Wednesday, October 28, 2009

S'now time like the present

(This post was written a month ago but for a variety of reasons has been left unfinished till now)

Todays mind wanderings lead to another layout idea, and one which I don't think has been explored at all in this country; a Snow scene. This could be because we see ourselves as living in the south Pacific in a loverly warm climate. Evidence outside my window as I speak would suggest otherwise as I can see across to snow capped mountains, and it sure wasn't that warm biking home last night.

The big problem I think comes with actually have to represent something which is soft, fluffy, white, sparky and melty all at once. I think lighting has a large art to play as well. You can't just leave your plaster white and be done with it, as it just looks like unpainted plaster. Woodland scenics do snow as a scenic cover.

Just to destroy my hypothesis, the latest issue of the local rag has a 6 page spread on a snow themed layout, though not NZR, just a New Zealand setting. And for some odd reason (maybe because I've spent a bit of time in snow recently) the snow doesn't ring true. It just looks too fluffy. Real snow tends to sit as a powder (like sprinkling , and where there is just a sprinkling, it tends to leave real fast unless the air temp is close to zero).

Darryl has just sent me this picture of a snow scene he made many moons ago.
It was made with Silicone caulking and the Vintage Reproductions snow as featured in Rand Hood's MR article some 15 years back.

Areas I could see this being applied to would be a layout set on the midland line, the central plateau or central otago. Other lines get snow but its not a common thing.


Anonymous said...

Very authentic scene Darryl!

For the potential snow-makers,
I found this on the Railroad Forums on

"I used Dave Frary's "recipe" for acrylic snow...
One part Titanium White artists acrylic paint, one part acrylic modeling paste, & one part acrylic gel medium. All of these can be purchased at an art supply store."

... but I'm not sure if these items can be found in NZ art supply stores.

sxytrain said...

A mistake commonly made with snow is that everything gets covered with snow, but we tend to model just the ground cover and forget the trains, vehicles etc all get a covering but not necessarily a whiteout either!

Darryl said...

Forgot about the paint... I used that same paint and silicone caulk from memory. The paint gives it a little shine.

I wasn't terribly impressed with that snow scene, but hope to have another go one day.

One thing I really liked about Rand Hood's MR article was the modeling of melting snow and the edge of a snowscape. After all, in NZ, snow usually doesn't last that long - we don't tend to get the massive several-feet-of-snow accumulations that last for months.