Paint colors for mountains

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Mannix, May 20, 2008.

  1. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am ready to paint some mountains that I made from rubber molds using plaster. I also made some mountains using pink insulation foam board. I would like some suggestions as to the color and brand of paint that some of you have used. I have viewed some of the pictures of the mountains that you guys have made/painted and they look very realistic. Did you do that painting with a brush or did you use some other method? I am open for any suggestions.
  2. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    0
    From what I have been told/read/seen on video and limited personal experience...

    Any water based acrylic will work for washes. There is the finer Woodland Scenic paints made from pigments, which supposedly make for finer detailed washes.

    On the non-plaster part of my mountain, I actually used a fawn colored spray paint. $1.99 at Ace Hardware. It's a taboo, I know, but it worked and looked nice. While the paint was damp, I tossed some ground cover on it and shazam. Done.

    I have used Liquitex with some success, but I am a novice to doing washes. When I get closer with my layout, I will experiment more with my club's molds. I bought a tub of plaster o' paris, so I don't think I will run out.

    George
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    What mountains are you modeling? What is the geology, or the geography?
  4. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    0
    are you talking the mountains themselves or the rock faces? there are alot of articles on both the subjects on here and if you just use google.--josh
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    I asked what mountains because if you are modeling Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, or parts of Colorado, you start with red oxide! The mountains in those states are frequently that red! There is so much iron oxide in the soil that many of Arizona's roads are paved with red asphalt. If you are modeling Eastern mountains where slate is common, the colors are more in the direction of dark grays. We are talking about the rocks of course. Vegetation is a whole "nother" topic.
  6. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am modeling the mountains of western Montana. When you guys talk about a wash, do you mean mixing the paint very thin so it can be sprayed on using a plastic spray bottle? If you have mountains on your layout, how did you apply the paint?
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi...I use "washes" not so much to spray them on (which I've done but didn't particularly like the results), as to control the intensity (depth..??) of the color. It is easier to apply some more "wash" than it is to take off paint....It is, of course, a lengthier process, but well worth the time.
  8. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    How did you apply the washes to your layout since you didn't particularly like the results of spraying them on? The landscaping of the layout is entirely new to me. At this point I can definitely say that I enjoy laying track and wiring compared to doing the landscaping.
  9. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi... I used a plain ol' brush....With a brush you have much more control over where and how much you apply....
    I'm talking about applying paint over a plaster surface which will "suck in" the paint. Over a foam surface, a wash won't work....It'll just run downhill and puddle up at the base.
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gus is correct about washes not being suitable for use on foam. My layout landforms are mostly patching plaster over screen, with some areas simply bare plywood. I went to Walmart and bought a gallon of their cheapest flat interior latex - I picked a "dirt" colour from their samples. ;) I thinned it just slightly for the plywood areas, to make it easier to spread, then thinned the rest about 50/50 with water. I applied that with a 2" "throw-away" brush, more-or-less just slopping it on the plaster. The whole process was very quick and easy, and really changed the look of the layout - from snowy landscape to desert. I was surprised by how much the whole room was darkened, though, :eek: and I have lots of light fixtures in the layout room.
    Here's what the plaster looks like after the application of the wash (this area will eventually be covered with trees):
    [​IMG]

    Here's a look at another area after some ground cover has been applied (after the wash was dry - it doesn't stay wet long enough to allow the ground foam to stick to it):
    [​IMG]

    Here's an area that is mostly right on the plywood, including the track. I didn't apply any scenic material while the paint was wet - by the time the painting was done, most of it had dried anyway. :rolleyes:
    [​IMG]

    For the foam areas on your layout, use a suitable brush to apply the unthinned paint - I simply painted up to the tie ends where track was already in place - the ballast will cover the foam that shows between the ties.

    Wayne
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    I remember reading that the late Lynn Westcott, editor of Model Railroader for many years, used to just dump the dregs from his coffee cup or it may have been tea on his hard shell to color it.
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    0
    By the way, I also used the same brown paint, unthinned, to paint the riverbeds on my layout. The dark grey/green is the same as was used to colour the background foam trees in my second picture, above, too, which seems to help make everything look like it belongs together.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  13. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wayne,
    You took some excellent pictures of your layout, and the layout looks very nice. This is my first try at landscaping so I need all the help that I can get. How large is your layout? I have mine in a room that is 9' x 19' and the layout takes up most of the room. Thanks for posting the pictures and also, thanks to everyone who posted some ideas to help me out.

    Jim
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,707
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jim, are you talking about coloring foreground mountains that you are modeling, or mountains painted on the back drop? If they are modeled mountains, how rugged are you modeling? I think most of the railroads in Montana would run through foothills. The mountains are just too rugged to run tracks through in most places. I think most foothills in Montana are kind of rolling hills with a lot of grass. If you are modeling summer, the grass would be kind of golden colored. If you can get a copy of a railroad video featuring the Montana Rail Link (I think Pentrex has one), it would give you a very good idea of the sort of country the railroads run through in Montana and Wyoming.
  15. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Russ, I will be coloring foreground mountains. I don't have my railroad running through the mountains, but the tracks are along the foot of the mountain range. Along one side of my layout the mountains are not rugged, but at the one end I used a rubber mold to make the face rather rugged. At the opposite end I have my town which is on the plains. It will be a summer setting.

    Jim
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, Jim. This is pretty much my first crack at landscaping, too. I think that it's about 25% science and 75% art, ;) so once you get the technical aspects out of the way, the rest is mostly fun. :-D
    My layout is also in its own room, about 560 square feet, but very oddly shaped. Here's a link to a Layout (room) tour .

    Wayne
  17. Mannix

    Mannix Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wayne, you have a very large and impressive layout. You have spent many hours getting to the point where you now are. My room is small compared to yours. Thanks for sharing your layout (room) tour I enjoyed seeing your layout.

    Jim