When we say 'scenics' in the model railway world, nine times out of ten we mean the green stuff. Grass, plants, trees, all the natural parts of the layout. That said, it doesn't always simply mean the rolling hills. In this article I aim to highlight some helpful products, as well as give new life to some of those sometimes forgotten products. Let's start by looking at what ground cover is available.
These products are the traditional ground cover. Although these are still a very popular product for a budget layout, they tend to give an old school look to the layout when used as the primary ground covers. These are represented in the Gaugemaster Range under references GM101 to GM110.
This is a more modern take on the scatter. It is normally made from a synthetic foam, cut into varying degrees of fineness. This gives a more natural looking cover to that of the scatters. Both Gaugemaster and Faller produce good choices of flocks.
This Premium Terrain Flock is good for giving a bit of height to your fields, bringing the scenics up from being simply a flat 2D landscape. Because of the nature of the product, it also clumps, meaning small bushes can also easily be created with this product.
Well, this one kind of explains itself - it's grass that is static. When applied it represents varying lengths and colours of grass and similar plants. It can be applied in small areas using the Flock Puffer Bottle or in larger areas with use of an electrostatic applicator like the Noch Gras-Master Static Grass Applicator.
The grass is available in the majority of scenic ranges, however for those starting out there are a couple of assortment packs in the Noch range with varying colours under the references N07066 Short Grass Fibres Assortment and N07071 Long Grass Fibres Assortment. All the variants of grass in these packs are also available separately from Noch in varying lengths of fibres and pack sizes. There is also a static grass introductory pack available in the Gaugemaster range under the reference GM196.
For more information on using static grass take a look at my previous article on the subject.
These are essentially preformed rolls of the static grass. They come either backed on paper, or for longer fibres a mat that can be teased apart, you can see the Gaugemaster Grass Mats. Other colours of mats are available in both the Noch and Faller ranges
An 'old-school' method of ground cover, lichen is naturally occurring and dyed. Although some may see it as more of a budget range product, lichen can form the base for some of the more detailed bushes and hedgerows.
Although mostly used for trees and bushes, leaves can also be used as ground cover. Whether they have fallen, or are growing on small bushes, they can be used to great effect. Gaugemaster offer a set of three colours of leaves, and Noch offer a couple of sets as well.
Now we know what products are around, let's have a look at how some of the can be used.
The Old Barn
This small diorama depicts an old barn near the end of its useful life.
This scene makes uses of many of the products listed above. Check out how this scene was made here.
The same process was used for this other autumn scene:
The Abandoned Engine Shed
If you had visited out shop some while ago you may remember this model was on display; "The Abandoned Engine Shed".
I hope reading through this brief article on scenics that you have seen that there are a lot of products on the market, but not all are required for a good effect. Part Two of this article will be looking at trees and bushes, however I hope to look at some of the products listed above in future RIGHT LINES articles.