Hot on the heals of the previous post on making your own model railway grass, comes another tip from Stephen Fay, this time a low cost technique to making wonderfully realistic ash for engine sheds.
Take it away Stephen…
“For compacted ash look for engine sheds I use kiln dried sand, available from most builders merchants.
You can add as thick a layer as required. I tend to sprinkle it around then dampen all over with a mist spray bottle the fix with the usual PVA/ water mixture.
Once dry spray over with pound shop Matt black spray paint.
For really compacted ash, sprinkle down talcum powder and bed it in with the back of a spoon. Again dampen down with a fine mist of water and apply the PVA / water.
Once dry, spray with Matt black paint then add black smoke weathering powders, I use MIG powders but most will do the job. You can also use a mixture of white and black to create variations in colour.
Once the powders are added, fix them down with cheap hair spray. I pick and hight light the chairs and fishplates with light rust weathering powered or dry brushing.
This is a cheap and effective way of creating compacted ash and as you can see from the pictures is quite effective.”
You can see further photos of Stephen’s work on his Facebook page.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.