lightweight rocks?

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by nachoman, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I'm trying to keep my small layout as light as possible - what are my options for lightweight rocks these days? I was initially thinking spray foam insulation and a rock mold... unless someone has additional advice.

  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Hi Kevin, I just carve them out of blue foam. Use a hot wire foam cutter for one effect, snap it for another, gouge out some chunks with a thumbnail for another effect.

    The base of my entry on this page shows the effect acheive by breaking chunks of foam away with my thumbnail, painting black, then dry brushing.

    This is the effect of carving, a little melting with a hair dryer and dry brushing:
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Check out His stuff is a bit more expensive than other scenery materials, but it is very light weight and strong.
  4. Barry Dupler

    Barry Dupler New Member

    Light Weight Rocks

    Mario Rapinett, an Australian Modeller has developed a technique call frocks using ordinary foam rubber, for use in modular layouts.

    He just posted a clinc on the subject:
  5. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    this is some excellent advice. Thanks, everyone. i think I'll try to find some blue foam and experiment. Being a geologist, i should be able to come up with something that looks decent.

  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    You can also try the lightweight spackle compound. It works like plaster, but dries more like a foam - very light. It can be carved when semi-solid. Makes decent sedimentary rocks, because the easiest carving is just to slash away at it with something like an old Xacto blade.

    I made the rocks in this diorama using that technique.

  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    wow, andrew - those look great. it's about time I get some joint compound and some foam and experiment.

    and now I am starting to think - being a geologist, would it be helpful to have an article such as "geology 101 for model railroaders"? What do you all think?

  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Thanks Kevin for the compliment :)

    MR ran an article a while ago called (something like...) "Rocks aren't hard", that gave some general information about what kinds of rocks are found in North America.

    From a modelling point of view, sedimentary are easiest to do with the "slash carving", and igneous/metamorphic are (usually) better represented with some sort of casting. If you've got any more info give us some links... If you are up for doing an article/how-to, I say go for it! The Academy/Gems could always use info like this...

    The compound I used is a "lightweight" filler, not a joint compound per se. It comes in a surprisingly light container already premixed - you know you have the right one when it is the easiest to lift. It is almost like Cool Whip dessert topping, and dries in a foamy kind of texture.


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