Realistic Scenery Volume 2 - Modelling an old dirt road - Model railroad


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A complete guide into recreating this scene of an old dirt road and dried up muddy puddle. Check out for more tutorials related to scenery and model railroading.

Follow along as I step you through a thorough how to style video on making this scene, from a piece of extruded foam to a photo real scene complete with cracked mud, dirt road, an outcropping of rocks, trees and realistic ground cover.

A lot of modelers see scenes like this and think they will never achieve this level of realism, however, as you will see making a realistic scene like this is nothing more than a few steps and the layering of scenery which eventually builds up into a great looking diorama.

Take your model railroad, war gaming terrain or dioramas for displaying your favorite models to the next level. This video demonstrates a small diorama built in HO scale and will show you some new innovative techniques for making your model railroad scenery look real. Real enough to make someone look twice at a photo you took!

Products and materials:

Foam Base –

Knauf insulation XPS multi use foam board 30mm (Bunnings Warehouse)

Cork –

AMRI 1-0401 HO Cork Underlay 3mm thickness (Orient Express Models)

Glue –  

Gorilla Glue for foam (Masters Home Improvement)

Titebond II Wood Glue (Masters Home Improvement)

Mod Podge Matte (Spotlight)

Sculptamold –

AMACO Sculptamold modelling compound (Adelaide Moulding & Casting supplies)

Plaster of Paris –

Uni-Pro Plaster of Paris (Bunnings Warehouse)

Rock Molds –

Woodland Scenics Outcroppings Mold (Orient Express Models)

Paints & Dye –

Black Acrylic Paint

Burnt Sienna Acrylic Paint

Raw Umber Acrylic Paint

Red Acrylic Paint

Metallic Silver Acrylic Paint

White Acrylic Paint

Diorama base coat – Jo Sonjas “Vellum”

India ink

Citadel “Technical Paint” – Agrellan Earth (Military Hobbies Adelaide)

Dirt –

Collected from the great outdoors, nothing specific just regular dirt found near a river and sifted down into different grades, the finest of which was sifted through a stocking. 3 grades in total. Only fine and medium grades were used.

Grout –

Davco Sanitized Colorgrout Sandalwood (Bunnings Warehouse)

Wetting Agents -

Wet Water, 1% dish detergent mixed in water

Isopropyl Alcohol 99% (Adelaide Moulding & Casting Supplies)

Grasses -  

MiniNatur – Late Autumn 6mm (Orient Express Models)

MiniNatur – Early Autumn 2mm (Orient Express Models)

Noch – Wildgras 6mm (Hobbyco Sydney)

Ground Foam -  

Woodland Scenics Fine Turf Burnt Grass, Earth & Earth Blend

Woodland Scenics Course Turf Dark Green

Woodland Scenics Fine Ballast Buff

Woodland Scenics Clump Foliage Medium Green

Trees -  

Woodland Scenics Fine Leaf Foliage, Olive Green & Medium Green

Noch Leaves Mid Green (Hobbyco Sydney)

DIY trees, made with natural plant stems and WS Course Turf

Dead Leaves, natural materials using real dried up dead leaves

Road Markers –

1.5mm square stripwood (Orient Express Models)

Weathering Pastel –

Art Spectrum, Raw Sienna

Car –

Cararama Peugeot 206, OO scale but in my opinion it feels closer to HO scale (Military Models Adelaide)

Extra Files:

Additional content that will help you recreate and follow along with the build, some of the 3D printer files are still experimental and may require some tinkering in order to get them to print successfully. Also, nearly all of the 3D printer files are designed for resin 3D printers, trying to print them using a filament 3D printer may not be possible!

But in any case, I hope you enjoy the extra content.


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