Sunday, May 3, 2009

Model Railroad Scenery | Plaster, Paint and Ground Cover

The stack of newspaper wads from the previous post has been transformed into the mountain scene you see below.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics of the creation process -- I had my hands covered in wet plaster!

Model Railroad Scenery
View of the completed mountain. Hard to believe it's just a wad of newspaper covered in plaster.  

Basically it involved covering the paper wads in plaster cloth (I used two brands, Woodland Scenics and Activa Rigid-Wrap, which are basically the same, as well as being similarly expensive!), painting it over with a matte tan paint and then adding ground cover of various textures and colors.

Nothing in scenic nature is uniform or consistent so I used as many ground cover colors and textures as I could obtain.

For added texture in areas devoid of ground cover, I used plaster of paris to create the rough, rocky detail you see in the second pic below.

Model Railroad Scenery
Burnt umber, raw sienna and a light brush with dilute india ink turns the white plaster into something resembling rock. 

When the plaster thoroughly dried, I used applied dilute burnt umber and raw sienna acrylic paints, using the 'leopard-spot' technique. This involves using a sponge brush and dabbing the various colors on in a random pattern of spots.

Then, using very dilute india ink, I brushed a wash over the whole thing. The india ink gets into the little crevices and brings out the detail of the 'rock'. A very important step!  

Instant realism!

Model Railroad Scenery
A Fleischmann goods train rolls past a plaster rock face.

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