Author Topic: valance survelance  (Read 1035 times)

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basementcalling

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valance survelance
« on: January 11, 2014, 06:36:36 AM »
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Show us your valance!  :D  How about a thread for the cute outfits  we dress the tops of our layout with?

I've been working on two sections of mine and come up with some questions. I've been using 1x2, luann plywood, and some leftover vynil from a backdrop experiment gone bad. What materials do you use and how concerned are you about weight?

Does the bottom lip of your valance stay a constant distance above the fascia (Photos of those welcome too, but we see those more often than valances.)? If the height varies, say over a deep canyon scene, how does that impact the intensity of your layout lighting in that scene?

Does your valance always come out even with the front lip of the layout? If not how do you blend the width variation? Are some scenes  too deep and need the "picture frame" higher up?  I have 1 scene over a wye that will be 30 inches deep to the turnout by the backdrop. A valance might well make getting to it for maintenance a head knocking chore.



Is anyone mixing areas of the pike with and without the valance?
Peter Pfotenhauer

DKS

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 07:21:09 AM »
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My valances were made from Foamcore and attached to the light fixtures with Velcro. This made for a very lightweight valance that was easy to install and also easy to remove for layout maintenance. It also eliminated the painful head-banging experience of Masonite or plywood valances. I left the layout side white for light reflection and covered the outside with dark woodgrain vinyl shelf liner ("Contact" paper). They all aligned with the layout edge and remained the same height, regardless of layout depth, although my layout was not very large. Sorry, no pics, although I could do some drawings if you want.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 07:25:43 AM by David K. Smith »
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basementcalling

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 04:28:38 PM »
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Here are some shots of what I've been up to.

The first shot here is of the valance over what will be a deep canyon in mid peninsula with a large hill closest to the camera. The valance was a natural spot to include a row of cabinets for light materials: foam, scenic supplies, etc... It's framed with 1x2. Panels will be luann plywood because I had a bunch in the house. I will hinge one door on the end cabinet and make the other doors sliding. I will likely add another panel to the bottom of this to hide the framing and make the "sky" nice and smooth for light reflection after it gets painted white.



Here's what it looked like partially framed out.



I am going to put in cabinets in the valance on the other side of this aisle as well, which will utilize hollow space underneath forested mountain slopes in the other aisle. That framing is just starting to go up, but the valance will be even with the edge of the benchwork here, as it is on the other side of my center aisle.



 As I move to where the peninsula joins the wall mounted benchwork though, I have a challenge. The scene becomes 30 inches deep in front of a wye junction, so I am debating if I want the fascia to come all the way to the layout edge. Certainly not at 11 inches above rail top, which is the height under the part built so far. Here's a shot of that area with experimental vinyl backdrop material in place. The opening in the backdrop is 30 inches away.



This next area is only 6-8 inches deep, so the backdrop will be an important component of the scene. I have 10 inches of rail to underside clearance here with the roof on. A 1 lap helix is inside the backdrop here, which is accessible on a rolling chair from the middle of the benchwork. Obviously the upper deck fascia will need to be pretty thin here as it forms a valance for the lower deck. Luckily there are no track elements that need controls mounted here so I think a fascia that drops just 2-3 inches below the upper deck plywood should be sufficient. It will rise higher than that to form a backdrop for the loop scene on top to encourage upper deck operators not to stand at the end of the peninsula and clog the aisle.



The next scene is 12 feet long. The upper deck edge makes an S curve as tracks go upgrade here following a river. This is a challenging fascia/valence to make, and I worry about lighting the loop portion of the lower deck that has no upper deck over it.  I am considering not having an upper deck valance here at all and lighting the upper deck with a row of track lights centered over the aisle.



I am going to use the method written up in the December MRH magazine to deal with this outside corner. I will wrap vinyl sheet around the edge and glue it to the MDF backdrop with construction adhesive. I envision a large log crane standing in front of the corner of the backdrop here, as my paper will be off to the left here. I am also checking backdrop heights here for the upper deck.  This scene is problematic because at the far right it will need to evolve from having a valance to not having one, as the plan is to leave the upper level loop totally open, again because of the depth of the scene.



You can see how deep that scene is below. The first shot shows the framing for the double sided backdrop that runs down my center peninsula. The MDF sheet at the left will be moved behind the loop track shown in the elevated second shot of this area.



This gives an overall view of the loop scene. The back of the loop will go into a cut to hide the track some and break up the loop effect. I don't want the typical viewer to be able to see the entire train traversing the loop as one scene. The track will also be close enough to the backdrop that a cut or tunnel would be needed to keep the track from being too close to the backdrop.



The area above is planned to be valance free and illuminated by LED bulbs in a track lighting set.

I am thinking of going with a flat black where I do have valance, with the inside surface obviously painted white to reflect light from the LED strips I plan to use to illuminate most of the layout.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2014, 04:30:34 PM by basementcalling »
Peter Pfotenhauer

robert3985

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 08:17:13 PM »
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Interesting post Pete.

