Monday, April 30, 2012

Creating woody bushes.

Following on from the blog about starting to add vegetation and creating gum trees, here is a method of creating woody bushes that I have found works effectively and uses discarded material
You will need:
Drill some holes in offcuts of 9mm or similar mdf. Note the used basket liner on tray.

  • a well used hanging basked liner that has been in the sun for a while and has past its use by date.
  • coloured no more gaps
  • flat black or dark colored spray paint
  • spray adhesive
  • various grades of scatter material or ground foams eg woodland scenics.
Here is the process in photos. As always click on the picture for a larger version.
Grap a little bunch of material and twist in fingers. Then apply some no more gaps and twist the base nice and tight.

Pull the twisted base through the hole in the mdf as far as you can and then splay the tops out an then trim to shape with scissors.

I also tried adding some extra twigs to create some sturdier branches. The tuck in nicely in the twisted fibers of the trunk.
I then added a light spray of matt black to add a bit of depth and under story shadow.

Here I am adding scatter material over the bush armature using various grades of home made and bought material. I fix using a shot of spray adhesive.
Finished product.
A closer shot of the finished product. Nice and twiggy and airy.

And for some thing different...Here is the Platform for the Small Fuel Depot which is a Plaster of Paris Casting I made and the concrete stairs sculpted using this darwa modelling clay available from the new MASTERS chain of stores. It's easy to use and good to work with.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Background Gums

This morning I have been working on some background trees to help merge from the 2-d background to the 3-d realm of scenery. A while a go I found in Spotlight these bunches of brushy plants used for bouquets  and home decoration. They were a beautiful pinky purple colour, but the dried flower heads formed a nice shape like a gum trees canopy and there was enough overlay to stems to create and illusion of depth. So with a bit of spray paint, and fine ground foam, this is the result. See notes below.
I sprayed the pieces of bunch with some manor red to tone down the pinky colour.
There are some dried sedum heads pn the bench as well. Design Master colours available from florist supplies give some good Australian greens.

The finished trees after spraying the trunks with an off white tannish spray. I created a simple paper mask to spray through so the green wasn't overly effected.
The trees added in behind clumped ground foam and the foreground cliff and the backdrop. They give a good illusion of depth and are simple and airy enough to indicate dense foliage on a mountainside.

Moving back with the camera and adding some other props allows me to get an idea of how forced perspective is going.
And it doesn't take very long at all and you can cover territory quickly.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

On30 Module for Perth Exhibition 2012

Here we go on a long blog entry.. got to start somewhere. 
I am part of a group of modellers who meet on a Friday evening called ModofAu. Each year the group exhibits a layout at the Perth Model Railway Exhibition at the Claremont Showgrounds on the June Long weekend. This year they decided to go On30
So I thought I would join them and build one of the modules that would be combined to form a bigger group of modules around 16m long. Each individual module is 1.8m long by 60 cms deep. The track would enter and exit in the middle of each end and be linked together by a short section. The main theme of the collective layout was logging, but we had an open palette to what we designed and included on our individual I thought this would give me a chance to try out some ideas and techniques for the Orphan Valley home layout. My area contains a valley, small pond for loco refilling, artists residence and studio, a small local fuel depot and dirt roads.

This is my progress so far which has taken place over my time off in the school holidays.
Module is pine framework and risers, with 9mm mdf base board and 3mm backboards.
1800 x 600mm size. I added an extension out the front to accommodate a road and add more interest to the shape of the module.

Module primed and underside painted flat black.

Beginning track work.

Staining sleepers with isopropyl alcohol and india ink mix and other colours to warm the mix up.

Dry brushed to bring out grain of timber and age. I used double edge tape to hold the sleepers down.

Back drop painted. I use artist quality acrylics. Tried to create blue mountains type atmosphere with a deep valley that would lend itself to forced perspective.

Trackwork taking shape and another view of benchwork/backdrop.

Stone wall feature added - Chooch Enterprises wall.

Oil/fuel spur in place.

Foam in place to create cliffs using the FRocks method. See for more info on this process.

The debris left over.

On the other end of the module

I added some plaster castings of that i'd made out of rubber latex of coal to help shape the tunnel entry.

What the foam looks like with the CSR Multipurpose Jointing compound (thinned with water) painted over it. It has a nice grainy texture just right for Blue mountains sandstone.

Overall progress shot.

No, the dog didn't chew up all the foam. She has been very good,, and just keeps me company.

Starting to seal the pond area with textured no more gaps

Middle mini- scene from another coal casting and FRocks

Coloured and scenicked.

Now for the big job of coloring the rock formations trying to kepp a blue mountains sandstone appearance. I stated with a random spayed of Matt black in the crevices. Then used washes of acrylics with blending done with sprays of water and fan brushes.

the results with some Woodland Scenics ground covers and blended/sieved soils added. the fascia is bogged up ready for painting flat black.

More scenics and the local shop keeper has dropped in to check out the progress.

Detail shots with the foliage and ground covers being added. The pond has its bottom added and the green replicates the algae and mosses that gow up the rocks in these environments.

Starting to try out some tree branches. I have a lot more trees to add, but am thinking I might leave this till after transporting to the exhibition for major trees and all other scenery is complete.

Ready to attack the other end cliffs.

I love the FRocks method - very blue mountainish. Just need to add some streaks and foliage groundcover.

Foliage and ground cover is made up of Woodland Scenics ground foam, pickled ferns, dried natural materials, sieved dirt, Silifor clumps and twigs.

Overall view of Fuel Depot corner with  tanker. Much more detail and building up to be done. It's all about layers.

Birds eye view.

The materials, equipment and workspace for the constructing the module.
With just over a month to go,  I need to get onto the buildings and all the detailing and tree construction. I have enjoyed the process immensely so far.