I laid out some flex paste over styrofoam last night and woke to find
many areas that need smoothing. How in the world can you smooth out
something that flexable? It says on the bottle that it can be sanded,
that is why I bought it. Is there any way to smooth this stuff out?
Would hydrocal have been better. If so can you substitute any
construction mud, drywall mud, for hydrocal and get the same results?
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About Scenery Paste and Mud:
Art Daehler, founder of "Polyterrain" products, once revealed to me
that his "Polyterrain Paste" was just artists Acrylic Modeling Paste,
and that "Polyterrain Mud" was simply drywall compound. The Paste was
preferred for it's better adhering and flexible nature, while the mud
was preferred for its ability to be carved and/or sanded & smoothed.
The recommended procedure was for using paste to bond laminations of
styrofoam together and as a surface coating once the foam was shaped to
the desired contours. This coat sealed th porosity of the styrofoam and
provided a good surface for the mud, which was then applied over the
paste for final smoothing, or simulating rock rock outcroppings. In the
case of rock outcroppings, several thin layers were used to build up
enough thickness to be carved/chipped into "rocks", since the Mud had a
tendency to crack when applied in thick layers (also drying times were
longer in thick layers). Either the paste or Mud should work over
Hydrocal or Plaster, but the reason they were originally marketed was
to replace the plaster and provide for lighter weight scenery (in
conjunction with styrofoam), especially for modules and portable
display layouts. Woodland Scaenics products with similar names are
copykats of the original PolyTerrain products (Polyterrain was marketed
first), but they have better marketing resources. While Art was still
alive, he did a lot of promotional clinics at trainshows and
conventions, and showcased a 4x8 HOn3 layout made of extruded foam (no
wood framing!) which weighed less than 20 lbs complete with tracks,
turnouts, simulated water and terrain (but no structures or trees).
Unfortunately, he passed away 10 or 12 years ago, and without his hard
work doing promotions, Polyterrain Products seems to have joined the
lengthening list of "Fallen Flag Model Railroading Manufacturers".
Oakland Park, FL
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