Ground goop

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by alex_mrrkb, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. alex_mrrkb

    alex_mrrkb Member

    Hi !

    Very soon, grass (woodland scenics turf) will grow on my N scake layout ... but before it starts to grow I'd like tu "unflatten" the terrain ... wich is way to horizontal :)

    I read about using ground goop in some Kalmbach books ... I looked at the receipe and wondered if I could still find all theses ingredients in 2003 :)

    What's todays trend for this kind of job ? All I want is some kind of mixture that adheres well to most surfaces, sturdy enough so I can shape it as I want (before it dries) and very strong when dry.

    Any tips/idea ?
  2. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi Alex'
    There are two things I have used to give some contuors and texture to layouts. The first is Durhams Rock Hard Putty. Mix as stated on the can (it is powder that you mix with water) and spread out over the area you want to scenic. I have used this make plowed fields, small rolling pastures, etc. The other method is geodesic foam and cast satin. This product is miles ahead of plaster or Hydrocal and harder than any scenery material I have ever seen. When setup you can hit this stuff as hard as you can and it won't crack. Check out their website at . Modeling in N scale, alot can be done with a little of this stuff. Hope this helps you out some. Steve
  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    It depends on the level of contour you want. Do you just want a "ruffled" flat surface? Or hills and dales?

    I used broken up bits of polystyrene (fruit and vegie packing cases), and then covered it with a single layer of plaster bandage (you know, the stuff they set your arm in when it's broken). I got it from the local hobby/arts shop. Very very cheap. I then painted on a mix of modelling plaster (Plaster of Paris) for a final texture. It's super strong, and can be painted. I also did the flat areas over with plaster bandage too, just to get that slight "unsmooth" look.

    Try my website (constuction tab, click the website link below) to get some ideas and piccies of how I did it. Good luck. :)
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I like Permascene.
  5. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Alex,
    The way in which I (Un-flatten ) an area is to add a little undercoat plaster to it. I mix up the plaster in tub and add pieces of insulation board to the area then put the plaster around it. Paint it earth colour then add grass/weeds/ foliage etc and some ground up dead leaves out of the garden.

  6. billk

    billk Active Member

    I second PCentral's suggestion of Durham's RHWP. You can also add a little water-based paint to it to tint it - it's normal color is a very light tan (ivory?). This way you have your base color already there, and if it ever chips (unlikely) it won't show so much.
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    You could use the same technique I used on the On30 diorama. I did a "step-by-step" in "the On30 conspiracy", using aluminum gutter screen, Woodland Scenics plaster cloth, and a brushed on plaster mix.
  8. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Alex,
    For dirt cheap you can get from Home Depot a huge bag of
    blown cellulose insulation material. ( I think it's really just
    chopped up newspaper.)
    Mix in carpenter's glue diluted with water about 1/3 glue.
    Mix it not too slushy but where you can still mold it.
    I also threw in some flour for a smoother texture.
    You can form any kind of ground contour you want with
    this stuff. It takes a while to dry, a couple of days.
    Like shamus said, build up thicker places with underlayment
    and use less mud, it will dry faster.
    It comes out looking like dirt almost with no further treatment!!
    I paint it anyway.
    This is still kind of experimental, but it works!! To me, the advantage over rock-hard setting materials is you can still
    cut it with a knife (not easily) and it's less likely to crack and
    chip. The glue is the most expensive part, my suggestion is
    Tite-Bond in the gallon jug.
    :) :)
  9. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I like using a product called can be purchased at most hobby & craft stores.
    It's sort of a combination of plaster & paper mache'. It is much lighter that plaster, & has a much longer working takes 30 min or so to set up. It, too can be colored with paints, if you like.
    If you're just wanting to make slight variations in the terrain, it would be great for this by itself...if, however, you're wanting make more severe changes, low rises, etc...I would use scraps of foam, glue them to the scenic base, file, or sand them down to a desired shape/height, & then blend them into the scenery with the Sculptamold.
  10. Mike R

    Mike R Member

    That flour could create difficulty under certain conditions, [insects or small mammals], but flour has some interesting properties.
    When using flour up here in Canada, we generally get Robin Hood by the bag.;)
  11. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    I tried the cellulose insulation method, albeit without the flour, and found that for finer contour work, it just didn't work for me. It clumped into glops, was difficult to work, and I wound up scraping it off and chucking it out.
    I do suspect, however, that it would be okay for larger, rougher contouring.

    Attached Files:

  12. guppyman

    guppyman Member

    You could always go get a can of Great Stuff expanding foam.... I saw a web site a long time ago where a guy had made his mountains out of the stuff... It was pretty cool. It's cutable and paintable, so who knows what you could do with it?
  13. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    From the pic it looks like somebodies cat got rid of
    a furball. Yech!
    Welll... At least it didn't ruin everything.
  14. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Thank you for trying it out and letting us know how it doesn't work.
  15. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member


    well form my book i use plaster of paris i just mix it up with a little more water. i done 2 ho layouts and 2 n sacle layouts with this stuff i get it from wal mart or any home inprovment store i got 2 8 pound tubs from wal mart for under 10.00 i also mix water based paint into the water before i mix it up if you go to wal mart the paint is right there buy the plaster get the darkest green or brown they have becouse when you mix it up the plaster is white in color
  16. alex_mrrkb

    alex_mrrkb Member

    I'm gonna need more explanations on this one ...

    If you mix you plaster with more water, doesn't that makes it more liquid ? If so, how do you shape it ?

    What I'm looking for is a way to un-flatten large and small area of the layout where my benchwork is perfectly flat. If I just apply ground foam there, it's gonna be too flat, I want to make *very* small bumps, grades ... something to make it look more natural ...

    I'm looking for something that can be shaped (with my hands) ... something that wont flow away, something like clay that I could spread and shape as I need. Remember that I'm not making big hills, just small bumps (max 1/4 inch high).

    Thanks !
  17. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Alex, I repeat, try Permascene. Should be available at your LHS. Mix with water and apply. Just spread it with a spackle knife then use your fingers to press it down and shape as desired. You only need a thin covering and the result will be the slight unevenness you are looking for.
  18. alex_mrrkb

    alex_mrrkb Member

    Thanks Gary ! I'm gonna stop by the arts&craft store tonight, I hope they have this stuff (the hobby shop doesn't).

    Thanks !!

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