Building Curved Backdrops

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Billybob Reuben, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. Billybob Reuben

    Billybob Reuben New Member

    What do the experts use to make those nice smooth curved backdrops you see on layouts in the magazines? I think 1/4" plywood is too stiff to curve around a corner like that. What other materials can be used for that? Also, are there any magazine articles available that specifically cover the building and painting of backdrops? I need to put distance mountain scenery behind half my layout and I am no artist! Can anyone give me any ideas?
  2. billk

    billk Active Member

    BBR - You might try masonite, thin aluminum used for flashing, vinyl flooring (linoleum), or plastic (styrene?) sheets. I guess whatever it is should be bendable, paintable and available in big enough pieces. Strength isn't that important, you can always reinforce it from the back.
  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    On my layout, the backdrops were made from Hardboard, if you soak the piece you require to be curved in water for around 1/2 hour, it will curve without breaking.
  4. billk

    billk Active Member

    Is British hardboard the same as American masonite?
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    1/8th Inch Masonite works great. Be sure to get the kind that's smooth on one side...Vic
  6. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I too use 1/8th inch masonite. Now it comes smooth on both sides and bends even easier than the good one side masonite I used to get.
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Ditto on the masonite good two sides. Just built a lighting valance with it, curved to match the ends of peninsulas. Very easy to work with.

  8. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Masonite is also called tempered hardboard, or simply hardboard.
  9. Catt

    Catt Guest

    If my memory serves me right ,Masonite is a brand name.
  10. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I believe your memory is serving you very well! :)

    While I'm on this thread, I'm going to put in my nomination for my favorite new backdrop material - vinyl flooring.
    I used it for the first time on my most recent project, & I love the stuff!
    I always used masonite before, & while I do like it, it requires joint compound, & sanding to eliminate the seams.
    Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, can be gotten in very long pieces, & can be cut to fit with a utility knife. It's very flexible, takes paint well, & in my case, was very cheap, because I bought a damaged remnant. (you use the back, or bottom side, not the top, patterned floor surface) I got a piece 48" wide, & about 20' long for $10 at Home Depot.

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