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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Among the Shades of Green

Among the Shades of Green

If you are new to building scenery or an old hand at the craft, a good place to polish up your skills in adding scenery to a flat, open field.

Not only will this exercise quickly change the look of your layout but is also an example of tricking the eye into seeing more than is actually there. 

To get started, seal the area with flat earth colored latex paint. This is available at every paint and home improvement store. Custom mixed quarts and gallons can be mixed to order or for smaller jobs, many stores offer paint samples in smaller sizes for only a few dollars. One can also use acrylic craft paints that are sold at craft stores. This paint will provide a base for additional layers of scenery materials that will be applied in stages. 

With the base coat dry, apply an even layer of full strength scenery cement and sift a thin layer of earth colored fine turf into the glue. A light misting of water with a few drops of liquid detergent over top of this layer will help the glue penetrate the turf to firmly affix this starter course. An alternative for this base coat of turf when covering a flat surface is to cut a piece of earth colored grass mat material to size and glue in place. 

The field will start to come to life when a thinned half glue and half water mixture of scenery cement is applied over the earth turf and a light coat of moss green is sifted over top. Make certain to leave some open spots and vary the depth of the green turf. Mist over this first green layer with the spray bottle with the ‘wet’ water and allow it to dry.

Mist the field with the spray bottle and very lightly sift a thin layer of grass green turf followed by an equally thin application of yellow turf to provide high lights. Work from the front of the project to the rear adding more of the darker green to the foreground and more lighter highlights towards the rear. This will simulate have the eye sees closer objects as being darker and object farther away are usually seen as being lighter.

Mix up a spray bottle with four parts water, one part scenery cement and a couple of drops of liquid detergent. Now lightly spray the glue mix over the entire field. While the field is still wet randomly scatter some dark green coarse turf to simulate those random darkly colored weeds that seem to spring up in almost every field. Over spray this layer with the glue mixture as well. 

At this juncture the field has taken shape. The variety of colors and textures not only adds realism to the scene but also creates the illusion of size and depth. The various shades appear to have added relief to an otherwise completely flat surface. The next step is to add additional detail to the field with the inclusion of larger scrubs and bushes made using foliage clumps and by adding some trees along the edge plus a simple fence constructed of fancy tooth picks and rust colored thread. Tall grasses created by the use of JTT detachable wheat and flower bushes flank the right of way to clearly define open fields from busy main line. The different colors and textures along with a few other details will enhance the realism of an otherwise simple scene. 
Author:George Riley

This article is from "Detailing Scenery with MRC - JTT Landscaping Tips and Techniques.
CLICK HERE to download the entire magazine.

Materials used for this project
  • 95128 Fine Earth Turf or 95411 Golden Straw Grass Mat
  • 95134 Burnt Grass Ground Cover Turf fine
  • 95132 Yellow Straw Ground Cover Turf fine
  • 95138 Dark Green Ground Cover Turf fine
  • 95008 Grass Green Ground Cover Turf Medium
  • 95137 Moss Green Ground Cover Turf Coarse
  • 95139 Dark Green Ground Cover Turf Course
  • 95146 Blossom Flowering Turfs Medium
  • 95057 Light Green Foliage-Fiber Cluster Coarse
  • 95058 Medium Green Foliage-Fiber Cluster Coarse
  • 95581 Detachable flower bushes
  • 95579 Detachable Wheat Bushes
  • Saplings (1 pack ea.)
  • 3 or 4 Assorted JTT Trees

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