Paper towels vs. Woodland Scenics cloth

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by ddavidv, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    I remember reading a tutorial thread (I think it was on here) about how to use paper towels and Hydrocal for scenery. I can't seem to find it now. :rolleyes: Looking through the Walthers catalog last night for something else, I see WS offers a pre-made cloth you just soak in water and drape over you base. Anyone care to critique these methods? I like the WS idea for ease, cost is of course higher but one pack would probably do most of my small layout and might get me further along more quickly.
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hello friend,
    That pre-made cloth you just soak in water and drape over you base, is what is called in the UK (Mod-rock) it is just a plaster of Paris bandage, the kind used in Hospitals to wrap up broken legs. LOL
    It isn't bad stuff, but it can be expensive if you have a large area to cover. I use Undercoat-plaster (Builders plaster) made by "Blue Hawk", sometimes I soak a piece of cloth in it and drape it over the area I want to cover. Otherwise, I just plaster over my pre-made formers which are interlaced card over rolled up newspaper.
  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Cheap paper towels work well, they leave a nice texture, and you can mix some earthy latex paint with the plaster so you don't have white showing through if it's bumped, bruised, drilled, cracked, etc.

    You can make a form for the towels out of about anything you like. Wadded up newspapers work well, but loose about ahlf their height. Once they are removed, they leave a frameless shell.

    You may also consider making them out of blue/pink foam
  4. Catt

    Catt Guest

    I use my wife's used dryer sheets for scenery.You can attach them with white glue ,you can dip them in soupy plaster,you can even soak them with with white glue.

    If your heart is set on using the plaster strips bypass the W-S stuff and find a local medical supply store.The stuff comes in several widths and for the price of the W-S stuff you could probly buy enough to cover your whole layout.:D

    You can also find it on ebay. Just do a search for plaster bandages.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The feeling of one of our scenery experts who's also a doctor is that the plaster bandages set up too quickly for the necessary manipulation. They're designed to wrapped around a broken bone and to hard in a hurry -- they don't want half-hour setting times.
    If you use paper towels, get industrial grade, not kitchen grade. You need something a bit coarser, stronger, and without all the dimples.
  6. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Well, I myself use the cheap dimpled house kind of paper towel. I use the cheap 3 rolls to a package ($1.48) kind from Wally World and DAP plaster. I agree though some of the higher priced paper towels (Bounty, etc.) are too soft and sticky when wet. The beest is the brown paper towel like at the gas station. I also used cheese cloth once and tried to make the "bandage" kind. MESSY. I even cover foam with plaster shell. DASH
  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I use both methods. The plaster cloth is much cleaner and so I use it when near complicated trackage or finished scenery. I use the paper towels (the cheap brown industrial strength kind) dipped in plaster when out in the wide open. On foam I just shape it and paint it with a heavy coat of cheap brown latex then sift on the ground cover. I don't even bother plastering it.
  8. Tileguy

    Tileguy Member

    Seems like most are doing the same as I.
    I do use an industrial strength Paper towel as above.One thing i do that hasnt been mentioned is i use a Nylon mesh or screen on top of my forms of strofoam or crumped paper and cardboard.Old onion sacks,orange bags etc.Stretched tight over the forms and stapled down this seems to work well and gives very good strength.
    For tricky form work i use 2.5 wire lathe(galvanized) just like the plasterers and stucco guys can be bent and formed in many also doesnt need paper towels over it.Mix plaster a bit stiff and trowel on your brown coat.add more layers as you deem necessary.
    I happen to have the mterial around because i do tilework,but a 30" by 8' sheet of the stuff is less than 5.00.Be careful,it gets sharp near edges and cut area's.i always wear good leather gloves when working with it.A tin shear will cut it nicely.
  9. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    If you look at some of my past posts you will see I build a wire frame and cover it with 2" making tape for a base for hardshell. Allows you to shape the mountains better, just bend the wire to the shape you want. DASH
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I used the Woodland Scenics plaster cloth when I built the On30 diorama. One of the things I liked about it was that you could cut all the cloth into the right size, and shape before wetting. I also found it less messy than paper towels dunked in plaster.
  11. Brunob1

    Brunob1 New Member

    I too use woodland scenics plaster cloth. I agree - it's easy to cut, hardly any mess and it conforms to the shape of the framework structure. My layout is small so I might changs my mind if I had a lot to do.

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