Søren's Model Railway Pages

About model railways in H0


Enhancing The Winter Diorama, Part 3

In the previous installment I created the road using a Woodland Scenics Road System Learning Kit. In this installment I will paint and weather the road and begin blending the new scenery into the existing one.

A model train

Painting The Road

The Road System learning kit (Woodland Scenics #LK952) includes a sample of the asphalt top coat (Woodland Scenics #ST1453). The sample bottle contains a fair amount of top coat, so I have plenty for my little parking lot.

I apply the top coat and leave it to dry. I then sand it a bit to add some weathering effects. I am not sure if I did something wrong, but the top coat (at least before it is sanded) has a glossy look. I do not think it looks that great, but sanding takes away some of the glossy appearance. As a finishing touch I airbrushed the road adding tire marks and oil spots. It makes the road look used.

A model train
The road is finished. Time to blend the new scenery with the old one.

Along the side of the road I placed some of the same gravel that I used for the passenger platform. Roads usually have some gravel next to them. The gravel is NOCH Light Gray Ballast (in German: "Schotter, hellgrau, fein") (NOCH #95640). It is the same product as Woodland Scenics Light Gray Ballast (Woodland Scenics #B74).

Blending The New Scenery

Since this project is an improvement project, the new scenery needs to be blended with the old one. This requires that I dig up some of the tricks used to create the original scenery.

I find that dealing with snow is actually a lot more difficult than dealing with summer and sun. The reason being that snow is not just "sprinkle white stuff everywhere", snow has a life on its own, and to make it look real, I need the snow to lay as it would in nature.

For my winter diorama, I use Woodland Scenics Soft Snow Flakes (Woodland Scenics #SN140). You use the product like you would use turf etc. Sprinkle the snow flakes using the canister shaker and spray them with Scenic Cement (Woodland Scenics #S191). Until the Scenic Cement is completely dry the snow flakes might look like they could need more glue, but do not let that fool you. It will dry completely into a hard shell, but keep its snowy look. A very cool product.

The snow flakes unfortunately cannot be used to build up snow drifts, well, they can, but you will use quite a large amount. For this purpose I use another Woodland Scenics product called Flex Paste (Woodland Scenics #C1205). This is a really cool multipurpose product that lets you build up drifts of snow. Flex Paste will dry into a rubbery, flexible form.

You do not paint the Flex Paste on, you apply it with a paint brush using a rolling motion.

To make a snow drift, you simply grap a paint brush and dip it in the Flex Paste. You then "roll" the paint brush on the landscape to form the drift. You do not paint the Flex Paste on, but add it in chunks and blobs. This will create a snowy look. When the Flex Paste has dried, you can cover it with the soft snow flakes.

I also used Flex Paste on the lamp posts, trees and roof of the buildings. For a snowy look, Flex Paste is a truly great product.

A model train
The Flex Paste is drying. It will dry to a rubbery, flexible form.

Note: Please keep in mind that plaster cloth will not adhere to Flex Paste. You cannot use Flex Paste as a scenery base if you plan to put plaster cloth on top of it. For scenery base use Foam Putty or whatever makes sense with your scenery base method. At least if you plan to cover it with plaster cloth.

Although Woodland Scenics calls Flex Paste a multipurpose product, I have not really found any use for it a part from making snow effects. For this purpose it does have a lot to offer. You can check out my article on dead pine trees, where I use Flex Paste to simulate snow on branches.

If you are doing a winter scene, I think you should give Flex Paste a try.

Happy modelling!

A model train
Flex Paste is also great for snow effect on roof tops and trees.