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Mountaineer – Work In Progress (2): making a snow base

Medicine ‘Fried Awake’

Odd as it may seem, before making a snow base it’s important to decide what type of snow you want to represent – whether pristine, powdery snowdrifts; or slushy ice and snow, which is thawing. I chose to make this look like the snow had melted slightly:


Materials used – still water, on the left, which is smooth and clear; and the gel-like version, which can be used to create texture, on the right:


Crushed glass, on the left – this isn’t strictly necessary, and it’s quite dangerous; so it’s purely optional, but it does add a nice sparkle. On the right, snow flock:


Pre-made icicles: 010

You make these by cutting small slivers of transparent plastic – such as the kind you get on blister packs – then painting them with successive layers of still water-effect. There is a short tutorial about this on SproketSmallWorld.

If you want snow to look white, rather than transparent, add some white paint to the water effect when mixing it with flock. I wanted it to have an icy appearance; so left the paint out of the mix.

Anyway, first attach the icicles using water effect as an adhesive – water effect shrinks slightly when it has cured, and so can change the angle of the icicles. To keep them vertical, I just use a bit of blue-tack to hold them in place:


Building successive layers of snow is more effective than daubing-on one heavy application of the snow-mix. So, the first layer was stippled on using an old paintbrush:



You can see how the snow becomes more opaque with additional layers:


I dotted some onto the bridge, and the rails – a cocktail stick is helpful here:


Finish by placing water effect in places where the snow looks heaviest, and sprinkling pure snow flock over these areas.

Finally, paint a thin layer of satin varnish over the snow: