Models & Railways

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, 

A Museum display cabinet

A Museum display cabinet depicting Bristol Temple Meads


A Collectors display diorama

A Collectors display diorama of a section passing Sydney Gardens at Bath.

nevard term 3

A commercial display for trade shows.

Display Cases

These are made as inserts into super clear acrylic cases and are available through Lee Marsh Model co


A 500mm case with a display insert.  The cover lifts away to allow changes to be made easily.


Met 27 2

A double tracked display insert.

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 your scale into a 2D image.  Even within a relatively small depth these can add a perceived distance to the landscape, so it’s a model at the front, and an image at the back.

The elements of the landscape behind are colour matched and graduated into smaller scales, until a perceived distance is represented. I always rely on my ‘Generate a Panorama’ program to set the contours up against an agreed horizon datum.

A ‘Generate a Panorama’ example, with a south east view and a 160 degree sweep.

The contours are automatically plotted from the scale view height

3D backscene overlay example, done to your chosen period

Historic view from reference

2D Backscenes

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.

A section of 2D backscene made to blend two existing panels together

A section of 2D backscene made to blend two existing panels together.


Subject matter can be specified to suit the location, as can the colours, lightfall and layout scale.

Research & Planning

The St Marylebone Public Baths & Washhouses, and the Yorkshire Stingo

The St Marylebone Public Baths & Washhouses, and the Yorkshire Stingo Pub & Brewery.

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.


Semley L H end

Even in rural settings, some landmarks are visible from most elevated viewpoints.

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.



A sky panel, painted to size in acrylics

A sky panel, painted to size in acrylics.

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.

Choose a sky that suits the mood of your layout

Choose a sky that suits the mood of your layout.

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 layout proposal visual to fit in a garage space

A layout proposal visual to fit in a garage space

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.

This footbridge was made in Plastikard from my own drawings

This footbridge was made in Plastikard from my own drawings.

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.


Relief buildings made in Plastikard.

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

Skies, Trees & Backscenes 01

A superglued armature.

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 wooded corner backscene panel for Bucks Hill

A wooded corner backscene panel for Bucks Hill.

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!

A Metropolitan Railway signal box surrounded by trees

A Metropolitan Railway signal box surrounded by trees.


Winter trees for the lineside before their twigs are added to the top branches.

3D Printing

A 3D file, showing the wireframe construction

A 3D file, showing the wireframe construction.

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.