If you want your backscene to have curved corners you may be struggling with how to create the curved wood onto which the paper is glued. I did and then I had this idea.
Backscenes transform and are a foundation for a good layout, so much so that I’ve covered them in-depth before. And when installing them, most modellers opt for right-angle ends at as these are the easiest to construct.
But as I explain here, right-angle corners can spoil the look of your otherwise perfect layout and curved corners are much nicer, they’re just not easy to create.
Certainly, despite the tips in the previous article, I’ve struggled to create a curved wooden frame onto which the backscene glued. This was the challenge I had with my current layout until I had a brainwave.
My layout is built on a typical plywood base with a top layer of Polystyrene type material to give me a surface I can easily carve into for rivers and low lying fields.
While struggling to get some plywood to gently bend for the curved corners of the background, I started thinking about other solutions and had a go with quite a few alternative materials.
Cardboard, foamboard and even fabric soaked in PVA and then hung between two pieces of wood so it would set in a gentle but firm curve were all tried without success. I even considered taking some large blocks of Polystryne that came with a 3D Printer I’ve recently purchased and cutting curves into them with a hot knife. However, the thought of trying to get the curves just right all the way through a large rectanglar block didn’t fill me with joy so I parked that for a future experiment.
And then I happened upon a spare sheet of the material I’d used to top my baseboard.
I’d used floor tile underlay, the type you can get in DIY stores in packs of 5 or 10 sheets for about £10 and it turned out to be perfect for creating the curved corners.
> If you want more information making backscenes, I highly recommend Creating a Backscene: A Railway Modelling Companion by
It naturally bends easily and can be fixed in place really easily. Just coat the background wood with PVA, bend the sheet to the radius of the curve you want, push it into place and clamp the ends until dry.
A gentle curve onto which your backscene can be glued can be achieved in no time and with none of the fuss of bending plywood or other materials.
I’m very happy with the result and have yet to find any disadvantage. Let me know how you get on.
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