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Talbotjohn

How not to use a Vollmer Oberstdorf backscene

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I offer the following as a cautionary tale....

I wanted to create a lightweight back scene I could use when exhibiting my HOm RhB layout "Rosental". Having thought about it long and hard I purchased a Faller “Oberstdorf “ back scene that looks the business and some A1 sheets of white 5mm Foam board. I had to join an extra strip of foam board down the side of each piece as the Faller sections are slightly longer than the A1 foam board sheets. So far so good.

I was planning to stick the back scenes to the foam board using Prit Stik but then found we had some Solvite wall paper paste and decided to use that as I thought being able to slide it about a bit initially would help position the backscene on the foam board. This is where things started to go Wrong.

When pasted with Solvite the Faller back scene sections increased in length by about an inch or so and were too long to fit my accurately cut foam board sections! Anyway, I centralised them thinking I would cut off the excess and jiggle the joints afterwards. Worse still I didn't weight them down to dry and then found that the height of the back scenes had shrunk back during drying and induced a nice concave shape into my foam board sections! (see photo) - Argh! (and various other expletives I would rather not type here...).

I tried weighting them flat and even standing on the reverse side but to no avail. (I just put a lot of small creases in the foam board). I thought about buying a replacement....

In the end I decide to use 12mm x 32mm pine wood (doorstop) strips on the back to pull out the curvature. It is working and the pieces are still quite light to handle which was one of the initial considerations. (see photos). My wife saw them in the garage and said they looked good without prompting so that is good enough for me...

 I am planning to put another strip of wood along the white section on the front of each as a means of attaching the back scene to the layout.

 

IMG_2396.JPG.efae38559cf428a0c9b875dfe7725474.JPGIMG_2398.JPG.083cf1e747a8aff7596aed7a505abd7e.JPGIMG_2397.JPG.b6be2faa48e0b7dba40e8637425d636c.JPGLearning points:

1. Like wall paper, most paper backscenes may stretch and perhaps shrink back when pasted with wall paper paste or diluted PVA glue. (obvious really to anyone who has put up wallpaper at home !)

2. Unsupported 5mm foam board isn't rigid enough to resist bending forces of shrinking thick papers.

 

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I have been have lots of learning on that front as well. Given up with commercial and having a go at printing my own.

 

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Do you think painting the back of the board, or pasting lining paper on the back, might have provided enough tension to adjust curvature of the board?

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Best solution I have come up with so far is to use 3M repositionable spray adhesive which does cure and become permanent eventually but gives you the ability to adjust while fitting. Does not seem to wet the paper in the same way as "conventional" adhesive. I have also been recommended to try Frisk mounting spray, have bought some but not used it yet.

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I’ve found that pasting anything on to foam board causes it to curve as the skin is basically paper and reacts to the adhesive along with any tension in the thing you’re pasting to it.  Even just painting on one side will cause it, so Marly51’s suggestion of painting the other side to balance it might be worth a try. 

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Hi. Thanks for your helpful comments. With hindsight I did think that pasting lining paper on the reverse might have helped but I suspect that would be best done at the same time - and it would have been a bit tricky to manage two glued surfaces at the same time. If I were doing it again I would explore some of the other adhesives mentioned by Jim above and add some form of bracing to the foam board from the outset. i would also ask someone to help me lay the back scene onto the foam board rather than try to do it myself again!

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IF - you are feeling brave, its worth adding a coat of this - https://www.diy.com/departments/ronseal-one-coat-clear-matt-stain-guard-clear-coat-0-75l/1212790_BQ.prd (other retailers are available!) . I have found it does protect against marking quite well and has no effect on the paper, just a tiny fraction darker shade as it is applied.

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On 07/09/2019 at 05:46, Talbotjohn said:

I offer the following as a cautionary tale....

I wanted to create a lightweight back scene I could use when exhibiting my HOm RhB layout "Rosental". Having thought about it long and hard I purchased a Faller “Oberstdorf “ back scene that looks the business and some A1 sheets of white 5mm Foam board. I had to join an extra strip of foam board down the side of each piece as the Faller sections are slightly longer than the A1 foam board sheets. So far so good.

I was planning to stick the back scenes to the foam board using Prit Stik but then found we had some Solvite wall paper paste and decided to use that as I thought being able to slide it about a bit initially would help position the backscene on the foam board. This is where things started to go Wrong.

When pasted with Solvite the Faller back scene sections increased in length by about an inch or so and were too long to fit my accurately cut foam board sections! Anyway, I centralised them thinking I would cut off the excess and jiggle the joints afterwards. Worse still I didn't weight them down to dry and then found that the height of the back scenes had shrunk back during drying and induced a nice concave shape into my foam board sections! (see photo) - Argh! (and various other expletives I would rather not type here...).

I tried weighting them flat and even standing on the reverse side but to no avail. (I just put a lot of small creases in the foam board). I thought about buying a replacement....

In the end I decide to use 12mm x 32mm pine wood (doorstop) strips on the back to pull out the curvature. It is working and the pieces are still quite light to handle which was one of the initial considerations. (see photos). My wife saw them in the garage and said they looked good without prompting so that is good enough for me...

 I am planning to put another strip of wood along the white section on the front of each as a means of attaching the back scene to the layout.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_09/IMG_2396.JPG.efae38559cf428a0c9b875dfe7725474.JPGhttps://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_09/IMG_2398.JPG.083cf1e747a8aff7596aed7a505abd7e.JPGhttps://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_2019_09/IMG_2397.JPG.b6be2faa48e0b7dba40e8637425d636c.JPGLearning points:

1. Like wall paper, most paper backscenes may stretch and perhaps shrink back when pasted with wall paper paste or diluted PVA glue. (obvious really to anyone who has put up wallpaper at home !)

2. Unsupported 5mm foam board isn't rigid enough to resist bending forces of shrinking thick papers.

 

Been there - done that! except it was painting and glueing scatter on the board that had that effect! Foam board looks like it should be much more stable than it actually is..... 

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