Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Jon Grant, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant Member

    I was asked to explain how I created the snow on my British layout Husdon road.

    Since this was the single-most-asked question I get at exhibitions, I decided to build a diorama to show how the snow effect was achieved.


    the first stage shows the track laid onto cork tiles, glued and pinned.

    Stage 2 has the scenic formers glued in place, in this case expanded polystyrene ceiling tiles.

    The formers are then covered in plaster bandage ('Mod-Roc', in the UK) - stage 3


    Stage 5 is to cover the plaster hills with ground cover, grass, shrubs and various scatter materials. some of the deeper undulations have been filled with 'Das' modelling clay to represent deeper snow.

    Only at stage 6 is the ballast applied to ensure the edges meet up convincingly with the ground cover.


    Now it's time to 'lay' the snow. I covered everything with a coat of white undercoat paint - an oil-based paint used underneath gloss paint - and when dry, repainted in white emulsion - the water-based stuff you use on the walls - stage 7.

    Finally, the scene is finished (stage 8) by painting the rail sides brown/rust colour, the bushes brown - especially underneath the bush - and all walls, trees and fences with a darker-than-normal shade of brown, than you would expect. This is because, in real life, the eye is tricked into believing the colours are darker than normal because of the whiteness of the snow.

    Finally, I sprinkle glitter powder - the type sold as cake decoration and edible over the snow to represent the sparkle of fresh snow. You have to be careful with this stuff cos it gets everywhere and can make you look like a refugee from the 70's disco scene.

    I hope this encourages some of you to have a go at snow.

  2. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant Member

  3. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant Member

    This is where the diorama usually lives during an exhibition


  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    That's great Jon, thanks Fred :thumb:
  5. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    :wave: Thanks Jon, that is a big help for the snow people. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  6. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Jon that is excellent! I hate snow too much to ever model it though.
  7. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    A very nice presentation Jon! Thanks!
  8. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    Great presentation and great modeling work, Thanks Jon :thumb::thumb::thumb:

    Do any BRC stuff lately??
  9. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant Member

    I'm doing my Atlas signal tower in BRC colours.

    BTW, thanks for the thumbs up guys

  10. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Thank you, Jon. This is a wonderful tutorial and an excellent presentation, too! :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

  11. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    I love your snow, ever since it was in the Railway Modeller I have thought it is some of the most convincing I have seen.

    Does anyone know how Bill Henderson does his snow on his Coal Belt rr? His has the effect of a much lighter snow fall. There is an article in the latest Model Railroader by him and his layout was in the 2002 Great Model Railroads (unfortunately I don't have that one)

  12. Jon Grant

    Jon Grant Member

    Thanks Neil,

    if you get to many shows, look out for the mags sold on clubstands. My previous snowscene - Hudson Lane - appeared in the December 1995 British Railway Modelling. Some of that layout - about 11", still exists on Hudson Road.

  13. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Great How-to, Jon, now where did I put my platform shoes? :D :D :D
  14. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    Amazing work on the snow, it looks very real! I want to do a section of my layout with snow. Thanks for the tips!
  15. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Very nice work, Jon! :thumb: :cool:

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