Adding details to the Landscape

This article deals with adding more details to the landscape. The general impression needed is that of a rough, rural grazing land running behind the station and up to the corn field and the harvesting scene.

In order to achieve this I first painted the entire plaster with a pale wash of grey using poster paint diluted with quite a lot of water. Having dried, this looked quite effective and parts have been left just like this to create the impression of rocky outcrops. Most of the area was smeared with PVA glue - do this quite thickly - and then sprinkled quite randomly with two different shades of green, brown and 'heather texture' scatter to create an effect of rough grass. Be as creative as possible, merging the different coloured scatter material until you get an effect that you like. I used, in places, a scatter labelled 'meadow green' which looked quite suitable in the packet - however, when it became in contact with the glue it turned a very unrealistic turquoise colour! Mistakes such as these can easily be rectified by waiting until the offending patch has dried, spreading on more glue and then sprinkling a different shade of scatter over the top. Adding scatter in layers like this in various places also helps to create contours in the landscape.

I decided that I would have a rough path along the front edge of the 'cliff' and this was created with just a line of sprinkled scatter in a brown shade leading up to and along the edge of the corn field. The hikers walking up the hill are Preiser (Cat. No.79074). The description on the packet describe them as 'Wanderers' and 'Vagabonds'!

The meadow

The field itself is enclosed with 'metal' dry stone walling (available from 4D Models). This was just fettled where necessary, joined together and stuck down using 'Araldite' epoxy resin. It is possible to bend the wall to follow certain contours if gentle pressure is applied - don't do as I did and just break it in half! (I had to enlist a bit of help with that bit). I created a small gap in the wall where it meets the path, and have been informed that certainly in Yorkshire, these rather than stiles are quite common, so I've used artistic license and pretended they're in Derbyshire as well!

The wall was painted firstly with a watery wash of grey poster paint, and then when dry I used a dry brush to apply raw umber poster paint quite sparingly. I think the result is quite realistic. The joins in the wall were disguised with more scatter; this time instead of the loose powder type it was purchased in small 'sheets' (from 4D Models) and could be pulled off and teased gently to create various sized clumps of 'gorse'. I also used this on the grassy slope in different places, and also above the tunnel and growing in clumps out of the rocky crevices. I also placed some at the 'joint' with the backscene and under a small clump of trees (Busch Cat. No. 6535) added on the slope near the corn field. I used a mixture of blue, yellow red and pink shades.

The small patch of ground between the platform and the base of the rocks, (behind the station building) I have made into a patch of waste ground, again by smearing glue onto the area and adding a mixture of green and brown scatter as before. My intention is to use it to store things like logs for the fire inside the station building, and any other station rubbish, such as broken luggage trolleys, perhaps.

The grassy mixture of scatter was also applied to areas of the rocks above the tunnel, but in places this has been left quite bare to give the impression of erosion and sparse growth.

While I had my grey poster paint handy, I painted the road using a pale wash to give an impression of wear.

When you have finished laying the landscape let it dry thoroughly. One lesson I learned is to remember to be liberal with the glue before laying the scatter, otherwise when you come to hoover off the excess it will all lift off. In places I found the scatter had not stuck down and the only solution was to apply a thin mixture of water/glue/washing-up liquid. This works quite well when it eventually soaks in and dries (which takes a couple of days), but looks AWFUL when it has just been applied as the whole layout looks as though it has been gripped by a severe frost! So, be warned, if you want to avoid that sinking feeling of thinking you've ruined all your hard work, apply lots of glue the first time round!