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GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK MOUNTAIN WITH TALL GRASS AND TREES right

Welcome To Our FAQs -
"Facts You Should Know" Page 

1) Should I install my backdrops BEFORE or AFTER I build my benchwork and scenery?

It is usually best to install the backdrops BEFORE you start to build the railroad so the railroad, track, scenery and structures do not get in your way or worse yet broken. If you do need to install them after benchwork or scenery our Poly and Vinyl backdrops are coated with a premium matte finish laminate that will help protect them during installation. This coating allows you to use tape on the face of the backdrop WITHOUT DAMAGE to give you extra assistance while installing

2) How should I install my backdrop?

In Most Cases NON Peel  Stick backdrops are best put up with a vinyl compatible wallpaper paste. You can also use "mechanical" fasteners like double sided tape, velcro, grommets, screws, nails, staples etc.

 

Our Peel & Stick products are best installed over a 100% acrylic primer. Please keep reading our FAQs and visit our Installation Tips And Tricks Page for more detailed information.

 

3) What should I NOT do when installing my backdrops (these suggestions apply to ANY backdrops from ANY company that does not have a protective laminate coating on them)?

That depends on several factors such as the surface you are putting them on, type of material and adhesive.

(A) With every other brand of backdrops we know of on the market (except

RailroadBackdrops.com) you should NOT get glue, plaster, paint, sculpt-a-mold, aggressive tapes or other scenery materials on the backdrop….you will ruin them.

 

Since our backdrops have a protective matte finish vinyl laminate on them you CAN get glue, plaster, paint, sculpt-a-mold, tape or other scenery materials AND most household cleaners on the backdrop WITHOUT risk of damage.

 

(B) With every other brand of backdrops we know of on the market (except RailroadBackdrops/com) you should NOT get the backdrops wet with any solvents, alcohol or household cleaners... it WILL ruin them.

 

While other backdrops claim they are water resistant, this may be true; however, solvents, thinners, cleaners and alcohol will cause the inks to dissolve and run.

 

Since our backdrops have a protective matte finish vinyl laminate on them you CAN get most common hardware store type solvents, thinners, household cleaners and rubbing alcohol on them with out any damage. Industrial solvents used to dissolve plastic (such as M.E.K.) will damage our backdrops.

(C) On the Presentation Paper Backdrops you should NOT use white glue, wall paper paste or contact cement to install them. You should only use Velcro or the Double Sided tape or “paper cement” we will soon have available on our Accessories Page.

(D) You should NOT apply any rubber based adhesive (self adhesive backing, peel & stick backing, contact cement, some double sided tapes, etc.) on latex paint (most houeshold interior or exterior paint). Rubber based adhesives should ONLY be used on 100% Acrylic paints or the backdrops area should be repainted with a 100% Acrylic primer.

(E) You should NOT let your adhesive dry before you have squeegeed out ALL bubbles and creases. When using wall paper paste it is important to re-squeegee the entire backdrop area about every 15 minutes until the paste has started to cure. If you do not do this the evaporating water vaper from the paste will get trapped under the backdrop creating bubbles that wont appear when you squeegee but will show up after the paste has dried.

4) What are the three most important things to remember when installing my backdrops?

(A) Apply backdrops to a clean dry and prepared surface (if painted use only 100% acrylic paint or paint a clear coat or primer of 100% acrylic over any latex paint).

(B) Apply backdrops ONLY to smooth surfaces. Masonite, styrene, expanded PVC foam sheet are a few examples. If you use permeable, porous or other "breathable" materials you will get bubbles.

(C) Properly squeegee the backdrop to eliminate any bubbles, excess paste or creases.

(D) ALWAYS follow manufactures instructions exactly as directed to eliminate bubbles. DO NOT take short cuts or you will get bubbles.

5) Why do I have bubbles in my backdrops after installation?

The backdrop materials will NOT cause bubbles if properly installed. The most common causes for bubbles during or after installation are because of one or more of the reasons below:

(A) Your surface was not properly cleaned and or prepared. In this case the adhesive won’t stick to your backing surface because it is really sticking to the dust, grime, grease or uncoated latex paint.

(B) You did not properly prime coat with an acrylic primer before applying your adhesive over latex paint.

(C) If you used the “wet” method of installation you did not use a firm and even pressure during the squeegee process and the soapy water got caught in pockets which leaves a "lubricated surface" the adhesive can't stick to.

