Time is the enemy of scenic modellers. With it comes damage, dust, dirt and destruction. Here we offer basic tips to keep your scenery as fresh as the day it was created.
Dust is one of the largest problems we face as modellers, and we often see dusty layouts, even on the exhibition circuit. It creeps up on us over time, dulling scenery to a grey hue, while the occasional spider decides to make a new home between buildings or a doorway. All too often it’s hidden from the naked eye. However, it is soon revealed by a camera.
Freshening up your scenery is simple and should ideally be carried out once a year, more so if your layout travels to exhibitions – you’d be surprised how fast it can accumulate on the roofs of structures.
Here are a few simple ways you can keep on top of the appearance of your decor.
After quite a bit of handling, moving around, bumps, knocks and scrapes, some areas of the scenery on this most basic of model railways needs repairing and refreshing. Areas of bare boards are now exposed.
Another area often overlooked on a model railway that has travelled is loose flock. Here, stray grass clumps have landed over the road surfaces. Country tracks might look better for this, but this road in the middle of a town needs cleaning.
Cobwebs – another enemy of the modeller are seen so often, even on the best of model railways to feature in our magazine. A brush is the best tool for this job.
Using a vacuum cleaner can be harsh on building roofs and flock. Placing an old handkerchief over the end of the nozzle allows you to re-use flock and easily salvage parts.
You can easily enhance the appearance of your model scenery with this Facelift Set (ref.1272) pack from Busch. Inside are 3D injection-moulded plants, scatters and static grass.
All too often scenery can become flat, so repairing it can sometimes be a good excuse to improve its texture. Here, some clump foliage from the Busch Facelift set is added over a thin diluted layer of PVA adhesive.
Included inside the pack is a selection of injection-moulded plants, grasses and weeds. Whilst the colours are basic, painting them to appear more realistic isn’t beyond basic modelling.
Cut out each plant with a craft knife, then twist each leaf through 90 degrees, then twist the stalk through 90 degrees a few times to make the plant more 3D-like in appearance.
A multi-purpose adhesive is used when adding the lineside weeds to the layout. The items resemble more reeds, and despite being sold as HO and suitable for OO gauge, they’d be ideal for larger scales too.
Looking to create bushes? Watch one of the Woodland Scenics experts show you how.
And what about trees? Our online guide will help you get to grips with ‘planting’ trees on your model railway.
Need more advice? Take a look at the BRM Techniques page for all our latest guides and advice articles.