And then there was sky …

Hi all,

Well, I took the plunge today and painted the Temple Court backdrop a “sky” blue.

Since the last post where I showed the completed backdrop installed, I have finished the task of filling and sanding the joins in the MDF.  I used a final finish topping compound from Gyprock.  A couple of layers were done to ensure a smooth transition over the join.  Some mesh jointing tape was also used to help prevent cracking of the join.

filling and sanding the join


Once sanded smooth, an undercoat was applied.

I had recently been pondering the option of a painted backdrop or a photographic backdrop in this section.  There are a number of products available with Australian scenes, but I just couldn’t decide on one that I thought would look right.  In the end, I have decided to have a go at a painted backdrop.  It will most likely end up just being the sky with some painted clouds.

Below is the result of one coat of sky paint this morning.

panorama shot of the blue sky

The colour is Dulux ‘Shimmer Half’ A339.  I used a foam type roller which hopefully won’t leave much of an ‘eggshell’ type surface.

Next step is to try painting some clouds using a technique shown on Trainmasters TV.  I recently subscribed to this paid service.  I signed up for the two year option.  It’s not bad value at $3.50 per month.  I have found that not many episodes interest me, but the ones on weathering etc have been interesting.  I’ll explain about the cloud painting in the next post.  Hopefully they will turn out OK!!


Posted on Aug 18, 2014, in Scenery, Temple Court and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Ian

    I too like the blue colour, it would have been good to have found it when I did my sky, although happy with the result.

    I used some of the Sonja’s range of background colours for doing the low line-distant hills on my layout, which for me is all I need. The biggest problem & this is just a personal view is that a backdrop can either make the whole scene or break it. Its very hard to get the quality right & have it looking other than a painted background.

    I think that the problem you have in doing the Liverpool Range in buying the photo type back scenes is there really are none on the market that are close enough to give a sense of the “real” for the area. Also using the ones I did, from the Hills & Dales set from England, are touchy to fit, & too long in each section to apply, I certainly would do the differently if I had my time again.

    Have you checked out the cloud stencils that are available or at least were? An example is here

    I was loaned a set of them, which were of the same type in the link but had varying shapes, spraying the edges using flat acrylic white canned paint worked out quite easy, use the So Sonja;s Nimbus grey to work in the greys to the clouds. I think once you have one of the stencils you can then make some similar stencils for your self.

    You can see the first attempts I tried out on my blog,


    • Col,

      I really didn’t want to have to get into painting hills etc, because I am no artist. The plan is to (hopefully) break up the blue by painting some clouds on the horizon etc.

      You are correct in saying about the difficulty in choosing a photo backdrop. I think I also have looked at those ones from the UK and thought they could be used for Aussie scenes. I think I’ve worked out that I could use one of the Haskell scenes in the section from Chilcott’s Ck bridge to Kankool, as “behind” the track, there are fields and very distant hills.

      As for the rest of the layout, I plan just to paint the sky again and intersperse with clouds. As the majority of the scene from Kankool to Ardglen and from Ardglen to Pangela is very hilly, I’ll only have the odd bit of sky showing.

      Thanks again for your comments.

  2. Loving the colour, Ian!
    May I suggest, when you go to paint your clouds, find some photos of skies that look good, and try to paint them. I’m very happy with my results based on the prototype.

    • Thanks Rene’.

      I’m going to try the cloud painting on a test piece of board first to try out the technique, but yes, I’ll have a look through my photos and see what I can find. Failing that, I’ll just look outside!!


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