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Yes we do!  But do we model it?  Not so much.

A lot of model railways are set in the summer or on dry days.  There are a few set in the snow but what about the rain or just wet?  According to the met office the average rainfall for the west midlands is 116 days a year or about 1 in 3 days.  1987 stood out for the great storm in October of that year (the one where the weatherman said there wasnt going to be one the night before, remember?) so it’s probably worth considering rain a little more seriously. rats in the rainOk in post processing its a doddle.  A bit more contrast than usual, no harsh shadows and falling rain from Photoshop’s diffuse setting with a bit of motion blur.  However its safe to say falling rain on a model is not going to be doable.

So we are left with the rain has just stopped or the rain stopped a while ago.  Just stopped means everything is still wet and to be honest I have spent quite a while looking at different levels of sheen on things. Blasting everything with gloss varnish is not something i really want to do but nearly dry is different.  A few puddles here and there perhaps?  Time for an experiment!

puddlesThe beauty of this is by using good old Klear floor polish I can have a go and see what it looks like.  If its naff I can simply spray it with matt varnish and its gone.  Ok the puddle shapes are a but a bit iffy but as an overall feel I have got to say, im quite tempted.


10 Responses

  1. Looks good. Better make sure any cardboard is sealed though! You’re right about British weather – don’t you have to book summer to happen on a particular Wednesday in August?

    15/04/2013 at 10:41 pm

  2. Clive

    Hi Jim

    I will be taking note on how you achieve the “has rained” effect. I have been considering this for my new layout. Thankfully you seem to be one step ahead of me.


    15/04/2013 at 10:42 pm

  3. I like this effect Jim.
    Can’t really see it catching on on Scottish layouts though… 😉


    15/04/2013 at 11:05 pm

  4. jim s-w

    Hi Ian

    I dont use card as an outer surface all that often and when I do its usually painted.



    15/04/2013 at 11:10 pm

  5. Merfyn Jones

    Only 116 days a year Jim !
    My layout is Blaenau Ffestiniog, so really should have some big puddles. Yours look great, I must give it a try.

    16/04/2013 at 9:02 am

  6. Kylestrome


    The effect looks good from this angle because of the reflections, but to be effective from every angle you’ll probably have to make the damp patches darker as well.


    16/04/2013 at 11:28 am

  7. Steve Williams

    Actually Jim, I think the puddle shapes are spot-on. There is always the danger that they can look too contrived and regular. I think the ‘randomness’ you have achieved is far more realistic.


    16/04/2013 at 5:19 pm

  8. jim s-w

    Good point David. More experimenting needed I think.

    16/04/2013 at 5:53 pm

  9. Hello Jim,

    I remember seeing at least one of these photos on our “favourite” forum some time ago. I agree; an interesting departure from the norm. I can’t say that I’ve seen another layout taking British weather seriously. Will BNS eventually have a backdrop of some sort? I have a feeling that you won’t do this (I’m not a great fan of them because of the way they encroach on the layout and distract the eye from most angles, but may add a subtle and small one to SMH), but if you did would it be a predominantly cloudy scene?

    All the best

    11/07/2013 at 12:20 pm

  10. jim s-w

    Hi Simon

    Im not sure yet to be honest. The city behind the station rises anyway so its a sort of natural backdrop and I quite like the idea of backlighting the layout so that theres lots of shadows (something very familiar to the real location). The other thing is the top of the rotunda will be somewhere like 5 feet above the track level so thats a lot off backdrop to do.



    11/07/2013 at 1:39 pm

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