This photo shows a fall-color
mountain backdrop early in the
creation of the Red Cliff area of
the LARC Demonstration Layout.
This backdrop measures 13 feet
wide by 24 inches high. Only half
is shown here. This backdrop is
printed on Image-Brite material
and was applied to a painted
masonite wall by peeling off the
peal-n-stick paper backing.

The layout depicts The
Tennesee Pass Line of The Rio
Grande Railroad (now Union
Pacific) during the early 1990s.
This shot shows the finished scene.
This photo and the one
below shows adjacent
scenes to the one above.
The backdrop was applied before
the scenery was finished so the
colors could be brought forward in
the trees and ground coverings.
Can you tell where the backdrop
starts and the actual modeled
scene ends?

Actually the three rear buildings
are on the backdrop and were
printed smaller than the modeled
buildings in order to "force" the
perspective...making them look
farther away.
This next scene is on the upper
level which will depict The Rio
Grande Southern Railroad of
the late 1940s. This is an early
shot of Ophir Loop. The
backdrop is 15 feet wide by 30
inches tall, and again was
applied to a painted masonite
wall. Image-Brite material was
used and was stuck directly to
the wall by peeling off the
backing, revealing the
self-adhesive back.
Here is the finished
scene. The backdrop
begins an inch behind
the scratch-built Oilton
Club and Mrs. Skillen's.
Those that have traced the
Tennesee Pass Line
between Leadville and Salida
Colorado will recognize this
"nob" along highway 24 near
Granite. The backdrop used
behind it was actually
photographed on the Front
Range just northeast of
Here is the finished scene.

Lizzard Head Pass on the
Rio Grande Southern very
early after the backdrop was
put into place.
Here you see the backdrop
applied to the coved wall
around what will be Trout Lake
on The Rio Grande Southern.
The Styrofoam base will be the
lake with the wood and
Homesote roadbed above on
which the track will be laid.
The entrance to the Eagle
River Gorge just northwest
of Red Cliff
A Goose takes on water on the
finished scene.
Here you see a backdrop applied to a
painted Masonite wall between two
rock structures. A temporary "bridge"
has been created to simulate where
the track will cross a trestle. The
finished scene below is pretty
Note that by placing the backdrop first,
the trees placed in front can be
colored to blend seamlessly into the
An early view of the Amax Mine and
the mountain behind.
Here are three shots of
viewed from the top of Tenderfoot
Mountain. Many of you that have stood
on this
spot will recognize the city, but will pick
out that the mountains are closer and
more imposing than around the real city.
Isn't Photoshop wonderful! This is just
an example of the kind of photo editing
that can be done here at LARC
Products. The Salida backdrop is 15
feet wide by 33 inches high and believe is quite impressive!
A later shot after the stock
pens were added along with
a lot of other detail.
Looking up the Eagle River Gorge
under the Red Cliff Bridge gives a
slight view of the backdrop .