To be honest I'm not much of a photo manipulator. I use Picasa and MS Paint which only have rudimentary image editing capabilities. This has proven a major obstacle to creating my own bespoke backdrops for my airports. I'm no Raimond Schulz that's for sure - though to be fair his backdrops are a lot smaller and tend to need to work from only one angle. After much fannying about I decided to fall back on the same tried and trusted method that I had used previously with the now defunct Dowse National project i.e. buying some backdrops!
Coincidentally at exactly the same time I was thinking of this I received only my second ever donation to the site's upkeep. The Paypal button has hardly been a money spinner so for now Yesterday's Airlines has so subsist only on my $$, which is a shame. We'll have to see how much the renewal cost is in November :(. Anyway I would like to thank Alejandro Carnevali from Italy for his donation, which enabled me to purchase a backdrop. I thus dedicate this post to Alex.
The backdrop I purchased came from the excellent Airport Diorama Designs. At the site he has several backdrops you can buy and for this project I needed a decent (but also anonymous) city backdrop so I selected model airport backdrop 4. The product comes in a series of 12 A4 sized pages. To minimise the joints I resized and merged the images onto A3 size and then printed them off at work!
Next once back at home I stuck them to a thin back of plyboard using a glue stick. The backdrop was so long there was enough to do a full back and side of the diorama. Above you can see the airport work area I have in the hobby garage. The joins are quite obvious but I found that using Picasa it is easy to make them disappear - even at corners as you can see below.
I'm really happy with the result and this step will now mark a major expansion for Xin Long's presence on the web. Within the next week or so the airport will have a website of her own and will hopefully become an excellent showcase for my collection of modern Chinese airliners.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of 1/400 scale model aircraft and airports. This blog reports work on my model airport dioramas and discussion of the model manufacturers output.