Platform and Vegetation

I’ve been plugging away at the diorama and have made some progress. Although progress has been slow it has also been steady. For me landscaping is done in layers over time. For example I installed the crossing and although it looked rough it will do while I work on other areas. Then I’ll come back to the crossing and tidy it up and then move to work on other areas and so on and so on. Sometimes it’s not clear how a feature should look until other areas start coming together so I don’t like to consider any area ‘finished’ until the end.

Here’s where I’m at:


I painted the platform edges – made from basswood and meant to represent repurposed ties – in grey paint and then ran my chalky finger over the grain to give it a weathered look. I think it came out great and represents the weather-beaten look of old worn wood. While I’m pleased with the cracks in the asphalt so far, at a later date I will add some potholes, grass and I will darken the cracks to emphasize them more.


I tidied up the crossing a little and it is starting to look much better. I’m intending to clean up the surface as it still looks messy. I’ll be adding more details at a later date such as grass edges and different shades of dirt and dust.

The edges where the crossing surface and the ballast are looking more prototypical. I’ll add some vegetation to help blend the transition more.
Looks better but still plenty to do before I am happy with it. I’ll be adding some vegetation to soften the edges and I’m going to rework the surface as I want to have a cleaner look (not too weathered).


There are small ditches either side of the entranceway. I like to use a mix of natural materials for these little vignettes. I have store of different grades of rocks and sand and any grades I’m missing I grind up in my pestle and mortar. I’m still not brave enough to use paint to enhance the colors but moving forward I’ll build a few test vignettes and see how best to combine natural materials and paint to create an attractive scene.

I have a range of natural materials (here being used as weights) which I use for landscaping. Most has been collected from railroad rights-of-way. I always take jars with me on my railroad photography trips and if I see a color or texture that I think I can use then I just fill one of my jars. Natural materials scale very well but sometimes they photograph very flat and boring. I think they need to be enhanced with paint or chalk but have yet to take the plunge myself. I’ll experiment with paint once this diorama is finished.
I used tacky glue for the rocks and then added a second finer layer of sand and dirt which I glued down with alcohol, and diluted Mod Podge
Then I added grass tufts which I stuck down with tacky glue.
then I clipped and blended the grass to crate a more realistic vegetation scene. I will be adding more layers of vegetation at a later date.

Brick path

I had some Micro Mark embossed brick paper laying around and decided to use it for the surface of the path at the rear of the depot. This has been the only risky feature I have built so far as I had no idea how it was going to turn out. I built a few tests to practice laying the brick paper down as well as test weathering. The result is ok for the moment and I will come back to it at a later date.

I downloaded several photos of brick paths to give me an idea of how to weather and add vegetation. I really liked the brick and sand effect in this photo. My version will use less sand.
The working area. I had my photo book, my test and the diorama at hand while I worked.
Once the brick paper was stuck down I gently weathered the surface with a dark chalky finger tip. I then started adding grass tufts.
I added grass tufts over sandy bases. The sand was stuck down using diluted Mod Podge. I have more work to do here: blend the tufts, sand and brick. Reduce and randomize the vegetation: it looks a little too ordered right now and some of the tufts need thinning.

Thanks all!