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How to Create Realistic Looking Rock Structures

How to Create Realistic Looking Rock Structures

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Published by kelly_brezovski
Model Railroad Scenery tips and tricks more information at http://tinyurl.com/ModelTrainForum
Model Railroad Scenery tips and tricks more information at http://tinyurl.com/ModelTrainForum

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Published by: kelly_brezovski on Feb 21, 2012
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05/13/2014

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 ==== ====Looking for more detail information on Model railroad scenery? Click the link below.http://tinyurl.com/ModelTrainForum ==== ====If you've ever marveled at realistic looking rock scenery on model railroads and wonderedhow they were created, this article describes in detail how you too can easily achieve the sameresults. These are the items you will need: · Newspaper· Masking tape· Plaster of Paris or Hydrocal plaster· Acrylic paints in burnt umber, raw umber, raw sienna, white and slate grey colors· Art paint brush and craft sponge brush· Assorted items for shaping plaster, such as spatulas and plastic knives The first step is deciding where you want that rock face, outcropping or rocky hill willbe on your railroad layout. Unless you're modeling a section of the Grand Canyon, bear in mind that rock structuresusually emerge from areas of foliage and greenery. And it is precisely this contrast thatmakes the scene look interesting and real. Before you proceed any further, cover any areas on your layout near the section you'replanning to work on. Wet plaster drips and tends to get on everything no matter how carefulyou are. Whenever I work with plaster, I tape over my railroad tracks with painter's masking tapeand cover larger areas with cling wrap or aluminum foil. Aluminum foil is also greatbecause, for this purpose, it's reusable.  Once you have decided on the placement of your rock scenery, make up several wads ofsmall pieces of newspaper. On my HO scale layout I use sizes varying from 2 to 4 inches inlength, in varying thicknesses.  Use a size that you think is best for your layoutscale.  Larger wads will create bigger outcroppings on the rock face. Using masking tape, attach the wads of newspaper to the area where the rock outcroppings willbe. Cover the wads completely with the masking tape. Try to go for a layeredarrangement that looks random and not man-made. Don't worry, it will look much better andcome together with a very natural look after you complete the next few steps. Mix up some Plaster of Paris or Hydrocal plaster following the instructions on thepackaging. Hydrocal is very lightweight but considerably more expensive than Plaster ofParis.  Plaster sets quickly so mix up smaller quantities and work with it in smallbatches. Be sure to thoroughly rinse out the mixing container and spatula between batches
 
as any dried residue plaster will interfere with how the new batch sets up.  Now comes the fun, albeit messy bit. Using a spatula, apply plaster over the newspaper and masking tape wads. Remember tokeep the texture random -- smooth in some areas, craggy in others. Use a plastic knife toadd more detail to the rock face with vertical or horizontal striations. Notice how thenewspaper wads beneath the surface give the rock a three-dimensional look.  Stand back, admire your handiwork and let the plaster dry overnight. Adding color to our rock is the final step to complete scenic realism. I usually choose a combination of raw sienna, raw umber, burnt umber and slate greyacrylic paints. The colors should be diluted with water to a thin wash so that we are notactually painting the rock but staining it. Using a paint brush or sponge brush, apply the washes in a random series of spots of burntumber, raw umber and raw sienna. Go easy on the darker colors as they tend to dominateand, if overused, can make your scenery look somewhat somber. Then, apply a verydilute wash of slate grey over the whole rock face and over the other colors. The grey washunifies the other color combinations into a very realistic look. Finally, very sparingly dry brush undiluted white acrylic paint in areas for highlights and to create asun-bleached effect.      As you can see, it doesn't take exceptional artistic talent to create realistic looking rock on yourmodel railroad layout. But use these ideas as a starting point and feel free to experimentwith ideas of your own. Try different materials and coloring techniques. You'll be pleasantlysurprised at what you may come with. And don't forget, as scenic modelers we must constantly observe nature for an infinite supply of new ideas. Clinton Carnegie has been a model railroader for 2 years and The Sunny Model Railroad is hisfirst layout. http://thesunnymodelrailroad.blogspot.com  Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Clinton_Carnegie 

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