Mountain ?

I am trying to figure out how to build mountains. What materials do you use? Do you use plaster of paris? I do not know why this is being so hard for me, but I
can not think of a way to do it. I was thinking using chicken wire for shape.
Help please!
Thanks Chris
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Chris wrote:

I did it once with just crumpled paper for filler then put paper mache over it (paper in plaster mix). Then I pulled the crumpled paper out. But of course the crumpled paper stuck to the paper mache and it wasn't as neat inside. But it does make a hollow shell mountain if you make it enough layers and have an occasional support. I cut cardboard pieces and put them in vertically to help support and shape, but not many of them.
Never gave the chicken wire a thought. It just seemed to industrial to me.
Then a second time I put layers of foam and then mache on top. This is more solid but not hollow.
But I'm a first timer at this too.
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Big_Al wrote:

There are two basic problems here: wieght and size. To keep weight down, you make the mountains hollow. For large mountains, the shell must be as self supporting as possible to reduce the need for internal supports.
First, buy one of those books that describes how to build a complete layout, or that covers the basics of model railroading. Your hobby shop will have them. Kalmbach advertises theirs in every issue of Model Railroader, or go to their website: http://www.kalmbach.com/kpc/default.aspx Don't forget to check out your local library.
4 methods I've used: 1. The one described by Big Al. Works well. Alternatives to papier mache: two to three layers of paper towel dipped in a thin plaster soup; two layers of kraft paper painted with thinned white glue. You can rip out most of the crumpled newspaper afterwards. Good for small to medium size hills.
2. Foam and plaster cloth: cut layers of extruded insulation foam (foam or blue), and build up like a layer cake. To save foam, you can cut the strips about 2" wide, shaped to follow the contours of the hill, and use a few supports here and there to support the upper layers. Glue the foam pieces with acrylic latex (water based) contact glue. When the glue has set, use a parting knife to punch through the stair-step edges, and twist off pieces of foam to create the slopes of the hill. Cut plaster cloth into pieces about the size of your hand, and apply. Overlap and inch or so, and smooth with the fingers. You can add another layer before it dries if you wish. The cleanest and fastest method I've ever used. Good for all sizes.
3. Cut boxboard into roughly 1" wide strips, and weave them into the mountain shape. Use hot glue and/or staples to fasten them together, and to make them hold their shape. Cover with plaster, papier mache, plaster cloth, etc. This is very good for building larger mountains.
4. Chicken wire or screen wire fastened onto vertical formers (cross sections of the mountain shape), wood strips, etc. You'll good metal snips, and gloves. Good for medium to large sizes. Makes a very permanent scenery base which is hard to modify.
HTH
--
wolf k.

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Just a note, Micromark sells pre-cut strips like these if you don't want to hunt down and carve up a few boxes...
                            ---john.
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On Tue, 29 Jul 2008 16:48:52 +0000 (UTC), John Haskey wrote:

Now, that's the ultimate in silly spending, compared to the cost of a utility knife (box cutter - see AhmedsUsedBoxcutters.com) if you don't have one, and not throwing fiberboard boxes into the recycle bin. MicroMark is giving Hamburger Helper a run for their money! (Helois's Helpful Hint: just buy an onion and a couple potatoes)
--
Steve

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On 7/29/2008 10:06 AM Steve Caple spake thus:

Agreed; anyone who buys stuff like this ("Handy Pre-Cut Cardboard Strips!") is either terminally lazy or stupid. If one is resourceful to find all the stuff for a layout, surely one can find a discarded carton or three.
By the way, there's another construction method that hasn't been mentioned here yet: pure papier-mch. Rather than use plaster, which, as has been pointed out, is pretty heavy, just make the support out of balled-up paper, cardboard struts, or both, then weave cardboard strips over that and cover it with papier-mch (paper soaked in wallpaper paste or equivalent).
The result won't be as hard or dense as plaster, and certainly won't be water resistant, but it may work in some situations. You can also use "real" papier-mch (that is, a paste of ground-up paper and adhesive) as a lightweight covering. It has a nice texture that can be pretty rock-like with a little sculpting. I've seen some really nice landscaping done this way.
--
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
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If you use papier-mch, particularly if you do it with newspaper strips and wallpaper paste (sizing), you may find that the result is fairly smooth. You can introduce some texture by manipulating the strips as they're applied to introduce wrinkles. I've found with a project that's in work right now that you can add texture more easily with a product called ClayCrete, and there are several similar products out there at craft stores. The product is powdered or finely shredded paper with a glue already mixed in, so you just add water to get a dense oatmeal consistency, then apply and shape it. It's probably the best thing to use this form for a finish over a couple of base layers of newspaper papier-mch, because if you just use the ClayCrete it could add a good deal of weight since you will be tempted to build it up deeper to obtain more interesting shapes. On a smaller project like a diorama, that might not be such a consideration.
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On 7/29/2008 12:55 PM RRGrandad spake thus:

