Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been making hills out of scrunched up newspaper abd then puting plaster cloth over it. Its to expensive $20 a roll. I need a cheaper way to do it.

So hit me with your ideas.


Harrison
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
expanding foam: spray wait for expansion, then carve, then cover with papermasche

foam block: carve and cover with papermasche
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,592 Posts
I've used what the Yanks call hard shell many years ago, chicken wire or my case mosquito gauze stapled to the bench work and then covered with newspaper covered or soaked in watery plaster - it's very messy. latterly I've used styrene with plaster bandage it's much cheaper from nursing supplies rather than model shops. You can also use masking tape made up as a web over crumpled news paper and plaster bandage on top. This last method is great for embankments. Expanded foam is good but there's not much control when you open the tin, and the foam which is polyurethane loves moisture.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
I used 2" polystyrine sheets, cut to the basic shape then sanded off (very messy with thousands of poly balls everywhere) Then covered with kitchen paper towel and PVA glue.

Not thought about using the expandable foam. Might give it a go...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,837 Posts
I made a reasonable hill for a previous layout in the following manner. I laid a sheet of modeller's green matting face down on the workbench. Then I put some chicken wire on top and used parcel tape to attach it by pressing between the holes. This was turned right side up and moulded over some formers made of sundeala offcuts. By the way, I won't use chicken wire again; it's vicious stuff when cut.

For smaller hills I don't think that you would need formers and even possibly not the chicken wire. I would think that the green matting could be laid directly over some screwed-up newspaper covered in glue or wallpaper paste. This is assuming that you are willing to use the ready-made green matting.

I once tried polystyrene but won't do so again. I was clearing up for weeks afterwards. I hope that gives you some ideas.

Cheers, Robert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Use the scrunched up newspaper as mentioned then use strips of newspaper soaked with dilute PVA glue to cover the scrunched up paper. Build up in layers.
Once dry (takes a while) either paint an earth colour or add a thin skim of Polyfiller or similar.
When that's dry paint and add your scenic covering.
Sounds more complicated than it is but, it's cheap, recycles newspaper and it works!

Most of the raised scenery on my layout "Llaffan" was done this way http://www.frankcollins.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/llaffan.htm

Regards
Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Just an alternative approach......I found that scrunched Newspaper means you need more plaster bandage, however I now weave cardboard strips (about the thickness of mounting board) cut to about 1" wide and packed tightly and this means you can use just 2 layers of bandage just to cover the cardboard. It saves a little cost.....I also found my contours looks more convincing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,397 Posts
I use plaster of Paris soaked in, basically ripped up old clothes. They're not as thin as bandages but the effect is pretty good. This costs very little. If you buy a ready made modelling product it is usually expensive but if you get the components and put them together yourself it is usually quite cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Hi there Harrison,

I agree, plaster cloth is an expensive option.

Here is how I go about making hills and mountains the cheap way.

Take some Polystyrene (throwaway packaging material available free from furniture and departmental stores), break it up in smaller pieces and build up a rough outline of the hill or mountain you eventually want. You can keep the pieces of Polystyrene in place with masking tape or construction glue which comes in similar tubes as silicone. Once you've got the basic hill/mountain form it is ready to be covered. I use hessian to cover the Polystyrene. Hessian is a light brown woven material originally used for potato bags in the agricultural sector. Nowadays it is being used for several other applications including the gardening sector and even for decoration purposes. Here in South Africa it is available from hardware stores and nurseries and it is relatively cheap. I do not know whether a similar product is available in Australia.

Take the hessian and cut it slightly bigger than the area it has to cover. Now soak the cut piece of hessian in water and then wring out the surplus water. The wet hessian is easier to form over the Polystyrene base. Take the wet piece of hessian and lay it over the basic hill/mountain. Form the hill/mountain as you would like it to be by pressing the wet hessian into position. The hessian can be kept in place with staples, hot melt glue or similar.

Instead of plaster to cover the hessian cloth I use Rhinolite or Stonecrete as both these products have a longer working time than plaster and is also much cheaper. Rhinolite and Stoncrete both are white plaster based products used in the building industry as a finishing plaster for newly plastered walls. In South Africa it comes in 40kg bags which goes a looooong way! I am sure that similar products are available in your country.

Prepare your first layer of Rhinolite by mixing it with water until you have a soupy mixture. Add some oxide powder or paint powder of the colour of the rock of the hills/moutains you are modelling to the mixture. This will ensure that when your hills/mountains are finished and dry and it gets bumped the white of the plaster will not show but instead it will appear to be a rock. Once the mix is ready take a cheap paint brush (38mm or 50mm) and work the soupy mix into the wet hessian. Make sure that all areas are thoroughly soaked. This is also the start of the final form of your hill or mountain. Once completed leave to touch dry.

