Working from home has the interesting side effect that being in the house at lunch time is rather boring, so trips down the garden to the workshop can provide a refreshing break. This has produced a few 15-20 minute bursts of activity, and the first benefit of this has been the project to add backscene boards to the Beck Bridge diorama.
Being a retro-fit this has not been as simple as just fixing them in place. Wanting a curved corner piece added to the complication, and in the end I constructed an 'L' shaped unit in ply complete with the curved corner in place, built up from card formers and thin card, hiding a timber 'L' section to strengthen the join. Further complicating things was that the back piece would sit behind the existing surround, but the end sits on top of the existing surround (as I had no way of hiding it).
I carefully sanded the existing paint from the surrounds of the diorama at the back and sides, in order to get better glue adhesion for the back panel and to be able to fill joins etc at the edges. I also sanded off the coat of paint I had applied to the new sections as I realised I would need to add the timber strengtheners and would need to glue them securely to timber rather than paint.
Having briefly considered trialling a commercial photo-backscene for this transformation I eventually opted against this as I would struggle to blend the beck into the scene. Therefore the sky is lining paper painted with appropriate emulsion paint. There are clouds but they don't show up too well.
As can just be seen, at the right hand end I have introduced something that perhaps reflects what I'd really like to see at this moment in time, a glimpse of the sea... I've used a photo I took at Humberston Fitties several years ago looking North up the coast, adding a slight oil painting effect. The track doesn't continue onto the backscene but I've added a couple of paint effects to blend things together and hide the join. This is an incredibly subtle effect when seen in an overall view, but the impact in a low-level shot is much greater.
The beck decoupage has been replaced with a new print and the gap along the rear edge of the board previously painted black has been carefully filled in with scenic treatment including a new wooden fence behind the bushes. The new print is bigger than the old one, taking advantage of the increased height available. It does mean that the beck looks a bit wider in the background. All the backscene work was completed before the 'L' section unit was permanently fixed in place on the diorama.
On thing I hadn't factored in when adding the backscene across the right hand end was the slight limitation to the photography angles looking to the left. It is still feasible to soot this way but maybe not to get the bridge into shot!
The bridge can however be incorporated into long-shots down the scene - I was quite amazed how well this one turned out, a real train heading into the distance effect.