mountain walls

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by blahblahtrain, May 25, 2006.

  1. blahblahtrain

    blahblahtrain New Member

    i was wondering if anybody knew any ways to make realistic mountains facings, beside ceiling tiles and rock molds that you buy? i have tried taking aluminum foil and wading it up and filling it up with plaster, its pretty decent, but i was wondering for any more ideas. and also since i have these facings i have made by aluminum foil to i glue them to the side of my mountain and blend in the sides with plaster? thanks
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One trick modelers have used for years is to use a real rock to make a latex mold from, and then make your own rock faces.
  3. blahblahtrain

    blahblahtrain New Member

    how do you make a latex mold?
  4. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer New Member

    When we think of modelling mountains on our railroads, we don't usually model the entire mountain (just think of the scale involved) so we typically model a smaller portion.

    On my layout, I've modelled a rock cut through a smaller mountainous region and the method I've used is to stack styrofoam (blue or pink) and carve it to the general shape of the hillside. For the rock faces, I mix up a solution of Plaster of Paris and spatula it on to the styrofoam. After it hardens, I use my e-xacto blades to carve striations in the rock or any other outcrops. I also use the flat bladed chisel for some of my carving.

    This is one of many methods that can be utilized. Good luck with your endeavour.

    Check out the image below and you'll see Marshall Cut on my layout.

    Attached Files:

  5. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That looks real good Mike!
  6. blahblahtrain

    blahblahtrain New Member

    WOW thats looks really awesome, maybe one day i will make one look like that :thumb: . what color paint did you use? and do you spray paint it on, or brush it on? thanks for all the help
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Not only nice looking rocks, but the total scene is really nice. I especially like that rock culvert, and that B&M paint scheme certainly doesn't detract from the scene.

  8. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer New Member

    Thanks fellas for the compliments on the scene. As for the paint...real simple! After the plaster dried I applied a wash of watered-down black with a few touches of brown. This "brought out" the details I had shaped and carved. The talus at the foot of the cut, if I recall, was left over plaster after carving. The rock culvert is a Woodland Scenics offering that was also given a wash to snap out the detailing in the rock.

    Marshall Cut is named after my good friend, Trevor Marshall, a cherished member of our Friday Night Group who has since relocated to Toronto.

    I agree with you Wayne...I'm glad the B&M chose to apply the EMD-inspired striping of gold against maroon on it geeps as well as those renowned F's.
  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Hey Mike, weren't you in GMR 2003-4?

    Excellent work, I must say! :thumb:
  10. Mike Hamer

    Mike Hamer New Member

    Hi Miles. Yes, that was my layout on the cover and lead article. It was a big thrill, for sure! I was also in the Model Railroad Planning 2001 issue where I discussed my surround staging concept.

    I've decided to throw in this picture to show a more distant shot of the rock cut for our friend who was asking about making realistic mountains. After weathering the rock, I then added ground foam along rock ledges and planted the odd tree here and there. I find that achieving a balance between the greyness of the rocks and the green of the foliage helps produce a finer scene.

    Oh yeah, that's B&M FT4217 exiting Marshall Cut. I numbered the unit after a photograph a friend had taken well over 50 years ago of the same unit while he was working for the Boston and Maine.

    Indeed, sentimental reasons are great launching pads for all aspects of this great hobby! :) :) :)

    Attached Files:

  11. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I used foam from a sofa cushion. I cut it into strips useing a razor knife causeing a rough surface. Then painted it from what was to be the bottom with flat gray paint (primer) and from the top with brown primer looks like rocks with dirt on top of them.
  12. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That's a clever technique Lester!

    Mike, I enjoyed your work in MR as well. Nice to have you posting with us!

    Blahblahtrain, you're getting some good stuff here!

  13. MadModeler

    MadModeler Member


    I have an air brush that I'm learning how to use. I believe the weathering for the rocks can be applied more easily so I am going to try that out. (Do we hear "Experiment in progress"?) :)

    There's liquid latex available in most hobby shops. Stuff's great. Just brush it on the rock and let it set. Be very careful in peeling it off though as you don't want to rip your mold. Another way of making a more stronger latex mold is to apply strips of gauze on the first coat, let it dry and apply another coat of the liquid latex.

    Good luck!

Share This Page