How do you make realistic snow is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

Steve B

I am planning on making part of the layout a mountain region, and with it i fancy some snow, but how to make authentic looking snow is the problem, i have never done snow before. Woodland scenics sell it but have any of you used it, What else can you use to make some nice snow banks by the track side, i thought i could use white polystyrene cut to shape and covered in artificial snow.

any help please, pics would help



Stay off the tracks!
The problem with snow is getting something that looks loose - but isn't. After all, you don't want it migrating anywhere.

For something like this I'd be looking in the paint departments of arts and crafts stores - it seems like there should be some sort of "micro-glitter" white paint out there. You'd probably also want a blue-ish shade for shadowed areas.


New Member

I use WS snow and found it has several advantages over anything else I've used. It looks like snow and you can 'work it' like snow ie., plow it, piled it, etc. When it gets dirty (all snows do), I can easily vac it up and redo. And, a good sized bottle is relatively cheat



Steve B

Cheers gents, some great ideas, maybe i can combine some of them, for good results, we'll have to have a go


My previous layout was covered in deep snow; I used baking soda. It's incredibly cheap and effective. There are two downsides to it: it's hard to glue, and will corrode nickel silver if it gets wet. For this reason, I used the Woodland Scenics snow for areas near tracks.

One technique I thought up but never got around to trying is spackling. It should be easy to form into banks, and could easily be covered with baking soda or WS snow.

Rand Hood had an excellent 2 part article in Model Railroader, I believe January and February 1996 that showed how he made winter scenery. His work is spectacular! Some of his techniques are really involved, but the article is a great read for the theories of winter scenery (color, texture, melting, etc).

Steve B

I had a quick look through my MR mags but must have missed that one, i didn't know baking soda was corrosive to NS rail, i'll have to watch that. In a cutting i am looking at doing i could make form's from styrene to make the cut that a rotary snow plough would make, i think i'd do the side walls first from white plaster of paris then fill in between the gap at track level with the WS stuff.

Groveden i see you have a picture of a steam train in snow, did you do the snow ???
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Running the MC & Buffalo
Steve There is a material called flocking, We use to use it on Christmas Trees like real snow . You just spray it where you want to and it sticks to it .

grove den

naturally natural trees
12 weeks to go!!!

Hello Steve'

No, I did not make the snow shown on that picture. It is a first attempt of Mr. Martin Tolkemit . He is a member of an modelrailwayclub in Lippstadt/Germany. He made the snow bij using(fast look in dictionary:rolleyes: ):gypsum, That powder stuff wich will harden,in combination with water very quicky.You can slow it down with beer:rolleyes: ,donot laugh!!!I do:D but it's true:eek: He painted the snow covered areas white and added "HEKI schneediamantin" But I do not think if that is sold in the States or Great- Brittain. Mr Tolkemit told me for him it was too like inventing a wheel again!!
There is also a great difference between snow of only 1 - 2 iches or 2 feet!! I think the layout with the 1-2 inch snow could be more difficult than the one with 2 feet of snow(in HO scale:D :D
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Steve B

Nice idea, i have seen that beer here somewhere locally, Mmmm, i just got a 50 lb bag of white plaster of paris to practice with

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