LE N: 1/160, LE HO: 1/87, LE O: 1/48 ainsi que les voies étroites qui découlent de ces échelles

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Rocks from Foam

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Localisation: South Carolina, USA

MessagePosté le: Lun 14 Mar - 01:13 (2011)    Sujet du message: Rocks from Foam Répondre en citant

I've had several people ask how I made the rocks on my On30 modules. This is a HIDI (How I Did It) and not a DIY .. since I am making this stuff up as I go! Very Happy
Safe Harbor Statement: I evidently was dropped on my head more then once as a baby .. that's my excuse for anything that looks or sounds stupid. Neutral


  • Blue Styrofoam Insulation
  • Latex paint (color up to you, used for base color for the scenery)
  • White Glue and Water (to glue down rubble)
  • Foam glue / cauk (something to glue the Styrofoam into stacks)
  • Powdered Brown Tempera Paint
  • Plaster (used to make ZIP texture along with Tempera)
  • Tea strainer (used to sift ZIP texture on scene)
  • Floor Sweep/Oil Adsorbent (crushed clay)
  • Spackle (putty used to repair Sheetrock)
  • Alcohol / India Ink wash
  • Knives, saws, chisels, gouges .. even fingers. Used to tear, gouge and distress the foam

I used the blue Styrofoam that I picked up at Lowes. Here in South Carolina all I could find was 3/4" sheet.

Step 1: Here I have some scrap Styrofoam and plywood which I will use to demonstrate my method. Note that I deliberately glued the different layers of foam to create a stepped set of layers/strata .. making use of the 3/4" thickness of the foam.

Step 2: Glue the Styrofoam sheets together. If you live in colder climes you can find thicker sheets then the 3/4" I used. We don't have the pink Styrofoam others use so I can only talk about the blue stuff. I used 'Liquid Nails Foam & Panel Adhesive". Make sure you use an adhesive that specifically works with foam as many will melt it. Read the label as some foam specific adhesives will only work foam to wood .. and not foam to foam. Go figure.

Step 3 .. and all the rest in no order what so ever ...

I used a pocket knife to gouge the foam. Stick the blade in and pry up. Foam will fracture and pop out leaving random texture.

Use your thumb and fingers. Pry, claw, scratch, twist, poke, prod .. whatever

The foam cuts easily. Use the knife to cut .. but continue to create texture even while cutting .. slice in and twist the blade. You want it to fracture and not so much cut

I had a sheet-rock saw handy. Fine. Sliced off a corner. Yea .. nice rough texture there!

Took the saw and dragged it down and across the surface to rip and tear

How about another ledge? Easy .. just slice away

Take a breath and look at what you have. Hmmm .. that top surface looks just too 'purty'

Took the knife and dragged it across the surface .. 'scrubbing'

Continued with the blade held vertically to the surface. This causes the blade to jump and vibrate creating more texture

Good nuff on the carving, chipping, gouging etc.

Used Spackle .. mostly just the joints between the foam. I want that to go away

Ok. I'll let that sit a while so the adhesive sets up

Dave Frary has instructions on using his rock molds ..
Dave Frary has instructions on using his rock molds ..

Using Your Blue Ribbon Rock Molds

I use a different process then Dave does but followed his recipe for making up a basic earth color. You mix 1/3 of your latex paint and the rest water. The paint? I just had the cheapest flat latex mixed up at Lowes. I picked out what looked like a yellowish / tarnish color. No biggie .. just don't make it too dark. Me .. I darken mine as it goes. You can use almost any light color you wish since you will be staining later.

Next wanted to add some color. I used a tea strainer to sift brown tempera paint over the surface. This is just a random sifting .. wherever ..

Spraying with water washes the tempera into the cracks and crevices .. and will be pretty much random. You have some control .. just have to play with it a bit. Do this until you get happy feet ..

Here it is after it has dried. Note that it will lighten a bit when dry. The effect is like throwing paint on a canvas .. the results are random and unexpected

Next I sprayed on some AI wash

Once that dried, I brushed water across the flat surfaces where I wanted zip texture and then zip textured (sprinkled on) a 'brown dirt' tempera powder (see the Sep-Oct issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist)

Dry. The zip texture really does a lot and looks MUCH more like dirt then most anything else

Finally rubble. I bought a 10lb bag of floor sweep at the auto store. It's what is used to soak up spills at a garage and is just clay. I used one of those wire mesh strainers you put in your sink to separate the larger clay bits from the smaller. I just put the 'large' bits around then sifted the smaller on top and secured with scenic cement. You could leave as is .. but I would come back with some more zip texturing using the brush technique (load a brush with the tempera 'dirt' .. wet where you want it .. like on the horizontal surfaces .. and gently the brush against your finger. You can get really good control doing that).

Of course you can now add static grass, ground foam, bushes, trees .. whatever.
Edward Traxler

Dernière édition par eTraxx le Mer 13 Avr - 17:43 (2011); édité 1 fois
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Christophe LC.

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MessagePosté le: Lun 14 Mar - 11:40 (2011)    Sujet du message: Rocks from Foam Répondre en citant



If you only do what you always do, you only get where you always get.
Henry Ford
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Messages: 683
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MessagePosté le: Mer 1 Juin - 16:34 (2011)    Sujet du message: Rocks from Foam Répondre en citant

Je me suis permis de déplacer le sujet complet ici et de laisser le tutorial dans la section dédiée


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MessagePosté le: Aujourd’hui à 01:41 (2018)    Sujet du message: Rocks from Foam

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