Nearly Arundel



At last - the first bit of scenery completed

Posted Sunday, 7th November 2004 at 22:17:03

The first scenery finishing touches have been applied to the embankment to the left of and in front of the bridge (see last picture in Gallery 1- "before" and first picture in Gallery 2 - "after").

I have often found that scenery such as this is simply described as "made from carpet underlay" so I will try to be a bit more informative. I'm not saying this is the best or only way to achieve what I regard as a good effect - but it is a way! The following techniques were used.

A piece of roughly bleached carpet felt underlay was cut to size to fit the slope and a cat comb used to rough up the fibres. The felt comes in two layers with a central webbing which supports the loose weave. This was carefully peeled away from the felt to leave a piece of very hairy fabric! The slope to both sides of the wooden steps had been painted with brown acrylic which had dried and was now coated with undiluted PVA adhesive. The felt was laid on this, pressed down firmly and left to dry overnight.

The narrow strip next to the road and to the right of the steps was made of shreds torn from the other side of the underlay. The felt beside the roadway at the bottom of the picture shows the unpainted effect. Vegetation in this situation tends to be a bit sickly compared to that removed a little from the road so although it needs colouring this will be a little more sparse.

The colouring was applied by dabbing with a variety of green plastic enamels thinned with white spirit using a fairly broad brush. Generally a light green works best (LNER "Doncaster" or LSWR "Apple" loco green gives an idea of the sort of shade). Here and there a bit of darker green (SR Malachite) was mixed in. The whole thing was teased up again with the pet brush and then trimmed with scissors.

The effects of the different greens on the varying shades of underlay coupled with the places where bits of brown underlay show through combine to give a good rough grass effect.

The bush was made from a piece of rubberised horsehair (for hedge construction) coated with 50% diluted PVA and dipped in a Set Scenes darkish green scatter material. Barely visible are also a couple of tall grasses made from several lengths of dark green stiff hairs gathered at the base and secured with a blob of PVA. The path at the base of the main slope was then given a coat of PVA and a fine dark grey scatter used to cover it.

At normal viewing distance it looks superb and really underlines the fact that texture and shading is far more important to scenic effects that precise scale. Although not apparent in the above scaled down picture I was astonished (but pleased) to discover that in the full size with the extraneous background removed several people thought it was a picture of the real thing. (Probably more a test of their lack of observation that a reflection of my modelling skills!)

While not up to the standards of Pendon I am happy that it has come out so well after a break from scenic modelling of some 15 years.

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