Model Rail (UK)
STEP BY STEP
The first step was to remove the bristles from two old paintbrushes. The sides of the metal retaining ferrule can be squeezed with a set of fine-nosed pliers. This opens up the aperture, allowing the bristles to be pulled out.
The metal ferrule can then be shaped with the pliers to create the required rectangular, square or round profile, to suit the desired type of masonry. The metal is easily shaped so gentle pressure is all that’s required.
I used Styrofoam sheets, cut to size with a sharp knife to form the four walls of the square tower. The homemade punch tool can be pressed into the foam to create courses of stonework. Only light pressure is needed.
Experiment on a scrap of foam, so you can gauge the correct pressure needed to make the necessary indentation in the foam. It’s repetitive work, and it’s easy to lose concentration and create uneven rows.
The next step is to form mortar courses on the sides of each piece of foam. This was achieved with the edge of a plastic stirring tool, using the punched stonework as a guide.
Here are the four walls of the folly. Note the doorway and window apertures cut into two of the walls. The other two walls will be hidden from view. Stonework on the left-hand wall still needs to be finished.
I used Busch’s laser-cut card glue to bond the foam sections together, with Woodland Scenics Foam Nails being employed to hold the pieces together while the adhesive dried. Check the alignment of the corners with a set square.
The floor for the ruin was made from a piece of hard foam scored to represent planks of timber. A hole was cut in it so that access to the roof could be gained by my miniature tourists.
Deluxe Materials Perfect Plastic Putty was used to fill any gaps between the wall sections or cure any holes left in the foam from the alignment pins. When dry, it was sanded lightly and the debris brushed away.
A piece of cardboard, a ladder and handrails came from my spares box, left over from previous kits. A reminder that keeping spare kit parts is always worthwhile as they’re bound to come in handy one day.
The tower was fixed to a piece of shaped Celotex roof insulation foam sheet. The floor of the castle was painted with brown acrylic paints.
I painted the hard foam with Woodland Scenics Earth Colours, slowly building up the colours after the previous layer had dried.
The Celotex insulation foam base was also painted with Woodland Scenics brown Earth Undercoat. As it’s an undercoat the exact shade is not important.
Noch Wrinkle Rocks was used to add texture variation to the mound. After cutting to size, the material was screwed up tightly into a ball and then stretched back almost flat.
The scrunching gives the Wrinkle Rocks sheet a realistic texture. The sheets were glued to the foam base with PVA, ensuring that they retain a random texture, rather than being stretched flat.
A preliminary coating of green scatter material, plus light sand for the pathway, was applied over a coating of white PVA glue. When this had dried, more of the PVA glue was brushed randomly over the Wrinkle Rock sheets.
Static grass fibres were applied over the wet glue using a Hornby puffer bottle. The process was repeated several times to build up multiple layers of static grass fibres.
A mixture of mininatur and Model Scene Filigree Bushes were trimmed to size and added to create the illusion that the castle ruin was located amid deep undergrowth.