Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lemax 34973 SKY BACKDROP 4 FOOT


Have received many questions over the years regarding the backdrop seen on this blog. Don't know why, but it never occurred to me before to devote a post to it.

The Lemax 34973 is a pretty piece. It used to be quite cost effective too. At this time however they seem to be selling for over 30USD each. Perhaps they are out of production?

The backdrop is made of nice thick card stock and comes rolled in a tube.

As you can see from the photo above, I cut a couple of them in half horizontally. This gives me 16 feet of backdrop that will suit most purposes. 

There is one piece left intact for those times there is a very tall (miniature figurely speaking !) object to be photographed.

Behind the scenes. Top to bottom. 2x4 holding up backdrop, rubberized flooring, saves figures when dropped, 4x8 chipboard, more 2x4's creating storage space, bookcase lain horizontally to form table base.


The backdrops are either secured right to the games table with push pins,
Secured by push pins into the chipboard table top

O for smaller set ups simply stood between a 2x4 behind and any convenient buildings in front. Such items can be seen in the photo.

On table top, 2x4 backing, held upright by dice tower barely seen right.

The tabletop pictured is a 4 foot by 4 foot set up. The town comes in at 3x3 making it perfect for Two Hour Wargames default encounter deployments. Unless actively writing I will usually go with 4x4, 4x6, or 4x8 playing surfaces. 
With larger boards it is more likely that one to two sides of the table will have the push pin method in place, securing the backdrop to either the 4x8 chipboard base table top, or into terrain squares if those are in use.

Now there are much nicer backdrops out there. Some are commercially available, but most seem to be home crafted creations. With commercial offerings one always has to be on the look out for anachronisms, such as telephone wires, railways, and any industrial elements, if the backdrop is to server a number of periods.

Folks who hand paint their backdrops invariably seem to have done sterling work, and of course such backdrops match their tabletops well.

Many of the backdrops outhere will give a better feeling of distance these Lemax items. This illusion is created by displaying terrain fading out into the distance, as opposed to the very stark table edge/sky horizon present here.

However Lemax backdrops were:
1. Readily available when I needed a backdrop.
2. Inexpensive at the time.
3. Ready to use right out of the tube.

With that trifecta in play, cheap and cheerful beat out aesthetics.

What sort of backdrops do you all use?

Wtih a tip of the hat and thanks for stopping by!