Mounting Photographic Backgrounds

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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#1
I purchased some nice, high quality photographic back grounds from Trackside Scenery. I plan on mounting them to Gator or foam cord before installing them on the drywall backdrops on my layout. I plan on using spray adhesives to mount the photographs on the gator or foam board and the use limited amounts of adhesives to mount the boards to the layout backdrop.

What process did you use to mount photographic back ground? Did you encounter any problems?

Thanks.

Greg
 
#2
I used spray adhesive with bad results

I used krylon spray adhesive and had lots of trouble. I mounted on fiberboard. My problems are discussed on an MRH thread. Basically in 6 places the adhesion failed and long bumps about 1 by 8 inches. Mike Confalone, the photo backdrop guru, responded to my post. He says that if one uses a spray adhesive separations are inevitable. He recommends, believe it our not, making stickies out of 3 m blue tape and putting a lot of them up. I tried this on a second backdrop and it works fine. You don't notice that there are masking tape stickies behind the photo.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#3
Greg - Check with Dave, LASM. He mounted a really nice photographic backdrop on his old layout. Really looked good.
 
#4
Personally, I used double sided tape (for carpets). It's very thin and you don't see the marking of the tape.
I tried it on a sample first. I applied the tape length wise from one end to the other at the top, middle and bottom on a sheet of Masonite.
I then unrolled the backdrop from left to right while applying pressure on top, middle and bottom. I must say we were 3 working on this.
I tried removing the backdrop afterwards and forget about it, it's there to stay.

With double sided tape, you need to be three people and there's no room for error. (unless you redo the backdrop)
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#5
I mounted some Walthers background buildings on Foam Board using 3-M spray adhesive and its last three years. However, the Walthers product is paper and my new photographs are on a glossy type paper. I was wondering if the same methods that worked for Walthers will work for the new photos?

I just may contact the manufacture for advise.

Thanks.

Stay posted.

Greg
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#7
Interesting. Guess it would work really nice if you were just starting a layout but if you have changes in elevations, building, trees or anything elso on the layout, time to fo to plan B, whatever that is. I had at one time thought about adding a photographic backdrop but I have hard shell mountains and the elevation of my layout changes a number of tomes.
 

trailrider

Well-Known Member
#8
I had a similar problem with variations in terrain elevation and backdrops. I didn't use photographic scenes, but rather Walthers paper backgrounds. I used glue sticks on the back side of the paper, and then carefully applied the paper to mat board, smoothing out any air bumps. I then trimmed the paper and board around the tops of the visible features (mountains, buildings, etc.), and slipped the bottom of the scenic boards behind the scenery, where I had left about an 1/8" gap between the terrain and the wall. The wall had previously been painted sky blue. To hold the scenic board to the wall to prevent slipping...I simply used a regular paper stapler, placing the staples where the scene hid them. Not very sophisticated, but it works.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#9
I'm lucky in that I'm using the backdrop photographs on a flat industrial area and do not have to worry about changes in terrain.

Also, I'm cutting out buildings from the backdrops and mounting them on thin Foam Board, following what Cody Grivno did on Model Railroader Video Plus. I will not have to worry about dealing with long wide pieces of backgrounds. The Foam Core is no larger than the actual photograph.

Thanks.

Greg
 
#10
I wish I had a large-format waxer like we used to use in paste-up for newspaper production before the age of computer-based layout applications (e.g., PageMaker, QuarkXpress, InDesign). My high school newspaper had a sheet-fed waxer. Waxers allow the artwork to be re-positioned. You ran the photo-composited strips of type through the waxer, then placed it on the blue-gridded artboard and rubbed it with a burnisher.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#13
Kevin,

X-acto knives for modelling? They are a must, along with wood chisels ;)

Not sure who mentioned it but someone said that using a background was great unless you had "rolling terrain". Having undulating terrain or structures on the back or side walls isn't a problem really, it just takes a bit of prior planning. If you know how your scenery is going to go then you can get the backdrop and put it up before you start the scenery. Granted, the scenery will cover parts of the backdrop but that is how it would be in real life anyway.
 



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