Preconception of an alternative idea

Originally, the concept of my project was to be a location on the side of a mountain. This time something different had to happen, so the thought of breaking out of the box began to hover in the recesses of my mind. It will still be a caricature but instead of being extreme or soft, another possibility arose.

Suppose I start with a somewhat radical base and take it from there? Mountain sides are usually high on one side and lower on the other. How about doing both low...

...and I want to paint it black

Unless a layout is in the middle of a room, every one I've seen has a backdrop. Usually they have some sort of scenic painting or even a photograph behind the modelling. They often don't work with the three dimensional scene in front of them. A small, enclosed, diorama can handle the backdrop, beyond that it's normally a waste of time unless it's sky.
I can get black foam board and decided to have it as a base for the layout. The idea came from some gaming models I saw online, but, there was still the backdrop problem. The whole visual concept of a model railroad is about what is on the baseboard, so why not surround the entire thing with black and bring all the work into the foreground.

While watching a Bob Ross program on TV, I noticed how he painted the entire scenic part and then added a small building. Bob's use of light green was almost a signature of his somewhat bright artwork. Painting a dark barn or cabin, which looks normal, makes it jump out of all the rest.

With that in mind I've decided to reverse the method—make my scenery and models jump out of the black. The whole unit will be surrounded by black and eventually have some lighting above it all. Just enough to shine on the scenic part and emphasise it.

The layout itself is a small mining community. There will be a mine at one end and a very small stamp mill at the other. That should give me plenty of switching problems to solve with room to add a few more items. It is not meant for exhibition, but just something to do when I'm not on the road.
There's a long way to go yet and I'll use the old track plan idea because it's more flowing than the usual hard even, side by side stuff seen on real and most model rail layouts.
Oct 17, 2020

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- Ted

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