Paper Crafting, Small Scale Vehicles, Model Railroading and More.
Adding Realistic Dirt to your Dumper
Nothing looks more like dirt than dirt, except when you get down to HO scale. In
that tiny size even the smallest clumps are fist-sized. Sifting the dirt through
a piece of fine screen helps eliminate the bigger clods, but the result still looks
rough. In addition, the minute your dirt hits the moisture of the glue used to hold
it in place, it returns to its homogenous state and loses its granular look.
Here’s a way to make really real dirt loads for dump trucks and skip loaders: sand
We found that the dust captured by our DeWalt power sander with grade 50 pads, after
using it to remove some weathered brown paint, looked astoundingly like HO scale
dirt. In theory you could paint a board the color you want for your dirt, let it
dry, and then sand it off. The kerfs, captured in the sander’s dust bag, will be
just the color you need.
Our dumper had a plastic load already in it, but it took no time at all to cover
that load with a layer to tacky glue. We then “snowed” our sanded paint dust over
the bed. You could also make a load out of clay to fit your truck and coat that top
surface with your sanded results. The look is a realistically grained dirt that won’t
change color over time. It can’t: it’s paint!