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George’s diesel depot layout in MR259 looked great. How did he create the realistic concrete ground surface?
Sam Walker, by e-mail
George says: The depot’s concrete hard-standing was created simply with off-cuts of Daler mounting card, which has a pleasant, subtle texture that’s prefect for recreating concrete and far more effective than smooth plastic.
It’s a time-consuming business to cut and shape the card to fit snugly against – and in between – the tracks. Furthermore, it’s important to ensure that the card sits just below the level of the rail heads to facilitate track cleaning.
In reality, large areas of concrete are laid in sections with flexible grout added to any gaps. This compensates
for expansion and contraction or movement of the substrate. To replicate this, panel lines were drawn onto the card with a sharp pencil.
Although they were drawn with the help of a ruler, I purposely made the lines a little wobbly in places, especially where the panels intersect.
An airbrush was then employed to colour the concrete, creating shading around the edges of each panel and highlights towards the centre.
More general weathering then followed, again harnessing the special nature of the airbrush to produce a suitably dusty, grimy finish.
Artists’ mounting board is great for rendering concrete groundwork, as it possesses a suitable texture that can be enhanced with the aid of acrylic paints and an airbrush.