There are several ways to create your train backgrounds. You can print out high resolution images from a google search, pre-printed sky backgrounds, had painted or airbrushed. There is no limit to the possibilities. In my case I will be tacking the background up against the walls that border our track on 2 sides. Since I love to paint I hand painted our train background to match what I had in mind to do with my scenery.
First you can buy a duck cloth fabric (commonly called canvas fabric) which can usually be found in the outdoor upholstery section of the your local fabric store.
Cloth for Background
It is a stiff thicker cotton based material. I would recommend purchasing white. I purchased 3 yards because it is 54” wide and then cut it down the center to give me 2 sections of 27” height.
Then I tacked it up against my exterior wall that borders our layout and custom cut it to fit the contours of my scenery. You do not have to custom cut yours if you still have access to the back side of your layout. We do not since the bench work is attached directly our wall. I also noted on the material where the different scenery changes were so I would know where to roughly add scenic details. I partially laid this out on my 6 foot craft table and sketched my mountains after some google research for scenic inspiration.
For painting there is no end to the products available on the market. I used an acrylic craft paint and 2 inch wide brush to first paint my sky a light blue. The acrylic will dry faster than an oil based paint but still allows time for blending colors. Plus I love acrylic because it is water clean up. Then using white I went in and blended in some clouds. You want to do your sky first since your mountains will have tree details. I used several shades of greens to add depth of field in the mountains and added a few lakes. To get some of tree details on the tops of mountains or up close I would recommend using a fan brush. It will give you the “wispy” tree effect. Behind where my city would eventually be I added some houses and a church to add to my scenery depth. It was amazing when we got it put up how much it added to our train display. If you get a chance I would love for you to share your background ideas and pictures below in the comments.
“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”