styrofoam rockwork

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by t. alexander, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    I Thought I would try eliminating carving the rock in plaster and just do it with the styofoam instead. I like it much better. just wondering how many of ya'll do it this way?

    Heres a couple of pic's taked while the colour is being built up. Except for the out croppings it'll be covered with ground foam and trees.

    Sorry for the photo quality :rolleyes:

    Attached Files:

  2. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    And another,

    Attached Files:

  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    That's just styrofoam without any coating or covering other than color? WOW! :D Looks rocky to me! Very nice!
  4. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    I have wondered if that spray foam used as an instant sealant around electrical outlets would be useful in making a hill/mountain? After it sets up, you can carve just about anything out of it.

    I have seen it marketed under several names but the one that I remember is: Quick Stuff.
  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    What the hell is that car doing parked in your tressle??? :D :eek: :D :mad: :D
  6. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Hey - Jon - You should be looking at the rocks, not the trestle!
    :D :D :D :) :) :) :) :D :D :D

    t. - Looks great. As Ralph said it looks rocky to me.

  7. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    I use it alot. It works great. Just do not buy the latex foam. It never hardens in the middle. Learn'd that the hard way.
  8. Shay Driver

    Shay Driver Member

    It looks good to me, very good in deed.
  9. tomfassett

    tomfassett Member

    I'm jealous. I gave up on foam 'cause I could never get it to look right. I went back to good old plaster. How did you get such a smooth face (surface) without losing the striation detail? Every time I tried to smooth the face, I either got little "nubs" all over the place, or it looked like a ceramic tile (no fine surface detail).
    You posted the pics, now you gotta' suffer having the rest of us pester you to tell us your secrets...:D

  10. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    Nice Job!! I have always covered my foam with plaster for rocks, now I will have to try your technic.

    I have tried the spray foam, worked well for hills and such but I personally found it hard to work with for ditch lines, etc., because it doesn't cut well with a hot knife, either that or I did it wrong. I also worked with a rasp and it had a tendency to break off in pieces instead of smoothly like pink or blue foam.
  11. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    The only good way, I have found, is too cut with a serrated knife.
    Had the same problems with a hot knife and rasp.
  12. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Hi guy's.
    Once the blue foam is built up all the rock carving was done with one of those larger (wide) snap off type razer knife blades. Sticking it in the foam and prying out snaps the foam and makes really nice strata type formations. I'd then slice the foam using the blade the way it's supposed to be used for smooth face's. slicing thin pieces and pulling out makes even the smooth face rock have a nice texture. I found that smaller boulders look great to made with the foam
    Once carved I painted the section with flat off white latex Just to give me a "clean canvas" Then starting with the darkest color which in my case was a blackish brown I painted over the white with that making sure to get into all the cracks & crannies. The technique is called "back shadowing" I believe. Then it's just a matter of layering on lighter colours to suit ya'. A blow dryer really speeds up the paint drying time.

    Anyway I think I've mixed my last batch of plaster for rock work. This seem's to work better, for me that is.

    jon, That baby is one of those 60's and 70's wacky rod models that I was into for a while. I forget the name of it but it came with a kewl skeleton dude. Lets see there was the Munster mobile Granpa's coffin dragster, the Boot Hill express I had to have them all. :D

    Heres another pic. Still have to put the final colour on.


    Attached Files:

  13. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    That's looking really good t.! :cool:
  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I might have to try that one, t.
    It looks really good!:cool:
    And just think how lightweight a layout built that way would be!
  15. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Yes Charlie, the wieght is another big plus.
    Tonight I finished up the rock work. I dusted on pastel chalks for the final colouration and toned down the "backshadowing" a bit. I am pleased with the result and no more plaster mess.
    I should also say that the painting Is a combination of actual painting, washes and dry brushing.

  16. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    Great work; thanks for sharing. I'm still trying to 'master' the plaster technique and your photo has helped me mix up a few more batches. The good new is that I'm gewtting better, the bad news is that I have a long way to go. This is the hardest phase of the project for me and as you say, it seems everyone's skills are a little different so it's great there are different techniques to simulate nature. Jim
  17. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Great looking rock work t.
    Thanks for the "how to "
  18. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Here's a photo of one of Pete's locos, I'm posting it here because the rock work to the left of it is that blue foam. This was pretty much just a piece of scrap, I thought it looked like rock, and it turned out it did!

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  19. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    Nice pic! Now where's that groundhog diving into the hole at the bottom of the cliff as Pete's loco almost makes woodchuck pie out of him?!?!:eek: :eek:

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.
  20. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    Hey Gary, Thats one great picture, you should try and black out the inside of the tunnel and it would be perfect!! I experimented with the foam also, I don't think I will ever go back to plaster again!!:eek:

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