Saturday, September 23, 2023

Floral foam landscaping

Twice in the past I have used the Dry Floral Foam to model topography on the layout: once for a road crossing and the second time I used it to form the Whitewater Creek area.  

I chose to try this as it can be formed much easier than the Pink or Blue rigid insulation board or extruded polystyrene. Not only can this be shaped with tools, but it can also be shaped with nothing but your fingers. It is much more expensive per sqft but for small scenes it's a workable alternative.

Both times it has worked out very well for me, so I thought I would give it another try, this time on a much larger area.  For this scene I'm planning for low rolling pasture land for an abandoned farm scene.

With the ballasting done in the Ruston to Winnfield area, it's time to see what I can do with scenery.  I never really had a good idea of what I wanted to do in this spot until I was chatting with a friend.  Karl suggested a farm scene which sounded like a great idea!  

But I'll take it one step farther and make it an older farm scene with dilapidated buildings in disrepair.  So the next of kin who inherited it has decided to move a mobile home onto the property and let the farmstead continue to deteriorate.   

Here's the area that I'm working on.

I started laying out the floral foam to get an idea of what's needed.  If this works, I may need to repaint the back drop and raise the tree line?

My first objective is finding something to glue it in place with. As with the rigid insulation board, using white or yellow glue works, but as the edges of the glue dries, it seals the inner glue and it can stay wet for a very long time. In this case, with the floral foam being porous, I think the glue should dry much more evenly?

So I took a scrap piece and brushed on a thin layer of glue and sat it in place. Within a few hours it had dried pretty much all the way through, but there was still some wet glue in the middle. However it was thickening up and if I had let sit over night I think it would have dried completely.

So I think I'll run long narrow beads of glue or I'll use a comb and make grooves on the bottom of the foam so air can get to it better?  We'll see how this turns out?

In the past I've used plaster to make topography, but slinging plaster is not something I find enjoyable. It seems to get everywhere before your done.


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