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Playing with mirrors

Posted by Mikkel , in Construction, The Depot 24 October 2010 · 1,376 views

Depot buildings

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Been experimenting with back-scene effects for The Depot. Basically it's a mirror, thereby doubling the size of the interior in visual terms. The idea is to take a photo similar to these once the building is finished, and blow it up in size for use as a moveable backscene when viewing the layout from the alternative side. In the photo above, the mirror begins between the twin pillars behind the wagon. Everything beyond that is a reflection. The lack of buffers at one of the wagon is not part of the trick!


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Here, the mirror is more clearly visible, ie the dividing line in the middle-ground. In a way I wish I had built the depot this big in real terms - but then again, the mirror method is quicker Posted Image .



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Hopefully this drawing explains things. The normal viewing side is from the front, but I want to be able to view the layout from the opposite side on occasion. This requires a moveable backscene that goes on the side that is normally the viewing side. Hence these experiments.


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Naturally, all this only works for still photos, as it looks rather silly when the wagons begin to move. Unless, of course, there was such a thing as "synchronized shunting" back in 1907!


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Looking in through one of the cartage bays. These photos are angled to avoid the camera reflecting in the mirror. When I take the actual photo for the backscene it will have to be directly from the side, with the camera subsequently edited out.


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Meanwhile, the depot is now finally fully clad in English bond brick sheets. It may not look like much progress, but it's been one of those sticky patches that unexpectedly took ages to get through (all my own doing, I hasten to add), so it's nice to have it done.


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Overview shot of the main building. Still experimenting with the number of pillars - just three of them here, but that wouldn't be realistic I think.


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I do like the GWR goods livery. The wagons need some weathering though. That front wall looks odd in this photo, must be the pixelation effect. Forget English bond: "Pixel bond" is here!

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James Hilton
Oct 24 2010 20:49
That's really effective and is going to look superb when it is finished! :)
Oct 24 2010 20:55
That's a clever use of a mirror I've not come across before.
I've made a note for possible future use :)
Interesting trick with the mirror, Mikkel. Looking forward to some interesting photos when you get it finished.

For the pillars in this type of structure I think it would be more likely that they were in line with and supporting some of the roof trusses. Not evey one, but maybe every third truss.

That is very clever! I'm impressed!


Thanks all. This was fun to experiment with. Not really a priority at this point I suppose, but I need this kind of light relief in between the construction work to maintain the motivation.

For the pillars in this type of structure I think it would be more likely that they were in line with and supporting some of the roof trusses. Not evey one, but maybe every third truss.

Thanks for confirming this Nick. I have made enough pillars for every third roof truss, so will stick with that.
on reflection ;) great work as usual Mikkel.

The mirror works really well in this application - there is always that thing of how to deal with the lines that it gives - I wonder if an exposed cast iron rainwater down pipe could be modelled (in half relief) and perhaps fixed to the mirror permanently? The other one is the line on the platform which could be concealed as part of a slot drain? Just a thought...worth experimenting with?...
Thanks Pete, those are great ideas. For the backscene my plan was actually not to use the mirror itself, but rather a photo similar to the top one (but taken directly from the side). That way, I won't get stock moving in perfect synchronization, I won't get inverted letters on the stock, and (most importantly!) I won't have to face myself in the mirror :lol: .

However, your ideas with downpipes and some sort of natural divide in the deck would still be very useful to make a smooth transition from reality to backscene.

Am looking forward to this, wish I had already reached that stage :).
I can't speak for Raiway structures, but almst all the Victorian vintage factories that I've been in have had their (usually cast-iron) pillars at 20ft spacing.

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