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Snow on layout

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Snow on layout
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 14, 2002 12:45 AM
Hey I was wondering if yall can help me. I am working on an HO scale layout that takes place in Decemeber 20-25, 1950 and I want to know where what I can do for snow, and what the best way to go about this. Ok my orginial plans were to model everything the way it would look before it snow, except for a frozen river, iceilies, and a couple more minor details, and then I would sprinkle the "snow" on the layout. BUT after readings some of yalls post, I dunno if thats a good idea. Please help me. Thank you.
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 14, 2002 2:55 PM
I've used the Woodland Scenic snow pretty effectively in the past. It is rather pricy though if you are going to decorate an entire layout with it.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 2:19 PM
Baking powder works good.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 6:05 PM
Baking powder or Baking soda?
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 7:26 PM
Theres a diffrence? No one have answear my qestion on what the best way to apply the snow? Do I glue it on or can I just sprinkle it on?
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 10:34 PM
Yes, there is a difference. I don't know which was intended by the person who left that response, but I have been experimenting with various products and, personally, found baking soda (like the Arm & Hammer stuff in the yellow box) to look the closest. I have yet to settle on anything, though, because of what you mentioned about securing the stuff. Baking soda looks quite good just as it falls, but it becomes nothing but a mess when you wet it with anything. I would like to know if anybody has used baking soda and left it unsecured. I don't believe I want to leave it that way, as I can't imagine it wouldn't get up in the locomotive mechanisms if it was just left loose.
I agree that the Woodland Scenics product looks pretty decent, but I much prefer the look of baking soda when placed carefully as I think its consistency has more of a scale appearance, whereas the W. Scenics product just isn't as fine.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 17, 2002 6:26 PM
I thought Baking Soda cake up after while and it doesn't look like snow anymore.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 19, 2002 12:14 AM
SUGGESTION'S:FAKE SNOW LIKE YOU PUT ON TABLE CHRISTMAS DISPLAY,OR MAYBE PUT STIRAFORM IN FOOD BLENDER,THE SPRAY GLUE ON THEN ADD SNOW,BREAK DOWN YOUR ELEMER'S GLUE ( WATER) SO YOU CAN SPRAY FROM BOTTLE AND GO FOR THE SNOW STUFF.....
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Posted by CNJ831 on Saturday, October 19, 2002 8:41 AM
Whatever material is used to replicate the snow must be secured/glued down. If not, it will eventually work its way into the mechanism of the locomotive and onto the track, creating endless problems. Some household materials resembling snow are actually corrosive and will damage wheels, motors, etc.

The best procedure I've seen is to cover your "ground" with the snow-like material of choice (even thin plaster will do), wet it, and then overspray with diluted white glue, matte medium (best choice), etc., and let dry completely. Now over-spray the surface again with a light coating of your glue/matte medium and very lightly sprinkle on a topping of A.D. Land Scaping's "shimmering snow" (see Walthers catalog for this and similar products) from a handheld sifter, tapping it lightly on the side with your finger. This process will secure all the particulates so nothing can get into your equipment but the surface remains sparkley/grannular, rather than just a solid mass (really, this final appearance is more for "impression" than actual since snow drifts viewed from 200+ feet away - the way we see our trains - will look like an absolutely solid mass).

John

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 19, 2002 10:07 PM
I have seen a couple of examples in print of snow on layouts that are quite excellent, and I would love to know if that is the method they used. On the very last page of the Nov. 02 MR (the Along the Line feature)is a scene from D. Tagsold's D&RGW which looks quite good. Whatever he used, it sure doesn't look like it could be secured....looks so nice and fluffy. Maybe its just done so well that it is that deceiving to the eye. Or perhaps that shot was taken on a temporary diorama which doesn't actually see operation so it didn't need to be secured. There is also a photo which I believe is the best looking snow on a model railroad that I've ever seen in print....I can't for the life of me find it right now, but I know it placed in MR's annual photo contest sometime in recent years, and they sometimes still show it in a little inset when they are advertising for the next contest. It shows a train approaching in rural area with blue sky and bright sunshine, power lines crossing the scene with excellent looking heavy frost on them, and a path through the snow to some mailboxes near the tracks. The way the snow along the path has seemingly been shoveled or kicked up looks so convincing I have marveled many times at the photo, amazed again that the snow was somehow modeled. If anyone knows which one I'm talking about and has an idea how it was done, I would be very appreciative for the shared information.
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Posted by CNJ831 on Sunday, October 20, 2002 8:01 AM
Yes, I know exactly the MR photo you are referring to. As a published model railroad photographer myself I took particular note of that photo and recall it was done on a temporary photo-diorama. The "snow" was baking soda or baking powder sifted on to the small scene shortly before the exposure was made. Temprary stuff like this is easy to do effectively...permanent such scenes are a whole different story!

John
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, October 20, 2002 5:27 PM
I would like to take this time to thank everyone who helped me with this problem. Thank you very much.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 8, 2002 8:59 PM
Ok,snow,here we go!John Allens technique for making permenant snow which was used on his Gorre and Dephited railroad.Get the whitest finest grained molding plaster.Spray on a fine mist of water over the entire scene,then sprinkle the plaster over everything through a fine strainer.Where more snow is needed apply more water mist and more molding plaster,a tablespoon at a time,until it looks right.The only tools needed are a fine strainer,a tablespoon,a small paint bru***o move any misplaced snow,and a shop vacuum to clean up any excess plaster that had`nt stuck.The area beside the track is handled a little differently,mist on water and apply dry plaster to cover the ties to a level slightly below the top of the rail.With a small ruler smooth the areas between the rails and directly beside the track to look as a flanger or a locomotive plow had shoved it to the side.This will make small continuous snowbanks alongside the track.Several passes of water mist holds everything in place.Clean out the flangeways with a knife and several old pairs of old AHM wheel sets with oversized flanges and wipe up the excess plaster with paper towels.If you want shadows as seen in real snowscapes,dilute black dye with water and spray it onto the areas where you want shadows.The diluted black dye won`t change the appearance immediatly.With repeated applications,the depth will slowly appear.It will still look like snow and not dirty snow,but will have realistic shadows.As with other parts of your scenery,you need to occasionaly clean up dust with a shop vacuum with a nylon stocking over the nozzle.For spot touch-up just use water mist and strained white molding plaster.If bad spots occure just chip away plaster with a modeling knife and make it snow again.

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