Mix the second layer of Rhinolite exactly in the same manner as the first except that this mix must have more of a creamy consistency. Now apply the mixture onto the shell and once again work it into all areas of the shell and leave to dry. When dry you will notice that a relatively hard shell has already developed.

Mix the third and final layer as before but into a thick cream consistency. Spray the shell and then again apply the mixture onto the shell and while wet finalise the form of the hill or mountain with the brush, putty knife or the best tool of all your hands. You can also carve in basic rock faces etc whilst still wet and finalise the rock faces later when the whole shell is dry.

When the shell is thoroughly dry you should have a rock hard strong and durable shell. You can do the final touches i e painting the rock faces etc and adding the necessary plant materials and greenery. If you want to you can also add your plaster rock castings now and work them into the rock faces.

I have used this method many times and it always works for me. You can use it to make cuttings, tunnel approaches and also for general landscaping. I have built several modular layouts for exhibitions and the hills and mountains built in this way have withstood all the bumps and knocks from transporting, setting up and dismantling.

Good luck with your hills and mountains!

Kind regards.

Johan
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thankyou for that interesting procedure Johan. you should write a book. I'm sure it will work, ill try it immediatelly. ThanksQUOTE (Johan de Villiers @ 6 Jan 2008, 22:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi there Harrison,

I agree, plaster cloth is an expensive option.

Here is how I go about making hills and mountains the cheap way.

Take some Polystyrene (throwaway packaging material available free from furniture and departmental stores), break it up in smaller pieces and build up a rough outline of the hill or mountain you eventually want. You can keep the pieces of Polystyrene in place with masking tape or construction glue which comes in similar tubes as silicone. Once you've got the basic hill/mountain form it is ready to be covered. I use hessian to cover the Polystyrene. Hessian is a light brown woven material originally used for potato bags in the agricultural sector. Nowadays it is being used for several other applications including the gardening sector and even for decoration purposes. Here in South Africa it is available from hardware stores and nurseries and it is relatively cheap. I do not know whether a similar product is available in Australia.

Take the hessian and cut it slightly bigger than the area it has to cover. Now soak the cut piece of hessian in water and then wring out the surplus water. The wet hessian is easier to form over the Polystyrene base. Take the wet piece of hessian and lay it over the basic hill/mountain. Form the hill/mountain as you would like it to be by pressing the wet hessian into position. The hessian can be kept in place with staples, hot melt glue or similar.

Instead of plaster to cover the hessian cloth I use Rhinolite or Stonecrete as both these products have a longer working time than plaster and is also much cheaper. Rhinolite and Stoncrete both are white plaster based products used in the building industry as a finishing plaster for newly plastered walls. In South Africa it comes in 40kg bags which goes a looooong way! I am sure that similar products are available in your country.

Prepare your first layer of Rhinolite by mixing it with water until you have a soupy mixture. Add some oxide powder or paint powder of the colour of the rock of the hills/moutains you are modelling to the mixture. This will ensure that when your hills/mountains are finished and dry and it gets bumped the white of the plaster will not show but instead it will appear to be a rock. Once the mix is ready take a cheap paint brush (38mm or 50mm) and work the soupy mix into the wet hessian. Make sure that all areas are thoroughly soaked. This is also the start of the final form of your hill or mountain. Once completed leave to touch dry.

Mix the second layer of Rhinolite exactly in the same manner as the first except that this mix must have more of a creamy consistency. Now apply the mixture onto the shell and once again work it into all areas of the shell and leave to dry. When dry you will notice that a relatively hard shell has already developed.

Mix the third and final layer as before but into a thick cream consistency. Spray the shell and then again apply the mixture onto the shell and while wet finalise the form of the hill or mountain with the brush, putty knife or the best tool of all your hands. You can also carve in basic rock faces etc whilst still wet and finalise the rock faces later when the whole shell is dry.

When the shell is thoroughly dry you should have a rock hard strong and durable shell. You can do the final touches i e painting the rock faces etc and adding the necessary plant materials and greenery. If you want to you can also add your plaster rock castings now and work them into the rock faces.

I have used this method many times and it always works for me. You can use it to make cuttings, tunnel approaches and also for general landscaping. I have built several modular layouts for exhibitions and the hills and mountains built in this way have withstood all the bumps and knocks from transporting, setting up and dismantling.

Good luck with your hills and mountains!

Kind regards.

Johan
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top