May I wish all Model Rail readers and followers of this Blog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Many thanks to all who have posted comments or Emailed me at the magazine in relation to what has appeared on these pages over the past year. I hope that you all find the Blog worth reading. I hadn’t expected so many people to ‘tune in’ (over 40,000 hits in the first 12 months!), and I’ll try and keep improving the content over the coming year.
Indeed, 2011 looks to be an exciting year with some very tempting new models due soon. I'm particularly looking forward to the Hattons/Heljan 'Co-Bo', Heljan's 4-whl Railbus, Bachmann's LMS 'Twins' and Freightliner Class 70 (just hitting the shelves now, I believe), plus a few of Hornby's recently announced new models for 2011, especially the .... Oooops, almost gave it away - look out for a full list of what will be appearing from Hornby in the new Model Rail - out next week!
To keep with the Festive theme (and mirroring the conditions outside), here are a few images of a snow scene I created for Model Rail a few years ago. Using Scenic Snow and Scenic Shovelled Snow from Deluxe Materials, the scene was knocked up fairly quickly as a demo stage for the two products that were just about to be released. It’s good stuff and, having trialled it a few more times since, I'm happy to recommend it over other brands.
My own preference for application is to brush the scenic area with a PVA-type glue (a fairly thin mixture rather than a 'neat' woodworking glue), especially onto rooftops and over flat ground. For dense areas of vegetation and trees, a spray glue will be helpful, preferably something like Deluxe's Scenic Spray or Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement from a mister bottle. Let the glue become slightly tacky before scattering the 'snow' from above using a dessert spoon or suchlike.
To seal the snow in place, I recommend the use of a clear matt varnish, sprayed at a very low pressure from an airbrush (and at a distance of about 12-18in). Spray glues and hairspray can create too much mess and disturb your nicely arranged snow drifts with their high pressure propellant. Besides, a lot of spray scenic glues (and some hairsprays) remain tacky when dry and, while this is great for the underlying adhesive, a sticky upper surface will simply attract dust and debris. Varnish, on the other hand, will dry hard and give a strong bond (I use Johnsons Klear or Humbrol Mattcote) and it doesn't matter about it overspray landing on structures or track as it will be invisible when dry (and not sticky!).
Incidentally, the Deluxe Shovelled Snow material can also be mixed with a little PVA to form a thick paste that can then be formed into shapes – perfect for a snowman!
All the best - see you in 2011!