1. noob express

    noob express TrainBoard Member

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    So in working on my first layout, I’m am getting close to being ready to start painting but the horizontal lines in between the layers of foam are really detracting from the scene. Does anyone have any tips on how to hide these better or will they just fade away in the painting process? [​IMG]


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  2. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    i would use the plastic foam as a substrate for plaster.
     
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  3. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Use plaster cloth, Sculptamold or Hydrocal to fill in between the layers.

    Looking good by the way. :)
     
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  4. noob express

    noob express TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks! So I have plaster cloth from woodland scenics. Do i just lay it on there and press into the carvings I’ve made?


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  5. Carl Lawson

    Carl Lawson TrainBoard Member

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    See those big flat surfaces? Nothing in nature is that flat except the dried salt flats out west. Start by carving some erosion features into those surfaces first, then work some celluclay or sculptamold into the cracks between the layers, unless you’re going for the layer cake look.

    Even better, mix some celluclay (a paper mache product) with a 50/50 water/latex paint solution and trowel it over the foam in a thin layer. Sprinkle it with dirt or ground foam while it’s wet, then spray with wet water solution until the base paint color leaches through. Then let it dry. This will give you a good base scenery.
     
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  6. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    I would not press it in to the carvings you made. You'll end up with the same "step" look though the seams would be covered up. Like Carl said above, most things in nature are not totally horizontal. You can follow his suggestion and then lay the cloth over as a last step. Or, lay the cloth on now and then follow his suggestions.

    If you have never worked with plaster cloth, you don't have to press any of it into anything when wet. It actually has the strength to support itself once it's dried. It becomes a shell of the shape you made it to while wet.
     
  7. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    We use the foam for the base and then cover it with lightweight spackling and then lightly sand that. Covers the holes and gaps, is still rather lightweight, and takes paint and scenery without worrying if it will attach the foam.
     
  8. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    BTW: lightweight spackle is what WS lightweight scenery is. Same container, just different printing.
     
  9. noob express

    noob express TrainBoard Member

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    Update!

    [​IMG]

    Thank you all for your help! Hope I did it right lol


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  10. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    i wouldn't use plaster cloth, I'd save some money and get plaster from the home center (setting sheetrock mud should do) rougn up the foam surface a bit, mix the first coat a little thin, get a disposable hog bristle brush and paint on. Continue this process with additional coats, you can add more plaster as soon as the previous coat is just damp. Keep adding plaster till you get the contour you want Search MR online, and find scenery in a day. Iexplain the whole thing, and David Haine demonstrates. You can get all the plaster you need on in an easy evening, and be done in time for nightly news.
     
  11. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Plaster cloth is way lighter than layers and layers of plaster. And with many layers of plaster you increase the chance of cracks as the layers dry. You also have one layer to dry instead of multiple layers.
     
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  12. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Never had cracking problems, if you do it right, you get what is effectively one layer of plaster. On my layout in most places the plaster was only about an eighth in thick.
     
  13. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Ah, so you're talking about the final layer(s) since its about 1/8" thick. Not contouring as you said "Keep adding plaster till you get the contour you want... " This will give thick layers especially at the 90 degree interface between a horizontal and a somewhat vertical surface (think fillet).

    This won't work with the OP since his foam base is in rough/approximate shaped layers. Adding an 1/8 of plaster will end up with the same step like shape, which is not what you want.

    With plaster cloth you can quickly bridge the "steps" between layers. If you take a zoomed in look at the previous OP picture on the right, you see exactly that. The OP draped the cloth across two layers, forming a nice smooth, more naturally looking mountain side. No steps like a rice field.
     
  14. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Anyone have experience on using the plaster cloth on portable modules? How does it stand up to repeated set ups/take downs as well as being jostled around during travel?
     
  15. noob express

    noob express TrainBoard Member

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    Next question...

    Should I go with a traditional trestle like the ones on the left, or do something more modern like the one on the right?

    [​IMG]


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  16. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    "Ah, so you're talking about the final layer(s) since its about 1/8" thick."

    Did I say that? If so I'm sorry, but I didn't mean that. I meant the overall thickness. Yes, there were parts where it could be as much as a quarter inch thick, but that wasn't common.

    Now I will say that I didn't use foam as a bas, I used aluminum screen wire. There were still sharp edges but not as long and repeatable as with foam, which I would never use, screen is so easy and isn't as messy.

    But if you want to use foam and plaster cloth, knock yourself out. It's your RR.
     

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