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Cool (track) borders

16333 Views 31 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Difflock
The latest Scalextric borders and barriers look very good but for my own track I wanted something a little "greener" to reflect it's English countryside setting.

So, just for those who are new to this kind of thing, here is how I set about doing it...

Firstly, I removed the red and white strip and barrier fittings and gave the borders a thorough wash to clean off any grease. I then applied two thinned coats of green acrylic paint. For this I used Windsor and Newton Galeria Sap Green with just enough water added to make it paint on evenly.

Once dry, I added a brown (burnt umber) acrylic "wash". For those that are not familiar with this technique, a wash here is just regular acrylic artist paint thinned with plenty of water so that it just "washes" over the surface without obliterating the green. As it dries you will see how it emphasises the texture of the grass:

Next, I replaced the barrier and placed a strip of masking tape along the front edge.

Then I made a 50/50 mix of PVA hobby glue and painted it on between the tape and the guard rail. Now this is where it starts to get good! Sparingly, sprinkle on some static grass (this is a fibre like grass and not the traditional coloured sawdust type scatter material) and blow on it lightly. This helps it to stand up giving a nice realistic appearance. Don't overdo it though as if you make the grass too dense you will waste all your earlier work in creating the washed base texture which helps to give this it's uneven and natural look.

Now remove the masking tape and leave the border to dry out. Later, if you want you can add a second thinner coat of dilute PVA glue just to set the static grass a little firmer before refitting the red and white edge strip.

When it's all thoroughly dry it's ready to use on the track:

Incidentally, the static grass can be obtained from many model railway or war games suppliers such as Games Workshop. The nice thing is that even if you don't have a permanent track you can still add a little greenery to your layout this way.
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That is one of the neatest and best illustrated 'How-tos' I have ever seen.

Absolutely superb and, I'd like to suggest, thoroughly deserving of preservation in SlotForum resources.
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This is very good. I'm after a similar effect, but I don't want to use Scaley track borders. I have too long a border to complete. Looking to get some compressed foam or soft wood.
...I have also used textured polystyrene ceiling tiles to much the same effect:

For larger areas you might give that a try. It might seem fragile but once glued down, painted, flocked and given a few coats of dilute PVA as sealant it becomes quite tough.

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Great work John, I loved the pics. To be helpful I just wanted to point out that the static flock grass effect comes in big roles which is hard wearing and very quick to apply. Faller do a good one in varied colours. You simply cut it to shape with scissors and glue it down with PVA. Saves painting an under coat and it will also cover slopes and earth banks
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fantastic looking grass and gr8 instructions, ta JohnP. Also ta JonnyS for the Faller tip
" reflect it's English countryside setting."

Nice work, John! Are you also making a muddy spectator car parking area?

Kind regards

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Oh yes brings back memories of lots of posh 4 x 4 `s that aren`t and the vehicle to boast about was a tractor
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Nice work, John! Looks terrific!

Hmmm... that mudhole is very reminiscent of the Watkins Glen bog in the early 70's... just gotta make it bigger so it'll swallow entire buses...
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Have you noticed how the Yanks have always gotta be bigger, even bigger mud pools now
I know fergy, I know you are not an ex colonial rebel but a resident of the bit that was saved from them
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You've now got me motivated. I pulled out a box of 8 mm ceiling tiles that I had been storing for just this purpose.

With some special non-solvent glue and some acrylic paint I'm doing what I should have done months ago and putting my borders on too.

I attacked one side of the track and figured out some techniques for cutting the foam and gluing it down. I'll take some photos tomorrow.

Thanks JohnP
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If you have the space Doug you can cut the styrene with a stanley to shape to make gravel run off areas, Glue grey ballast from MR shop, Scenic Effects make a good one. Yves is a great contact for catch fencing to go the whole distance.
Yep, that's what I'm doing. I was debating about what to use for gravel. Sand/ballast/catlitter... I don't want it too rough so as to ruin the cars, but I don't want loose stuff everywhere.

Photos tomorrow.
Take care using real gravel, sand and abrasive substances -- it will scratch the paintwork if you ever deslot.
Don`t spare the PVA with the ballast and you`ll be ok. It might make good T.V. to have it loose but what a nitemare for the cars and cleaning up. The run off areas I have built on the Phoenix circuit use the ballast and PVA technique and are still going strong nearly three years on now. If you get a hot glue gun you can glue your barriers down,away from the track and not only do they look realistic but they do the proper job of cushioning the cars impact. I prefer Ninco barriers for this but it works with any make.
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The borders look great - How does the car react when it hangs the tail out over on it?

Hi Biggs

I don't perceive any great difference between the grassed and untreated borders when driving. To the touch, the grass feels a little rougher than the untreated plastic border perhaps but I guess this is compensated for by the fibrous nature of the short strands of grass so it sort of equals out.

The trickiest thing that I find with these borders is that the red and white curbing strip is very slippery so you have to hang the old rubber boot over that first before you can begin to stabilise the drift - not easy to do (for me anyway!).

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I've just posted this as a Forum resource with John's approval.

Thanks again John
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