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172
Cliff-Side Road

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Photos 12, 13, 14: The lower section of cliff fixed in place. Note the white section of foam board is just big enough to support the widest part of the cliff; this could either be cut away to match the contour, or left square and landscaped with water or grass or rocks, etc.

Photo 15: The surface for the road, both foam board and rock foam, liberally painted with PVA glue.

Photo 16: While the PVA glue is still wet the road surface was added using a thin layer of DAS air dry modelling clay, including making good the edges.

Photo 17: With the clay still soft, and dampened slightly with water, pulverised garden soil was sprinkled on. Then, under a layer of cling film, it was rolled over using the body of a big metal marker pen in order to make the road surface textured, but more or less flat.

This assembly was then put aside for 24 hours to allow the clay and glue to set. At first I contemplated being really lazy and trying to paint just the road surface, leaving the cliff as it was, in its pre-finished state. However, having somewhat carelessly allowed grey spray primer to extend beyond the road and on to the cliff face, I found that it was impossible to retouch the cliff face to match the existing finish. NOCH appear to have used a spray that contains mixed particles, something like the Plasti-kote spray stone finishes.

Photo 18: The road, then, was finished by brush painting the grey primer with various dark grey and black shades, using some colours from the Life Color Black shades set and finishing off with a highly thinned black oil wash.

Photos 19, 20, 21: The cliff face was airbrushed using Tamiya Dark Grey as the base colour. This was then darkened down with the addition of NATO Black and sprayed on to the cliff from an angle almost parallel to, and under, the cliff face; this was repeated with more subtle passes with just NATO Black. The opposite shading effect was achieved by mixing Tamiya Deck Tan with the Dark Grey, again in two incrementally lighter shades, and then spraying at a downward angle.

To provide a bit of non-rock texture and colour, some marsh grass tufts (by Army Painter) and some yellow flowering foliage (by Woodland Scenics) were added. You can see that the non-scenic sides of the structure haven’t been finished, and this could be done with something like black polystyrene sheet cut to shape, or even just filler, sanded down and painted, would probably do.

Photos 22, 23: Finding a couple of likely looking vehicles that were finished but not already glued on to something else led to Matchbox’s Jeep and Morris Quad, respectively, driving down and up the cliff-side road. Nowadays I think we could expect some kind of parapet wall or crash barrier along a road this dangerous!

This fun mini-project only took a very few hours to complete, the main structure being made in a single evening, the clay road added in another short session, and then the painting taking a couple of hours. As rock faces tend to be quite hard to judge the scale of (without the usual geology hammer or a colleague in shot…) a structure such as this made from these materials could probably be scaled up for a larger scale model, or made for figures of various scales.

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About the Author

About Matthew Lenton (firstcircle)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM

Earliest model memory is a Super Sabre my grandmother bought for me around 1972. Have always dabbled in painting and making things, and rediscovered doing that with plastic in 2008. Vowed then to complete the 30 year old stash, and have made some progress. Hobby goes hand in hand with BBC Radio 3...


Comments

Ingenious. Thanks for sharing such a creative idea!
MAY 06, 2014 - 06:22 AM
Simple but effective. Very good result starting from simple material. Thanks for sharing
MAY 06, 2014 - 12:12 PM
The other members comments have pretty much said it all, ingenious, simple and effective! I must add that the use of those two Matchbox vehicles really shows the potential for creating a very fascinating and eye catching mini diorama. Cheers, Jan
MAY 07, 2014 - 04:10 AM