Ground cover mix match

Digging into boxes which have remained closed for over 30 years has yielded some surprises. Mostly stuff I'd forgotten about. As the plaster was drying and setting, the question of tint arose and I've decided to make the base color dark brown. Over it will be layers of lighter colored stuff and that should give me depth.
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There's some variance of color in this—good.

This will be the last of the preparation posts. Now that the base is ready, it's time to begin covering it and create the scene I want. One large plastic tub, with matching lid that is now brittle, was opened and I found a bunch of gravel. This will do for stones and small rocks. It originally was collected in a bucket from a pile not far from me and the sifted to various grades. What you see above is the roughest batch. For the most part, this will go on later and be mixed with twigs, leaves, weeds etc.

Preparing a base

The process of gathering and preparation of a base ground cover is very time consuming but yields the kind of material needed to create a realistic scene. I want dark, so winter is a good time to get out and fill up some bags with old leaves and twigs.
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Obviously this will not work in any scale.

I used a blender to grind it all up so that I had as close to a 1/4 inch scale covering as possible. Below is a small portion of that bucket full of leaves.
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Look at all the little tiny bits in there.

I was tempted to wait until high summer, in July, and go out to collect live leaves from trees, grind them up and see how it would look on a tree instead of using ground foam.
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But it wasn't just all leaves.

Before grinding it up, I sorted out the bits of twigs and the like from the leaves and found other bits that could be used. On the left is a small twig that will probably be placed along with other ground cover and represent a branch which has fallen from a tree. The leaf on the right has it's stalk—that gets removed, broken up and kept to use as twigs in O scale. The magic of all this is, it has cost me nothing but a short walk in a nearby park. I needed the exercise anyways.

Prior to doing any ground cover, the rock faces have to be placed on the base, over the existing plaster. How I do that will be covered in a later article (if I have the time).

From here on: all the ground cover, foliage, cliff faces (where applicable) etc., will be added. It's taken me over a month to get this far. My "canvas" is now ready—it's time to paint. What ever I do, I will not use hair spray, it blows stuff all over the place, makes one almighty mess—and doesn't hold anything (despite what some pundits say). I'll just use the good old, time honored, diluted, white glue method.

"Oh, you've got to have a static grass applicator". No I don't. A lot of checking out mountain and back country areas (personally on hikes, street view and photo's), what I see is mainly very rough clumps of bushes, weeds, etc-etc. Very little of it is vertical grass looking all the same (boring, boring, boring). Hook River is in the mountains. There will be a lot of granite, rocks, weeds, small bushes, trees, twigs and the like. Grass there is often seen in clumps and as I reckon the time of year will be August, then even that will be brown, not a lot of green to be seen.
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Everything will go over the base. A light brown color with a black wash is good enough. It doesn't have to be perfect because, once done, no one will see it. The first scene will be without the mine and railroad. Untouched by man.
Jan 10, 2018