Scenic Express backdrops...suggestions please. is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


I have thought about using Scenic Express backdrops instead of Walthers on my new extension, but I have some questions you may be able to answer.

1. Considering the overall height of 13 inches, the buildings/scenery look to be only 6-8 inches, correct?

2. Did you mount even to the layout's top or did you raise the backdrop prints and add the foreground? type of foreground?

3. Did you use as is or cut around the buildings/scenery and eliminate the sky?

4. Did you use contact spray successfully? something else?

5. Would you please share some photos of your work using these?

All help would be greatly appreciated. Any other suggestions or "watch-out-fors" a plus.
Thank you. REX
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grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hey Rex. I don't have any Scenic Express backdrop experience, so I can't help with the particulars of your question. I would say, go with high backdrops if possible. Many times, I'm not satisfied with our 2' backdrop. There's so many photo angles that would be great if they were higher. Just my 02.


Diesel Detail Freak
Humm, I didn't see this one either! *Note to Bob, new posts is missing posts*

I've never used one myself, but if I remember correctly they're short, like in the range of 16"...


Eric/Josh, the dimensions for these are 13x38 inches and are of varied landscapes from industry and city, to mountains. My luan backdrop to mount them on is 16". I went ahead and ordered some to see what I can do with it either up or down. They may end up being very distant type backgrounds if they are small.

A good thing about Scenic Express's backgrounds is they are on card stock instead of thin paper as are the Walthers' Instant Horizons, i.e. less wrinkles and air pockets. Another is they seem to be more real looking.
Check them out:


My 2 cents worth would be NOT to use backdrops that have prepainted scenes on them. I never have seen any in person that seem to look real. I prefer to see non-descript backdrops with just a skyline (hills) and blue sky, with maybe a cloud or two.



Diesel Detail Freak
I've viewed a total of 5 layouts in my life, personal layouts that is... And I have to agree with Bill, in a way. A while back MR published an article about making photo backdrops. One layout had a per-printed city scene, and it looked out of place. One of those 5 layouts I saw used this technique, and it was BEAUTIFUL. The owner of the layout told me that the key to photo backdrops, was taking your own pictures, at the same time of the day, same lighting conditions, even distance, and same angle. Just a thought, I may be tempted to try it, it'll be a little harder for me though...


Lazy Daydreamer
I plan to shoot my own photos of distant landscapes, and superimpose the hills/trees/buildings onto my own self-painted blue sky background, for two reasons: (1) The homegrown sky will be the same shade of blue between panels; and (2) the commercial backdrops are often too cookie-cutter-like, too recognizable to visitors.

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