About the MFR

The Metaline Falls Railroad (MFR) is a proto-freelanced model railroad based on the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad located in northern Idaho and north eastern Washington State. For the very latest on the layout, please visit my YouTube channel and follow along with my Instagram account.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Using Google Maps as Research for Backdrops

I am very nearly ready to begin painting my backdrop, but before I did, I wanted to gather some photos of the area around Ione Washington so that I could accurately recreate the mountainous vistas of the region.

Gathering photos using the Google Maps street view is an easy way of obtaining accurate images of your chosen prototype, but finding a good angle to view distant landscape features may be difficult because Street View photographs are often obscured by buildings and large trees. The following image shows the area where I acquired most of my reference photos for the backdrop.

As you can see, I ended up having to capture many images from across the river, looking back on the town from a distance. I found it helpful to start in areas where the tree line was sparse.

I plan on using these shots and many others to help identify and create a plausible mountain ridge line when it comes time to slap paint on the backdrop.

Well, That's all for now!  I've purchased my supplies for painting the backdrop and now it's just a matter of getting up the courage to start throwing down some paints!  Wish me luck!


  1. That's a great idea! I may have to use it for the shelf layout I'm working on.