To a Mouse

“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, For promis’d joy!”
-Robert Burns, 1786-

It’s a good thing that I continue to enjoy the act of model railroading. For there are numerous times that I find myself once again enjoying aspects of the hobby that I thought I had completed. Case in point, the backdrop at Lafayette Street in Iowa City.

My previous entry ended with a promise to blend the colors present on the two-dimensional photo backdrop with the colors present in the three-dimensional foreground, most notably the numerous streets and sidewalks along this stretch of the industrial spur. Within seconds of publishing that post, I realized that this was easier said than done.

Despite having been successful in transitioning other photo-to-road areas on The Hills Line, the multi-road aspect of Lafayette was a different beast. Since the entire panorama was created from multiple images captured at separate times via Google StreetView, there was no consistency to the color temperature. When I went to attempt to blend all of them onto the modeled street, the result was akin to a patchwork kaleidoscope. Not the look I was going for on the layout.


In addition, my first attempt at adhering the photos was less than ideal, with multiple seams visible. That happens when building from individual sheets as opposed to a single roll. I originally justified the less than stellar outcome by trying to convince myself that most of it was going to be blocked by foreground buildings. But after a few days of giving it a good long look, I realized I was just fooling myself.

No more excuses. Time to try this again.


4 thoughts on “To a Mouse

  1. Yep, I know the pain all too well. I also used the multiple sheet method and feel I was fairly successful. Luckily my background is covered pretty well by structures.

    Wishing you the Best for the next try. We’ll be watching.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried a photo backdrop from google street view , but couldn’t really edit it well. I’d still like to figure it out for where my roads hit the wall. This looked pretty good, but I get it when you’re not satisfied it will nag at you.

    What kind of adhesive did you use? Cause it looks like those photos really cling to the backdrop.


  3. The fact that you’re willing to go back and give this another try is commendable. I hadn’t noticed any seam issues in your last post. In fact, I was encouraged by the lack of visible seams, since that’s the method I plan to use again on the new layout. But if they bothered you in person, that’s what matters most.

    It can be easy to push on past areas that we’re not as happy with in the name of checking a “done” box, but the re-dos are always worth the time invested.



    Liked by 1 person

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