How to Paint Realistic Rocks

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Modeler Martin Tarnrot is back with another video on improving model railroad scenery. In this video, Martin will demonstrate how to paint realistic rock sides, specifically those that have a lot of iron in them. The prototype is a rockside with streaks of reddish mineral iron. He begins by casting these rocksides with rubber molds and filling them with Woodland Scenics Hydrocal. Raw umber paint is more neutral while the burnt umber has more of a reddish tint, which is preferable in this project. Martin makes the paint very thin by adding in water and brushes it on the rock with a brush.

To add more detail to the model railroad scenery rock, Martin uses smaller brushes and different colors. He uses a yellow, white, and burnt umber. Beginning with the yellow, he adds in spots by observing the prototype and repeats with the red and dark brown. For a wash, he mixes the original color with the burnt umber, a touch of black, and a lot of water. He adds this mix to the top of the rock and sprays it down with water to float over the surface. The last step is adding a layer of light brown that is dry brushed to highlight the contours of the rock. For more on model railroad scenery like creating rock scenery, or casting rock structures, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.

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One Response to “How to Paint Realistic Rocks”
  1. JOHN E.

    Mr. Tarnrot, you have some awesome skills! I have watched many of your video’s here on MRA, and on you You Tube Channel. I would just like to Thank You Very Kindly for sharing your knowledge with everyone. In today’s world, I think it is important to share knowledge so the skills are not lost to time. Unlike the days before the Internet, if you didn’t take someone or a group of people under your wing and teach them, the knowledge was lost. So many old time skills have been lost due to time, so I can’t Thank You Enough for you sharing you knowledge for future generations. Instead of rediscovering them, they have a chance to be improved upon in years to come.
    John

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