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Discussion Starter #1
What do you guys use to make mountains? I am thinking of Rockies or Cascades (Volcano) types.
Any tips or suggestions on how to make one? I will be making a dio of a town and cars on said mountain. Possibly a track running down the side.
Thank you for any ideas.
Richard
 

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You don't mention what scale. But after you do your layout, run down to Lowes (or whatever) and pick up a 4'x8' piece of 2" insulation foamboard (blue) and start carving and gluing. The easiest, but by no means the cleanest, way to make mountains.
Bruce
 

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I'd go with the green floral foam with a coat of drywall mud over it, painted and while the paint is still wet, cover with scenery foam.

Second idea is using screen, stapled in place and with wood block supports and then use drywall mud thinned and use a small "long fur" paint roller to roll the drywall mud carefully over the screen. let it dry and then put on another coat carefully. After 2 coats, it should be ready for paint and scenery. Make sure you build your tunnel linings and put those in place first. You'll want to verify all the clearances.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I didn't go with any particular scale because I wanted ideas on how one would go about making the mountains. My scale is 1:64 or S scale.
The trains I have are Ho and O scale I believe. I am more into the cars than I am into the trains, but when it comes to layouts and dioramas, It seems that everyone suggests the same thing. "Talk to the Model train guys".
So, to give more information; I want to make a mountain that the cars will race down on different tracks and I want this mountain to be multifunctional. It may also have a couple of trains running on the bottom of the mountain. I am going to want to put towns and cities on this mountain for displaying the cars also.
I hope this gives you a better Idea of why I asked my question.
Richard
 

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Yeah, teh screen with wood underframe would be the best approach. Put down the flat surface you plan to mount the track and road on with all the grades calculated etc and then add the wood framework and finally the screen. You can use hot glue, staples(staple gun type not paper staples) screws to secure the screen. THIN plaster rolled over the screen will fill in the holes on the first pass and a second coat will help to strengthen the screen. Finally, paint the mountain and add the trees, shrubs, buildings etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks you Y3a.
I appreciate your input.
Why would you not go with mud and foam as was suggested earlier?
Richard
 

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For larger mountains, you wouldn't want the expense and mess of building a mountain purely from foam covered with mud. The screen and mud solution is far lighter in weight, but takes more forethought in construction.
 

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I have luck with plaster cloth available from Micro Mark. You can use screen or even crumpled up newspaper. Cut the cloth in strips, dip in water and lay down rough side up. Seems to be the same stuff doctors use to make people casts out of.
 

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Make sure you plan where to put your trees n such, dirt paths through the wood, and how many fallen trees, small bushes and creeks.
 

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Here is a photo of a Psycho Bates Mansion diorama (in progress).

I made the hill that the house is sitting on on a plywood base and a single sheet of styrofoam. The lower area to the right is a piece of foam core board. Instead of using mud, I brushed on white glue and sifted regular play sand on top. Then the sand was "sealed" with a mixture of 50% white glue and 50% water sprayed on top. The foliage is from woodland scenics. This would probably be the easiest way to go.

I've got a few trees on there now and have to add a couple things but you get the general idea. I will have the final photos posted on the website in a few days.


Geminibuildups

GEMINI MODEL BUILD-UP STUDIOS
www.geminibuildupstudios.com
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here is a photo of a Psycho Bates Mansion diorama (in progress).

I made the hill that the house is sitting on on a plywood base and a single sheet of styrofoam. The lower area to the right is a piece of foam core board. Instead of using mud, I brushed on white glue and sifted regular play sand on top. Then the sand was "sealed" with a mixture of 50% white glue and 50% water sprayed on top. The foliage is from woodland scenics. This would probably be the easiest way to go.

I've got a few trees on there now and have to add a couple things but you get the general idea. I will have the final photos posted on the website in a few days.


