Model Railway Forum banner

Modelling snow

10035 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  kiwionrails

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!
See less See more
1 - 1 of 13 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.

1 - 1 of 13 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.