|Welcome to Quality Backscenes
Quality Backscenes was conceived when Neil, a model railway enthusiast and collector, in planning his ambitious new ‘Engine Shed’ with its wide variety of static and working displays, was considering different options for backscenes. Above all, these needed to be interchangeable to do justice to the widely varying models he had collected over many years which, with changeable baseboards and three-dimensional scenery, could be presented in a whole ’shedfull’ of different panoramas and working displays.
Our latest backscene, "Harbour
View", is now available in all our
standard formats. No. 6 in the series,
"Urban Riverside", shown below, is
now finishing its print trials and
should be ready soon.
He had previously purchased photographic-based paper backscenes but felt they lacked the quality, visual impact and variety that he wanted. In addition, the backscenes he required had to be in the region of four metres long, able to be curved at corners and, on a weight of paper that, with guides at top and bottom, could be, effectively, free-standing.
He discussed the challenges with a friend, Geoff, with whom he had collaborated in web-design projects over a number of years, this being Neil’s ‘proper job’. Geoff has developed a reputation as an accomplished artist, mainly specialising in technical subjects, including trains but, notably, in historic aviation in which the highly detailed backgrounds play an important part in the story being presented, and he was keen to try his hand at something a bit different.
It was soon agreed that if each backscene were an original painting, it would be very susceptible to damage when being changed. Furthermore, even the largest canvas available would mean that each completed backscene would consist of several separate paintings, leading to a need to disguise a number of joins.
It was decided that replaceable printed versions would offer a much more satisfactory solution and the latest print techniques were investigated. Geoff prefers to work in oils and it was agreed that each backscene should be painted in carefully matched sections, approximately one metre in length. Each painting would then be professionally photographed and the members of each backscene group then ’stitched together’ using image-manipulation software, ready to be printed.
This proved to be extremely successful for Neil's layouts, but early research had shown that backscenes of this style and quality were not available elsewhere and the decision was taken to move the range on beyond Neil’s personal requirements and take the joint venture forward commercially.
Because of the work involved in producing the backscenes, new ones will be added to the range that you see on The Backscenes page relatively infrequently (although keep your eyes open for a new one to be available fairly soon!), but Geoff and Neil do offer a bespoke service for those wanting something unique, and this is described in the Other Services section.
We hope you enjoy the website and that you are tempted by the things you see - at least to want to know more. If you do, please contact Geoff and Neil through the Contact Us page. As this is a relatively new venture, The Gallery currently only offers a few pictures of the backscenes including those being employed on Neil's layouts and we would very much welcome any of your own pictures of our Quality Backscenes incorporated into your layouts or dioramas. This could offer you your moment of fame ... or we will happily keep them anonymous if you prefer.
And finally, in this introduction, we must thank our wonderful photographer, Melanie of One Life Studio, without whose perseverance and enthusiasm our project would never have got off the ground, and our printers - Press-to-Print - who have helped us enormously in finding the highest-quality approach to printing the somewhat-unusually-shaped backscenes.