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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have just finished painting my double tunnel mouth : picture

The tunnel is going to be emerging from a hill with the hill spilling out either side and running down and merging with the ground.

How should I do the hill? I have slowly been trying polystrene, but I am slowly falling out with this stuff, its making a right mess and is quite hard to work with. How easy would it be to use chicken wire and 'papio-mashay' or with plaster bandage... or something...

I am quite nervouse about doing this, as I have psnt a while painting the mouth and I am quite pleased with it and dont want to screw it up with a nasty looking hill

any help would be great :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, i have a large wire cutter, it has a 2ft cutting depth


Im just not sure that using polystrene is a very good idea, maybe there are some better materials out there...
 

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I haven't made any tunnels, but I have made some decent-sized hills out of the expanding foam gap-filler - you know ... the aerosol stuff. It's practically impossible to control when being applied, but it's quick, strong, light and very easy to carve with a sharp blade. When carved it shows a honeycomb structure inside, so cut faces need to be covered with plaster or modelling clay [ I use DAS clay] and it makes very little mess.
A word of caution: it must not be heated as it can give off dangerous fumes when burned. But from what I've read so does white expanded polystyrene foam, and everyone seems to use that!

This is one side of my chalk cutting made using the materials I've mentioned. You can build quite high landscapes with the expanding foam. It was initially quite a bit higher than this, but I took a saw to it.
I hope this helps a bit.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm, so are you suggesting i make a massive mound of expanded foam then carve it into a hill?

Could work....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks, it cost three quid and it looked abit nasty, so I spruced it up with my airbrush. I was quite pleased with the result,

glad you liked it.
 

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hoarp001 Posted Today, 10:43 AM
Hmm, so are you suggesting i make a massive mound of expanded foam then carve it into a hill?

Could work....

Yep

The surrounding landscape or even the top of the hill could be covered with paper towels or kitchen wipes {Chux} soaked in plaster.
Good luck. Keep us posted.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so far mine looks like

This
and
This

The tunnel (the one im building the portal for) looks like this:

Video

It goes into the wall, infront of the water tank and out again...

what do you think?
 

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I think so far so good. Pity the video's a bit dark.
Very sheer openings, but if you build a hill you'll lose a fair length of track, so I dunno. Maybe just go for the sheer look using plaster and/or modelling clay. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well obviously this is in very early stages of development. The plan was to build a hill against the wall, covering the letterbox style opening and put the nice painted portal over it...
 

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QUOTE How easy would it be to use chicken wire and 'papio-mashay' or with plaster bandage... or something... Don't do the chicken wire thing. It's a hassle and you will inevitably end up with lots of cuts on your fingers.
Use scrunched up newpaper taped into place covered with plaster soaked cloth. I believe that Woodland Scenics make ready made version of this if you don't have access to bandages and plaster of paris.
Forget paper mache as it takes for ever. You'll have no blood left in your arms by the time you're finished.

My last layout had chicken wire and paper mache as a basis for the landscape and it's a hassle when you need to cut a section away to put something else in or remove it. You need to use wirecutters as well as a stanley knife.

Your tunnel looks good!
 

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Is the layout portable? Or is weight an issue? If not then Polyfilla (or similar) is an ideal medium for working in. Make the rough outline of the hill from strips of card layed over rolled up newspaper, cover this with either masking tape or parcel tape (the 2" wide sticky plastic type) and gently build up a shell of filler over the top of this. When set it can be carved for rock faces or drilled (if thick enough) to accept fence posts and trees. Level areas for structures or roads can easily be added using more filler once the original shell has set.


No lining on the tunnels on this old layout, just raw 'bedrock', but it is easy enough to incorporate a pre-made portal. The filler has been moulded around the bridge abutments.
 

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For a different approach I used forms made out of card and Duck Tape, and poured concrete over it. The result is a nice smooth interior for the tunnel and it is very strong and water resistant. The dirty Focus sand means that the concrete isn't the typical grey colour but more like a brown hillside. Just have to wait for some moss to grow on it now (it is outside)!
 

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Just a bit of advice....

Don't forget, tunnels don't just happen (a la trainset), in reality they are actually a last resort during the building of any railway, as they are very expensive!! Basically this means that you need a reason to build one, which is to say that the scenery its self has to able to provide the reason for its' existence.

Regards

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
...yeah, theres a bloody great big water tank in the way


The track avoids having to run the track infront of the full height doors that lead to the watter tank....
 
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