MRA Editors

Blending Grass into Model Railroad Desert Scenery

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Duration:   16  mins

So you want to build a desert model railroad scene, but you’re unsure how to attack the unorthodox terrain. When working with model railroad desert scenery, it can be challenging to create a realistic landscape that doesn’t require months to complete. That is, of course, unless you know how to utilize the proper materials to cut down on the amount of time and stress you put into the project. And thanks to new products that allow you to better blend the elements of a scene, the process of constructing model railroad desert scenery has been drastically simplified from the old method of handcrafting every blade of grass and patch of gravel. In this lesson, we teach you the techniques you’ll need to be able to expertly blend commercial grass into any model railroad desert scenery.

Blending grass into model railroad desert scenery

To walk you through the step-by-step procedure for using commercial grass to make your model railroad desert scenery more realistic, modeler George Sebastian-Coleman demonstrates a variety of expert tips that help blur the line between grass and gravel. He uses his example model of the Alpine Tunnel district of Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad to show you the proper technique for setting and blending fabric grass mats with the underlying gravel that has already been poured.

First things first, George teaches you the benefits of using new commercial grass mats, which are wholly superior to the solid green turf that used to be available. He explains why the fabric body of the mats allow you to better manipulate the shape of the grass to the slop of your model railroad desert scenery, and then adheres one of these mats to his own model railroad desert scenery with tacky glue and caulk.

Next, George shows you how to remove the squareness of the grass mat and detract attention from any harsh separating lines by using powder and commercial buffalo grass. And finally he adds a bit of visual appeal to the scene by cutting a dry creekbed into the grass mat. Try out his expert blending methods on your own model railroad desert scenery, and you’ll vastly improve the realism of your landscape!

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