It started off quite innocuously. I was looking at a thread over at RMweb concerning Nick Palette's latest layout. A slice of Cornwall in 5' x 1'. Very nice and atmospheric and to Nick's usual high standard. It always amazes me the atmosphere he can create in such a small space. Put me down as a big fan. However, as usual, I'm sliding off the point a bit.
Nick was ruing how the trees on the layout were encroaching on the stock because of the narrow width of the layout.
I was reminded of an idea that I had a year or two ago now concerning a sloping backscene.
In this instant the backscene would slope away from the layout allowing a greater depth of trees without adding much depth to the layout 50-75mm perhaps. The front of the backscene would feature fully modelled trees, behind would be tree tops and other foliage.
I'd also considered this idea for modelling the flatlands of the Lincolnshire coastal plain. In this case the slope would be much more gradual and a deeper section, 200mm perhaps, with a landscape modelled in muted tones and in diminishing scales to force the perspective. Perhaps the backscene could smoothly curve from the ground into the sky for extra effect.
This leads me to another thought. If the structures and detailing are sufficiently non-committal on the baseboard then it would theoretically be possible to change the atmosphere of your layout just by changing the backscene.
Think of it, change your layout from New England in the fall, to the Arizona desert, to a Midwestern city just by the changing of your backscene!
It's a pretty neat idea without a doubt. Especially for train shows. Imagine the looks you'll get from the punters if the second time they come back to look at your layout it has changed.
I think the concept needs a bit of tidying up. But it's certainly got me thinking and I'd like to try it. Wingetts Recyling is a self contained unit and would be unable to have the backscene changed out. So it would necessitate the construction of a new layout specifically with a narrow baseboard. I think I might even have one lying around the garage waiting for such a purpose...