Foaming …

Experimenting a bit here. I cut three pieces of foam to fit into the corner and between the structures .. then hot-glued them together. What I want to do is carve a hilly slope that connects the two into the backdrop.

The ‘method behind the madness’ is to give the impression that the buildings are built on very un-level ground. Retaining walls inserted at the appropriate locations and winding steps and roads should help. The slope itself will be rubble and dirt with perhaps a little grass. There’s not much room really but should be enough with trees against the backdrop to hopefully (and magically!) blend the scene into the backdrop. I’m thinking though .. that this will be pretty much an example where forced perspective may work since the buildings form a view block and restrict the view .. so that might work better then if it was out in the open.

Just how well that works is still to be seen. I’m thinking though .. that if that little bit of foam is left ‘loose’ .. then like the buildings, it can be taken to the workbench for detailing.

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About etraxx

Retired from the Army in 2006. Served during Vietnam - 1969-1972 as as 72B - Communications Center Specialist (Teletype Operator). Got out .. and went back in 1987 as a 19K - Armor Vehicle Crewman - (M1/M1A1 tanker) getting out in Korea in 1999. Went into the Reserves .. got mobilized in 2001 .. stayed active until my retirement with 20 years in 2006.


Foaming … — 13 Comments

  1. Very interesting to watch this. A good idea, Not everyone could pull it off, threading a fine line between too much and not enough. I’m anticipating watching how you carve this. Would love to see a top down at some point for it’s educational value.
    Looks to me like your going to tell a lot of story in a very small space. Something I have always enjoyed seeing.

    • Thom. Yeah .. guess having only a small space to work with lets me do that. I have a link Upward Mobility: 1908 – to a great Shorpy photo of Cincinnati, Ohio C.1908. That’s my ‘muse’ 🙂 .. if you look just below the fold on the far left there is a TON of inspiration .. the road slopes up to a retaining wall .. a steep staircase on the fight .. that’s what I want to do .. or at least .. inspired by.

      • I rounded off the foam just a bit here – just to get started. This is where I need to take time and figure out what to do next. The Critter Shed is lower then the Maintenance Shed. I’m thinking just a small ‘ledge’ .. level with the Critter Shed with a small retaining wall beyond that. That would give a place for some junk. What I’m wanting is for the rounded bit to appear deeper then it actually is. Since again .. the viewpoint is fixed though the structures acting as view-blocks .. I may be able to put heavier rubble (?) toward the buildings and then finer toward the backdrop .. make it look like the distant rubble (?) is further away. In any case that will be shadowed by bushes and some trees. That’s the plan anyway .. not sure how well it will work out but … shrug .. that’s the fun of it.

  2. Ed,
    The shed looks good and it is a good choice to have the structures on uneven ground. All the more power to you if you can remove each section for detailing and hide any seams between the scenes.

    • Since its such a small area that should be possible. Since you can only see the scene from one point (more or less) I can probably use scenic materials, rubble .. a retaining wall .. to hide the seams.

  3. Ed,

    I love bring able to build a small area and detail it at my workbench, then drop it into place and blend it in to the surrounding scenery. Much, much easier on the eyes and aging body!


    • Tom .. and .. if you look at the photo above .. the railings on the bridge are broken off from catching on my clothing as I was leaning across. If all you have to do is drop in place and blend in .. I think it would be less chance of breaking stuff off!

  4. I’ve spent some time on Google Street View looking at how houses sit on slopes. Since Pittsburgh is mostly built on hills, there’s a lot to see in the near suburbs.

  5. Ed,
    It looks good so far and the theory is sound but I have a question on method construction.

    You mention you use a hot glue gun to attach the blocks together, doesn’t the heat of the glue melts the foam?

    I use a product called “No More Nails”, it comes in a squeeze tube or a caulking tube. I think you and I know carpenters glue doesn’t cue. This stuff sets in about 20 minutes and cue in about 48 hours. I usually hold it together and drywall screws or T-pins, I don’t mind the hole since I usually cover the ground with Sculpt-a-mold.
    Would this work for you maybe?
    I’m including a link to my layout build where you can see the building of my mountain waterfall substructure.
    Hope this works for you.

    • Ralph, you can get a low-temp gluestick. That works fine with the foam. (I picked up a dual-temp glue gun .. high and low temp settings)

      To add links .. if you edit .. it brings up a screen where you can do that. WHY .. doesn’t it do it before? Got me. 🙂

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