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A couple of thoughts:

First, if the wall is reasonably flat or can easily be leveled with joint compound, why not just mount the vinyl backdrop like wallpaper, directly on the wall? It might be a tad more difficult maneuvering the vinyl and wallpaper paste over the existing layout, but I doubt it would be much more difficult than maneuvering and adhering the formica sheets you've proposed.

Second, if you're in no particular hurry, you can probably save more than a few bucks by working with an on-line overseas site like Buy-Backdrop.com. I ended up with a custom four foot by nine foot backdrop printed on polyester cloth (vinyl would have been a few bucks more) for under $20, including shipping IIRC. I used a cropped version of one of their stock backgrounds, but for about the same price I could have submitted my own graphic. It took a few weeks to get it delivered (and this was before the COVID supply chain disruptions!), but the only regret I've had since is not going for a slightly larger (5' X 11') size. Here's a pic of the installed backdrop (it hangs from the ceiling, and is held down by, and can be rolled up on, a plastic pipe fastened across the bottom of the backdrop): View attachment 584863
Hi. I was on the site. But I don;t see how: (1) Any of their stock pics would look in a larger format, especially elongated; and (2) How to up load a pic for them to print.

Any help in that area would be appreciated.
 

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i ran one piece of paper type backdrop, thirty some feet long, but only glued down 3 or 4 feet at a time .. i added some semi-foreground trees between the track / terrain and the wall after [they were 8 1/2 x 11 sheets trimmed on top / bottom} .. probably averaged around 3 feet tall .. turned out okay, maybe seven years ago or so , glued right to the wall paneling with ordinary white glue ... cost was maybe 50 bucks off ebay, mostly mountains / sky... best view is on youtube as model train number 4, some of the trees in the very front of the backdrop were separately added later on ..
 

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Hi. I was on the site. But I don;t see how: (1) Any of their stock pics would look in a larger format, especially elongated; and (2) How to up load a pic for them to print.

Any help in that area would be appreciated.
No problem, Mike.

The 'original graphic' that I posted was lifted from the web page for that picture, and presumably was of much lower resolution than the actual file used for the printing. All I can say is that the nine foot by four foot print I received (basically the upper portion of the original graphic, with the bottom foreground cropped off) showed no signs of pixelization or distortion, even at very close range (I can send you a close-up, if that would help).

In terms of custom backdrops, I'd start here: Custom Design Backdrops This page covers the basic elements of rolling your own backdrops, though it's not clear until later in the process exactly what the final cost will be. The base charge is $1 per 'unit', whatever that is, and until you let them know what size and material you want, you don't seem to be able to find what it'll cost you for the project (though if my experience is any guide, the final bill will be modest!). If all else fails (or if you want more up-front assurance what the charges will be), you can check out the options on the "Contact Us" page: Contact Us : Buy Backdrops | Photography Backdrops Sale - Backdrop Supplier Note: I did not have to submit a custom background, so I can't say from personal experience how that process will go, but I did have quite a few back-and-forths with a nice person in customer service to tweak the stock graphic to meet my needs. At least in that case, I had a good experience, but at least one person I referred to them did not find them to be responsive, so caveat emptor, I guess . . . :sneaky:

In any event, good luck, and let me know how you make out!
 

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i ran one piece of paper type backdrop, thirty some feet long, but only glued down 3 or 4 feet at a time .. i added some semi-foreground trees between the track / terrain and the wall after [they were 8 1/2 x 11 sheets trimmed on top / bottom} .. probably averaged around 3 feet tall .. turned out okay, maybe seven years ago or so , glued right to the wall paneling with ordinary white glue ... cost was maybe 50 bucks off ebay, mostly mountains / sky... best view is on youtube as model train number 4, some of the trees in the very front of the backdrop were separately added later on ..
Really nice result on the backdrop, Warren, especially as visible in your fifth video! You did an excellent job pasting everything tightly to the wall, and frankly, except for the obvious corners, I didn't see any visible seams or wrinkles. And kudos on the layout -- I personally am into a different scale and esthetic, but I really liked the landscaping and period rolling stock in your videos. Now, if you could just remove that "jolly blue giant" that occasionally makes an appearance . . . :rolleyes:

(And just to show it happens to the best of us, here's my own "jolly giant' moments, caught on video:
)
 

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The backdrop will look great.
 

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No problem, Mike.

The 'original graphic' that I posted was lifted from the web page for that picture, and presumably was of much lower resolution than the actual file used for the printing. All I can say is that the nine foot by four foot print I received (basically the upper portion of the original graphic, with the bottom foreground cropped off) showed no signs of pixelization or distortion, even at very close range (I can send you a close-up, if that would help).

