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Offline 57vert  
#1 Posted : 04 March 2019 19:21:07(UTC)
57vert

United States   
Joined: 05/02/2019(UTC)
Posts: 38
Location: Connecticut, Hartford
I am doing my best to make my layout as realistic as possible. I have searched the internet and seen everything from very poor, to "that looks like an actual real mountain."

I thought the way my brain works sculpting out of foam insulation boards would work best. Well, my first attempt was, well, BAD!

What process have you folks found works best? I am trying to do rocky style mountains with some sheer cliffs.
Offline Minok  
#2 Posted : 04 March 2019 20:33:33(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,926
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
I've not yet tried my hand at it, but like you , have seen a lot of videos of other people's rendering of mountains, and of general stone faces (exposed hillsides and rock cuts etc). Some are great, others not so much, but in the end the only view that matters is the owners view. From looking at the many videos some of the thoughts that crystalized in my mind that I'll be using when I get to that stage (as there are helixes and tight bends to hide) are:
1) Decide what type of stone to model (limestone is different than granite is different than etc) and look at pictures of what that type of mountain stone (and soil and trees/plants) looks like.
2) Look at the foliage and coverage by soil and plants as well as the rock/mineral shapes - you find most mountains have a lot of plant growth on them unless you are modeling only above the snow line.
3) Pick a few focus areas where the exposed stone will be clearly visible - work carefully on that part - other parts likely will be under soil/grasses/trees and so the exact shape is less important once you apply the landscaping.
4) Practice - build some small diaramas, repeat, get better, repeat - you can do this at a kitchen table in comfort without leaning over and stressing about the layout. Like golf, no amount of watching videos can make up for doing it yourself (so just keep trying)
5) Think about the proximity of the viewer - often times what doesn't look very good up close, from 10 ft back looks great, and so modeling the forest parts or other aspects of a mountain, when viewed from what would be many miles away from the viewers perspective, isn't in need of so much detail; you can get away with much simpler techniques and materials in the background.
6) Don't necessarily model the whole mountain - they are huge, and you, in the railroad scale, are realistically only going to build a small face or tiny fraction of a mountain, not the whole thing from valley floor to peak. That gives you much more room to work in terms of what you need to actually depict over a square meter area.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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Offline Danlake  
#3 Posted : 04 March 2019 20:48:42(UTC)
Danlake

New Zealand   
Joined: 03/08/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,408
This is the process I followed with good results:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Mpko5rxM9pI

But agree with Minok, you have to do some research of what type of rocks formation you are trying to model and then look at lot of prototypical photos for inspiration (don’t try and copy photos from other modellers layout).

With extruded polystyrene foam it’s very easy to carve but not necessarily suited for every type of rocks. It you are looking for very smooth granite rock faces then you are probably better of with plaster castings etc.

Good luck!

Best Regards
Lasse
Digital 11m2 layout / C (M&K) tracks / Era IV / CS3 60226 / Train Controller Gold 9 with 4D sound. Mainly Danish and German Locomotives.
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Offline Minok  
#4 Posted : 04 March 2019 21:41:39(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,926
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Another thing I just remembered there are now several types of material that work well with different techniques:
1) Traditional cardboard or screen wire mesh base with plaster cloth or plaster (in layers) applied, where one, when applying thicker (inches thick) can as it is firm but not hard (15mins?) - chisel cuts into it.
2) Styrofoam - cheap as it comes with so many products, but messy as hell; cover it with wood putty to smooth or plaster after general shaping
3) Extruded foam insulation sheets - build it up and can cut and carve with less mess
4) Expanding construction foam in a can - spray it down to a rough shape (it expands many times its initial size) and then carve with box cutters, blades, rasps, knives (you get opened air pockets, so you may need to add a skim coat of plaster or wall board joint compound if you need smoother surface).
5) paper/fiber based wall/sound boarding can work well as layers of limestone and similar layered rock in hilly areas with rock cuts.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#5 Posted : 05 March 2019 00:16:19(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,989
good advice given above.

Look at photographs of mountains. Look at how streams flow, how they have vegetation around them and notice for example, that they are not blue. Ask yourself how the mountain formed and how and why the railway line was built around it, it has to tell a story, you don't get mountains in the middle of plain with a train tunnel going through it.

I add some links to my blog where I have documented the techniques I have used. You will find more there also...

Making a mountain usually leads to making cliffs:
https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2017/02/landscaping-valley-with-cliffs.html

The shape of the mountain can be made from solid Styrofoam or a mesh or both, etc.
https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2002/04/orogenesis.html

here is a long series of images showing the stages of a mounatin I built:
https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2015/06/building-a-mountain.html

Where there is a mountain, there will also be drainage and thus a river:
https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com/2017/03/Making-river-and-waterfall.html

Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
thanks 4 users liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
Offline hxmiesa  
#6 Posted : 05 March 2019 10:08:33(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 2,663
Location: Spain
I use the method of Bernhard Stein. (-same one used by brima and MiWuLa);

A fine-masked metal net, where the main forming can be done in 3D.
Then covered with paper (newspaper soaked in glue, or other things to close the masks of the net. (I think brima doesnt use anything other than a layer of thick plaster)

Then cover everything with plaster. Especially thick where you want to make many details.
Once the plaster is dry (or almost dry), you use a chisel to carve in the structure of the rocks.

