Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
is asleep
Joined
·
758 Posts

www.bahnbilder.de

Modelling Snow

Hello all,

Snow is a significant form of precipitation on any Alpine railway and so as a modeller of the Austrian and Swiss national railways then I would love to have a section of my layout representing winter.

Has anyone tried modelling snow and can they recommend a technique? Have they seen it really well done on an exhibition layout anywhere, or on someones website?

One advantage of snow is that it covers everything uniformly so once you find a convincing way of doing it then modelling a large area of wintery terrain becomes quite simple - just place all the trees, cars, black paint for paint roads, houses, streetlamps and anything else you want to see poking out of the snow...and then blanket the whole lot by your preferred method!

Which brings me back to the tricky bit, the so-called preferred method? A search of google yielded some options mainly from model wargaming websites, which I have virtually copied and pasted to here:

1. Silicate-based "snow" flock by Woodland Scenics etc. designed for model railways.

2. White "Celluclay". If you want a dusting of snow you can use your usual ground cover methods and then, after a soaking of dilluted white glue or acrylic modeling medium, sprinkle on some "marble dust." IMHO, is the best small scale representation of snow.

3. Paint the ground white, then cover in a grey flock, and drybrush white. This is simple but crude.

4. Durhams water putty. Powder mixes with water and dries rock hard. Mix and apply to base. Sculpt snow drifts etc.. at this time. When dry, paint white.

5. Games Workshop employees use fine sugar-substitutes. Sprinkle on and use PVA glue to hold in place.

6. The best method is finely ground marble dust and it can be bought in bags from model railway suppliers. It even sparkles!

7. Pre-mixed tile grout. It dries snow white in no time, and looks like snow.

Hmmm. Plenty of ways of doing it then! But which will work best in N scale or H0 scale? The marble dust sounds particularly good...?

Being a terrible humbug* (
) I'm not trying to model Christmas here, just an ordinary winter day/night with freshly fallen snow (i.e. not very dirty!!) so it will probably be fairly mountainous terrain or a forest etc. between two tunnels in a mountain valley.

*What a festive topic this is, ho ho ho!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
I too intend to model snow on my US layout, and have done a fair bit of research on the topic. I've been advised that marble dust is not the sort of stuff you want to be inhaling.
I intend to go with Woodland Scenics snow which apparently will look a bit grubby before too long and will need refreshing. If it gets dirty I'll vacuum it up. Unfortunately that'll get a bit costly, but I do like the idea of having fresh snowfall in different places from time to time. I don't want a heavy snowfall, so I doubt I'll be using putty or plaster, although experiments suggest that dry plaster powder looks pretty good when scattered around.
There's bare plaster in this photo, mixed and used as landforms. It's not intended to be an example of good snow, but I think it does show potential. Chiselled or sanded, it can look quite convincing, in my opinion. Certainly when I've sprinkled a little plaster powder over grasses etc it has looked pretty good. I'll have to experiment some more.


Mike
 

·
Chief mouser
Joined
·
11,775 Posts
QUOTE (goedel @ 11 Dec 2007, 11:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*What a festive topic this is, ho ho ho!


Indeed it is....and on the topic of snow Jarvis do a snow powder mixed with finely ground glass which gives the sparkle effect. I haven't seen any stockists recently but I'm sure someone out there could source it if required.

Don't forget Preiser do an HO Father Christmas (and a girl in Santa costume!) for that festive feel.

Regards
 

·
is asleep
Joined
·
758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE (mikelhh @ 11 Dec 2007, 12:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I too intend to model snow on my US layout, and have done a fair bit of research on the topic. I've been advised that marble dust is not the sort of stuff you want to be inhaling.
That is like plaster or any fine powder I suppose. That it can get into your lungs means that it can get into mechanisms so I suppose marble dust should be glued down in some way and then attacked with a vacuum cleaner to remove any lose material, before a face mask is taken off - let alone a train run!

QUOTE I intend to go with Woodland Scenics snow which apparently will look a bit grubby before too long and will need refreshing. If it gets dirty I'll vacuum it up. Unfortunately that'll get a bit costly, but I do like the idea of having fresh snowfall in different places from time to time. I don't want a heavy snowfall, so I doubt I'll be using putty or plaster, although experiments suggest that dry plaster powder looks pretty good when scattered around.
It is interesting that you are intending to use 'loose' snow, I suppose this is more practical in larger scales when you can get away with larger and safer particle sizes.

Thanks for the inspiring pictures too, they certainly do hint at the potential of your method!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Worra' bout using fine washing detergent as a scatter? It would stick to PVA etc, and would make the railway room smell luffly! Seriously, if you like the effect, bake some in the oven at a very low temperature to get rid of most of the smell. I wouldn't recommend it in a damp place, though!
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
QUOTE (dooferdog @ 14 Dec 2007, 05:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Worra' bout using fine washing detergent as a scatter? It would stick to PVA etc, and would make the railway room smell luffly! Seriously, if you like the effect, bake some in the oven at a very low temperature to get rid of most of the smell. I wouldn't recommend it in a damp place, though!

***A creative thought but not all that wise I think:

Washing powders are caustic, and its quite concentrated in powder form - I'd not want them lying around the layout.

Some types of washing powders + a chemical I'll not name plus heat are quite a good explosive, and they DO give off some less than friendly gasses when just heated, so I'd not bake them either.

Richard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,499 Posts
QUOTE (kiwionrails @ 20 Jan 2013, 14:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Look out your window


I am and I suspect it's doing the same here as it is outside your window mate


Kind regards

Paul
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,703 Posts
QUOTE (madon37s @ 20 Jan 2013, 15:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am and I suspect it's doing the same here as it is outside your window mate


Kind regards

Paul
Yep, although probably alot less given i'm in Cambridge, which doesn't seem to get very much of the stuff......
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top