Yes, that's exactly what I was thinking of in my further comments. You can actually make stuff like this yourself pretty easily using a blender and any kind of paper. Just make a mush out of it and add the sticky stuff (wallpaper paste, white glue, etc.)
--
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
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Don't forget though that we have people in this hobby who will spend twice as much for an assembled Athearn boxcar. Assembling one of them is pretty basic but... (sigh...) A few years ago, I did a model railroad "class" for some kids at a local library and THEY assembled the car kits (yes, even the girls did too!).
dlm
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Kids have a different 'curiousity' level: they were likely 'curious' how one got a 3D object (the assembled Athearn boxcar) from a pile of (mostly) 2D plastic parts. Many adult model railroaders just want to populate a 100 car train and just buy 100 pre-assembled Athearn boxcars. OTOH, handing the kids 100 boxes of parts (each!) and ask them to assemble all 100 boxcars probably would not go over well...

--
Robert Heller -- 978-544-6933
Deepwoods Software -- Download the Model Railroad System
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I used this method with a slight modification... Instead of layering the foam, I cut it into strips and stacked & glued them like Lincoln Logs. Then with a hot wire foam cutter, I rounded off some corners & obvious edges. Not for final shaping but just the bigger picture. Then I wadded up damp newspaper and used that to shape the hills. Finally I used the Plaster Cloth to give the hills their final shape. Similar approach but a slightly different step-by-step process.
I think I'd stay away from the chicken wire... that sounds kind of dangerous to me. Old timers used to use screen wire but I think those days are behind us now.
dlm
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Stapling some thin cardboard strips to whatever you use as scaffolding (wadded up newspaper, foam, etc), works fine, but can be a bit messy. Plastic screen material, which you can get in a huge roll, is a nice alternative because the holes are small enough that the plaster dripping off the towel/dryer sheet/newspaper/whatever doesn't fall through all that much.
Mountains are by far the cheapest thing you can build on a layout - you can make room-sized ones for a few dollars in materials. *
--
* PV something like badgers--something like lizards--and something
like corkscrews.
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Big_Al wrote:

I've used foam rubber with plaster over it. Not being hollow is a plus as the odd nasty critter isn't tempted to live in there.
Greg.P.
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If you're thinking of running trains through your mountains, make sure you can get them back out if they derail!
I had a tunnel/mountain about 18" long by 12" high. My mom made it out of paper mache, and I think it was hollowed by a box underneath. It lasted a couple years, but there was really no place for it on my old 4x6 layout.
I'd probably start with foam insulation and build the mountain that way. I'd then cover it with a thin coat of plaster to make painting easy. (A layer of cheesecloth will give the plaster something to stick to. Just attach it with white glue, let it dry, and apply the plaster.)
Puckdropper
--
If you're quiet, your teeth never touch your ankles.

To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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I use old bed sheets and if I need to have them cut, I tear them so there is no jagged edge. I soak the sheet in a mix of Elmer's glue and water 50/50, wait for it to dry and paint away....
"Puckdropper" <puckdropper(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote in message

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Chris wrote:

I'd suggest that you build the mountain body of either a) wood and wire, or b) construction foam and then cover it over using the plaster cloth that folks like Woodland Scenics sell (or you can get from a medical supply store).
mark
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Chris wrote:

Hi All Try this web site. It has everything you need http://www.bragdonent.com/index.htm Good luck Mike Mueller
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Chris wrote:

Thanks everyone for your ideas and advice. I am going to use several different suggestions on different parts of the layout.
Once again thank you!
Chris
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On 8/6/2008 3:53 PM Chris spake thus:

>

That's it--mix 'n match. Come up with your own techniques; if this doesn't work, try that.
--
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
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