Need a technique for faux-dirt...

ModelRailroadForums.com 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.


I've used a lot of stuff that is either difficult to work with or doesn't give very pleasing results. Is there something available in the marketplace that is semi-permanent (aka not difficult to remove - like Sculptamold); something that looks like real dirt but that adheres readily to the surface so that dust can be vacuumed up? (Please - no suggestions about ground foam...) :mad:
 

Steve B

Firefighter
I think Harold just about sum's it up in his article. Harolds got loads of usefull how-to's in there for all kinds of projects
 
Using real dirt...

Use real dirt? Just a reminder on that though, SIFT & use a magnet!
2 problems with that suggestion have been causing me to avoid the use of real dirt:
1. Difficult to collect, prepare and apply
2. My local dirt probably isn't the right color or texture
:confused:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

hminky

Member
I wonder how this would look in HO scale? Would the grains of sand look like small rocks? :confused:
The women and the horse are HO scale and the man is OO scale.



That is a OO scale man (about 15% larger than HO). The sand just has to be sifted for each scale.

Just a thought Harold
 

Steve B

Firefighter
I got some sand from the coast a few week's back, washed it and tonight i used it, i mixed a batch of paint up to match the sand, applied it then while it was wet i sprinkled it on nice and even, seams to have stuck well
in this picture you can see that i added fine brown ballast, i also have some fine black sand i also used as ballast, and to finnish off some WS fine grass (more grass to come Harold)
PC140031.jpg


an overall view
PC140030.jpg
 

grove den

naturally natural trees
Thats great Steve...!!
I'll do the same! but I have to add some fine kley to it because sand in scale N looks like rough ballast...And be shure the sand is glued well because your loco's will not apriceate that..;)

Jos
 

B_Kosanda

Member
I got an idea from Joe Fugate and I think I'll stick with it. Use dry plaster of paris mixed with dry tempera paints. The ratio of tempera paint controls the color of the mix. Sift the plaster/paint mixture onto the layout over the painted surface using a small strainer and then lightly mist the mixture to hold it in place. With brown, yellow, red and black tempera you can make almost any color of dirt. The nice thing about this is that it is very fine. I always had trouble with real dirt. No matter how much I ground it up and sifted it, it always seemed to come out too rough with large "grains".

Bill
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
2 problems with that suggestion have been causing me to avoid the use of real dirt:
1. Difficult to collect, prepare and apply
2. My local dirt probably isn't the right color or texture
:confused:
Hi. I can't help with the wrong texture, but any fine gardening soil, dried, sifted, and then mixed with plaster of paris and an appropriate colour of tempura powder or masonary dye would probably turn out to your liking. Spread on the dirt, sprinkle on the P o P and dye combo, or mix it first and then apply to the surface...your choice, and then spritz it liberally with an alcohol and water mixture. Let dry, touch up as desired, add ground foam or tuft grass here and there, etc.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top