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Thread: Methods for reducing the flatlands of plywood?

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    Default Methods for reducing the flatlands of plywood?

    Iíve got several areas of trackage sitting on plywood that Iím wanting to make less flat; Iíd like to add some very subtle rises to the ground plane. I wouldnít classify these as hills....just natural land variations. On hand Iíve got hydrocal, celluclay, DAS clay and likely something else Iím forgetting. But Iím curious what you guys prefer and have found successful. Thankful for any and all suggestions.

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    Here is a video the @DJSTRAINS did up a while back on that very subject.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InU3Nqn3V1s
    Last edited by Silent1961; 14th Jun 2021 at 10:07 AM.
    Grant.

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    Base layers of corrugated cardboard (like a topo map) covered with stuff of your choice?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NtheBasement View Post
    Base layers of corrugated cardboard (like a topo map) covered with stuff of your choice?
    I think that’ll do it. Thanks for the tip!

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    Another method, I like is aluminum window screen.......you can make the mounds as big or little as you want. I just cut it to size and tack down the edges with a staple gun, then cover it with your stuff of choice. I find cutting the screen much easier than cutting the cardboard, and bigger/taller landforms are much simpler. The transitions from the flat is also a little less abrupt.

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    I've used a variety of materials for creating the base undulations, etc. but it doesn't always provide the best surface for scenery. So when I've done that I use plaster bandage that I buy from craft stores for the finished surface. The stuff I use comes in rolls approx 10cm (~4") wide and 4.5m (nearly 15') long. The process isn't too messy if you do it the right way:
    1. Cut the bandage into the strips you need to cover the area
    2. Spray or pre-wet the area to be covered with water
    3. Spread the dry bandage over the area
    4. Spray the bandage with more water
    5. Use a brush to apply more water and work the wet plaster into the gauze and the surface below.

    I've also used this method on flat plywood, as it gives a better textured surface than the flat, smooth plywood.

    Regards,
    Ron

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    My preferred scenery construction (there are as many different scenery methods as there are modelers, it seems) is to use my own ground goop recipe to cover everything, including flat plywood in an area where large expanses of flat land make sense. The goop is effectively like a soil layer that unifies everything, giving a final shaping option in that it can go on in varying thicknesses to create slight undulations or to smooth out abrupt transitions. Where I don't have plywood, I will have expanding foam (Great Stuff, comes in a spray can at the big box hardware stores) that I have allowed to take a lumpy and random shape. After letting the foam cure for at least a week, I will carve it back into reasonable landforms where it might need a trim, and the goop fills in any places where the foam didn't fill out fully. Imagine the ridges of a brain, the goop will go down into the crevasses between blobs in order to create a mechanical locking connection with the foam.

    My goop recipe is equal parts Cell-U-Clay (a papier-m‚chť and clay product) and joint compound (aka drywall mud), to which I add color and texture agents including real dirt from my yard, cheap tempera paints (orange, black, and brown), and even scoop-able kitty litter. Ratios are inexact and can be varied depending on the kind of texture desired. I mix it runny and wet in order to make smooth rolling hills, stiff and as dry as possible to sculpt rock faces in place. Ultimately, my goop behaves very similarly to the purpose-manufactured product called Sculptamold, which many around here will swear by, so you could just go that route if you're not feeling as adventurous as me. The point is, by covering everything with the same "soil" layer, it isn't obvious where there is plywood underlying things, and I can get very subtle topography even on top of a sheet of ply.

    Hello. My name is Michael, and I am an ALCo - haul - ic.

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