East of the Blue Ridge

Chronicles of an On30 quarry railroad

August 2012


Once the shape of the basic hillside was formed with the cardstock web, it was time to build the basic scenic contours.

I decided to use plaster cloth for the subscenery. I have used it before and found it easy to work with. I applied two layers of plaster cloth to the hillside. It is best to not wait for the first layer to completely dry before applying the second. The plaster cloth is rigid and has a surface that accepts paint and other scenic materials very well.

Since the hillsides in this corner of the layout were very high and steep, I wanted a few rock outcroppings and minor cliff faces in the scene. All the rock castings I had on hand were left from my HO scale modeling days, and were not big enough to create a rocky O scale hillside.

I purchased several large latex rock molds from
Bragdon Enterprises. They have a wide variety available. I chose a few that appeared to have deep relief and patterns that looked typical for eastern rock formations.

The Bragdon rock molds were very easy to work with, and I was able to pour Hydrocal in the molds, wet the hillsides, and stick the rock molds in place. After the Hydrocal had time to harden, I peeled the latex mold away.

Random pieces of casting made at the bench were placed around the rocks cast in place to fill in gaps.