Model Railway Forum banner

Beaches, sand and plaster

978 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  upnick
Hello all
Need a bit of scenery advice.
I have a small section of beach on my layout. What I am aiming for is a crescent, about a metre long, of quite steeply sloping sand, running into sea, backed by a sea wall.
I am a scenery novice, and working out how to do all this is giving me a headache.
What works best for the beach? I plan to build up the contours using a mish-mash of plaster and cardboard. But could I just use actual sand, mixed with dilute PVA, applied directly to the baseboard, to make the beach? Save a lot of hassle (if a bit heavy, but my layout is not meant to be portable).
Would this work? If not, will actual sand used as scatter material look better than sand-effect propriatary stuff?
Now them water. I need a couple of square feet of the stuff. Which is best? What colour should the surface be UNDER the water? Sand all the way out?
Finally, sea wall. Does anyone make realistic granite or concrete sea walls?

Finally finally - what is view out there on using plaster? Is it a suitable material for forming landscape surfaces, rock faces and so on? Are there specialist products that are better? The base of my scenery is, generally, mod-rock over card-lattice.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Hiya mike,

Could you post some pictures of your layout so i can see what i could suggest...... there are many ways of doing sandy beaches, i just hae to know what it looks like before suggesting something...

Hope i can help you

Hello Nikki
Thanks. I'll try to post some pictures this evening. There's not much to see, just baseboardery at the moment but gives an idea of the space and scale of what is needed.


kewl i will work out what i would do then ... might help you !! are drawings any good too ...!


I would do a smooth surfave from plaster first. Remember sand s very fine and you want something that is a scale version of it - in this case sand is not a good idea. Instead try some suede finish paint from the plasticote range, Should be subtle enough for scale sand.

Hope that helps

Chinchilla sand is a better option than real sand as it's far finer. It's available from pet shops.

You need to get some idea of the beach you are trying to create, e.g. the beach on my layout starts off as sand to a certain depth when it becomes rock covered by seaweed.

It's better to work from a photo.
Hi Mike,

Kill two birds with one stone and use the insulation sheet for the structure /bulk of the area you want to cover and carve the rock/seawalls out covering in sand where you need to ..... mod roc is good for areas to be grassed but not so much for cliffs/rocks features.

Its a light and very easy material to work with and comes in various sheet sizes from 4ft X 2ft.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.