• Dealing with a road to nowhere

    As I'm moving across my new module, I've been wanting to add a mirror under the rail bridge where the road heads into the wall. I've heard of this technique before to get that road to look like it keeps going.

    Surprisingly, I found it difficult to find tiny glass mirrors (and even if I could find one, it would still likely need cutting and fitting.) So I decided to try another type of mirror, a mirror adhesive sticker. Available in a variety of sizes, can be easily cut, and is pretty cheap. Ordered a pack of 6" square mirror stickers on Amazon and gave it a shot today.

    By the way, without the mirror, the underpass kinda looks like a cave. Not terrible, but a closer look reveals the wall behind.


    To make this mirror sticker work, it really needs to be on a flat surface. For continuing the road, it needs to be perpendicular to the road. So I cut and shaped a piece of plain styrene to fit exactly below where the bridge crosses. Fitting it was just a matter of marking and nipping until it fit snugly.


    Once that was right, I used the styrene as a template to cut the mirror sticker. Then attached the sticker to the styrene.




    It's slightly wavy, unlike a real glass mirror, but I think the effect is fine for this purpose. It really just needs to give the sense of the road continuing anyway. I don't actually want to see myself in this mirror.

    With the bridge fit back on top, it looks pretty good.




    Comments 15 Comments
    1. jimbo.0455's Avatar
      jimbo.0455 -
      That Looks Great! Thanks for sharing.
    1. Eusjim's Avatar
      Eusjim -
      Outstanding illusion and a very well written article. Great optical effect.
    1. Comfortably numb's Avatar
      Comfortably numb -
      That's unbelievable!! I like the effect of the lighting on the back side. Great job!
    1. bobbymaxwell's Avatar
      bobbymaxwell -
    1. Witchdoctor40's Avatar
      Witchdoctor40 -
      Great affect for little cost.
    1. Futbolb13's Avatar
      Futbolb13 -
      That's an awesome trick - thanks for sharing.
    1. rcb's Avatar
      rcb -
      Excellent tip! Thanks! That may be an answer for my little layout.
    1. Nskale's Avatar
      Nskale -
      Hahaha wow good trick!
    1. randgust's Avatar
      randgust -
      Excellent application. Your placement angle is perfect

      I think I've got .... seven mirrors at various locations on my layout. After years of putting up with the mirror lines I went to front-surface plastic mirrors and replaced them all. Just love them. See
      Because they are plastic, they can be cut, drilled, etc. My most radical application is a big 12 x 18 mirror where I dive right into a hole cut inside my signal bridge out of the scene. You cannot see the mirror line, the bridge is cut in half and glued right on the hole.
      Half of the tank farm in that view is reflected, mirror is right at the bridge.
      The way you did yours is great, wouldn't be hard to swap that out with a first-surface mirror and get rid of the dark reflection line at the road edge. They do work. I've even cut vehicles in half and glued them on the mirror and you can't see the line. The VW bus is cut in half in the middle and the Vette is cut lengthwise, both stuck on mirror: http://www.randgust.com/TH14.jpg
    1. oldtanker's Avatar
      oldtanker -
      Ender, I've been impressed with your work for a long time as you know. Somehow you just seem to reach higher and higher levels.

    1. B&O_modeler's Avatar
      B&O_modeler -
      Great look! with the bridge blocking the view, it really isn't noticeable!
    1. sid's Avatar
      sid -
      WOW thats pretty neat. Thanks for sharing this
    1. meadowsn1956's Avatar
      meadowsn1956 -
      That is really a great idea. It looks so real seeing the landscape on the other side of mirror.
    1. Alek108's Avatar
      Alek108 -
      Thanks for sharing! It really looks great!
    1. Michael's Avatar
      Michael -
      Very nice. I'm intrigued with this mirror sticker. Somewhere in my basement I have a collection of plastic 'locker mirrors' I picked up from the dollar store. They work ~ok~, but not being surface mirrors they have a gap.