Landscaping and Stuff?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cheetah20, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Gang
    few questions on landscaping and stuff .......
    1- with my inclined roadbed...can it be put on a 2" foamboard if it is
    supported enough?.....will it be strong enough?.....or stick with
    wood?..(panel)
    2- there is so many thoughts, ideas, suggestions on how to do "water".
    I bought this small amount of Polyurethane Gloss to test it...
    BEST ideas???.......what about Water falls?
    3- anybody use this "Foam-in-a-can"?...
    I did however, buy the WS palster cloth....do I use my newspapers &
    chicken wire??.......Its ok...I let chickens run free !!
    4- saving all my styrofoam from the Big screen TV and other boy toys
    I have bought in the past year...yikes....I have No money$$$:cry:
    is 'styro' the best...ok...cheapest way to landscape?
    5- do I HAVE to buy Track-cutters?..won't ordinary sharp wire plyers
    work?....If I buy them NEW even?....hee hee

    I know there is other stuff I want to ask....but just not there yet
    thanx Gang:thumb:
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,135
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you want to follow a learning experience, check out Nazgul's thread and see what he managed in a year. The rest of us are amazed.

  3. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanx alot David !!!!!!
  4. wickman

    wickman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    0
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have several members of our local club who used the white packaging foam for all or part of their original modules and it seemed to work reasonably well. Messy stuff to work with and smells really bad if you use a hot wire knife on it. They used it for the same reason that you stated. Styrofoam (meaning packaging material) is not the best option but is one option in my opinion. Regular wire cutters will not cut a square end on your rail and you will have to do some filing. The Xuron rail cutters are no more expensive than a pair of diagonal pliers. Less so at some discount.sites.
    I would think that the foam in a can would be an expensive option if you use much of it.
    I used a product called Envirotex for still water and it works really well. It is too thin to use for a mountain stream since it runs downhill just like the real thing. Look up "Modeling Moving Water, Pacific Coast Airline Railway" by a Gauge member. Lots of good info there.
  6. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lynn ....
    I didn't mention that the foamboard I was mentioning to use ....
    is only 1/4" thick.....no???...
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cheetah: is this foamboard the stuff from the arts and crafts store -- foam with cardboard on the sides? or just really thin insulation?
    The craft store board is a hazard -- to much pressure and you can get a kink in the surface. But with enough support under it, 1/4: should do for N scale.
  8. wickman

    wickman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    572
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would think once the 1/4" foam board is fastened down with liquid nails or somefoam friendly you won't have a problem afterall you will probably be addin plaster to it as well.:mrgreen:
  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cheetah: If you are talking about the 1/4 inch material called Foamcore that is available at craft stores, I see no reason for using it in the manner I think you want to use it. You could possibly stack it up for scenery but then there is the paper exterior to deal with. How about some more explanation about your plan to use it?
  10. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes...1/4" foam from the craft store...
    simple incline of track at the back ,over a bridge then back down the other side..thats it ....
    figure 2" is wide enough and Lynn is right as it will be built up with plaster on both sides anyways.
    I will make sure there is enough support!!
  11. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, so you will be using it for what is called sub-roadbed, I guess.
  12. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    yes...Jim
    so not a problem? right?
    its on sale lol

    (determined to nickle & dime this thing to death where I can) lol
  13. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Should work if you have sufficient support underneath. Without the support it will sag. By the way, that sounds like my wifes excuse for buying all kinds of marginal stuff. Meaning " its gotta be good because its on sale????" Yeah, right. You'll either prove or disprove your philosophy when you get ready to operate a train.
  14. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    0
    Obviously, foamcore board from an arts supply is a viable option ( at least for a small layout ). See the following link.
    Build Peek's Pike
  15. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    so...
    now not sure if you're mocking me about having a small layout!!sign1
  16. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Gang
    few questions on landscaping and stuff .......
    1- with my inclined roadbed...can it be put on a 2" foamboard if it is
    supported enough?.....will it be strong enough?.....or stick with
    wood?..(panel)hmm, my usual method of terrain had a few... discrepancies on my last build. A foam board subroadbed will probrably correct those the same as plywood, only it'll be cheaper and easier for me. I'm hijacking this idea for my own use... next time I need it.
    2- there is so many thoughts, ideas, suggestions on how to do "water".
    I bought this small amount of Polyurethane Gloss to test it...
    BEST ideas???.......what about Water falls? My only advice on water for now is not to make a lakebed too deep. You'll wind up needing a stupidly large amount of 'water' too fill it.
    3- anybody use this "Foam-in-a-can"?...No expierience.
    I did however, buy the WS palster cloth....do I use my newspapers &
    chicken wire??.......Its ok...I let chickens run free !! Plaster cloth has been a great improvement too 'business-as-usual' for me. My prefered method of making landscapes is to glue or nail contour cut ribs of plywood to a baseboard, then staple aluminum screening material over the ribs for the shape I want. A layer of plastercloth over that gives me a better surface to apply a coat of water putty too. This means I only use one layer of Plaster cloth, yet still get a nigh-indestructable surface.
    4- saving all my styrofoam from the Big screen TV and other boy toys
    I have bought in the past year...yikes....I have No money$$$:cry:
    is 'styro' the best...ok...cheapest way to landscape? Okay, I don't know about 'cheapest', but it'll actually be alot stronger than what many people get away with. Foam has strength, and will let you get away with leaning a little harder on your layout than say, balled up newspaper. (while trying to reach that spot in the back corner... where that distant radio tower isn't standing quite as upright as it should...)
    5- do I HAVE to buy Track-cutters?..won't ordinary sharp wire plyers
    work?....If I buy them NEW even?....hee hee A decent pair of track cutters are the best investment I've made yet. buy them.

