Foam to Groundcover Tutorial
This thread has unusual origins. This thread was reconstructed by Matthyro (Robin), who got the photos from aartwmich in April 2005, who managed to save the thread photos that we first posted by "Charlie" in March 2003. Now the real twist in this is that Charlie changed his name and was eventually called Drew1125. The bottom line is that we can thank Drew1125 as the original author of this tutorial thread:
I was cleaning up the basement work room, & I found these scraps of extruded styrofoam. Instead of throwing it away, I thought I'd demonstrate how this material can be transformed into very realistic scenery, that weighs almost nothing. While this is a very small chunk of foam I'm working with, the same techniques can be used on any sized layout, in any scale.

[Here's the pieces of foam, glued together with an adhesive called Liquid Nails.


Here are the tools I used to shape the foam...A large wood rasp, & a keyhole saw.


I begin shaping the foam by simply rounding off the corners & sharp edges.


and some further shaping...


After I get a shape I'm happy with, I use some plaster of paris to fill gaps, & apply very heavy layers of it where I want to form some rock outcrops.


NARA Member #48
Life is all the stuff that happened while you were makin' other plans.
After the plaster has set up, I use an old flat head screwdriver to carve the rock face...taking very rough horizontal strokes, to form striations, & just generally rough up the surface.


Using a spray bottle, I apply a black wash of rubbing alcohol & several drops of India ink as the base color for the rocks.


Next, I paint around the rocks with tan latex paint, & then sprinkle sifted dirt on to the wet paint.


I finish the rocks by dry brushing them with some acrylic browns & whites.


Now for some woodland ground cover...Start by spraying the entire area with water with a few drops of liquid detergent mixed in. Then, flood the area with a 50/50 mixture of white glue & water.


For woodland ground cover, I like to use material from what I call my "debris bowl".This is material left over from other scenicking projects...ground foam, dried leaves, dirt, twigs, even some pieces of styrene painted to look like rusted metal.


NARA Member #48
Life is all the stuff that happened while you were makin' other plans.

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