I think I'm at the point where I only have one major design choice to make about Grundy's Yard.
It is a big one though.
How do I present it?
|The view from our garden gate|
What spurred me on to build the layout was an archived article on Deryck and Peter Featherstone's Abbey Road and Barton Bendish, which was built without a back scene, as was quite common then. But I've always been critical of exhibition layouts that don't have a deep, relatively seamless back scene.
When I built the last OO9 micro it didn't have a back scene built-in because I intended it to be viewed from any side. The original idea had been to have a detachable one for photographic purposes, attached by magnets. In reality, I've taken photos of it outside with a natural background, or indoors with the generic sky blue walls of the studio behind it, as with the current cover photo.
In designing Grundy's Yard Iain Rice's book on cameo layouts has never been far from my side. It should be a shoo-in for cameo style presentation with a fully curved back scene.
But at the same time, I'm a little uncomfortable about it.
Well, a curved back scene is going to eat into the available space on the layout. Bear in mind this is set in the Fens, where space is one of the most obvious landscape features, along with our big skies. And that is another issue. Back scenes work well, very well, when modelling a scene with hills and buildings in the background. It is much harder to get the right back scene for open-countryside.
Look at the photo I've included. It is, quite literally, the view from one of our garden gates about five minutes ago. Wouldn't that do?
Having the crop, winter-sown wheat, in the foreground gives you a sense of space, but the perspective is wrong. But if I cut out the crop the scene will lack the important middle distance.
And in any case, it is the wrong crop for the time period and season, and there are too may modern elements along the skyline.
Then there is the feeling that cameo presentation has become cliched. Now don't get me wrong, I like it, it is a vast improvement on the past, and I have ideas for using it in the future.
Decisions, decisions, decisions...