SceniKing Backgrounds by BPH Enterprises
Sceniking, a Canadian Company run by a Modeler, has been in business since 2004. The company produces 142 different kits, with scenes from Winter woods, to Great Lakes freighters tied up at their dock. They have backgrounds for all scales, which is a plus.
I was in the market for backgrounds, and found SceniKing (Sceniking.com 705-739-4878) through a local hobby mail order/internet business http://www.modelrailcraft.com/. I visited via email with Les Mavor, the owner and I asked him a few questions regarding his business. Here is some of the interview below:
Interview with Les Mavor, Owner
It appears the paper is a slightly heavier grade than the typical copy paper. What is it?
-When we developed our kit format in 2004, we first tried photo paper. Too thick and cumbersome. Normal 20# paper was too light. Butting panels up to each other left seams. The current format of 24# paper with a panel-to-panel overlap of 1/4" provided the best results, and became our strandard. Properly and carefully assembled, the scenes can be "seamless". These are craftsman-style kits....not for kids. A lack of care in assembly can lead to disasterous results.
How long have you been selling this product?
What is your best selling item?
-The Midtown Series. U026(Z), U027(N), U028 & U029(HO), U030(S), U031(O) are the focal point kits and are on top. The scene incorporates 69 structures drawn from 29 cities across North America.
Do you have any products on the horizon you'd like to comment about?
-So many projects - so little time! We are working on a "store-front" street scene which, because of our back-dating mandate, is extrememly time consuming, but should find a ready market. We had hoped to offer in in January, 2010, but the web site comes first! We also have many scenes, in various stages of development, on hold, and a wish list from modellers that we go back to when time permits.
Are full-length continuous panels being considered as opposed to the sheets you provide now?
-No. Too inflexible. That is a market we would prefer to leave to some of our competitors.
One thing I did notice was on your site, I thought I was buying a full-length backdrop, and not the sheets. Have you run into anyone expressing concern about that?
-We provide all the information about our products on our web site. We encourage readers to review all the information, just as we also recommend that they read (some don't!) the instructions on the kit prior to assembly. I have been a modeler for over 35 years, and I, too, can be accused of plowing ahead without reading the available info. If you are not happy with the kit format, we buy back unbroken packages. This is rarely necessary, but I'm in this because I love the hobby and enjoy all the friends and acquaintances I have made, so friendship comes ahead of profit. We just want to have fun!
Seems like a good answer to me! Les tells me they are improving their website, and making it more user friendly. He also tells me they stand behind their product, and when you call, you can actually talk to the owner. They sell half their product through retail dealers, which is the way I got my scenery. Les also mentioned they have 142 kits available.
I originally thought I was getting a complete roll of each background, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed to see the product come in panels. However, I took it home, and made it work. Cameras don't pick up too well on the seams. and the picture quality is excellent. My attitude has changed a lot, as I am very happy with the Winter Scenery.
Photo of Backdrop
I also picked up their "Rural Roots" F022 and it's half the height of the winter scenery. When you order, pay very close attention to the website, or make it easy on yourself and call them up. If you have any question regarding this product, just PM me>