Modeling a Forest Hill with Martin Tarnrot

Duration: 3:44

In this video, modeler Martin Tarnrot will demonstrate how he models a forest hill without making any actual model railroad trees. Martin makes them smaller than they would normally be to enhance the forced perspective. To begin, Martin shows a forest that is close to where he lives. One can notice that there is a difference in the color of the foliage, but that the individual trees can’t be seen. In his scene, he has added more eye-catching model railroad trees in front while keeping the forest hill in the back to add the perspective.

The base material in Martin’s forest hill is poly fiber green from Woodland Scenics, specifically FP178. The material itself is close to what one would find in pillows and stuffing, but colored green. For the application, Martin uses spray glue.

To begin, he tears a piece of poly fiber off, and pulls it apart in all directions. He then mists some spray glue over the entire piece, and then sprinkles a variety of turfs, including coarse and fine in different colors to create varying textures and colors. Next he glues these pieces in place on the mountainside. He adds grass glue with a brush to the spot on the mountain he wants to place the foliage. Adding these pieces is a cheat to change the perspective when an area is too close to the backdrop.

For more tree-making techniques like how to make a tree holding tool, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.

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