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A Backdrop ponding question

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A Backdrop ponding question
Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:38 PM

So you will know in case you missed it in the donut shop. I will be leaving the retirement home and staying with my daughter who advises they is a nice dry and heated basement for a 4x8' layout.. Nice thought.

My plans is  a 12' (16'?) ISL and a work desk.. I decided Summerset Ry and Slate Creek Rail wins the road name choice.

Both railroads are found along the shores of beautiful Lake Erie. Slate Creek is a imaginary creek that dumps into the lake.

Should I use a photo backdrop of Lake Erie or industries? I can always say the lake is behind me and off layout. 

As much as I love the lake would I grow tried of seeing a water background?  I never seen a all water background to judge by.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, January 17, 2020 1:56 AM

Hey, Larry, as I've mentioned elsewhere, your impending move sounds like a big improvement on all fronts.

My freelanced Erie Northshore supposedly runs at least partially along the north shore of Lake Erie.  While I did attempt to portray an inlet of the Lake, it's, well...not that great...

However, I have modelled a portion of the Maitland River, where it empties into Lake Erie (the real Maitland River empties into Lake Huron, but I wanted to keep the Erie Northshore theme, hence the transplant). 
When viewed at eye-level, one sees what I saw, as a kid (we went to Lake Erie often in the summer, as the water was always warm, unlike nearby Lake Ontario, which is much deeper and much colder), which was water out to the horizon. 
An eye-level view at my Maitland River yields similar views...

...even with a tugboat dangerously close to the bridge, the distance is a horizon of water meeting the sky....

...from higher up, it's less convincing...

...however, looking at it from a different viewpoint, the illusion of distance is pretty-well shot...

That scene is on the lower level of my layout, about 35" above the floor.  The view seen in the last photo is no longer available, since there's another level above, now blocking that view. 
I operate this portion of the layout while seated on a rolling office-type chair, and there's not too much illusion of distance from where I sit, but then I'm running a train, rather than gawking at the scenery.  If I want to take photos, though, they're generally taken from eye-level at the waterline.

My version of Lowbanks, just west of the river, is located "close" to the shoreline of the lake, but because the ground supposedly slopes down to the water, the lake remains otherwise unseen...

The view, above, ruins the illusion, but it benefits from an eye-level position, where you can imagine the lake, just out of sight.  Hundreds of tourists come by train every summer, to enjoy the warm water and sandy beaches, along with the amusement park, also located out-of-sight near the lakeshore.

Wayne

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, January 17, 2020 2:35 PM

Wayne,Thanks for posting the photos of the lake.. I been looking at them off and on all day since Erie is my  old fishing hole.

The third photo looks like the old girl is kicking up 2-3 foot waves near shore. Good Job! Thumbs Up 

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, January 17, 2020 3:04 PM

Thanks, Larry.  My water-making was a learn-as-you-go experience, but I'm generally quite pleased with it.

Wayne

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Posted by Motley on Friday, January 17, 2020 3:26 PM

Larry Oh nice! that is good to hear you will be moving and have another layout. This sounds very exciting.

My vote is for getting a water based backdrop.

Lake Erie railroad sounds like you are getting it planned very well, and should be interesting to see. Looking forward to your new layout build.

Michael


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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, January 18, 2020 7:59 PM

I have Lake Superior as a backdrop on one side of my layout.  I can't show pics, because of Photobucket, but you can get a look on my Youtube channel.

It's hand painted.

Mike.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 19, 2020 2:54 AM

Nice looking railroad, Mike, and your backdrops are very effective, too.  Very nicely-done. Thumbs UpThumbs Up

Wayne

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, January 19, 2020 6:50 AM

mbinsewi

I have Lake Superior as a backdrop on one side of my layout.  I can't show pics, because of Photobucket, but you can get a look on my Youtube channel.

It's hand painted.

Mike.

 

Mike,Nice layout and a nice looking Superior.  