(D) If you used the “dry” method of installing you did not keep the material taut and or you did not use even and consistent pressure during the squeegee process and you have air pockets trapped between the adhesive and your mounting surface.

(E) You did not apply your adhesive evenly and there are spots or voids that have no adhesive to stick to your mounting surface.

(F) You applied the backdrops to a porous, permeable or otherwise " breathable" material and air has gotten in between your material and the adhesive used.

(G) You did not follow the manufactures instructions on your adhesive or you took shortcuts and this will cause bubbles.

(H) You have significant temperature changes (such as a non climate controlled garage or basement) and the material and the mounting surface are continually expanding and contracting at different rates which will eventually cause them to separate from the adhesive in spots and create air pockets underneath.

6) What adhesives do you recommend to install the backdrops with?

Presentation Paper - Speedball Art Products Paper Cement, Tacks, staples, double sided tape, velcro. DO NOT use water based or liquid adhesives or the paper will crease and pucker. Spray adhesives will work if you follow the manufactures directions EXACTLY, you are very carefull and thorough when you squeegee and you work in a VERY well ventilated area.

 

Polypropylene or Vinyl - Should use vinyl compatible wallpaper paste, also double sided tape, velcro or mechanical fasteners.

 

Polypropylene Self Adhesive or Vinyl Self Adhesive - The peel and stick adhesive already applied to the Poly or Vinyl material.

 

7) Since the backdrops are water resistant does that mean we can clean them?

Water and liquids will damage the Presentation Paper. The Polypropylene and Vinyl can be wiped gently with a damp cloth or sponge and you can use soap and water, 70% isopropyl alcohol or most household cleaners

8) Can I use Windex or 409 to clean the backdrops?

NEVER use any liquids on the Presentation Paper. Windex and most other household cleaners will not harm your Poly or Vinyl backdrops.

9) How can I get my backdrops protected with laminate?

We now INCLUDE the lamination of our Poly and Vinyl banners standard at no additional cost.

10) What do you mean by "Custom Blending"?

When we "Custom Blend" we will take all of your scenes and transition them from one to another in one long natural looking horizon scene just like you would see in real life. Basic blending, which covers 99% of all customer orders is free. Advanced blending utilizing time consuming or more advanced photoshop techniques does require a slightly higher artwork fee depending on how advanced you want the blends to be. For more information visit our Custom Blending Page.

11) Can I send my own photos for you to use?

Yes, we do custom work for a nominal extra fee depending on how much work is involved in bringing your photos up to backdrop quality.

12) What if I want a scene you don't have?

We are constantly adding to our catalogue and have thousands of scenes we have not yet processed. Call us and we can search our inventory and find the scene(s) perfect for your layout. You can also hire us for an on-site backdrop photo session for a small fee and transportation charges.

13) You backdrop list only goes to 16' long. What if I need a longer backdrop?
You simply order multiple copies of a backdrop or multiple backdrop scenes to equal the length you need. (i.e. If you need 60 feet you can order six 10' or 5 12' backdrops) By utilizing our custom blending techniques we can create backdrops of unlimited length that you can then have cut into whatever lengths you need to match any scenes or for ease on installation. For more information visit our Custom Blending Page.

14) My backdrops came as long rolls 10' to 16' in length and I don't feel comfortable installing myself, how do I make them a more manageable size to work with?

Our backdrop materials are easily cut with a sharp hobby knife or scissors to any number or size of panels you feel comfortable installing.

15) Why do my backdrops have a small white border on the top and bottom and  larger white borders on the left and right sides?

These borders are required for the printing process due to the way the printers print. You can easily remove them with a sharp hobby knife or a sharp pair of scissors. Most customers do not trim the bottom as their scenery will be built up to the backdrop and hide it anyway. You may also pay a small extra fee for us to remove the borders. Keep in mind once the border is removed you backdrops height will be slightly smaller than the size ordered. The length will remain the same if the left and right borders are removed.

16) What if I need the backdrop picture to be the exact height I ordered after cutting off the white border.

You will need to order the next size up (i.e if you need a full bleed 24" you will need to order 30") and when you check out in the notes request you need it "Full Bleed" at whatever height you actually need.

17) We are NOT responsible for damaged, lost or stolen packages once shipped.

Due to today's volatile shipping market and supply chain failures, once your order is taken to the shipper it is out of our hands and no refunds or replacements are offered unless you order shipping insurance which is offered through the shipper for a small fee.

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