My biggest layout to date
TrainNut Wrote:... I decided I needed to wake up and start finding my WOW factor.....

I dunno, Thomas, I see quite a bit of WOW!!! in what you've shown us so far. Most impressive!

Thanks guys! But wait, it gets better!

I wanted rocks, and I wanted big random chaotic looking realistic rocks... you know, like in nature. I really like the Woodland Scenics plaster castings but after a while, of using the same few molds in a large area, you can start to pick out the repetitiveness. I tried my luck carving the 1" blue foam into rocks and while it looked pretty good up close, when you stepped back, it looked very uniform and blase. Perhaps if I could have found the 4" foam or better yet, some 6" foam. So, like I said, I started experimenting with Great Stuff expandable foam. I've never used it before, had no idea what I was doing but squirted a can on and started messing around.
This is what it looks like after it has cured (mostly). It gives very random shapes but there's not much detail and it looks almost ballooney in places.
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However, if you carve on it for a while (several days in my case) with several different blades and knives, pulling out the existing shapes and accentuating them with cracks and such, and then apply a multitude of colors and a little bit of landscaping bushes, rocks and dirt, it turns out pretty good.
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I was pretty tickled with my results so what's next? A bigger area!
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I stuck with carving the same kind of roundy type boulders, learned from my mistakes on the other section and this is how that turned out...
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Cheers Thumbsup

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
Got tired of spending good money on WS tunnel portals so I experimented with making my own. This one is out of 1" blue foam. The only tool I used other than the knife to cut it out with was a pencil.
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I got even more crazy with the Great Stuff expandable foam and attacked another area on the layout. This time, I wanted to go for a more jagged rock look as opposed to the roundy boulders.
Here, I cut out a huge section of the foam on the front so I could drop the rock cliff way down below table level towards the floor.
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...and then sprayed the foam on so it could expand and cure.
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I spent days carving it...
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...and reworked a section on the big mountain that I wasn't too thrilled with... the bottom part has already been somewhat carved and the top right has been freshly sprayed with foam.
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...and it turned out like this...
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I'll definitely add to the WOW!! comments! WOW!

Cheers Thumbsup Applause

Sent from my pocket calculator using two tin cans and a string
You've taking rock making to a whole new level. I like the idea of using spray foam as the base. Thumbsup Thumbsup
Don (ezdays) Day
Board administrator and
Well now that is just a bit larger that you had in Phoenix. Looking good.
Love the rocks!!
Check out my Shapeways creations!
3-d printed items in HO/HOn3 and more!
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Absolutely Awesome. Having sent the kids to college I am just getting going after 12 years. Your work is inspring. Whee did you source the container barge ? I was going to 3D print one. Any ideas if a scale Inventor file exists ?

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It took some looking as I bought that little barge nearly 10 years ago and completely forgot from where or who. After perusing some of my old internet links I found out that I had gotten it from Sylvan Scale Models for $17.95.
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At the same time, I bought from them the laker class tramp steamer and a little tug... all three of which remain unbuilt. I'll get to them someday!
At some point, I think I want to focus in on the transition era. I've got everything from old steam to modern bullet trains and the mix is starting to annoy me a little.
Harbor is coming along. Still lots of work to do. That container loader is gonna have to go someday.
WoodOne... There is that fire engine you built for me a long time ago!
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