This photo shows the backdrop panels painted with several coats of bright-white latex paint. This was needed to hide the darker color of the Masonite board, and also to cover all joint compounding. It gave me a nice blank slate onto which to start painting.
A larger view of the room as you enter it.
I used Greg Grey's video tape "Painting Backdrops" as my guide for painting my own backdrops. I highly recommend this video if you want to learn how to paint your own backdrops. The first thing I did was mark off a horizontal line at 62" above the floor which represents the layout height (track level). Then I sketched in the rough scenery outlines. I had been collecting photos and images from various sources that have scenery in them of the real world. Where applicable, I placed those printed images under the layout area, to use as a reference guide. This photo shows the first section immediately to the left as you enter the layout room.
This is the second section.
The end of the stub wall is supposed to represent a lower portion of the layout, where I intent to build a large curved trestle bridge. The river I painted is supposed to flow under the bridge. The scenery will be lower here than in any other part of the layout, so I made a longer board here, and painted it all the way to the bottom. You can see a photo of what I was copying below the painted area.
Here is an overall shot of the first three panels painted. Not bad for a first attempt at painting my own backdrops. I have never painted anything artistically.
This is the corner of the walkway into the next room.
This next room has large, tall mountain ranges.
These continue on into the room.
This is the far wall (the wall shared with the master bedroom).
It has a lot of hazy, distant mountain ranges, and a new nearby range is starting.
This photo shows the other side of the walkway area. I lowered the horizon on this one, because I want to have a long double-track bridge on piers, as is shown in the prototype photo printout below the background.
This is the view looking back into the walkway into the second room.
This is the view when you enter the main room.
I couldn't decide how I was going to shape the other side of the stub wall. I finally decided that this was going to be a very tall mountain with a tunnel portal. I therefore went back and painted the basic outline of the tall mountain, with only the top inch or so finely detailed.
I have a big fan admiring my work.
With the backdrop painting done, which I did while I still had easy access to it, I can now start on the next phase. I cut the familiar next batch of 3/4" plywood strips. These are for the toe-kick cabinets that are going to be under the main storage cabinets. The boards are 3-5/16" tall. The reason for this odd size is due to the height of the molding I will be using next. The majority of the cabinets will be 18 inches deep, so the toe-kick cabinets will be 15 inches deep. Construction method is simple wood glue and screws. The fronts will be hidden by Oak molding later on ("baseboards").
I used the strips to build simple ladder frames, which were bolted together. They were screwed to the walls to keep them in place.
Construction of the toe-kick cabinets continued through the walkway and into the next room. Where I stopped is going to be my modeling work bench, so there will be no storage cabinets there.