Today’s one of the milestones in getting Shelfie2 completed. With little breeze and good drying weather it was time to get the backscene completed. Using a technique suggested and highly effectively used by Chris Nevard, it was time to dig out the spray paints. I’d previously painted the sky and used paper cut outs as below to establish a horizon.
These help me get a feel for the final viewpoint, and establish a feel for a surrounding area ‘outside’ the layouts footprint. The woodlands needed more bulk, whilst retaining a visible structure. Without this background bulk the tree line concept doesn’t reach its full potential.
Five colours are used, a light blue, medium blue, leaf green, and primers of white and grey.
The masking is a strip of card torn to give a long gently varying line. The paints are then sprayed to give the effect on the heading picture, not forgetting a matt lacquer to remove any gloss finish.
Placed behind the trees and wrapped around the ends of the layout the backscene contains the viewer and bounces light back into the model, there’s quite a bit of reflection which helps light up the modelled section.
One element that needed careful consideration was how far the horizon should extend up the height of the backscene. The display is set for an eye level viewpoint and I often find that horizon lines on backgrounds are set too high.
If you were to ask me how high? My answer would be ‘not as high as you think it should’. The top of the tree line on Shelfie2 is always above the horizon line, this diffuses the join between backscene and model, and the tops of the trees outline against the sky giving a far more realistic appearance.
I’ll leave this backscene in place for a week or two, to decide if I’ve got the balance and colours right. If I haven’t it’ll soon stand out for me and be changed. At the moment it’s looking ok, but I do need to live with it for a while before finally buttoning it all down!
Thank you for such an informative post, it gave me a Eureka moment when I suddenly understood a lot more about creating a backscene to complement the scene without distracting the view. I shall save and reference this one again.
These back scenes look really good! Where did you get the paint from and what material did you use for the backscene itself?
Hi Will, the paint is Halfords car spray paints, and good quality household emulsion paint. The backscene material is a commercial sign manufacturer foamboard.