Doug Tagsold

Creating a Snow Base on the DFR&W

Doug Tagsold
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Duration:   6  mins

To create a snow base, modeling paste, an acrylic medium, titanium white acrylic paint, and gel medium is used. These three products are mixed together in equal proportions that will create a snow base for the snow. Belows with snowflakes are used over the base. One is colored and called Slushy to appear like melting snow, one is called Fluffy Wet used for warmer days, and finally Cold Dry, which is the snow Doug Tagsold used on his Denver Front Range & Western Winter Park scene.

The three components are mixed very well and a touch of blue is added – the tip of a toothpick is enough as blue goes a long way towards tainting white. The mixture is ready when it forms peaks so it will dry in the form desired. A pallet knife found at any artist store is used to start setting it in the scene. The area does not need to be wet beforehand, otherwise the mixture would get too runny. Once the base is built thicker areas are added in. The snow is swept up against the rock forms on the scene, swept one direction to create the illusion that a wind pattern is sweeping the snow that way.

Once the snow substrate is down, the Slushy formula is added to create some shadows in the banks that were created. This creates variation in an otherwise single tone white, giving dimension to the surface. Then the Fluffy Wet is added in with a heavy hand so it looks slightly melted. The are is misted over with a spray to create a crusty snow that is icy on top, starting to melt. An area with that melting snow and ice trickling down through a little ravine is shown as an example. For more reading on scenery, some suggestions of Model Railroader magazines are given.

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