About my book

 Creating a Backscene

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I can include some useful information here about my first book, so I’ll start with an overall description, moving along to content, publisher details and availability via a direct link.

ian all logo

I owe a great debt of thanks to everyone at Ian Allan Publishing for their constant encouragement and support as we went through the thousands of details.  Their sympathetic edit of the work eventually grew into a well designed 242 colour page illustrated hardback.  


Signing copies at the N.E.C.

It’s not a traditional railway book because there are already plenty of volumes to be found within that sphere of study.  Nor was there any need or space to include the creation of scale structures or scenery as these are also very well catered for in other titles.  To avoid repetition then, the intention from the very start was purely to combine encouragement with practical methods without overlapping any of the other titles too much.

The page design style is clean and easy to follow, with tinted caption boxes to separate them from the body copy.

The page design style is clean and easy to follow, with tinted caption boxes to separate them from the body copy.  Where necessary, boxed features highlight particular work sequences or study directions.


This section of backscene features digital contouring, reduced scale elements, natural cover, lighting and sound effects.

The 22 chapters are each headed with a suitable photo, and about 90,000 words are included along with hundreds of images and diagrams.  Some boxed features are designed to illustrate particular aspects, each with their own caption sets, so there has been quite a bit of ground to cover.

A view over the Semley coal sidings looking north, with the panorama contours to the right.

This is the benefit of finding your own specific digitally generated panorama, with the contour printout shown here on the right.

It begins by looking at influences, landscape study and other illusions like panoramas, before moving on to horizon lines, artificial perspective, digital contouring, map plotting and reference.  The chapters lead to photographic guidelines, and medium choices before dealing with seasons, colour matching, light representation, textures and practical methods for both two and three dimensional projects. From there we look at natural cover, trees and buildings both in paint and relief, before other elements like farming, roads and water.

Grey sky

Taking a good look at the environment always includes choices about the sky and of course anything else that influences the landscape, so there are chapters that take the right steps towards bringing these elements together in colour balance and light.

It works for scenic modellers of all subjects and scales including military and wargaming dioramas, but it’s all about looking the other way, over the boundary fence and into the distance.  If you do decide to pick up a copy, I hope it does the trick and gives you a satisfying end result.

An internet search for the title will bring up an automatic bookseller listing in your language and locality, but I will add the catalogue link to Ian Allan direct below.

Ian Allan listing

The book is now being distributed by Crecy Publishing, and their link can be found below

Crecy listing

There is a review page on the RM Website…..RMweb-logo-header

RM Web 

Some of the published magazine reviews…… 

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Railway Modeller review


Model Rail Magazine review

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3rd in Modelling best seller listing

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