Geminibuildups

GEMINI MODEL BUILD-UP STUDIOS
www.geminibuildupstudios.com
Thank you for the input. I appreciate it.
Richard
 

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I've tried a few different methods over the years, and the simplest has been the 2" foam board. Yes it's a little messy, but nothing a vacuum cleaner can't handle. Rough cuts with a kitchen knife, and smaller hills and valleys can be easily sanded onto the board. The only thing I haven't researched is the best method of adding multiple foam boards together to add elevation. Hot melt and contact cement are not the answer. Maybe white glue would work, and I'm sure there are others. I think someone mentioned something called super 78 high tack glue, but I haven't tried it yet.

Using this method you can always have a basically level surface at your disposal. All buildings (as long as they are built correctly) are built plumb and level. A tilted house just won't look right. As you work your way up the mountain you can plan your roads into each ascending level and then once completed add the road surface. For scenery, I used a qt of mis-mixed walmart latex white, and I added a little brown acrylic to it for a kinda dry earth color. I painted it on and sprinkled Woodland Scenics ground foam right on the wet paint. I followed this up with a 50/50 mix of water and white glue sprayed through an old windex bottle (very important to make sure the pump mists, you'll disturb the ground foam with it on stream!!)

If you want more coverage, sprinkle more foam on, then mist the glue mix again. You can sprinkle another light layer of foam on the wet glue, and vacuum the loose stuff off. This leaves a nice durable coating. The foam is solid enough to handle stuff. For trees, once it's all dried, poke an awl in the foam and stick the tree right into the hole. Cut the bases off pre-made ones for a more realistic effect.

One other advantage of using the blue (or pink) foam is you can work in sections. I used it for about 1/2 of my slot car/train table, and I was able to trace and cut out sections on newspaper, transfer the section onto the foam, and cut it outside, so there was no mess to clean up. Then after checking for fit, I started shaping and sculpting (also done outside).

In this example, I wanted a parking lot for my Pizza Hut... Pix tell the story..







For something like this, you paint in stages. Paint the parking lot (.99 acrylics from wally world craft dept). Let dry. Paint the curbing grey (same type paint) and let dry. Then paint the grassy areas brown, and sprinkle the foam on. It'll only stick to the wet stuff. Let dry. Glue water mix it ( use a piece of cardboard to keep the glue off the pavement) and a light sprinkle of foam and you're done.

Darn, I miss that table... :( Yes, the scales are off, but I'm no rivet counter. I've always mixed die cast with HO trains since I was a kid (still am at 50).
 

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Hey Slotcarman!

That's an awesome trackside Pizza Hut. Did you ever have problems with slot cars breaking away and crashing into it? - Actually, a more serious question is "How do you keep power to the slot car track when the train rails bysect it?

Well, if you want to know how mountains were done in the old days, their's a great old book from Bill McClanahan called "Scenery for Model Railroads". It was printed in 1958 and it shows you EVERYTHING about scale landscaping, from how to arrange your trees in a realistic fashion to rivers and lakes to mountains. There is a lot of great drawings in the book (As 99% of all things back then were illustrations) that show you all the construction steps to building your own scenery.

Applied to the modern materials, like dense core styrofoam, these techniques prove fantastic after all these years!

Check it out online sometime.

Trevor Ursulescu
Monster Hobbies
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey Slotcarman!

That's an awesome trackside Pizza Hut. Did you ever have problems with slot cars breaking away and crashing into it? - Actually, a more serious question is "How do you keep power to the slot car track when the train rails bysect it?

Well, if you want to know how mountains were done in the old days, their's a great old book from Bill McClanahan called "Scenery for Model Railroads". It was printed in 1958 and it shows you EVERYTHING about scale landscaping, from how to arrange your trees in a realistic fashion to rivers and lakes to mountains. There is a lot of great drawings in the book (As 99% of all things back then were illustrations) that show you all the construction steps to building your own scenery.

Applied to the modern materials, like dense core styrofoam, these techniques prove fantastic after all these years!

Check it out online sometime.

Trevor Ursulescu
Monster Hobbies
Hi Trevor,
I will do that.
Thank you.
Richard
 
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