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Author Topic: Questions on scenic effects  (Read 1079 times)

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Offline springwood

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Questions on scenic effects
« on: July 12, 2019, 08:03:41 PM »
Getting quite close now to putting some effort into the scenic side of my layout. The plan is to have short tunnels through the hillside at each end. Would I be right in saying that a good way of constructing these would be to prepare a series of formers using corrugated card - spaced at intervals - and loosely fill in between with scrunched up newspaper and cover with several layers of plaster cloth?

There will also be a multi-road TMD and  - as in the real thing - I want to have the ballast stop short of the entrance to the main shed and create the classic filled-in concrete look. Looking for suggestions on how to do this?

I've heard a fair bit recently about static grass but for just two smallish hillsides, I cannot justify the expense (possibly 40-odd quid) of acquiring the kit. What are my alternatives?

Thank you

Robin

Online crewearpley40

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 08:17:13 PM »
there are many preferred methods.  i have used for
short tunnels through the hillside stiff cardboard tube and create the fabric of the tunnel and then fashion the hill around it.  Whatever tube you use, cut horizontally — along the tube — just past half way around on both sides and place it over the track.

Once positioned, the sides and top are built up with plaster or paper mache to create the surrounding hills. I build up the sides with polystyrene foam sheets. These are cut and positioned to get the general shape required and once I’m happy they are glued in place with a liberal coating of glue


chicken wire  has worked


as for multi-road TMD ballast is okay your method but for the concrete look


look at ;

https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=9842.0







Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 08:21:17 PM »
There are as many ways of solving your questions as there are railway modellers!  Everyone tries out and develops their own techniques for scenery, that's part of the fun of the hobby :-)

These would be how I would approach the scenic effects you specifically mention, but there are plenty of other ways:

For forming scenery and tunnels I use expanded polystyrene blocks from discarded packaging etc, or occasionally I may buy a block from a DIY or builders merchant which lasts for ages. I find it a better support than the traditional scrunched paper or chicken-wire approaches, especially when you need to create a hollow tunnel through your scenery. I roughly glue the block in place with PVA then carve using an old but sharp kitchen knife which produces minimal "bobbles"!   I then cover with plaster bandage, paint with suitable grey/brown earth mix before applying scenic scatter. For rock faces I apply plaster of paris and carve with the knife, then support at 45 degrees, moisten the surface and sprinkle a layer of plaster premixed with black and brown power paint to achieve crumbly textures. Allow the sprinklings to congregate at the bottom of the rock face etc.  When dry, airbrush with thin washes of earthy and khaki colours.




For track embedded in road/concrete again I use plaster of paris pemixed with powder paints to create a suitable base colour. Apply over the area and smooth with a piece of card.  Once dry, I use a screwdriver blade to gently create the flangeway and also to ensure road surface is slightly lower than the top of the rail so that you can clean the track without scraping the road surface.  Airbrush to add weathering to the surface.





I've not really got into static grass in a big way, I prefer foam granule types of scatter which I can soak in diluted PVA and create a rock hard surface which is "finger-proof" for an exhibition layout :-)  Recently I have started to try static grass effects, but I use an applicator I made myself from an electric fly-swatter and a small kitchen sieve. Cost me less than £5 to make.  There are web pages and videos on how to go about making your own applicator.





Here's some work in progress adding static grass and other stuff as part of refreshing the scenery on some baseboards that were built in 2005/6. You can see the original foam granule surface on the right.



There are guys on here who do static grass much much better than my efforts   :D
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 09:04:35 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Online crewearpley40

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 08:33:08 PM »
i use grey / brown powder paint with suitable ballast  for the tmd. take it is a modern depot or steam /

would you be using for steam coal staithes / water crane / tower
or modern oil tank /pipes / etc

office block
suitable figures

good luck

Offline springwood

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 09:12:45 PM »
Yes, should have mentioned I am modelling era 7 (BR blue diesels, late 1970s/early 80s) so the TMD will be fitted out with a Farish modern servicing depot, oil storage tanks, washer unit, refuelling point etc.

ntpntpntp - personally I don't really fancy trying to apply a wet mix of plaster of paris but will probably use thin plasticard and try and find a textured paint to colour it.

