John shows us how he makes his scenery

“Hi Al,

I’ve been working on scenery on my HO Scale layout lately and experimenting with some homemade mats for a woodsline. I like the way they turned out and thought I would share with you.

I’ve been creating a wooded hill to use as a scenic divider as well as to hide the entrance to staging on my layout. Between the open areas on either side of the trees on the hilltop, I wanted to create a brambled, overgrown area on the hillside. I used a Coconut Coir basket liner and part of an old air filter to create the effect.

First, I separated a section of the basket liner into two halves. I did the same with the air filter material. The side that was on the outside of either material is pressed flat with some sort of adhesive. But working with the inside, one can tease the material up and create vertical depth.

Next, simply paint the materials thoroughly with some flat brown and darker green tones. Once dry, I applied spray adhesive and several varieties of leaf and flock material, followed by hairspray. An optional mist of some florist green tone spray paint was perfect for some highlights.

I ended up using some thinner pieces along a nearby embankment, and combined with some Super Trees, the larger chunks made for what I think is a convincing woodsedge.

I documented the process in a video too, and ran some trains through the completed scene at the end.


A huge thanks to John - and don't forget the only way you can see John's video and all the helpful posts, track plans, pics and tips is by jumping on the newsletter.

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