicate.

    Gary
  4. clumber

    clumber New Member

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    Matt. Take a look at the following;-
    www.guildford-surrey.fsnet.co.uk/bkw/Page_5x.html
    I think I have had a certain amount of success in hiding the 'hole' one end though admittedly the other end (which you cannot see in the phots) is very obvious.
    Brian
  5. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

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    Matt,

    the article in MR you are referring to...

    I found an excellent article in 'Model Railroad Planning 1998' (also by Kalmbach): 'Making tracks disappear gracefully', giving some alternatives to tunnels.

    Ron
  6. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

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    Thanks for all the replies folks! As I'm sitting here with a foot of snow on the ground and another foot coming tonight accompanied by winds and drifts; I'm trying to get the wheels turning a bit and your ideas are starting to help!:D I probably have some time to think on it and physically place structures and scenery items around on the plywood to see what I can come up with. I painted the backdrops sky-blue today, but am going to have to take them down and outside to spraypaint clouds. The clouds on the singlesided backdrop I did a while back almost drove the family out of the house as the fumes tended to waft up the steps and permeate the air quality on the first floor. Needless to say, me and the layout almost had to relocate to the garden shed!:rolleyes: PERMANENTLY!! I'll let you know what I decide upon but am certainly still open to any more suggestions you great bunch of people can think of.! ( BTW...pics are very helpful!!!)

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Matt, You've seen photos of the one bridge I mentioned in a previous post here, here are a couple shots of the other I mentioned. Unfinished, it will be a four lane highway of 50's vintage, modeled after route 4 in Bergen County. Much the same as many highways in North Jersey. This shot shows a train headed off the NYC siding and going up JGL trackage. Behind the backdrop is the helix which brings the train to the yard above. And, you see the cardboard mockup for the depot which will be built there, with a slow motion motor inside which will drive the train order semaphore. Someday.

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  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    Here is another shot showing the NYC main going under the same highway. If you recall the wood bridge featured previously, I felt it was not wide enough to properly hide the tracks disappearing into the backdrop, so I wound up putting a tunnel there. This highway is wide enough, so you may want to mock up any road overpasses you plan to make sure they give the effect you want prior to spending a lot of time on it.

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  9. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Hi Matt!

    As Ima mentioned, I went the tried & true method of going through the backdrop via tunnels. This worked in my case, because it was in keeping with the theme of my RR...Appalachian coal road.
    I don't know what type of look you're going for...tunnels might not be right for you, & if they're not, Gary has a great solution there.
    Another example of this approach was demonstrated by Gavin Miller, in a thread from a couple of months back, called Building Bridges From Balsa...I believe this might be in the N & Z forum.
  10. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

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    Hi again! Finally got dug out of the blizzard of '03. 25" of snow all at once was kind of nice though, because I closed the restaurant for the day and got more fascia work done. Gary; you must have even more snow than that in NJ? Charlie: I forgot about that thread from Gavin. An excellent one for anyone who has not read through it. I may experiment with some of his bridge methods as I already borrowed his cloud-making technique!
    As Gary mentions above, a 2-lane bridge was not enough to hide the hole and he put a tunnel there. I have a similar problem on the "south" side of town as a 2 lane bridge will probably not be deep enough to sufficiently hide the hole and a four lane highway bridge would not look quite right through the small town scene in that area and would probably dominate the whole town. Tunnels were not prototypical in this area of New York State I'm modeling, but what the h^#*..... This is loosely based:rolleyes: I just don't want to get too far off track; No pun intended!
    Gary: nice pics! The semaphore idea will be awesome ...Can't wait to see it!

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.
  11. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    Matt,
    Glad you opened this thread, I've been watching this one because I have to come up with a way to hide a backdrop opening, and was hoping something neat would come up.
    This first picture shows one of my new modules, with certain scenic elements "staged" where I would like them to go.

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  12. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    This second shot, shows where the track exits the module, to a back table, through the backboard. The one on the upper right is no problem, but the track curving to the right from the rolling lift bridge, also has a track proceding straight, and then curving to the left as a siding. The one to the right exits the module through the backboard, with no room for a "hiding mechanism". So far I have no permanent solution, but am leaning heavily to a building front/painting, with a detailed interior which exists on the back table.

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  13. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Hi Matt!
    This is what I did on my little urban RR...
    Here's a picture of the hole where the trains enter the layout from staging...

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  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    I built some tall structures in that area, to hide the hole...
    If you lean over the layout, you can still see it, but it;s not as noticeable...

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  15. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Viewed from this angle, the hole is completely hidden.
    The track behind the reefer, going between the Leigh Foods plant, & the grain silos, goes about another 8" or so, before exiting the layout...

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  16. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

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    Here's another solution...just put a building OVER the tracks...

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  17. papasmurf37

    papasmurf37 Member

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    Old RR mag article I read, showed a layout almost identical to yours. It used a concrete tunnel portal at r.h. end and a girder-type auto bridge at l.h. end. Exit treatments looked pretty effective in the article pics.
  18. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

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    Gary, Pete, Charlie, Papasmurf: Thanks for all your expert suggestions and possibilities... I'm not 100% sure what I am doing for 3 of the 4 holes yet, but I did quickly scratchbuild a 2 lane motor vehicle bridge out of styrene and wood over the last two days as I had second thoughts about the inability of such to sufficiently hide the hole....It looks like it would work for one area, especially once retaining walls and some higher buildings are placed near it. I'm so far pretty pleased with my little project and hope it comes out well! Thanks again and if any other ideas come up...Please Post!:) :D :) :D

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.