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Tips on Model Railway Landscaping.

What I do first , before I pin down the track, is paint the baseboard all over with dark grey or black matt emulsion MASONRY paint. Buy a large tin of this type paint from a DIY outlet, it is cheaper that way. I use masonry paint because it is durable & seems to remain flexible so is not prone to cracking.

So ........ you have your newly built & painted baseboard with the track carefully pinned in place & tested. All your locomotives & rolling stock are all running smoothly without derailments, what next?

All you have is a flat barren featureless landscape. There are many proprietary model landscaping materials available to buy. You will need some green & brown scatter etc, but before that you need to think about the terrain. Just scattering the "grass" on a flat baseboard doesn't capture reality, look out of your window, it is always good for reference. 

I make hills & general uneven ground with emulsion paint, newspaper, toilet tissue & a mixture of "scatter" & more emulsion paint.

Here's how to do it:

Move your locomotives & rolling stock before you start, as this process can get messy!

Liberally coat the baseboard area where you want the hills or undulations, then screw up some newspaper roughly into a ball or sausage shape. Stick the newspaper to the baseboard with the paint that is already there. Next, paint some more masonry emulsion on the newspaper & place a sheet or two of toilet tissue over the painted newspaper. Work the toilet paper in with your paintbrush, using plenty of emulsion paint. It is messy & quite good fun, and when it dries, a very realistic hill appears. The randomness of they way you do it mimics nature fairly closely, so you do not always know what you are going to get! Add some scatter for effect while the paint is wet & then paint over it & scatter some more on - etc etc.
"Tarmac" can be made by coating the area where you want your road with more emulsion paint & liberally scatter all over the wet paint, then using more emulsion, mix up the pain with the scatter for a textured road finish - perfect! When the "hills " are thoroughly dry, pick out some random parts with gloss water based varnish, this gets rid of the dry & crusty "dead" effect" that I see on many model railways. Use a lot of gloss varnish on a flat area to simulate flooding or puddles. Scatter around it to make it look real. It is a bit like painting a 3D work of art . . . . - well almost!

But don't forget, after 6 days of  "terraforming" your world - have a day off!

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