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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm in the process of putting together a new Scalextric Digital layout, (see Barrington Raceway in the Digital section of the forum), and the next task will be to add some sculpted hills.

Now, when I have done this for a model railway in the past, I used papiermache, but the railway was always indoors.

This time however, the layout is in the garage, which gets very cold during the winter, so my question is do you think papier mache will last or do you have any other suggestions?

I already have my scatter grass which will be put on top of a base layer of green paint...

Anyway, thanks in advance for your suggestions...
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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Papier mache is still a possibility, but mice, damp, etc might limit the lifespan.

Some things I've seen tried include plaster cloth (purchased or made) over a wire form, expanding spray foam, polystyrene (I used the white beaded stuff, horribly messy but free). I'm sure there are more but I'm still on my first coffee for the morning so the brain's not in top gear yet.

Embs
 

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Ian
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Hi BFM,
I have a feeling that the papiermache would probably be fine, however just to be certain I'd be tempted to go over the top of it with Plaster of Paris more commonly known as modrock for modelling, you can get it from the railway model shops however I found it cheaper to buy from medical suppliers on-line you get a lot more for your money that way.

It gives you this effect


once painted that looked like



Another method is plain old polystyrene fitted into place it can be shaped and painted and very effective....

I am sure there are loads of other materials, expanding foam, Furniture Foam - Look up "Frocks" can be very effective and I'm sure others will offer other suggestions too.

Just have fun

Sorry Emb's beat me to reply!
 

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Rich Dumas
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I don't know how papier mache will hold up when flying cars hit it or someone leans on it. I would not worry as much about changes in temperature or humidity. I did this diorama using a mixture of plaster of paris and sawdust on window screen. It was a little messy! A more modern technique is to use plaster cloth, you cut it to shape, stick it in place with a few dots of hot glue and spray a little water on it. When it sets the cloth might still show a rather coarse weave and might not take the glue to stick down flock very well. You could mix up some rather dilute plaster and paint that on with a brush I suppose.

 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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Cheap version of plaster cloth: Strips of cheap disposable dish cloth (Chux here, but no doubt a million different brand names over the world) dipped in plaster and applied to project.

I usually top any work off with Plasterer's Jointing Compound which is a fairly soft plaster mix (I use pre-mixed for convenience). Give a softer more workable finish than standard plaster. Great for sanding, carving and what-have-you.

Embs

PS: Sorry Bleeper
 

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I used papier mache' for some of my landscaping. So far, it's held up fine (It's surprisingly strong!) I used strips of corrugated cardboard to build the shapes, and brown wrapping paper soaked in white glue (PVA) to skin it over. I did it in alternating strips, so if it shrunk, it would do as little damage as possible. Then a layer of Clay-Crete (paper-clay) to take the sheets over strips curse off the surface. And it takes paint beautifully!

P1020506 by Dattodesign, on Flickr

Here I've cut away some of the papier mache surface to insert a buiding. Again, surprisingly tough!

DSC_0035 by Dattodesign, on Flickr

Mice could be a potential problem, but so far, so good over here
 

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I used papier mache in my last set and two layers over chicken wire held up to everything but kids hands....

I am now using plaster bandage from Sculpture Supply Canada - $5 for 4" by 5 yds. It is not nearly as messy.
 

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Nothing will stand up to kids hands unless you machine it out of solid billet titanium
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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If you want kids to stay away from it you could always make it out of broccoli or brussel sprouts. Mice, unfortunately, are a little less fussy with their dietary intake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi all,

Thanks ever so much for all the comments, some great pics too!

So, ive come to a decision on the material I will be using.

Here is my thought process: Titanium, whilst tough and child resistent proves to be a little expensive

Brocolli was definitely the next best suggestion, made me laugh a lot! However, as rightly pointed out, it may be safe from children, it may not be from our little furry friends! (although surely even rats or mice would turn their nose up to that?!)

So, having previously used papier mache, i thought I would try something new!

Therefore, I purchased some expanding foam!! So, any tips for working with this stuff?!

I also got my base paint, a nice dark green, and some PVA glue to mix it with which will secure the scatter grass...

Day off tomorrow, so hoping to make some progress!!

Whoop Whoop!
 

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The expanding foam is great BUT take your finger off the trigger early as the stuff keeps coming out of the canister !! Mike
 

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Boredfatman,

I have also used expanding foam, it works great!

A few things/tips:

Lightly mist spray the area with water for better adhesion of "rocks" to base.

If you mist spray the foam right after application, it will expand even more.

I have used wax paper to protect the areas that I did'nt want the foam to adhere to. The wax paper is easily removed when foam has set (at least 24 hours later).

Use gloves, the stuff is sticky!

The foam is very heat resistant. I thought that I could downsize it with a heat gun afterwards (like you do with polystyrene), but it doesn't work.

It can easily be cut with a sharp knife or hacksaw blade, but only after it has completely set.

Patience is the magic word.


Hope this helps.

Cheers
Theo
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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TK has definitely got the important word right when it comes to expanding foam. Patience! Great, huge, enormous, bucket loads of patience is required. When you think it has finished expanding wait longer! And it will always expand more than you think. It's really worth layering it up rather than just applying a huge splodge and waiting for it to do its thing.

I have a little bump on the middle straight on my track that was caused by a very slight over enthusiasm with the spray foam (just right of centre in photo).


Not a problem as far as I'm concerned. It goes well with the other intentional bumps and twists added.

But you have been warned!

Cheers
Embs
 

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Just like to share a discovery I made with Polystyrene.

You can either break it up into individual beads (I've used a food processor in the past!) or cut it out in lumps.

The beads can be mixed with diluted PVA to make a good space filler, landscaping material and lumps can be cut into shapes.

OK, probably most of you knew that!

Now for the clever bit, the surface is probably looking a bit grim, paint over the surface with PVA and let it dry. If you have a small modelling iron, such as those used for RC planes, you can now iron on kitchen roll. This gives a good surface and the heat makes it stick really well . You can use the heat of the iron through the kitchen roll for a bit more sculpting as you go along. Once you have the kitchen roll stuck nicely, you can go over it with a sealing coat of PVA, adding paint or scenic material as you wish.

What you get is a resilient top surface but the underlying scenery is still spongy, very car resistant and kind too them too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all of your advice and tips so far.

I decided today to build my first set of hills with papier mache as I want to practice with the foam first as it sounds so difficult to work with.

I have posted progress so far in my main thread http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?...15&start=15

Couldn't use the foam outside today anyway as the temps were below freezing and it was trying to snow!
 
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