Paint it all gray/brown.
Wash it with black.
Dry-brush with white.
Add vegetacion on (almost) horizontal parts.

This gives quite a good result, even if you are not very experienced in modelling. (Once you have experience it gives excellent results ;-) )
Drawbacks are that it weighs a lot, and you need to clean up the left-over plaster.

This method is very well documented in Youtube.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline Carim  
#7 Posted : 05 March 2019 10:19:02(UTC)
Carim

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 359
Location: London
What I'd suggest is making little test dioramas before making your mountains on the actual layout. Then you can experiment with different techniques before committing yourself.

Carim
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Offline Elsleuth1  
#8 Posted : 05 March 2019 18:29:40(UTC)
Elsleuth1

United States   
Joined: 23/04/2014(UTC)
Posts: 66
Great suggestions above. Another consideration is do you want permanent mountains or mountains you can adjust? If you make your mountain out of foam that can be lifted off the layout, then you can remove the mountain, and take it out to the garage to detail it. Or if you don't like the way it turns out, you can make a new removable mountain. Removing a permanent mountain that isn't to your liking is a messy job.
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Offline analogmike  
#9 Posted : 05 March 2019 21:51:26(UTC)
analogmike

United States   
Joined: 02/08/2014(UTC)
Posts: 617
Location: NEW JERSEY, USA
In my opinion the foam always looks like foam. What a mess and stink from spray paint.
I am very interested in trying the method of Martin T.
Mikey

I love the smell of smoke fluid in the morning .
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Offline Minok  
#10 Posted : 05 March 2019 22:06:07(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,926
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Here is a video (German) of a guy using spray foam to lay the basic contours of mountain surfaces on wire mesh, then shaping that then covering it with a thin layer of plaster. The motivation behind using blocks of foam or spray foam is that using foam filler gives you solid support behind the plaster, and very light weight vs the thicker plaster builds.

Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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Offline mike c  
#11 Posted : 05 March 2019 23:48:06(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,249
Location: Montreal, QC
https://www.noch.de/de/p...en/felsen-felswande.html

Remember that in scale 1/87, it is probably easier to make a hill than it is to make a mountain. Try to figure out how to model a 5,000ft mountain rather than a 10,000ft peak.
I think that the most impressive mountain that I ever saw in model had a Brawa cable car that went up from the town to the top of the first hill, where there was a station. Behind that station was a second station, with a N scale cable car going to the top of the mountain, giving the impression of distance. I don't remember whether this was in Switzerland or Germany though.

Remember if you are doing an alpine scenario, that having a mountain with trees at the bottom and then bare rock or ice at the peak is pretty hard to do in scale. Railways don't normally operate close to the permanent snow or ice level, unless you are modelling the MGB (FO) or RhB. If your layout is a summer model, it is probably more realistic to do the bottom of a valley with meadows, trees and perhaps a ravine and have the top of the mountain as a background image.





https://www.noch.de/de/p...en/felsen-felswande.html

Regards

Mike C
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Offline PJMärklin  
#12 Posted : 06 March 2019 11:31:31(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,340
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: 57vert Go to Quoted Post
I am doing my best to make my layout as realistic as possible. I have searched the internet and seen everything from very poor, to "that looks like an actual real mountain."

I thought the way my brain works sculpting out of foam insulation boards would work best. Well, my first attempt was, well, BAD!

What process have you folks found works best? I am trying to do rocky style mountains with some sheer cliffs.



Hello Junior Green 57 !BigGrin Wink


I have made some hills, cliff faces and rocky areas in the scenery of my layout. It is by no means as perfect as you will see on the internet but fits my layout satisfactorily and is a technique I think is within reach of the capabilities of most modelleisenbahn constructors. I am yet to complete the background surround behind much of these areas apart from the "old town area". (When are our layouts ever "complete" - then it is time to start a new one !)

The area behind the "old town" above my main station features some hills. I built them by sketching what I wanted then making some contoured section frames (as in boat-building) from plywood to form the desired 3D shape. I then stapled aluminium flywire to the frames. Then I applied plaster bandage (you can create the same practical effect with tissues soaked in plaster mixture layed on the meshwire if plaster bandage is not pragmatic for you) and applied green coating :


UserPostedImage


and onto this the various ground scatter layers and appendages of Woodland Scenics in various tones:


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


the more complete process is shown here : https://www.marklin-user...ing-my-layout#post576556

I have three other areas that display the "sheer cliff " you speak of. They were built in a similar manner by Al meshwire over frames. I plaster cast a large number and variety of rockface from the Woodland Scenics rubber molds and stuck them to the meshwire face with plaster to create the effect that I wanted. I then colour-layered and dressed them as per the Woodland Scenics manual. It is all really very easy when following the manual :


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


You can see the reverse side shows the wiremesh on the frames :


