Tunnels, Rockwork, & Ground Cover On The Poor Fork RR

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Drew1125, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I'm finally getting around to doing some more scenery on my little N scale layout...so I thought I'd show my methods for building tunnels & rockwork, & how I'm doing woodland ground cover.

    This is an area of the layout I'm calling Casey Ridge...It's where the trains enter the scene from the other side of the backdrop by means of a blasted rockface tunnel, a small rock cut through a wooded area, & then round the bend into the town of Glasgow Jct.

    The scenic base is 2" blue styrofoam, stacked & shaped to represent hills. I cut a piece of foamcore board to serve as a starting point for a tunnel portal. (I model the Appalachian Mtns, circa 1930's, & blasted rockface tunnel portals were very common, & can even still be found in the area today.)

    Now is a good time to do test-running to check clearances...

    Attached Files:

  2. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    ...now put some masking tape over the track, because things are going to get kida messy...

    Mix some plaster of paris, wait a minute for it to thicken a bit, & then apply some heavy dollops of it to all the vertical surfaces...

    Attached Files:

  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    ...after the plaster has set, take a flathead screwdriver, & make rough horizontal strokes across the rock faces...this will rough-up the rock surfaces, & create some horizontal striations...

    Attached Files:

  4. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    ...next apply a black wash of India ink & alocohol...

    Attached Files:

  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    When this has dried, drybrush with acrylic earth colors, starting with dark browns, & gradually go to lightwer colors, ending with white...

    Attached Files:

  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    ...now I use earth-colored latex paint to paint the sorrounding area, & sprinkle sifted dirt into the wet paint...don't worry too much about getting paint or dirt on the rockwork...

    Attached Files:

  7. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    ...next, I get out what I like to call my "debris bowl"...it's a big bowl full of all kinds of scenery leftovers...dried leaves, twigs, pebbles, bits of ground foam, etc...

    Attached Files:

  8. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I wet the area with "wet" water, & then flow on a 50/50 mixture of white gloe & water, then I sprinkle on some "debris"...

    Attached Files:

  9. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    After I've 'planted' some trees, all that's left is to ballast the track.

    Attached Files:

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Very cool!

    Great to see the step-by-step in photos taken from the same vantage point. Very helpful!

  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Fantastic, Charlie! Thanks for posting that! I'v always loved your scenery work.
  12. csxnscale

    csxnscale Member

    Thanks Charlie,
    what a great "How To".

  13. jmarksbery

    jmarksbery Active Member

    Thanks Charlie, that looks great. I am going to have to start a debris bowl. Luv the info on the tunnel portal also. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
  14. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Thanks Charlie, This is great help to me as I have a similar situation and had been avoiding doing the tunnel and rock. Now you have inspired me to get on with it using your methods.
  15. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Thanks for all the nice words, everyone!:)
    This is all part of my "cheap, fast, & easy" approach to model railroading! :D
    I discovered it was easier (for me) to do rockwork this way, rather than the more popular method of casting them in molds.
  16. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Great looking rockwork. I'm at that stage right now on my layout and find it fun to do. You can be as creative as you want and not worry too much about being sloppy.:eek: I still have a ways to go with the surrounding scenery, but I pick up a lot of tips from threads like this. Thanks...:)

  17. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Nice Charlie,,,, Cheap and cheerful that`s the ticket, and you make it look great.
    Good stuff.:D
  18. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Great how-to. and just in time, I've got a lot of scenery to do and a lot of it will be rock faces like this.
  19. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Great tutorial Charlie - thanks a lot for the cool tips. The realism is amazing for such a simple technique.

  20. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Excellent step by step photos Charlie! I like the debris bowl idea! Beautiful results!

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