I don't have any experience with valences on model railroadds since my portable-modular/sectional layout just uses drafting lamps (two minimum per 6' length), but I do have experience as a diorama builder for several museums down through the last 30 years or so and as a professional industrial model maker for a private research company and two major aerospace corporations.  That said, you should be aware that painting your valences flat black will not make them less obvious unless the ceiling is also flat black.  A more pleasing solution is to paint your valences (and your ceiling) a warm, fairly neutral color leaning a little more towards black than middle-gray and don't use a flat color, since operators are always putting their foreheads and fingers on the valences and any flat color will show these grease spots readily, so use an "eggshell" color.

Another point is that for continuity, it's a good thing for the valence to follow the contour of your fascia, and have your layout be a "slice" between them.  If that's not what you've designed, then painting both the fascia and valence the same color will help with that design criterium.

However, "design" is like "taste"...everybody's taste is different, and several people I know and whose modeling I respect highly, really like the "Black Look"...with ceiling, valences, fascias and walls being black, with a dark neutral gray carpet and black curtains under the fascia overhang.  That REALLY emphasizes the "strip" appearance of a layout and centers operators' attention on what's lit in the room.  However, it is a little "headachey" and I prefer something less contrasty...as do most museums and art gallery displays along with lighter complimentary ceiling and floor colors.


basementcalling

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 09:15:43 PM »
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Bob, I like the ribbon of light effect the black effect gives, but can see how it could cause eye strain or headache issues. I've not see a black treatment in person yet, and I have no plans to paint the ceiling black. Repainting would not be fun over that no matter what claims paint companies make about primer and paint in one.

I like the feel the valance is giving,  but the color remains up in the air, so to speak.
Peter Pfotenhauer

rsn48

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 12:12:55 AM »
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I'm planning to install valance in the next 6 months or so and I'm thinking I'm going to follow a plan in MR that was just in a recent issue, too lazy to go upstairs and see which one.  The system is pretty basic and simple, even I can understand it.  The author uses hardboard which he can bend around curves - I have a number of curves so this is important to me.  He simply adds 1 by 1's (inch) to the straight lengths of the hardboard at top and bottom.  The top one is used to anchor the valance and also handle the lighting, in the author's case - florescent.

The bottom 1 by 1 inch is so the valance won't develop warps and waves in it.  The 1 by 1's don't go where the curves are.  So there is no framing to this valance; I like it because it sounds like its a quick and dirty to get up, my kind of project.
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

JoeW

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 11:06:52 PM »
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I really like David K Smith's idea I might try that on my next layout.  Walt Houston once suggested using vinyl flooring (backside facing out for painting) as a back drop because of its ease of flexibility.  I suppose if you needed to bend tight corners the idea might be applicable to a valance as well.  Good idea asking the group here.  I look forward to see how some of the others here on Trainboard did theirs. 
On my layout I used Masonite and I follow the profile of the deck.  I use t-5 florescent under cabinet lighting at 3100 kelvin. Below are some links to my photos.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21373627@N03/5636716192/in/set-72157626411805371
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21373627@N03/5636807792/in/set-72157626411805371
http://www.flickr.com/photos/21373627@N03/5641413880/

Hope it helps
JoeW

Bangorboy

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 09:41:04 PM »
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I used the cheapest vinyl flooring turned bottom-side out for my backdrop, because I needed a wide backdrop and windows forced a 9" radius corner cove.  It took the curve nicely, and looks great to me overall.

As for a valence, I wouldn't use it for mine.  I plan to use cloth valence for protection against head-bumping.  The reason I wouldn't use the flooring is that it kinks very easily.  If you had the valence in place, with its nice curves and all, and someone bumps it hard enough, they probably won't get hurt (unless you have some rigid framing in that area).  However, the valence will probably suffer a permanent wrinkle.

Just sayin'....

Bill
Bill B
Drole & Lake Connick RR
N Scaling in South Okaloosa

robert3985

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2014, 05:11:33 PM »
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Another material you might consider for valences is sheet Styrene, which you can get in 4X8 sheets at your plastics supply store.  Surprisingly, it's not very expensive and .060" thick stuff is pretty flexible and will spring back if clobbered by somebody's forehead.

bdennis

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Re: valance survelance
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 05:39:42 PM »
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My valance is made from 3mm mdf that is screwed to the ceiling. It is very pliable and makes nice


The ceiling is 2400mm from the floor and the valance is 400mm. So the valance is 2000mm from the floor and the layout is 1400mm (56 inches) from the floor. So the gap between the main deck of the layout and the valance is 600mm. There is plenty of room and I don't bang my head. They could be lower but Im happy with the install.
http://dh2ndsub.blogspot.com.au/

All my backboards on the peninsula's are made from 3mm MDF.

All the MDF is painted on both sides in order to reduce the take up of moisture and stop warping.
As I live in Melbourne (Australia) the chances are high humidity are very low and the shed is well insulated.
Brendan Dennis
N scale - Delaware & Hudson Champlain Division