Sunday, May 10, 2009

Model Railroad Scenery | Tunnels and Blue Foam

The first pic below shows the mountain tunnel exit on the upper level of my layout. I like to use various coarse turfs to accent the craggy rock -- these are by Woodland Scenics which I think look very natural in color and texture.

The 'stone' tunnel portals on my layout are by Hornby and Faller -- nice detail on both.

Model Railroad Scenery
Fleischmann train exiting the tunnel cut out of the mountain

It's always a good idea to apply matte black paint to the inside of tunnels otherwise the foundational material (in this case, blue foam) is obviously visible. Matte black art paper would work just as well for this purpose.

Model Railroad Scenery
Note the tight clearance of the carriage exiting the tunnel. Just enough room!

You can just make out the blue foam in the tunnel as the train on the lower deck approaches in the pic below. I used high-density blue foam for the foundation of all the scenery on The Sunny Model Railroad.

Model Railroad Scenery
Blue foam in the tunnel is visible as this Fleischmann passenger train approaches

The good thing about documenting this layout in progress is that I get to notice details and flaws that the camera captures.

Model Railroad Scenery
Fleischmann train entering the tunnel below Windmill Hill  

The fourth pic above shows the other tunnel at the opposite end. I hadn't originally planned for this tunnel but I needed a place to mount the Pola windmill and building set I had purchased on impulse.

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention.

So, I set to work with -- what else -- blue foam and created a tunnel for the Pola Windmill kit to sit on. I tried out a product called Celluclay instead of plaster for the landscape rock base. Celluclay is an instant, just-add-water paper mache product. And it took forever to dry. No kidding. It must've taken 2 weeks at least before I could paint it.

In the process it developed black and grey mold and mildew. Celluclay probably works well for small projects and, according to the instructions, can be dried in an oven. I had slapped it on pretty thick like I would plaster, which is obviously not the way to use it. The whole thing was also too large to fit in my oven. Not to mention the noxious fumes that burning blue foam would emit.

Gotta love that blue foam.

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