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Thread: Suggestions: Reflective Paint or other Material?

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    Default Suggestions: Reflective Paint or other Material?

    Moose need to get jiggy with it and start a backdrop!

    Buuut, Moose was tinkin' of putting some wee coloured light strips above the backdrop to be able to change the ambiance...

    However, the light strip will be tucked up inside a backdrop support, behind a valance, and the light strip will be oriented outwards towards the valance rather than downward.

    The orientation seems necessary to get the light strip to bend around the corners of the room...

    Moose question: What method do YOU recommend to help direct light downward towards the layout? Some kind of reflective material? If so, what materiel? Any other bright ideas there mister?

    Moose sketch:

    Layout Backdrop Support 011319.jpg
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose2013 View Post
    ... change the ambiance...
    I like the word "ambiance".

    However, the light strip will be tucked up inside a backdrop support, behind a valance, and the light strip will be oriented outwards towards the valance rather than downward.

    The orientation seems necessary to get the light strip to bend around the corners of the room...

    Moose question: What method do YOU recommend to help direct light downward towards the layout? Some kind of reflective material? If so, what materiel? Any other bright ideas there mister?
    Well, I think that a white paint or material up inside there would be enough to get a good amount of light out and down. But Moose should wait for more opinions.


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    You could maybe use metallic duct tape. BUT a couple things...

    1. The strips could point down; the corners aren't that troublesome. If you don't want a kink there, you can cut the strip at the corners and bridge the gap with short wires (or connector jumper cables.) Only problem with pointing down is the light may be more stark on the backdrop there.

    2. A single strip may not be sufficient. Depends on how close it is and how bright they are. I'd recommend rigging up a test to see what you think will be needed.

    3. That valance will likely cast a shadow. If the layout is consistent depth, you can probably get things set just right so the shadow line falls just above the front layout edge.

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    @Ender

    Good points to consider ...

    1. Moose REALLY not wanting to cut the strips, but might be able to twist the strip through the corner...

    2. Yep, could have two strips if the light from one is insufficient...

    3. Well, the layout edge is anything but constant depth! Buuut, the LED light isn't intended for light the layout...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    One thing I'm thinking of is if you direct the light outwards and then in with reflection you will have shadows on your backdrop, where as with the light directing down there will be shadows on the ground if any , and that seems to me more real life.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    For the corners of my ceiling shelf HO track, I used these for the corners and to go around the fireplace.
    61ZZnHan9zL._SL1001_.jpg
    They also make these which give you a little more play with the angle and such
    61F1sFV9mCL._SL1000_.jpg
    Maybe one of these will allow you to mount the strips facing downward and eliminate the need to reflect the light.

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    Moose using 12 foot long lighting strips that Mrs Moose gave Moose for layout a few years ago.

    Maybe have to experiment to see what works best, but would like ideas on reflective materials if needed....
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    From experience with aquariums I would recommend gloss white paint over any tinfoil-like reflective material. @Ender's point about the bottom edge of the valance throwing a shadow on the layout would be my main concern. Can you angle the valence so that the shadow comes out past the layout's edge?

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    Okay, Moose did some experimentin' and now sees how much light the "white" setting puts out. This would be good for lighting the back portions of the layout that the train room's ceiling mounted light in the center of the room does not adequately illuminate...

    Sooo, the subject of shadows on the layout is now an issue. Thanks for pointing this out guys!

    Now, how to make a simple backdrop support?

    Keep in mind that it must hold the light strip, accommodate the twist in the strip at the corners, hide the top of the backdrops that are unsightly held by pegs or screws, etc.

    Oh, and the light strip is ~ 3 feet too long, so...

    Is it really safe to cut these light strips?
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Okay, Moose update ... Mr & Mrs Moose discuss options, now thinking of going the extra moose mile and building a shelf around the room, attaching the light strips beneath the shelf towards its outer edge ... This will provide a place to put all those pesky locomotives, freight cars and passenger cars (rather than the cardboard boxes that they're currently in) and similar things...

    Still need to come up with a simply way to hang the backdrops from the shelf and the shelf design itself -- needs to be easy for moose hooves to build and ensure backboard sections are square & flush with each other...
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Moose - What if you put in a block cut like a right triangle and mount the LED on the angle pointed down? I saw that Ms. Moose already purchased some LED's for you, but if you can imagine mounting like the linked LED bar.

    https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...0-lumens/1681/

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    @dave68124

    Hmmm, interesting concept. Thank you!
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

    Click Here to See Moose's Layout Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave68124 View Post
    Moose - What if you put in a block cut like a right triangle and mount the LED on the angle pointed down? I saw that Ms. Moose already purchased some LED's for you, but if you can imagine mounting like the linked LED bar.

    https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...0-lumens/1681/
    If directed inwards to the backdrop even if at an angle you would still have shadows on your backdrop , or maybe I'm misunderstanding you.

    It's hard to avoid any shadows at all , but any light shining from the alley to the backdrop will create shadows that are not necessary.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    I was thinking wall side for the right triangle piece, not the valance side. Diffused light to hit the backdrop. I use the LED strips that I linked and have no issues with them casting shadows. Slightly different use for workbench lighting, but set up limitations are the same as bench is under the layout. Either way, merely an idea. Try it and doesn't work then toss it into the bad idea bucket. Works, then helped solve a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave68124 View Post

    I was thinking wall side for the right triangle piece, not the valance side.
    That was obviously the misunderstanding on my part.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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