How to… Model Grassy Lanes and Allotments

After the rant that comprised the last post, I thought a good way to regain equilibrium would be to return once again to that most calming of topics, Model Railway Construction. And as you will have gathered from the title, today I’m going to offer a tutorial on some scenic work – namely, how to make an overgrown grassy lane and allotments.

This is the area to be given scenic treatment: the strip of bare chipboard next to the sidings in the foreground of the picture.

The chipboard in the foregorund is what we'll be dealing with today.

The first thing to do is the overgrown lane that will run the length of the siding. To that end, you will need a long straight ruler, a screwdriver, a modeller’s knife, glue (I’m a big fan of Copydex) and some grass mat.

Roll of Gaugemaster grass mat that we will use

First cut the grass mat roughly to shape – in this case, a number of strips to cover the length of the siding – and glue in position, hard against the ballast of the siding. The walling, a Javis product, will be glued on top.

The grass glued hard up to the siding

Then glue down the walling. The walling, as you will have noticed, already comes with grass disguising the base of the moulding: we will improve this further a couple of steps down the line.

The walls glued in place.

As you can see in the above photograph, I have rolled a model truck along the grass to create to subtle tyre-tracks. I will use these as a guide for creating more definitive ruts. To do so, I use the screwdriver and ‘chisel’ along the length of the mat. Do so carefully, as you don’t want to go through the mat – you’re just trying to scrape the grass fibres off it.

The grass mat, now cut to shape, has the ruts scraped into it with a cheap screwdriver. Note the scraped grass at the end of the lane: we will recycle this shortly.

The next step is to border the lane on the opposite side to the walling. In this instance I used Hornby Lineside Fencing superglued in place. Also at this point I used the scraped-off grass to disguise joins between walling sections and any of the resin still showing at the bottom of the wall.

A Morris Minor makes the first journey down the lane. Note the grass growing up the wall in the background.

With the grassy lane mostly finished it is time to turn our attention to the other side of the fence. There are three buildings to complement the scene, all manufactured by Hornby as part of their Skaledale resin range: a garage, a greenhouse and a garden shed. These will be used as mini ‘scenic breaks’ so as not to have all the allotment plots side-by-side.

First we make the allotments. To do so I measured and cut a Noch Ploughed Field to shape, and then made borders for each plot from Costa coffee stirrers. Then I put the buildings in place. Once that was done, I sprinkled Peco scatter over the remaining exposed baseboard.

The first allotment lies between the garage and greenhouse.

That being done, it was time to add greenery. Lichen, trees, scatter, flowers, long grass and fine-leaf foliage were all added to the ground to make a more vegetative scene. Gardening figures came from Preiser and Noch; gardening implements from Woodland Scenics. The greenhouse had an internal structure fabricated from foamboard and mounting board; flowers were added.

The greenhouse, with flowers, long grass, and fine-leaf foliage all in evidence.

That being done, all that is left to add are vegetables for the allotments. This is an ongoing project, so it is not yet completed, but there are plenty of fruits, vegetables, and greens that will sprout in due course…

The cabbages are early-bloomers

About Gavin

I am a 32-year-old PhD student in Aberdeen, Scotland. I work in QC at an e-learning company. I'm originally Northern Irish, though I've lived here in Aberdeen for several years. I am, essentially, somebody who is very normal, yet to whom very strange things keep happening...
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One Response to How to… Model Grassy Lanes and Allotments

  1. Nice tutorial there Gavin mate. I have loads of area’s needing this sort of work and I got to get me some of that walling.

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