Modular landscape, tunnels removable tops for track servicing

NScaleKen Oct 7, 2018

  1. NScaleKen

    NScaleKen TrainBoard Member

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    So this is the 1st section of a modular Cuesta Grade section of my layout. The entire layout is just a dream still, 4 levels of shelves with Port of Long Beach terminal Island on the bottom, 2 shelves of industries and stations along the way to San Luis Obispo, then Cuesta grade and San Ardo Oilfield on the top shelf. A fairly large chunk of the UP Coastal Subdivision and the Santa Maria Valley Railroad, a nice little local line along that section.

    To have that I need to go narrow and long with a lot of helix sections, and have a large amount of track both hidden and inaccessible from the back, so basically most of the landscape needs to be liftable to rerail trains etc.

    This is my approach on my first section, a frame of foam core and blue foam, covered in wire mesh then in plaster cloth, and eventually will be surfaced with plaster and molding compound to blend the junctions, smooth the dirt hillsides, etc.

    The second section I might go a little more with blue foam in slabs and less foam core framing, not totally sure, trying to preserve that blue foam till I really need it for something that requires a lot of negative feature creation like a stream bed or cliff face.


    Both hillside sections are removable/liftable to service the track or trains.

    comments and suggestions appreciated.

    edit: the tunnel and hill section are in this video at 1:58 or there abouts, its the last tunnel before the big cut and turn north out of the box canyon the pass is in. Watch the whole clip though and give it a thumbs up, the train vids dont get enough love compared to cats etc
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    Rip Track and Hardcoaler like this.
  2. NScaleKen

    NScaleKen TrainBoard Member

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    With a few thin layers of plaster, some sculptamold, the seam will hopefully be hidden by the scrub brush and grass on the hillside. I will apply those to both sides with a glue barrier just at ground level. It should blend the different landscape section tunnel covers. Fingers crossed.

     
  3. NScaleKen

    NScaleKen TrainBoard Member

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  4. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    I've heard a lot of good about sculptamold, but I find it fairly expensive. How much coverage can you get with a typical 5 lbs package?
     
  5. NScaleKen

    NScaleKen TrainBoard Member

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    I have a 4lbs package, it seems to go a long way I have used very little, about 1/10th of whats in the bag, on a few different landscape areas on this and a dinosaur fossil diorama. Some test forms as well. I dont use it to build up anything, only for surface to about 5mm-10mm depth in places, foam and wire mesh are what I get the basic form from. I use cheap foam core in 1/4 and 1/2 inch to make layer for things like the 3d printed scale fossil display (T Rex complete skeleton standing), I use it for framing for wire for layout and blue foam for sculpted areas. I am planning on using the sculptamold for edges of features and to build up specific areas like creek banks and small edges and rises like that. Working on this today will post pics of some rock and hillside small water erosion features I plan to do in sculptamold.
     
  6. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    I use it and mix it 50/50 with vermiculite . Also add some white glue and some paint to tint it a tan color . 2 bags of sculptamold and 1 bag of vermiculite covered a 40" x 96" layout for me . Probably 30 bucks worth of materials with the paint.......Mike
     
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  7. Stephane Savard

    Stephane Savard TrainBoard Member

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    That's what I want to use the stuff for, a final layer on top of a main structure of blue foam. I'll buy a bag of it and try it out.

    I'll also be following this thread if yours, I have several areas on my layout that I want to be removable, and I like what I'm seeing here.
     
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  8. NScaleKen

    NScaleKen TrainBoard Member

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    Did not get to the water erosion features today. Coupler issues had me sidetracked. Did get some framing done on the new module and have some images of that simple process.

    Next section of the top profile going on

    Using scraps saves a lot of virgins, err, virgin materials!

    Checking fit before glueing the sections to the frame

    Checking the look compared to the rough topo plan sketch, looks OK so check that off the list

    Also a YouTube layout update was posted the other day, featuring a bit of N scale Athearn tank train railfanning.
     

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