Several options came to mind:
- I toyed with the idea of extending out the back of the layout but that would have had to be supported somehow over the fiddle yard and would have had complications for fitting the layout into the car.
- I thought about painting my own backscene. There is an excellent book on doing this, imaginatively titled "Creating a Backscene" and over on "Nick's Workshop Mutterings" you can see this being put into effect. I knew if I went down this route I'd still be talking about doing it in a year's time.
Cheating seemed to be the best option. There is a track that runs from the back of the mill down to where the water tower should be. I figured that I could make the ground rise behind that, as it does in real life, but plant a significant number of trees along the rear edge of the track that the back of the layout was obscured. The next task was to find a backscene. Eventually I settled on the Old Mill Town Pack B from id Backscenes. Howard Scenic Supplies quickly delivered so I decided the best mix and went to stick it on.
Bit of a disaster. There are two choices, self adhesive or not self adhesive. I chose the former out of some misguided idea that it would be easier. If you have a flat backscene that is not already on the layout then it must be fantastic but working on an already installed backscene working round some scenery was impossible. It's actually too sticky. It's either on or off and you cannot pull it back off to reposition. I ripped it all off in disgust and ordered the non sticky one.
Above is the result of applying the non self adhesive version with border adhesive. There is one slight crease over on the left hand side and the join between the two pieces goes right down through the buildings on the right but that will be hard to see as it is right behind the mill. There is work to do to blend in the sides where the embankment goes through the hillside!
It has raised another possibility, however. The existing scenery formation and the backscene do seem to blend reasonably well and I am toying with the idea of not using trees to hide the join but to accept the way it looks now and blend it in. It will mean losing any hillside behind the mill but looks like it will be a better compromise than the trees. A good friend is going to today supply me some polystyrene to fill in the remaining gap. Hopefully by the end of Christmas this will be in and a final decision can be made. It's going to be a compromise anyway so it's simply a case of determining the best compromise.