In terms of custom backdrops, I'd start here: Custom Design Backdrops This page covers the basic elements of rolling your own backdrops, though it's not clear until later in the process exactly what the final cost will be. The base charge is $1 per 'unit', whatever that is, and until you let them know what size and material you want, you don't seem to be able to find what it'll cost you for the project (though if my experience is any guide, the final bill will be modest!). If all else fails (or if you want more up-front assurance what the charges will be), you can check out the options on the "Contact Us" page: Contact Us : Buy Backdrops | Photography Backdrops Sale - Backdrop Supplier Note: I did not have to submit a custom background, so I can't say from personal experience how that process will go, but I did have quite a few back-and-forths with a nice person in customer service to tweak the stock graphic to meet my needs. At least in that case, I had a good experience, but at least one person I referred to them did not find them to be responsive, so caveat emptor, I guess . . . :sneaky:

In any event, good luck, and let me know how you make out!
I didn't understand this for a while. But I think I do now. Pick one of their stock pictures and select one of the standard print sizes (ex., 8' x 10"). If you want a 3' x 10' backdrop, you cut the desired section from the larger print.
 

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I didn't understand this for a while. But I think I do now. Pick one of their stock pictures and select one of the standard print sizes (ex., 8' x 10"). If you want a 3' x 10' backdrop, you cut the desired section from the larger print.
Well, you certainly can do that (and it likely would simplify the ordering process), but you'll pay for the print on a roughly linear basis based on its area, so it would AFAICS be less expensive to endure the 'customization' process to have (and pay for) only the portion you want printed. That's especially true with 'banner' prints (much wider than tall) like most model railroad backgrounds. In my case, I asked for a 4 foot by 9 foot print, basically just the top portion of the stock photo with the original ratios preserved (in other words, not stretched or condensed to fit). I was a bit paranoid that they'd screw it up, and ultimately I just had to cross my fingers and hope it'd turn out all right, comforted by the fact that it was only a $20 gamble and some wasted time. Fortunately, it was nearly perfect, my only regret being that I wish I'd made it just a bit wider and taller (eleven feet wide and five high) to better frame the layout and form a better backdrop for layout photos. Ah, well, coulda-shoulda . . . :sneaky:
 

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Well, you certainly can do that (and it likely would simplify the ordering process), but you'll pay for the print on a roughly linear basis based on its area, so it would AFAICS be less expensive to endure the 'customization' process to have (and pay for) only the portion you want printed. That's especially true with 'banner' prints (much wider than tall) like most model railroad backgrounds. In my case, I asked for a 4 foot by 9 foot print, basically just the top portion of the stock photo with the original ratios preserved (in other words, not stretched or condensed to fit). I was a bit paranoid that they'd screw it up, and ultimately I just had to cross my fingers and hope it'd turn out all right, comforted by the fact that it was only a $20 gamble and some wasted time. Fortunately, it was nearly perfect, my only regret being that I wish I'd made it just a bit wider and taller (eleven feet wide and five high) to better frame the layout and form a better backdrop for layout photos. Ah, well, coulda-shoulda . . . :sneaky:
I don't see how the website supports custom prints ala your description, how to upload a pic in the "You design Here" page. Is it done via messaging with the company? Down load one of their stock prints, crop as desired and let them mimic that with their full resolution pic for printing?
 

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I don't see how the website supports custom prints ala your description, how to upload a pic in the "You design Here" page. Is it done via messaging with the company? Down load one of their stock prints, crop as desired and let them mimic that with their full resolution pic for printing?
As I said, I didn't need to use the full "custom print" process using an outside graphic so I can't vouch from personal experience how (or if) you can do it, or if so how difficult or fiddly the process would be, but the site clearly seems to offer the service, and in concept it should not be very difficult. And yes, if you upload a custom graphic from any source, definitely crop it to the proper proportions before you send it, and be sure they understand to print it preserving the original aspect ratio (no stretching or squeezing). And yes, if you are asking them to do anything other than a 'standard' print, expect to have a few email exchanges to be sure everyone is on the same page. And yes, in my case, I cropped the graphic I posted earlier (which I had cribbed from their site) and sent It to them, with instructions to crop their hi-res original graphic to match and use it instead of my relatively low-res crop to print my custom backdrop. I found them to be friendly and eager to please, though with just enough flavor of "English as a second language" to make me a bit nervous. Overall, though, I had a good experience and the result was exactly what I asked for, so definitely a thumbs-up from me. YYMV . . .
 
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