Rainier Great Western Railway & Navigation Company

The Route of the Thunderbird


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South Wall Backdrop Painting as of October 2006
The Home and Design of the RGW....

This Page Currently Under Construction (Literally)

Train Room (Shell)  -  Train Room (Interior)  -  Layout Design

Layout Construction:  (click on pictures for full view)

October 2006:  

As you will recall from the April update, we decided to salvage the old layout.  We also made the determination, "Tis better to paint backdrop before benchwork installed, than to break one's back leaning over the benchwork after. (Or for you in Gila Bend, AZ, paint the backdrop first, stupid!)."  Profound, I know, but none-the-less, a pioneering breakthrough in backdrop methodology.  Well once we started the painting, we found that it wasn't that hard, heck most of us learned painting in kindergarten, this is just an advanced version thereof.  To be sure, we revisited our guru, Bill Alexander, "isn't that beautiful, just fire it in there!", but in all, it went much better than anticipated.  We had only one complaint, the corners had too much shadow.  The only cure, coved corners.  So for those of you who have been questioning our progress, this is what we have been up to.

The coving process was started by cutting out curved forms from plywood stock.  We the affixed the forms to the corners with 2x2 supports.  To form the corners, we used 1/8" masonite with one side finished for texture.  It was determined early on (stroke of luck), that we could insert a PVC pipe within the confines of the forms that would enable us to run conduit up the wall to eventually provide us with a location for blue floodlights for night running during operating sessions.  You will note the pipe in the pictures below.  We will describe the floodlights in more detail another time.   We then cut the masonite to length and used construction adhesive to adhere it to the forms, with a bead of adhesive down each vertical side to ensure lack of movement.  Temporary screws held it in place until dry. 

Now that all took about a day.  What transpired next took weeks.


Cove Support in NW Corner        NW corner brackets and PVC installed        Masonite in place for cove of SE corner.        Multiple Coats of drywall mud applied to smooth transition to SE cove.


To say that painting backdrop is difficult is one thing, but I say it doesn't hold a candle to drywall mud.  Frankly, if there were an easier way to have done this, (aka hire it out), I would have in a second, problem is I was too stubborn once we started.  Coat after miserable coat of mud to ensure smooth edges and an equally smooth transition to the wall behind, kept this phase alive for months.  But, as you can see from the pics below, we have finally finished the drywall portion and repainted the wall the base blue, so that we can complete the backdrop painting.  There are also some extra pics of our backdrop status.


NW cove ready for final coat and backdrop.        SE cove ready for final coat and backdrop.        SW Cove ready for final coat and backdrop.        North wall backdrop status as of October 2006.        Second view of north wall backdrop status.


Other Updates:  2013   2012   2011   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005 




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