The Hills Are Alive…………….

So far so good, everything is coming together nicely now, though I have had a few happy accidents as Bob Ross would say. But thanks to the forgiving nature of acrylic paints my confidence is slowly growing. I was a little concerned about the sky, but as more hills were added it began to look better. Mixing the colours that I want is still proving difficult at times, but as my experience grows I am beginning to get the hang of it.

The hills now stretch along the entire length of the layout, but I was not happy with them. I felt they were a tad too blue, and lacking the hazy look in some areas. So I applied a smoke grey wash in hope of toning them down.

Before and after, the top photo shows the hills before applying the wash, which was made up from a little black and plenty of titanium white. The lower photo shows the hills after the wash was applied, to my eye they now look further away, happier with the new look I started to add some rolling countryside.

I set out to mix a shade of green that would be slightly lighter than the static grasses that I will be using. A mix of cerulean blue, cadmium yellow and titanium white produced the base coat. Once dry I added a few highlights by applying lighter, gentle washes of the same colour, followed by a little dry brushing. There is still plenty of room for improvement, but rather than rush in and make a mess of things I am taking my time, and stepping back every so often to take in the scene.

I was going to paint any distant trees, bushes and hedges in a blue grey colour as is often recommended. The idea behind that is to help create the illusion of distance, alas after trying the idea for myself I wasn’t convinced that it was the way to go. So referring back to some of my photos , and the real countryside around our home, I came to the conclusion that greens were still very much in evidence from some considerable distance. So abandoning the idea of blue trees, bushes and hedges I mixed up various shades of green, then plucked up the courage to paint some distant greenery.

I am particularly pleased with the next two views, the hedgerow on the right is horsehair dressed with various scenic materials. Woodland burnt turf and a mixture of Carr’s leaves if I remember correctly, well I did make them years ago for Llangunllo Mk1. The grass in the centre foreground is one of my homemade grass mats, which I think blends in well with the painted scene.

A helicopter view of the same area, the land has been modelled to drop downwards to meet the backscene. Grass tufts are in the process of being planted against the base of the painted hedgerow to give a seamless joint. The area of bare land is waiting for some more grass matting and extra static grasses to be applied.

One thing I am happy with is the manner in which the lane disappears off scene. As previously mentioned the hedging alongside, and opposite the gate is recycled scenic material from Llangunllo. It is only being used for planning purposes, and will eventually be replaced with something far better.

The same scene from a slightly different angle after the addition of some distant trees and hedgerows. It will look much better once the static grass mats and proper hedges are added, well I hope it will!

The trees behind the road bridge were easier to paint than I expected, their outlines were gently stippled in place, the same technique being use to build up the foliage. There will be a rough stone wall carved from DAS modelling clay, running between the right hand bridge abutment and the kiln. The actual kiln won’t be as tall as the mock up, and will have the same DAS stonework, as will both bridge abutments, the one on the left being partly obscured by a tree. But before I can think of getting down to some modelling I still have plenty of painting to do.


8 thoughts on “The Hills Are Alive…………….

  1. Geoff,

    Your backscene is an excellent piece of work – well done. I have looked at the images using two different screens – laptop and the TV that sits behind and above it. Yes there is a slight variation in hue between the two but not really enough to worry that one or other is rendering the colour incorrectly. I would dare to suggest that as it isn’t broken don’t try to fix it.
    The way the lane disappears works very well.

    Geoff @ fifteenflatout

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your comments Geoff,

      Colour is a minefield as we all see things differently and that is before lighting is taken into account. I always try to strike a nice balance, which is easier said than done. One of my all time favourite layouts looked great when I last saw it an exhibition, yet when it appeared in the model press the colours looked washed out. As you say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and at the moment I am more than happy with the way things look. Interestingly enough I applied some static grasses in some areas, and they, to my eye make things look different again.

      The lane was a bit of a headache, that is why I modelled that part of the layout first. Thankfully my idea worked very well and set me up nicely:-)


      Liked by 2 people

  2. On my screen the hills already look to have a mauve haze. And I’m sure you’ve been pulling our legs Geoff and have been doing this for years – your landscape painting looks excellent!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Keith, it is surprising how we see colour differently, lighting also makes a huge difference. I still have a couple of minor issues to sort out, but painting my own scene has been a very rewarding exercise. The best advice I was given was to experiment with colour, and practice various techniques before committing myself to the scene itself, and not to make something up.

      Have a go on some scrap card or hardboard, you might surprise yourself.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been painting (pictures) for years Geoff – aircraft and cars mainly – and I always surprise myself (at just how bad they are! 🙂 )


    1. Thanks for the tip Simon, I will give that a try on my test panel first, as I am finding that some colours, and tints don’t suit my layout lighting.



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