Removable Foam Scenery Modules

This is my fist attempt at carving foam scenery. Due to the limited access of the location of this section of the layout,  I chose to make the scenery in three removable modules that will be completed off of the layout and dropped in place.

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This is the west end rough cut foam blocks


The West end carved and seams filled in


This is the South section rough cut


South section carved and seams filled.


The East end rough cut blocks


East end carved and seams filled


This is the back side showing how the
 Blocks are glued to a 2x4 to give them some weight.


Detail of some of the carving. It takes a little
 while to get a technique that you like. Practice on scraps first.


You can see how the modules blend in at the splices. It will be camouflaged with Lichens and ground cover.
I used these commercial Hotwire cutters. One for block cutting and rough shaping and the stiff wire cutter for rock carving.
Here is a home made cutter for detail work. It is made with.020 music wire and fiberglass vector board.  Powered with a Lionel  1033 transformer set at it's lowest variable setting.


Other tools used are My mothers Meat tenderizer mallet used to add texture by gently tapping surfaces in a random pattern. The other tool is a paring knife that I curved and sharpened on both edges used for detail carving.


The stiff wire cutter is great for making sedimentary rock .The seams were filled with a paper mache mix first coat and then a drywall mud finish coat. This square custom tool is used to add vertical texturing.


The pointed custom tool was used for fine detailing also. You will use a light touch sometimes just barely touching the foam to let the heat melt a texture into it Here is a piece of scrap foam the I used for practice to develop the feel for each tool and try to simulate different types of rocks.
Note!: You must carve in a well ventilated area!
Painted West end view. Painted South detail view.
Painted South view. Painted East detail view.
I painted the Scenery with a base coat of flat latex wall primer tinted a cement gray with a one inch brush working in into all the crevasses. I then air brushed four different colors starting with a light orange beige, then a tan, and rust brown and black wash that was sprayed at an angle from the bottom to fill in the shadows and crevasses 
Painted East view
You will find yourself noticing rock structure and geology much more now that you are trying to imitate it. I find myself studying at the scenery in movies and in pictures.  


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