A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

September 21, 2009

Repainted Backdrop

After thinking about the issue, I decided today to repaint the section of backdrop behind Falmouth. This section had a backdrop made using computer printed vinyl.

While it looked great, I could not figure out how to proceed with it on the rest of the layout to have it match, etc. as I discussed earlier. So I painted over it.

I tried removing the vinyl by peeling it off, but it was very solidly attached. It actually was ripping the paint off the surface underneath. So, I left most of it on, and painted over it with two coats of Kilz Primer and then two coats of sky blue. I painted some clouds and the basic horizon line. I started to added some detail, using some of Brian Kammerer's artwork as cut-outs attached with glue. More of that work remains.

One of the key changes on the new backdrop is the lower horizon. This is oriented toward a track level versus birds eye view of the scene. The difference can be seen in the two sample photos here. The top photo is the design view point, while the second photo is the birds eye. I think the track level view is much more realistic.

In studying photos of the area, I concluded that southern yellow pine trees were quite prevalent in the area I am modeling. So I took a crack at modeling them and painting them on the backdrop. I had been focusing on deciduous trees heretofore.

The tree in the foreground is an armature for a model pine. The next step will be to add dark green static grass to simulate the pine needles. On the backdrop are some quite large deciduous trees. I like the way they came out.

This tree on the left has the needles applied. This tree is about 16 inches tall, or about 64 scale feet tall.


  1. Don't forget to install some torpedos in the bridge trusses... You know, in case you have to blow it up before for the Rebs get to it... Or if you just want to have an Uncle Fester moment before you change scales again!


  2. I thought it was Gomez that liked to blow up the trains?