    I know there is other stuff I want to ask....but just not there yet
    thanx Gang:thumb:[/quote]
  17. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanx Travellar
    1-consensus and searches say to go for it......
    2-I hear to use a solid clear plastic even...I'll try a ployurethane of sort
    3-Can foam is inconsistant in 'rise' ..chickwire, newspaper, plaster cloth
    4-use as much styro as I can...
    5-track cutters it is!!!!!1
    thanx Gang
  18. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    1,113
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I understand your quest correctly, you are looking to cut corners price-wise as much as possible without affecting the final result much in a negative way. In other words, how cheap can I be and still have a good looking layout?

    My suggestions to meet the above goal - use L girder framework with cookie-cutter plywood for sub-roadbed. L girder lumber for smaller layouts can be gotten from taking apart shipping pallets. For full 8ft or long L girders, you will have to purchase some 8ft+ 1x4s and 1x2s. But the rest of the benchwork can be made from scrap lumber. L girder is quite tolerant of less than perfect lumber (and workmanship) - you need to avoid knots on the bottom and top edges of the vertical member of your L girders.

    Scrap plywood can be cut for your subroadbed. Use splice plates underneath at least 12" long to join sections. Sand the joints smooth. Bending plywood and fastening in place with risers is by far the easiest way to get smooth grades and grade transitions.

    Your choice of roadbed. Cork is probably the cheapest. Or use none at all; it will be noisier on straight plywood but will work.

    For scenic terrain, window screen with plaster of paris is the cheapest with good results. Mixing your own plaster is considerably cheaper than plaster cloth (especially the Woodland Scenics plaster cloth!), but considerably messier. Your choice. Use your Styrofoam pieces to prop the window screen into place for the desired terrain. If you use the plaster cloth, you will probably not need the window screen (I've done plaster cloth directly on Styrofoam beadboard and cardboard boxes - generally needs 2 layers of cloth). If you use a fine enough window screen, you can "brush" a somewhat thick plaster mix directly onto the screen instead of dipping paper towels into the plaster.

    Water - I don't have personal experience here. Seems to me that gloss medium would be cheaper than the resin mixes, and gets just as good a result. The old gloss varnish or clear coat method doesn't seem to produce quite as good a water in the pictures I have seen. Reports are that the Woodland Scenics resin mixes don't set quite as hard or as well as some other brands.

    I used an Atlas track saw and lineman's diagonal cutters in the past to cut rail. wall1 I bought the Xuron rail nippers last year and cannot believe the difference. Those rail nippers are worth $50, not the full retail price $15 I paid for them. :thumb:

    Foam core board with paper surfaces (the stuff commonly found at craft stores) does not go well with our water soluble scenic methods. Ballasting and the like will make the paper surface warp, lift, and crinkle. You have to get Gator board (foam core with wood surface) or similar to avoid the issue.

    my thoughts, your choices
  19. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    One more option,courtesy of Model Railroader magazine. In the latter half of 2006, there was an article about using corrugated box strips and a type of resin paper sold for temporarily covering new floors. This was covered with plaster. Cant remember the issue it was in but you should be able to find it on MR's website.
  20. Cheetah20

    Cheetah20 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    another thing...
    what were the old wooden tunnel portals .....made of?...and
    more importantly....what color were they?
    I have tinkered and made 2 for N scale and turned out pretty good....
    thanx gang