As I began working again on our Red Rock desktop layout, I was looking through lots of online photos from iconic areas in the US such as Sedona, Arizona and the Colorado Plateau. These are such beautiful areas; I wanted to try to bring a bit more of this feel to our desktop layout. Building “up” was the way to go in the form of rock spires. Hoodoos are another very similar geological formation to spires, found in similar areas, but mostly I wanted to write an article that used the word hoodoo. Simple pleasures.
As I already had my base coat of soil in place, I used expanding polyurethane foam for these spire formations. Poly foam is an incredibly sticky material when wet and very strong once cured. It’s perfect for adding relatively thin vertical formations as it adheres very well to the existing scenery, essentially forming one continuous piece of landscape. The process is sort of like adding height using whipped cream in a can, add just a small circular shot of the poly foam, let it begin to cure, then add another and another until you have the height you want.
When the foam cures, it’s just a matter of carving the spires into the shape you want, then adding a couple of thin coats of Flex Paste. I find several thin coats of the paste adds more body to the cut foam than a single, heavy coat.
Next up is some gentle sanding of the Flex Paste coated spires using a Dremel-style drum sander, just to knock off any Flex Paste high points .After the sanding, some small pieces of the rock casts will be applied to tie the look together, then a base coat of the red soil will be added to these new geological formations.
Our new land forms in white stand out quite a bit in these photos but once they’re coated in soil they’ll blend seamlessly with the rest of the scene. Also once covered in the base color soil, we may cut some down in height, alter their basic shape or even additional poly foam.
Here we’ve worked on our spires a bit, cutting and shaping to better suit their surroundings. A base coat of soil has now been added to our additions and it’s at this point where we can see the piece taking shape. We’ve got our scenic bit yet to add of course including the old, abandoned track bisecting the layout above the running trains. Also needed are color variations through weathering powder, ink washes and other soils.
Overall though this piece is gaining real visual interest, or at least it now has a good foundation to add this additional visual interest.
Category: Ztrains Build Corner