Bill’s been in touch with is model railrod backdrop tip:
“Backdrop. If you have a favorite scenic spot, or actual location that you are trying to model to, take a disposable or other camera with a panoramic capability, (most cell phone cameras have it today), and take a series of pictures from the perspective you want to use. Print the pictures from the camera on any printer.
Crop them using the standard viewer software to incorporate the backdrop you want to create. Take that image to KINKO’S and have them print a banner on any type of medium that you want to use. Canvas, paper, vinyl etc. in any finish you want. I think matte works well. They can produce a sample in an 11″X17″ format so you can see how it will look. Make any changes for where your corners will be on the layout, and then have them print it. This gives you flexibility to change the Backdrop in the future without thinking that you hate to get rid of something you paid a lot of money for.
This method is easy. It can customize your layout with individuality, perspective, crispness and a great deal of detailed color while creating an inexpensive and one-off backdrop that you will be proud of.
S Gaugers – Bill, Josh, and Justin Ferguson”
There are quite a few posts on model railroad backdrops on the blog. Here are a few of them:
Rob’s Model railroad backdrop.
And here’s some more of the collective wisdom:
A few weeks ago, someone suggested using real rust for modeling rust. He suggested scrapping it off of some rust metal he had found laying around.
A better way is to take some fine steelwool and soak it in plain vinegar for a few minutes than remove it, apread it out and let it sit for 12 – 48 hours. All of the steel wool will turn into rust which easily crumbles into rust dust. This works well in the desert in Phoenix, Arizona. I assume that it will work even better for people who have relative humidities in the high two digit range.
“Coffee stirring sticks when used on wagon floors, look like planking not the brown paint they come as.
Glued together the make excellent bolsters for round loads. Also I model a military train with tanks that are slightly wider than the flat car, planks laid across the truck gives extra width just like the reel thing
I have found very cheap hedges by using old floor scrubbing machine pads. They are about 2 feet round and come in different colours, I think the colours denote the grade of scrubbing material.
Cut into suitable widths then stuck down with PVA, they look brilliant, coloured with car spray paint and dipped in flock.
The cleaners at my works think im mad but are happy that they are finding a new life after work!!!
All good stuff. Keep ’em coming. Latest ‘ebay cheat sheet‘ is here.