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David Kopielski
67 articles

Creating Realistic Snow

September 10, 2022 · in How-to · · 6 · 1.3K

Here is a little tip on making a realistic for model displays. I wanted to one of my model aircraft that was equipped with snow skis on a snow base. I started with a round base and created the snow base using spackle. I used the DAP “Drydex”. When applied it has a pink hue and dries white. This helps the process as some of the thicker areas take time to fully dry. I applied it with a wide stick and used it to shape the areas where the wheels and skis. I created the drifts and where the snow piled up on the side and front of the skis. Since I was depicting the crew after they left the aircraft I made the sled tracks and used a 1/48 extra figure to create the footsteps of the crew. With the base completely dry I sprayed some white primer on it to seal it.

I then purchase a product made by Scene-A-Rama called “Winter Effects” This kit supplies you with fake snow and some clear acrylic gel to make ice. The snow is a flaky soft plastic. While it looks good right out of the box it does not have the glistening effect that snow has. In order to replicate the glistening I bought some Pearl Ex powdered pigments. This is a pearlized pigment that glistens in the light and has varying hues. I chose the Interference Blue color. I then added it to the snow in a 50/50 mix and stirred them together. This made the snow more realistic looking.

The next step was to paint the acrylic gel with a wide brush on the base. The snow was then sprinkled on top of the wet acrylic gel. The kit gives you a plastic container with holes on top so it is easy to control how much goes on top. I used the brush with acrylic gel to also build up the drifts and blend them a little better so the drifts look like they are formed by the wind.

I let the base sit overnight to completely cure. I then misted a clear gloss spray over the surface to seal the snow and to add some more shine to the snow. I then mounted the aircraft to the base. I then used a medium brush that was dipped in the acrylic gel and then the snow. I used this to add snow on the tires, the sides and top of the skis, and on the aircraft boarding ladder and a little inside the cabin.

The snow effect gives a very realistic appearance to the display. The glisten effect adds to the realism of the scene. Thank you for checking out this interesting tip. Happy Modeling!

You can see more photos the tip in my Tips and Tricks section at:

Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

2 additional images. Click to enlarge.

6 responses

  1. Are all these products American, David? Oh my goodness, it feels like Christmas already.

  2. Thanks for sharing this, David!

  3. This gives very nice results, David @davids_models
    Nice details to display some snow on the ladder and inside the aircraft.

  4. Thanks for the info, David (@davids_models). Both diorama base and model look great.

  5. Great result David... Tropical Tilly in the middle of the snow...LOL

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