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Backscenes - Trials and tribulations of a would be artist (Part II)

Posted by Ian Smith , in Scenery 26 May 2016 · 1,260 views

Armed with the knowledge gained from failure, I have handed the task over to my good friend Percy V. Runce.

 

So to Mark II...

 

In desperation, I painted over the previous attempt with 3 coats of white emulsion to cover it. Then I mixed up a yellowy green colour and lathered it all over the area up to where I wanted the horizon to be - in hindsight a slightly lighter shade would have been easier to paint over!

 

Once this had dried, I then began sketching on where I wanted the fields to be (initially just on the end part of the back scene by the bridge as I wanted to do just a section to ensure that I was happy with the field sizes, colours, and general look).

 

It was then time to fill in the fields with various shades of green. Once the fields had dried, the hedge lines, trees and wooded areas were painted in a very dark mix of a greeny-brown. This was left to dry thoroughly before the highlights were added.

 

Whilst not perfect, I am at least an awful lot happier with the outcome. Some photos show progress so far (approximately 1/3 of the total back scene) :

 

Attached Image

 

Attached Image

 

Attached Image

 

The photos have been taken using a spare layout lighting tube for illumination (with daylight coming in through shed door and window). Personally I think the result looks a little better than the digital images illustrate.

 

Ian

 

PS I haven't as yet started to add any shadows to the scene on the right of the road

  • Like x 9





good lad, that Percy V Runce :)  If it's looking better 'in the flesh' than in the photos, it must be pretty good indeed.

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nick_bastable
May 26 2016 18:32

looking very good

Ian,

 

I'm looking forward to seeing this in the flesh at Tutbury next month.

 

Incidentally, you will be very interested in one of the articles in the latest '2mm Magazine' (which should be with members just after the bank holiday weekend). Mike Raithby has written a series of articles on painting backscenes for 2mm layouts and the first part is in the latest mag.

 

Andy

Useful chap to know that Percy character! :-). Looking much better!

Ian,

 

I'm looking forward to seeing this in the flesh at Tutbury next month.

 

Incidentally, you will be very interested in one of the articles in the latest '2mm Magazine' (which should be with members just after the bank holiday weekend). Mike Raithby has written a series of articles on painting backscenes for 2mm layouts and the first part is in the latest mag.

 

Andy

 

Excellent timing!

 

Glad the paint job is going better now.

 

One small comment on the backscene... You've gone to a lot of effort to curve the backscene and avoid sharp corners. To my eye though that patch of trees on the horizon rather creates the illusion of a sharp corner, at least from the angle that the photos are taken. Probably because it has a sharp angle both on the horizon and at its 'front' edge.

 

Regards, Andy

Excellent timing!

 

Glad the paint job is going better now.

 

One small comment on the backscene... You've gone to a lot of effort to curve the backscene and avoid sharp corners. To my eye though that patch of trees on the horizon rather creates the illusion of a sharp corner, at least from the angle that the photos are taken. Probably because it has a sharp angle both on the horizon and at its 'front' edge.

 

Regards, Andy

Andy,

 

I totally agree.  I intend doing a bit of a re-work on that as I don't like it.  Luckily with acrylics you can over-paint .  The original idea was to bring the wood down to give an indication of a slope, and whilst I think to that end it is successful it doesn't look right to my eye.

 

Ian

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PJBambrick
May 27 2016 12:25

It's looking good, try the 'Generate a Panorama' web resource to get the contours, and combine it with an equivalent scale height view from a period OS map.  A set of overlapping photos from the same viewpoint & direction can also help to reduce the dreaded guesswork.  It's not about art, just copy from reference on trial sections till you are happy with the realism of the landscape.  Same for the sky, choose the look you want, and copy the colours and clouds from ref.

Can I suggest looking at the videos from Andy Peters I know this features 0 gauge but he is just as good with 00 and N gauge ones 

 

http://www.rmweb.co....o-33-36/page-28

 

post 695 on that page is the first part.

 

Not being rude cos I think you are a brilliant modeller but to me the backscene does not give an impression of distance the fields all look to be close like being in a valley and not seeing out of it.

Don

It's looking good, try the 'Generate a Panorama' web resource to get the contours, and combine it with an equivalent scale height view from a period OS map.  A set of overlapping photos from the same viewpoint & direction can also help to reduce the dreaded guesswork.  It's not about art, just copy from reference on trial sections till you are happy with the realism of the landscape.  Same for the sky, choose the look you want, and copy the colours and clouds from ref.

