About Me

Talking About Sculpting With Clay

Hi there, I’m Bennie Rue. Welcome. I am here to talk to you about making sculptures out of clay. When I started working with clay, I used rudimentary techniques to create my sculptures. Unfortunately, the creations did not stand up to the test of time due to a lack of knowledge about the right techniques to use. Over time, I discovered tips and tricks that helped me make lasting creations. I will use this site to share the knowledge I gained about properly using sculpting clay. I invite you to try out the techniques I share to create your own works of art. Thanks.


Talking About Sculpting With Clay

Creating Groundcover for Model Trains

by Gloria Perkins

One of the most fun and creative aspects of maintaining model trains is creating the scenery through which the trains run, and groundcover is key to creating a realistic scene. Model train enthusiasts can find scenery items in model train shops, around the house, or even in the backyard. Read on for some tips on how to make the groundcover for a model train scene realistic and inexpensive to create.

Creating Perspective

Most model train enthusiasts want their model to appear much larger than it is. The way to do this is by creating perspective, and designing multiple heights in the scenery helps with this. Flat land in the foreground with a little town is a good place to start, and then you can create small rolling hills and, finally, mountains with tunnels that the train can wind through. To force perspective, the groundcover on the upper layers or in the background should be smaller than in the lower layers or in the foreground. For example, trees on the flat ground in the foreground of the scenery should be larger than the trees placed on mountaintops. This helps make the trees appear farther away, the mountains taller, and the scene larger overall.

Low Groundcover

Start by painting the surface of the model train scene tan or brown. Some enthusiasts say green is a better choice because it mimics the color of grass, while others say that an earth color is more realistic. After the paint is dry, a lot of model train enthusiasts like to apply something called ground goop. Ground goop is a textured substance that can be made in a variety of ways. Mix textured plaster, vermiculite, or papier mache with water and a bit of green or brown dye, spread it on the surface of the scene, and let it dry. This process creates the perfect textured base for the next level of ground cover.

Medium Groundcover

The second level of ground cover adds a bit more texture to the scene. Purchase dirt, gravel, or fake vines from a model store, or simply hunt in the backyard for these items and arrange them around the scene. This added texture looks particularly nice right next to the tracks or near tunnels. A vine snaking down the side of a tunnel's opening looks particularly realistic. 

High Groundcover

This third level of groundcover includes bushes, which can be made easily. Purchase a package of lichen from the local craft store or hunt through the backyard for a bit of moss. Arrange the lichen or moss around the scene where bushes should be -- maybe along the base of hills or mountains. For taller bushes, simply break a toothpick in half and glue lichen or moss to the toothpick before sticking it into the scene. The moss or lichen eventually will dry out, but likely won't have to be replaced for several years.  

For supplies and more suggestion for creating the perfect groundcover for your model train scene, talk to a hobby store like Ann's Hobby Center.