I can get a very nice photo backdrop of Erie done but,before I invest  any dineros in the backdrop I want to be sure that's what I want.

Another thought.. Maybe I could split the backdrop between industry and the lake? I'm not sure how that would look though.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by davidmurray on Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:04 AM

Brakie:

You could think about Grain or other elevators on the lakefront as a transhipment point.  Limited types of traffic. but definitely on the water edge.

Dave

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by mbinsewi on Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:21 AM

Thanks Wayne, and Larry.

Mike.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, January 19, 2020 11:55 AM

I have a large lake backdrop which is doubled in apparent size by the fact it is perpendicular to an end-of-shelf mirror. I never get tired of looking at it. I clipped a few pictures of scaled down sailboats and pasted it on it. On the end opposite the mirror, the backdrop lack disappears behind a row of buildings. My lake represents a fictional setting in upstate New York so it has a land mass on the far side. With Lake Erie, the water would extend all the way to the horizon so it wouldn't quite be the same effect. My only question would be were there any lines that ran so close to the lake that it would be in the immediate background?

Whichever you choose, good luck with it and best wishes in your new setting. 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Sunday, January 19, 2020 2:48 PM

John-NYBW
My only question would be were there any lines that ran so close to the lake that it would be in the immediate background?

John,Actually the lake could be 1,000' from a building and still dwarf the scene.

My thought is to have buildings and some scenery for depth before the lake.. I seen Erie's termperament  and she can turn upside down in gale force winds and throw waves well onto unprotected shore lines so,no there's always a wide margin between Erie and railroad tracks and structures even then spray from the waves can reach those areas. OTOH roads and streets can parallel Erie's shore line very little margin between lake and road.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:07 PM

Dear Moderators: Please prevent Doctorwayne from posting pics.  His work puts me to shame.  Confused

I like the idea of painting your own backdrop. Doing that is far cheaper than a commercial one.  Commercial backdrops might distract from the real interest point: the layout.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 4:56 PM

kasskaboose
Dear Moderators: Please prevent Doctorwayne from posting pics. His work puts me to shame....

I'm truly hoping that you're exaggerating for comic effect. 

I post pictures when I feel that it will help illustrate things, but it's always intended to be of use for others, whether as a "here's-how-I-did-such-and-such" or as "here's-where-I-screwed-up-and-am-showing-you-so-that-you-can-avoid-making-the-same-errors".

I hope to do some backdrop painting eventually, but have a feeling that it may fall into the latter example mentioned above.

Wayne

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 12:48 PM

kasskaboose

Dear Moderators: Please prevent Doctorwayne from posting pics.  His work puts me to shame.  Confused

I like the idea of painting your own backdrop. Doing that is far cheaper than a commercial one.  Commercial backdrops might distract from the real interest point: the layout.

 

To me, the purpose of a backdrop is NOT to draw attention away from the foreground scene. That can happen if:

1. The backdrop is exceptionally well done

2. The backdrop is poorly done

3. The backdrop is non-existent

Given my artistic talents, #2 seems like it would be the likely outcome. 

I've used commercial backdrops and none seem to draw attention away from the foreground. To me the key is to blend the foreground into the background with low relief buildings and flats. Another good technique is to layer the backdrop. I've done that with good effect. It creates the illusion that the world extends beyond the back wall. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 2:23 PM

John-NYBW
To me, the purpose of a backdrop is NOT to draw attention away from the foreground scene. That can happen if:

I've heard that so many times, and still don't get it.  Whats the problem with getting lost in a complete scene? 

Is it BAD loose focus on the trains? and get carried away by the complete depth of the scene?

"OMG, your not supposed to get distracted from the trains"

"The focus should be on the trains, and not the backdrop"

Just a couple more ways that I've heard that scenerio.

Not picking on just your statement, but the thought in general.  Whats wrong with getting totally involved in a scene when the backdrop blends with the overall view?

For me, the thrill of a great scene enhances everything that is going on, including the train.  

Mike.

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