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Train Scenery Mountains, Ground, Water and Rocks

I begin with wood 1x2, 1x4 & tunnel portals outlining outer portions of mountain.

Then make more detailed outline and shape using heavy gauge wire.
Next screening material is fixed to the outline using small gauge wire for ties.
These are examples of sections ready for the next step. 
Next I apply a single layer of casting material over the wire mesh.
Some surface remain relatively smooth such as the marble quarry, the snow cap mountain tops and the grassy areas.
I use rubber molds from Woodland Scenics and Hydrocal.
After the castings are in place, I then apply multiple coats of stain.
I use thinned black to highlight the crevices.

Close up look.

I use Woodland Scenics Turf to get that 3 dimensional look.

I also use Woodland Scenics grass matts, Heki hedge rows & matte board for  sidewalks.
Here is an example of home made "Jersey barriers" & a rock walls.
I have attempted to make my own molds, but it is easier to just buy them.
Rubber mixing bowl, kitchen scale, Hydrocal plaster and strainer (not shown)
Stain plaster - all surfaces:

Apply ground cover:

Place trees & bushes:

More grass and sidewalks.

The Jersey barrier is 2 pieces of shaped balsa wood filed, glued & painted.
The rock wall is fish bowl base glued with Liquid Nails onto curved matte board.


Top - center original sheet of bricks
Right - mold made out of latex rubber
Bottom center - plaster cast of bricks


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Having put off doing scenery especially the mountains for over ten years, the time finally arrived where I was forced to address the lengthy, tedious and messy process of completing the mountain scenery. Because of the size of this project the trains have not been operational for over a year and it appears it will be at least another year before they are running. Below is a step by step description of the mountain completion project.

Build frame of wire and screen mesh:

Move structures that are close to mountains:

Cover track near and inside mountains:

Place plaster gauze on wire mesh and let dry:

I use Pop Art Plaster of Paris. Cheaper by case loads from an art supply wholesaler and ACTIVA Rigid Wrap Plaster Cloth, 5 pounds from

Paint loose plaster mixture over gauze and ma ke removable cutout mountain tops - looks like witches hats:

Then decide on the type of surface (rock molds, rock texture, grass/dirt, snow) and do one of following:

I had help getting started with the plaster gauze phase from Sydney and Brendan:

Build portholes to make it easy to see in hidden portions of the mountains:



Make rock castings using rubber molds from Woodland Scenics and Hydrocal.

Place molds on vertical & hilly subalpine mountainsides using Liquid Nails.

Notice the glue and gaps between rocks.
Some larger gaps are filled with newspaper.
Filling gaps is a difficult and tedious process.
Tools used to fill the gaps between rock molds:
Small stainless steel wax carving tools and small artist palettes, syringes.
Fill the gaps and cover the exposed glue.
Tools are mixing bowls, etc. (seen above) and artist pallets.
Plaster is applied thick with a smooth large pallet and textured with a smaller grooved pallet.


(Use and placement - sub alpine angled and horizontal ground.)

(Use and placement - Alpine tops of mountains.)

(Interesting fact:  When completed I will have used about 450 pounds of plaster - with water added closer to 600 pounds.)


Most textured and smooth surfaces are then dabbed with a thick plaster mixture using paint brushes.