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Green Lumps against a Blue Sky
Author: Geoff Money
Other than areas where I used MZZ buildings, this was seen on much of my layout. My conifers looked like green trangles on a stick!
When I was in a local hobby shop, I noticed Walthers Instant Horizons Eastern Foothills and in the distance the white New England houses with red roofs did not look that different from some German counterparts. I bought it and planned to use it in one specific area on the layout. The trestle bridge was covered over by cutting a church out of the Kibri catalogue. Everything was put in place using glue sticks.
This was a wake-up call to overlooking something that should have been obvious in the improvement to the rest of the layout. This led to seeing what was available from Faller and Vollmer as well as further Instant Horizons.
In my opinion there are too many mirror image backdrops available but by changing the profile and adding buildings from catalogues or kit box covers it is not so noticable.
The Faller Neuschwanstein backdrop had foreground hills cut out and used in other areas, You can add buildings or low hills in the transition between different backdrops.
When I was in Germany, Bonanza was very popular on TV. Somehow a wild west saloon in the gold rush era does not look the same as a Gasthaus and I certainly can"t picture John Wayne sitting at the Stammtische. Without a gunfight the buildings on Instant Horizons High Sierra Boontown were covered over with a Woodland Scenics Green Grass hill. The high level mine changed to a castle.
Tacky white glue can be used to add coarse turf to backdrop trees to give a three dimensional effect. Trees from catalogues can also be added to the backdrop. You could also simply paint in some branches and add foliage much like some tree kits.
To conclude my comments, new items leaflets, old catalogues and kit box can help in creating an effective and unique visual improvement especially in a photographic perspective.
[ last updated 31st Dec 2003 ]