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage


UserPostedImage



Feel free to PM me if you want any more detail or information,Smile

Regards,

PJ
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Offline river6109  
#13 Posted : 06 March 2019 12:27:09(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,442
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
there are several factors to be considered, how high the mountain is, how far away from where you standing, in any case one has to incorporate a perspective view and this is the hard part. everything has to be multiplied by 87 or divided.
what is in front of you at the full size of 1:87 and anything else all depends on the distance has to be reduced, especially trees can be a good assistance whereas you use 120mm trees in the foreground and as you move backwards and higher they get smaller.
another point is what can you really see from a distance when you're out and about and you look across a valley, its pretty much blurred, trees aren't that sharp anymore and also the detail, shrubs are green-black objects. so by getting a feel about what nature looks like you than have to have the gift and transfer this onto your layout.

my mountains are at the distance of 5 meters at an 75%-80% angle and this implies distance, there isn't much detail at all, all I used is soil and green grass stuff.

ignore some of the video

John

https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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Offline Minok  
#14 Posted : 06 March 2019 21:16:38(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,926
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
One thing struck me as I watched a recent update from an Australian modeler as he rebuilds a section of his layout where a single swing-gate had failed and he is replacing it with three lift up bridges... as he filled in the terrain/background in his layout, he continued to use the background he had around the other 95% of the room, but to fill in the gap where the 3 bridges were, that is a door space to get out of the room.. he used photo prints and despite the scale of the photo-print being completely wrong (the photo trees seen behind the bridges are WAY to big compared to the foreground model trees on the layout to the left and right of the space..... the visuals worked. My brain didn't key in on the trees being the wrong size for where they were supposed to be in the scene.

The conclusion I took: don't sweat the details of scale too much, especially if you are dealing with general background material that isn't interacting with the trains directly. Your brain is lenient here; at least mine is.

Capture.PNG


Video from CSXMAD:
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
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Offline 57vert  
#15 Posted : 10 March 2019 15:26:56(UTC)
57vert

United States   
Joined: 05/02/2019(UTC)
Posts: 38
Location: Connecticut, Hartford
Thank you all for your time, thoughts and suggestions. The videos and pictures were particularly helpful. I'm going to do some experimenting with some rock molds for now.

I have learned the perspective of the vision in my mind was completely out of scale. With the size of my layout 4 feet X 8 feet, I am not making mountains, as one responder said I'm making hills.

I'll keep you updated on my progress.
Offline 57vert  
#16 Posted : 25 March 2019 22:45:02(UTC)
57vert

United States   
Joined: 05/02/2019(UTC)
Posts: 38
Location: Connecticut, Hartford
So, I think the rock mold method is more to my understanding and inclination. Here is an update on my progress:

779A3C14-81C8-4F8E-B049-04FBDEAFC0C2.jpeg
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#17 Posted : 26 March 2019 16:03:36(UTC)
DaleSchultz


Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,989
looks fabulous!

(I have visited that castle)
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline 57vert  
#18 Posted : 27 March 2019 16:29:53(UTC)
57vert

United States   
Joined: 05/02/2019(UTC)
Posts: 38
Location: Connecticut, Hartford
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
looks fabulous!

(I have visited that castle)


Thanks Dale,

I painstakingly did my best to copy the actual contours of the hill/mountain the castle sits on. It's amazing what you can see with the 3d imaging on google maps. Due to constraints of size the hill isn't 100% accurate, but a very good representation.

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Offline LongHairedDavid  
#19 Posted : 27 March 2019 17:51:48(UTC)
LongHairedDavid


Joined: 04/01/2019(UTC)
Posts: 143
Location: England, Ipswich
Originally Posted by: 57vert Go to Quoted Post
I am doing my best to make my layout as realistic as possible. I have searched the internet and seen everything from very poor, to "that looks like an actual real mountain."

I thought the way my brain works sculpting out of foam insulation boards would work best. Well, my first attempt was, well, BAD!

What process have you folks found works best? I am trying to do rocky style mountains with some sheer cliffs.


I use Woodland Scenics ShaperSheet. This comes in a roll and can be permanently or temporarily bent to represent mountains. Their ShaperSheet plaster is then run over the surface. Painting etc. results in a very nice lightweight structure. That's what I use.
Long Haired David
AKA David Pennington
A mystified Maerklin Newbie
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Offline YannisB  
#20 Posted : 04 May 2019 05:17:10(UTC)
YannisB

United States   
Joined: 22/05/2010(UTC)
Posts: 175
Location: USA
Originally Posted by: 57vert Go to Quoted Post
I am doing my best to make my layout as realistic as possible. I have searched the internet and seen everything from very poor, to "that looks like an actual real mountain."

I thought the way my brain works sculpting out of foam insulation boards would work best. Well, my first attempt was, well, BAD!

What process have you folks found works best? I am trying to do rocky style mountains with some sheer cliffs.


Hi 57vert.
Search the forum for my posting by YannisB “Building my new layout”. Scroll to pages 3 and 4 of the posting and you will find my photos and explanations how I made my mountains.
Message me and will be happy to discuss more details.

Yannisb
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