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A simple embankment diorama -part 5 adding typical flora




There are lots of different plants, shrubs and bushes that tend to thrive on railway embankments, particularly in the years since steam ceased to operate. Embankments were managed in steam days to reduce the risk of fires, with the advent of diesel traction they were almost left to grow wild. Electrification has seen much of the wild growth being cut back presumably to give better access to install the gantries and maintain them. So taking none of this into account I decided to add a couple of very representative examples of flora often seen whatever the era i.e. brambles and rosebay willow herb.


The brambles are the easiest. Good old rubberised horsehair, teased out gives a good impression of rambling bramble growth. Dabbed with pva in the fashion I described in my earlier blog (on making a tree for the rockface) scatter can be applied to represent the leaves. A good blob of pva onto the grass, place the bramble bush on top and apply a small weight on top until the glue has set, job done.




Rosebay willow herb and other tall flowering plants are a bit more complex but not difficult, just a little patience is required.




Unfortunately though I forgot to photograph the process so a description will have to suffice until I make another batch.

1. The stems are soft brush bristles and I take between 2 - 5 bristles, pinch them near one end and apply a small blob of pva on the end. they are then placed on a piece of polythene to dry. For this project I made 10 of these bunches

2. Once dry they are removed from the polythene, usually a finger nail will easily break any bond with the polythene.

3. Get some green static grass of your choice ready and then with a small brush apply some pva from the base of each bristle to approx half the length.

4. Take a pinch of static grass between your fingers and dab it gently onto the pva, the grass will stick at lots of different angles. Set aside to dry on the polythene again.

5. Once dry, put some green scatter into a small pot. With the small brush dab some pva to the static grass and dip into the scatter. Set aside on the polythene again to dry.

6. When dry put some red/purple scatter into a small pot. Apply a small blob of pva just above the green scatter and lightly brush pva along the rest of each bristle. Dip the bristles into the coloured scatter. Set aside once again to dry.

7. Plant your Rosebay Willow Herb in clumps. In this instance I made a hole in the base with a cocktail stick for each plant and fixed it with a blob of, yes you've guessed it, pva.




A view of the finished diorama




Something a little more ambitious (and larger) next.

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  • RMweb Gold

Nick I love your embankment and the tutorial about making the flowers is so easy to follow, which I’m certain to be having a go myself.:D

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