Saturday, May 9, 2009

Model Railroad Scenery | Creating Depth When Coloring Rock Detail

I have two basic techniques that I use to color rock on my model railroad.

In the first pic below, I painted the rock with Nippon matte tan water-based paint. Some folks dilute the paint before applying but since my foundation is blue extruded foam, I would probable have had to go over it several times to completely conceal any exposed blue areas if I had diluted.

Model Railroad Scenery
Matte tan paint is the base color on The Sunny Model Railroad 

To create some definition, I then brushed over a wash of grey slate acrylic paint. The dark wash gets into the crevices of the plaster and brings out more detail. For a more striking effect you could also use very dilute india ink.

For the rock canyon detail in the second pic below, I colored the white plaster sparingly to make it look 'brighter' since it was in the background of my layout.

Lighter colors on rock occuring in the distance creates greater 'depth of field', giving the illusion that the structure is farther away. This is something that I stumbled on by sheer accident but it is a concept that I make a point of applying throughout the entire layout.

Model Railroad Scenery
To create the illusion of distance, color the rock a lighter shade than the rock in the foreground

To color this rock I used a light stain of yellow oxide acrylic paint using a dabbing technique. I then very sparingly applied dilute raw umber for some contrast. Finally I applied a very dilute slate grey acrylic wash, deliberately leaving some areas lighter, allowing the white of the plaster to dominate.

Model Railroad Scenery
The morning sun on the rock landscape 

Model Railroad Scenery
Another view of the rock landscape, this time through the trees

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