This page is here to explain how I can help you with your project, so have a quick read through and hopefully it will bring an understanding of my work and methods. Please do contact me if you think I can help to solve a problem,
Most of my time is spent making landscape backscenes for all sorts of model railway layouts, and scenic diorama cabinets to display collectors locomotives.
A partial panorama can be an attractive method of displaying an object in an artificial environment. Museums and collectors value them for their ability to provide a context for an exhibit, and I always have a few bespoke dioramas to make. If you would like one, please do give me a call.
The first two examples represent well known locations for historic interest,
These are made as inserts into super clear acrylic cases and are available through Lee Marsh Model co
The larger sized insert is 750mm long and can accommodate tank locomotives and rolling stock as well as multiple displays of larger locomotives.
Model Railway Backscenes
The sky’s the limit! …a cliche that is not often correct, but here it rings true!
I do undertake both large and small jobs on people’s layouts so if you have a problem with your backscene, or if you are curious about adding one to an existing model, then this is the right section of the website for you.
A backscene is not a requirement for a layout at all, many modellers are quite content to do without, but once added it can give a model the benefit of appearing in context, of having surroundings and existing within a landscape.
The most effective way to represent an environment for a model is to create a progressive backdrop which graduates from a scale model into a 2D image, even within a relatively small depth these can add a perceived distance to your model’s landscape.
This example shows a backscene that has progressive distance layers, so it’s a model at the front, and an image at the back.
It is made in quite large sections on lightweight metal frames which clip onto the baseboards.
The layout’s scenic board actually finishes at the fence line, and the elements of the landscape behind are then colour matched and graduated in smaller scales, until a percieved distance is represented.
This is a 3D Backscene but it only occupies a few inches of actual depth.
Even if there is no space at all to play with, backscenes can still help to add depth to your model, this recent one is done in 2D, so it’s as thin as a postcard. They can be photographed, painted or collaged to suit individual layouts.
Research & Planning
This is part of preparatory sketch for a 3D backscene, and it’s part of the process that I undertake if the job is to represent a real location.
It’s an important step, because the drawing combines all the reference and research, and also lets me work out all the angles and building footprints.
None of this area exists anymore so it can’t be photographed, but it can be reproduced again for a historic study like a museum diorama. or a scale model railway.
This is a positioning sketch for a layout in Dorset as it would have appeared in Edwardian times. The contours and landmarks of this gentle dairy countryside can be plotted into position and distance using maps and period photos.
In some cases, all that is required is a section of sky, and I can supply these to order. They are all done in acrylic artist’s colours, palette matched to your reference, so they can be cleaned without any water damage.
The mood of a layout can be changed dramatically with the right choice of sky. It’s worth remembering that backscenes often occupy at least a quarter of the overall layout view.
A quick proposal sketch for an end to end exhibition layout with an integral backscene, which was drawn to fit an available space.
If you have an idea for a layout, and a sketch like this would help you to visualise it, then get in touch and send me some reference.
Most modellers take pleasure from making their own buildings, but if you are short on time then I’m happy scratch building to order. They are made from styrene sheet, painted and weathered with matt enamels.
A pair of scratchbuilt backscene buildings, with dense woodland represented behind, These are done at just below 7mm : 1ft, but all scales are fine with me.
Trees and Foliage
Trees start out as copper wire armatures, superglued for strength. They can be made to specific reference as half type backscene ones or full versions in any scale.
A lot of my clients for backscene work have the odd tree as well to go with it. I made nearly 200 for this layout!
3D printed components can be produced and are great for repeated assemblies such as this roof bracket, they can be produced from reference if so desired, and once created, can be modified to any scale.
Please do leave an inquiry in the contact E-mail section, or give me a call if you are stuck with a project, and would like me to have a look at it.