Friday, 12 August 2011

Almost free scenics

Wharf-side vegetation at Brewhouse Quay.

Model Rail Live
 We've never had it so good when it comes to model railway scenery products, and many modellers new to the hobby are likely to think that they HAVE to use bespoke products from the plethora of specialist suppliers that have appeared onto the market over the last few years eager to charm you free of your hard earned cash. That's business and there is nothing wrong with that, with some of the products being quite superb, but we must not forget that with a little imagination there other options using inexpensive ready available materials from the local DIY store or even the garden.

The wharf edge scene here uses very little in the way of bespoke model railway scenic items;
  • The leafy growth is the only model railway scenic item, it being dyed sawdust over sea-moss.
  • The water is PVA over grey paint, though one could use and expensive resin 'water'.
  • The water lily leaves are blobs of green paint over the PVA base, encapsulated under layer of clear gloss varnish.
  • The grass/reeds are traditional plumbers hemp, search Ebay if your pumbers merchant doesn't stock it any more (updated: B&Q stocks it - thanks Mr Hand). You could cut up and old doormat or paint brush instead.
  • The straggelly green bits are fresh moss from the garden, given a good soaking in cheap hairspray to preserve it. All that's needed is to paint the tips mauve to give the effect of flowering buddleia maybe?
See Brewhouse Quay for its first out at Model Rail Live on the 17th 7 18th of September 2011


  1. Plumbers hemp is fabulous stuff. Not free but incredibly cheap - I've still got loads and yet I made at least 3 cornfilds from it. ! hank bought 15 years ago !

  2. So glad i have stubbled across your site. i am going to bookmark or subscribe to your site.

    Thank you for a great site.


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