As promised in THIS TOPIC I thought I would post the results of my first experiment on sand for my OO Gauge, African WWII Desert themed layout.
On the advice from Trev at Train Times in Eastbourne I gave the Javis "Yellow Grass" a go, and glued it directly onto some thin card (hence the bowing) with Scenery Cement, I didn't wet it at all as some have suggested, and its not sealed in any way as this is only the test.
I'd like to get your feedback on how this looks:
Please ignore the loco, its a disgusting old thing which I just put there to get some perspective.
Here is a closeup:
I also tried some sand from a pet store, the finest they had, and it still looked far too coarse.
The Javis stuff seems to be the correct colour from what I have seen so far, but my only concern is the texture. As you can see in the above closeup it takes on a bit of a "Fluffy" appearance.
Anyway, opinions please! does it pass for sand? I've been staring at so many different sands over the past few days that I really need some other perspectives on what looks right!
My problem is: all "non prepared" sand's such as pet shop sand, anything designed for modelling usage, seems to be dyed to a constant tone all over, very little contrast in it.
Real sand, such as that from a builders merchant, or from the beach, is really far too coarse, I've tried two kinds and the grains in some cases are half the size of a sleeper...which would lead to a more yellow surface of an alien planet appearance.
All ideas received with open arms! I don't want to resort to grinding my own sand in a mortar and pestle and then painting each grain individually... I've got a whole room to cover here
They sell many varieties of sand including what seems to be very fine stuff such as 'Blinding Sand' (!). Even if they are not local to you they can at least advise on grain sizes available in the market and how much you can expect to pay. There are some very small grain sizes used in construction and so someone somewhere will have a 20kg bag of just the stuff your after.
It seems a bit of a non-standard quest to be satisfied by a conventional model shop/company. Good luck with your project, I can't wait to see how it turns out!
QUOTE (John Webb)Would a book on military modelling be worth looking at? After all they model WW2 desert scenes frequently. Or is it less of a problem for them because they tend to use larger scale model3?
Thanks John, I've actually got myself a WW2 book on Modelling. It even had a section on modelling a Panzer diorama for Rommell's Desert Rats! In it they suggest play sand from the Early Learning center, which I've looked at but isn't right.
Thanks Dan, I did actually do the unthinkable yesterday and go into a warhammer shop, where they had this stuff, I tried it over a undulating landscape and it didn't do too well, far too many creases and the such for it to be useful for making dunes and waddi's.
Which was a shame as It would have been an ideal, and simple, solution!
Could have something there Gödel. Not directly, but looking around that site I see they do fine sand for Equestrian uses.
It just so happens that we have a horse...although its nothing to do with me, and it happens to have a sand school, we must have bags of the stuff laying around somewhere, I'll go up to the stable first thing in the morning and see what I can find, then I'll report back with the results sometime tomorrow evening, we'll see what happens!
Thanks a lot to all of you! It really is appreciated.
Hmm, a thought occurs to me. When I was at secondary school, we used to have an aluminium casting set-up, where you had to use fine grained sand mixed with a bit of oil in order to get a solid, high detail mould. That might be a useful area to look at.
Well the glue has dried and its all sealed, to be honest its a lot more "solid" than I expected, now I'd like your opinions on this "real" sand, its as fine as I could buy and is is a special mix, ruddy expensive but, in my opinion, it looks rather good, lets see what you make of it:
I put the flash on next to help pick out the different colours in the mix so excuse the lack of quality on these two:
Much better - it looks like sand, which I suppose was the object of the exercise. The first attempt, the yellow stuff, was too uniform in colour and therefore doesn't look right. Also don't forget desert sand is, or can be, very different size wise to beach sand due to the different methods of creation.
Yes It is a little too white, but painting it all would look wrong I think, and only painting some of it probably wouldn't look so hot either, however, I think the texture and grain size is as close as I'm going to get, so this is the sand I'll be sticking with, its just the colour issue now.
Yes that engine is far too clean! To be honest, that's the only complete, working, steam loco I have to date, Diesels have always been my thing. However once the sand is down, the landscape moulded and the track down. I plan on investing in a Bachmann WD Austerity in Khaki, which is a beautiful model and I know they were used in the African theater in WWII so its just luck that its the only model available in a desert scheme!
But at the moment the RRP of £103, and average selling price of £80, is out of my budget until the base is at least 30% done!
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