The World Of Rail

Railroad Mugs

Get 20 and 30% discount on sets that you put together.

Model Buildings Free Samples

HO Scale model buildings with information about how to build them.

Click to get a free sample building.

Static Grass Applicator

How to build your own static grass applicator - CHEAP.

Plus a static grass applicator kit to make it CHEAP AND EASY.

Locomotive Models

Make some of the finest models that one can make using these fantastic plans.

How To Make Vines

  Vines (Page 1)  ::

Click pictures to enlarge.

Here we have a corner of the Sellios Manufacturing building.  Like most of my buildings, this one is not a kit- its basically a freelanced design.  This occasionally causes a few gaps and such here and there, as can be seen in these two pictures.  This is what we will cover up.  A few vines later- not only will the crack be covered, but the building will look better overall.  The picture at right shows how the building walls were cut to fit the layout.  This will be covered up later.

::  Vines (Page 2)  ::

Click pictures to enlarge.

After we have chosen our target, we get to the good part...  This is where those days of playing with glue in kindergarten come in handy.  Simply use plain 'ol white glue as an adhesive and apply it straight from the bottle.  Cover your cracks and branch out a little here and there so you don't end up with one straight column.  I usually make several vines at the bottom to suggest a spreading root structure.   

Optional tip:  If you really want to get intricate - maybe for a foreground model- you can break some small pieces of sagebrush up and apply them at this point.  If you carefully place several pieces along your vine, you can suggest that there is an actual root to the vine.  If you look at some of my previous pictures of the Corner Transfer Co., you'll notice I did this in several places.  It looks good, but is not necessary- and remember that this addition would be really hard to spot if your model is far away from the viewer.  

  Vines (Page 3)  ::

Click pictures to enlarge.

I usually end up keeping most of my scenic materials in old Athearn boxes as they are easy to store and I like them better than the bags.  I have been using Woodland Scenics Meduim foam for vines and I mix two shades to get a nice variety.  This came about after studying a lot of George's photographs.  I believe the two colors are burnt green and medium green.  (I don't have the bags available to check, so look at the photo.  The colors should be pretty obvious if you go to your hobby shop.)  I normally just mix them about 50/50 right in the side of one box (the right one in this case) and apply from there.  This color mix gives a really subtle natural look and gives a nice bit of variation.  Stay away from the really bright green colors.
::  Vines (Page 4)  ::

Click pictures to enlarge.

More easy work here...   Just grab a little foam and press it into your glue.  Try varying how much you press the foam in- this will add some varying texture.  For example, in some spots really flatten the foam out and in others, leave the foam really full and fluffy.  If you are on a budget, it works well to place a piece of scrap construction paper under your work area to catch foam that doesn't stick.  This way you can just reuse it instead of having to vacuum it up.  (Hey, I'm a college student- if I know anything, it's how to model on a budget! )  Just keep adding until all of your glue is covered up.

::  On to the next page >>

:  Vines (Page 5)  ::

Click pictures to enlarge.

Here's a tip that I really like.  I'm not sure if George does it, but I think it really adds to the look of your vines.  Using the standard Sellios Ink Wash (pictured left- does not enlarge) dab a few bits of wash here and there on your vines.  This will add yet more color and texture variation.  You don't need to soak the vine, in fact, keep dabbing with your brush until there is no wash left.  This way your first dab will be dark, and each successive dab will be a bit lighter.  Voila'!- more color variation.   I've done this will all my vines and you can see the results in pretty much all of my pictures.

The "All purpose miracle" Ink Wash (by:George Sellios):
1 Pint Denatured Alcohol to 2 Tsp. India Ink.  (You can use this on basically everything.)

::  On to the next page >>

::  Vines (Page 6)  ::

Click pictures to enlarge.

That's all folks!!  A very easy clinic, I will admit, but nonetheless a very effective one.  Look at Sellios or Powell's layout's - or mine for that matter- and you'll see all sorts of areas that are covered with vines.  When you spot one you can only venture to guess "Is that vine hiding something- or is it there just for scenery?"  Try this technique out if you haven't already, and you may just be able to cover up something that's been bugging you.