Paul,

Thank you for your comments.  Any suggestions from what I consider to be an expert are very gratefully received.  Thank you.

 

 

Can I suggest looking at the videos from Andy Peters I know this features 0 gauge but he is just as good with 00 and N gauge ones 

 

http://www.rmweb.co....o-33-36/page-28

 

post 695 on that page is the first part.

 

Not being rude cos I think you are a brilliant modeller but to me the backscene does not give an impression of distance the fields all look to be close like being in a valley and not seeing out of it.

Don

 

Don,

Thanks for the link I'll have a look tomorrow.  

 

In theory, my layout is supposed to be in a valley - what is now the A379 is the road along the back of the layout, the lane providing a convenient over bridge scenic break is "Bluegate Hill" leading south towards Kingston.  Because I doubt my ability to be able to paint the town of Modbury, I intend to hide it behind a copse/wooded area along the back and right hand end of the layout (although I will try to paint the church steeple appearing above the trees on the end).

 

Ian

Photo
Yorkshire Square
May 28 2016 08:28
Looking good Ian. Have you considered painting a few larger trees towards the foreground? This would aid the transition from backscene to 3d model. You need to be a little bold, but it's worth it.

Looking good Ian. Have you considered painting a few larger trees towards the foreground? This would aid the transition from backscene to 3d model. You need to be a little bold, but it's worth it.

Thank you.  It's a work in progress, so yes larger foreground trees will appear in places, although more on the so far unpainted right hand end.

Hi Ian, just been reading these last two posts - thanks for sharing this, very useful to learn from. To me this second attempt does look better. I wonder if it might be an idea to introduce a slightly more hazy look, as the fields stand out quite sharp and colourful, and therefore might draw the eye away from the layout itself?

 

But I suppose that also depends on the purpose of the backscene. In some cases the backscene plays an important part in setting the scene, in others it is more a question of providing a neutral background. 

Hi Ian, just been reading these last two posts - thanks for sharing this, very useful to learn from. To me this second attempt does look better. I wonder if it might be an idea to introduce a slightly more hazy look, as the fields stand out quite sharp and colourful, and therefore might draw the eye away from the layout itself?

 

But I suppose that also depends on the purpose of the backscene. In some cases the backscene plays an important part in setting the scene, in others it is more a question of providing a neutral background. 

Mikkel,

 

Glad someone has found my posts useful :-)

 

I thought long and hard about whether or not the colours should be hazy / muted, but decided that I wanted to give the impression that the station is in a valley, and that the most distant fields (and horizon for that matter) that could be seen would in reality be 2-3 (smallish) fields away.  As I walk my dog over fields twice a day, I have obviously taken notice of how muted the colours become over distance.  Obviously, in the misty / lower light conditions of autumn and winter I agree that colours become quickly muted, but on a summer's day the colours at a distance of a 1/4 mile or little more are not really dulled that much at all.  

 

That's my excuse anyway - the truth is that I've actually struggled to mix up muted colours!   The problem being that whilst the colours look relatively pale on the palette, I have found that acrylics seem to dry darker.

 

Anyway, I've almost completed the whole back scene now, just the last couple of feet to finish off - adding the highlights to the hedgerows, trees etc.  Hopefully, I'll get that done today.  I still have to decide how much if any of the town of Modbury to include in this section - I'm thinking just putting the church steeple poking up above a band of trees should indicate that there is a community just off scene :-)

Hi Ian, sounds like you've given it much more thought than I have!

 

Good to hear the backsene is almost done now. For what it's worth, I vote for just the church steeple. 

The Church steeple and perhaps some roofs mostly hidden by the trees

 

Don

Maybe try washing out the colors nearer the horizon, i.e. making them lighter to gives greater distance effect? Tim

Maybe try washing out the colors nearer the horizon, i.e. making them lighter to gives greater distance effect? Tim

Tim,

Thanks for the comment.  One of the issues I've had with using acrylics (mixed straight from the tube) is that they seem to dry a darker shade than when they are wet on the palette.  Before I went away last week I tried to get a bit of greenery on the 3D model to better judge the effect of my back scene, and whilst it's by no means perfect I'm reasonably happy with it - there are a few things that I might change, and one of the benefits of the acrylic medium is the covering power so if I decide to I can over paint later.

 

Modbury will be at Tutbury in a couple of weeks, so I'm looking forward to getting some feedback there (the Midland Area Group will be there in our somewhat limited numbers, and won't shy away from giving me some honest feedback) :-) 

 

Ian

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