I do like the idea of using the card formers and plaster cloth technique as I watched the Everard Junction video on him creating a long embankment and tunnel this way and it looked pretty straightforward.

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 09:21:34 PM »
ntpntpntp - personally I don't really fancy trying to apply a wet mix of plaster of paris but will probably use thin plasticard and try and find a textured paint to colour it.
Actually in that harbour photo above, the main straight part is indeed done with plasticard to represent a wooden board effect,  from the point rightwards it is plaster.



« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 09:29:27 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Online Newportnobby

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 09:23:24 PM »
I've seen a layout this afternoon which had a loco shed. OK, it was a steam era one but the chap had glued down thin cheapo scouring pads and then painted them black. They looked incredibly realistic for cinders/ash without going through all that loose stuff faffing.
Now I believe you can get multipacks of thin sponges which, when painted, could do the same type of job (they're about 8" x 6") for a TMD. Might be worth an experiment on the cheap :hmmm:

Online crewearpley40

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 09:35:24 PM »
hi i too am modelling era 7 (BR blue diesels, late 1970s/early 80s) . IF the TMD will be fitted out with a Farish modern servicing depot, oil storage tanks, washer unit, refuelling point etc. sounds good. what ballast you using ?


i would consider oil spills etc

Offline Chetcombe

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2019, 03:15:28 AM »
Part of the initial post was about static grass. I think static grass is worth the extra effort and looks far more realistic than the old fashioned 'flock'.

I also agree though that the expense of an electrostatic applicator is difficult to justify if you only have a small space. I used a Noch static grass puffer bottle to put a static charge on the grass fibers in order to get them to stand upright. A much cheaper solution if you can find one.

For a 70s/80s BR Blue era layout, you may want to consider including a lot of decay and overgrowth. I have used some sticky grass tufts to good effects on abandoned sidings and around disused buildings. Mixed with areas of shorter static grass you can get a nice overall effect.

« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 03:18:53 AM by Chetcombe, Reason: Added photo »

Online crewearpley40

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 05:32:29 AM »
that willsort the issue of realistic weeds,sorry im into industrial scenes and towns but this does form part of a modern neglected
unkempt part of the railway track !!!


Offline PLD

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 07:35:10 AM »
Personally, I don't find static grass convincing in N gauge when some just use it on its own covering the whole area - even the shortest strands are too long for N and it looks like an O Gauge bowling green...
However it can be very effective when used in combination with other materials giving variations in texture, height and colour which is what I suspect Chetcombe has done n the pic above..
 :thumbsup:

Online chrism

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2019, 08:21:35 AM »
However it can be very effective when used in combination with other materials giving variations in texture, height and colour

Mix, match and contrast makes a huge difference to realism.
I bought a large number of trees for Coniston, in packs of up to 30. Most of them didn't look all that realistic individually or all grouped together, unless one wants something like a farmed plantation.
However, all the types randomly mixed up produced very acceptable mixed woodland.

Online port perran

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2019, 08:54:04 AM »
My view is that static grass looks very convincing as long as it is varied. I use mixes of grass, and usually only 1mm or 2mm lengths.
For more distant areas and if you want o create a more heathland area, I think scatter looks better.
Whichever you go for it’s worth painting green or brown underneath to hide any bare Patches.
If it looks right then it most probably is right.


Online crewearpley40

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2019, 10:53:20 PM »
dear springwood


re : concrete flooring for sheds - have a look at model rail  261 july 2019 - i have a copy but no colour copier or access, you could obtain back copy if you dont have one - step by step guide.

Offline cjdodd

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Re: Questions on scenic effects
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2019, 02:27:22 PM »
If you want an alternative to plastercloth, then J-Clothes dipped in diluted PVA dries rock hard and costs a fraction of the price.

 

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