8. Backdrop

What to do with the backdrop?  On Richlawn RR V1 it was a combination of printed and hand painted with the hand painted being done by a local artist – Linda.  I did have a local artist from Winter Garden, FL out to my layout to see if she would be interested in painting a backdrop for my and although see was very interested she just didn’t have the time.

I thought that I would try my hand at painting and after many attempts at painting I came up with the following:

The two “layers” of hills (the blue-ish and the green-ish) are from the painting which I stuck up behind Buck & Loretta’s place.  Although it was o.k. it wasn’t good enough for me.  I worked with Dave (the owner) of Backdrop Junction to customize his MTN044 and MTN045 wooded hill scenes for me and he did a great job.  He resized the scenes smaller to still fit in the 18ft long panels.

After I cut off the unprinted portion above the hills I taped the MTN044 scenes to the wall.  The backdrop is cut into (4) 4-1/2 foot sections per my request to allow for easier handing when applying the self-adhesive sections.

Next I used one of my wife’s white pencils from her craft room to mark the outline of the sections slightly below the top of the hills.  It is a very faint line that I will use when I airbursh the horizon haze and clouds.

Using my airbursh and opaque white paint I painted the “haze” at the horizon along with some clouds.  This will need to be adjusted after the installation of the sections.

Now the installation process begins.  I followed the installation video instructions from Backdrop Junction’s website.  First I peeled back about an 8″ long section of the protective paper to reveal the adhesive then I stuck it to the wall making sure the bottom of the section was parallel with the layout.  I then continued to pull away the backing and apply pressure to the backdrop.

This process went well with no bubbles or wrinkles.  Next I used a paint roller with medium pressure to roll the sections to insure adhesion.

One section installed and three to go!

For the next sections I was careful to match the scenes which was easy and there is a 2″ overlap of printing.  Here’s what the backdrop looks like with all of the sections installed.I’m very happy with my decision to use the printed backdrops from Backdrop Junction.  Next I will be installing the backdrop on the right side of the room.

 

4 Responses to 8. Backdrop

  1. Keith Williams says:

    Rich,

    How expensive is/are they? I have been to their website and find it very confusing. Maybe a discussion of how you selected the scenes you did would help, as I am thinking of doing the same or similar process.

    • Rick says:

      Keith,

      My two backdrops – each 18 feet long with a printed maximum height of 10″ was $240.00. I believe that he charges by the square foot, but I had him do a little extra work downsizing the trees so they looked more in scale. Dave at Backdrop Junction is very helpful and even posted a mock up on his site before I placed an order. We had a few phone calls to work out the details of what I wanted and he quoted the price before we proceeded. I found the self-adhesive vinyl VERY easy to install – even by myself. Dave will also send you a free sample of a backdrop if you ask him.

  2. Jeff Allen says:

    Very, very nice. The airbrushed haze along the distant ridge lines looks extremely effective, and when combined with the smoothly coved corners it produces an effect that allows my eyes and brain to immerse myself in your scenes even before you build them! Did you need to use different colors of markers to touch up the top edge of the vinyl, or is there more to it than that?

    Really fine work.

    • Rick says:

      Thanks, Jeff! It wasn’t necessary to touch up the top edge of the backdrop scenes for my installation. The top of my hills is about 14″ below eye level and the benchwork is at least 20″ deep. With these dimensions along with the airbrushed “mist” you can’t see a white edge of the cut.
      Rick

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