Plastic kits make it easy to add buildings to your layout but they often lack the finishing touch and can look like fake. Here’s an incredibly quick and easy tip to elevate them from looking like toys to real buildings.
Plastic model kits are getting better and better. They now feature so much detail they’re almost perfect.
Almost. But not quite.
The plastic models by their very nature have that awful gloss oily finish. No matter how good the detail without further work they still look like toys.
Painting them is fun and gives a great sense of achievement but it’s also time consuming and take a lot of practice to get right.
Modeller Alex Nichols has a quick and easy technique that brings them to life without the wait of paint.
Just watch the quick clip above and have a go yourself. Essentially, it’s a case of applying chalk or pastel, blending it in and then fixing with a gentle spray. Job done.
> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.
Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.