Location … Location
My layout is small .. for On30 I suppose it could be considered very small. It was originally two On30 modules, each 2’x4′ which I put on one wall as the long leg of an L-shaped layout. The shorter leg about half that. I had put On18 track high around the outside .. the story being that this small gauge track was a mining track delivering unwashed coal to be processed. When I added the short-leg portion of the L I found that it limited the visual depth there. I decided to put in a plate girder bridge that would funnel the view back to a backdrop .. to add that missing depth.
I’m going to show some useful photos I ran across in Shorpy – of the type that can provide the elements for a DIY backdrop. In this case I am focusing on buildings but of course you can use whatever floats your boat. I just put “City” in the search box for the following. The majority of these photos will expand to high definition photos when you view full size. Note: Most of these photos are in Black and White. A few have been Colorized – another thing you can do yourself.
I was looking for photos that show buildings at a fairly low point of view without a lot of ‘stuff’ between them and the camera. Photos taken across a body of water are often nice since the only obstruction you have to fight are the ships.
The following are a few that I selected to show what a resource Shorpy is.
|Factoryville: 1910 – The photograph was shot on Franklin Ave, just east of W 25th street in Cleveland. Note that this information was taken from the comments – lots of good information there. This is a great background photo – “as is”.|
|Sloss City Furnaces: 1906 – taken in Birmingham, Alabama, circa 1906. The building on the left is cut-off but that is no problem as you could use this further ‘back’ in the scene and put another building in front of that.|
|Charm City: 1903 – Circa 1903. “Baltimore from Federal Hill.” A freight terminal (O’Donnell’s Wharf) and the Patapsco flour mill.|
|Upward Mobility: 1908 – Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1908. “Mount Adams Incline.”. I love this photo and have spent hours in the Full Size View exploring. Not for the backdrop but the tons of information hid here. Take a look at the far left center of the photo. The street rises steeply up to that stone retaining wall. Look at that slope on the sidewalk .. and that stone culvert mostly buried in the ground. What a great scenic inspiration! I used a portion of this photo for my backdrop .. after colorizing it.|
|Steamboat Annie: 1904 – Colorized photo showing The Mississippi River, circa 1904. “Vicksburg waterfront.” The sternwheelers Annie Russell and Alice B. Miller. This was the basis for my backdrop. Note that the city slopes up very similar to the scene from ‘Upward Mobility’.|