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Using a background
England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: June 09, 2005
KitMaker: 613 posts
Historicus Forma: 31 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2007 - 02:11 AM UTC
I have seen many photos of models or dioramas where the modeller has used a real life scene to provide a backdrop. Recently I have been thinking of doing this with my on models but am not quite sure how to do it. Therefore my questions are:
1. Does it require specialist software
2. How do you 'transport' the image of the AFV etc. onto the backdrop?
and 3. How do you find suitable backdrops, does it just involve a quick search on the net.
I hope this makes sense. Cheers. Nick
Texas, United States
Joined: September 24, 2005
KitMaker: 276 posts
Historicus Forma: 16 posts
Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2007 - 02:44 AM UTC
Hi Nick, mitchigan toy soldier has a new line of backdrops. suitable for all kinds of dioramas including urban warfare & ww1 battlefield. i think their site can be found at mitchtoy.com
North Carolina, United States
Joined: February 22, 2002
KitMaker: 11,718 posts
Historicus Forma: 783 posts
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2007 - 04:32 PM UTC
When I started doing backgrounds I tried to find ones in a 'poster' style that I could use without any software or anything. The hard part of that is scale, setting (weather/location etc), angle. It makes it very hard

Derek covers the popular method - Photoshop sofware.

Just as you can do a google search for images you can also do a google search for editing techniques. Just google 'layers photoshop' or 'background photoshop' - something like that and you should be able to find a toutorial.
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: May 05, 2002
KitMaker: 8,074 posts
Historicus Forma: 1,791 posts
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2007 - 06:56 PM UTC
If you look in "my photos", you'll see several figures with a couple different back grounds. Those were done the old fashiokd=ed studio way. These are simply pictures I found online and printed on standard paper and mounted to a styrofoam box. The figure is placed in front of the image. Using my threee desk lights, I can direct the light to eliminate shadows. If I'm up close, the focus in on the subject, leaving the background slightly out of focus, giving a more realistic feel.
The big advantage here is I can reposition the figure repeatedly and not have to blend it into the backdrop again.
Now with a diorama or a really big piece of armor, you'll need a much proportionaltely larger backdrop.
England - West Midlands, United Kingdom
Joined: June 09, 2005
KitMaker: 613 posts
Historicus Forma: 31 posts
Posted: Friday, May 25, 2007 - 11:34 PM UTC
Hi guys. Thanks for the info.
@ John and Al, this look like what i may be doing before i get photoshop
@ Derek and Scott, How much would a decent photoshop program cost me, I have sen one on amazon upwards of 100
Cheers, Nick
Colorado, United States
Joined: January 25, 2004
KitMaker: 11,669 posts
Historicus Forma: 45 posts
Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2007 - 02:49 AM UTC
Greetings all;
I found that a good source for backgrounds is model rail road shops. Most of their stock in the USA comes from "Walthers."


Their stocks
Joined: May 07, 2007
KitMaker: 14 posts
Historicus Forma: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 06:39 AM UTC
I do it several different ways.

Sometimes I use a color photo of a real location and use a photo program to add my model like this one of the real Riverside Raceway and one of my models.

But with current tracks looking so much different than the vintage ones that my models would look at home on and very few color pictures from the '50's and '60's I've had to resort to building my own. I've built several "tracks" to use like this "dirt" track and some photoshop "speed blur" to add a little flavor.

Even if I love dirt track racing I had to do some pavement too. I use a lot of styrofoam in my bulding because it's light and, if you keep your eyes out for packing materials the most people throw away, it's mostly free.
Flat black paint makes excellent asphalt when applied to the aformentioned styrofoam sheets and corrugated cardboard makes great steel guard rails with a little silver paint.

Here's a grandstand the I built using styrofoam packing for the wall and cut styrofoam sheet to make the grandstand. Styrofoam looks a lot like concrete when you paint it with a light coat of flat white.

My favortie is my newest shop complete with secure storage area with chain link fence made from the metal from a real car aircleaner and privacy fence made from popsicle and corn dog sticks. The only commercial item in the whole scene is some 1/2" Midwest clapboard siding.

You'd be surprised where the next diorama piece will come from if you just keep your eyes open.
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: July 05, 2007
KitMaker: 137 posts
Historicus Forma: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, July 07, 2007 - 07:33 AM UTC
Hi i also use photoshop for backgrounds i just find a suitable pic via the internet There is a couple iv uploaded here