Ground Cover


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Once the structural scenery has been completed several methods can be used to apply a basic ground cover. If plaster bandage is used, it is best covered with a thin coating of modelling plaster or waterproof tile cement. When using modelling plaster, add brown or green paint to the mix (always make a small sample to ensure it will set with the paint added). This prevents the base white plaster coat showing through if the surface is scuffed. The plaster layer also smoothes out the surface removing traces of the wire mesh  and fills any small gaps in the bandage. From this stage one of following methods is usually used (also on tile cement when used):  


Basic method - paint the plaster surface with green gloss paint and apply the scatter/flock to the paint as soon as possible using the sticky paint surface as an adhesive for the scatter. Layers can be added once dry as below.
Standard method - paint the plaster with an undercoat watercolour e.g. Woodland Scenics Basecoat and allow to dry. Apply the scatter/flock to the landscape after PVA adhesive has been applied using a paint brush. The secret of a natural looking model is to vary the use of colours and textures.
For general grassy areas using the Woodland Scenics range as an example, select a fine base texture of a colour more yellow than that required - Burnt Grass is normally used. Carefully blend in areas that are browner and greener than the Burnt Grass - use earth and grass green. If a distinct pathway or similar is required across the area, apply this to the wet PVA adhesive first before adding the greenery. Use earth colour scatter for best effect. Once the base coat is dry, apply patches of a more textured ground cover e.g. Woodland coarse turf in two shades e.g. light and medium green. This creates a more 3D appearance that can be increased using the extra coarse turf and foliage clumps. Scrubland areas can be represented using the Heki Wild Grass to give great depth to ground foliage. Rock faces and the base of buildings can be 'bedded' in using coarse turf around the edges to remove the distinct line interface between the object and the scenery. This can be seen in the adjacent photograph of the tunnel mouth where the coarse turf overlaps the join between the tunnel moulding and the scenery. Static grasses are now popular adding greater 3D to the scenery. For large areas static grass is best applied with a special tool.
Grass mats - at one time dismissed as train set scenery but with the emergence of static grass mats some very effective scenery can be made particularly when used along side the standard method above. Many manufacturers now provide scenic materials both static and non-static.
For those looking for that extra special scenic look it is possible to introduce products not available from model suppliers to produce highly realistic grass effects. Rubberised horse hair once used in the upholstery trade produces some very effective results together with lint stuck to your terrain surface with PVA adhesive and once dry pulled away makes excellent rough grass once trimmed and coloured.

Without doubt the best scenery is created using a depth of colours and textures which will usually involve careful selection of materials from a variety of manufacturers and industries.


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