Rails and Trails Imaging
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Model RR - Mountain Building continued
Stand Alone Rock Formations
Using the same techniques, you can create stand alone rock formations.  Place foil or plastic wrap along the wall, tape up some screen material, apply joint compound, and start pressing the plaster rock pieces into place.  After the base row has completely dried, pull away from the wall and coat the back with more joint compound to bond the netting and form a solid unit.  Return it in place against the foil to start the next level up.  These pieces need to be 3-dimensional to stand up on their own.  I also use spray foam to fill large voids and reduce the total weight of each piece.
To play slide show, click on the 1st picture.
These are stand alone castings which can be removed for painting and to add the photo background.
The corner piece wraps around the corner.  An incomplete 8" tree trunk is standing in front to show the scale.
View along the front with a sample of the photo background taped on the wall.  I tend to judge the perspective and scale by eye and adjust to suit my liking.
View along side wall from opposite direction.  The separate pieces form natural cracks and splits in the rock.  When put in place there will be a background behind these joints.
I'm holding a completed stand alone section which is quite sturdy to handle.
View of the backside shows use of spray foam to fill voids.  I never make them of solid plaster.
Styrofoam and Expanding Foam
To create removable lightweight sections of mountains, I use Styrofoam sheets glued together with a non-solvent based glue.   The edges can then be shaped by picking out the little Styrofoam balls to give it texture.   Then it gets painted with several coats of watered down joint compound.  This step helps blend everything together and will stain and paint like the other types of plaster.
To play slide show, click on the 1st picture.
Please check back for future additions to this page.
For lift out sections, I use sheet Styrofoam and spray foam to make them light in weight.  This is a canyon wall made from thin layers of foam.  The final shaping is done by picking out the little balls.
Another view showing the profile of the layers.
For easy removal, the top piece and the canyon wall are created as two separate sections.  The top of the mountain is being created with spray foam.
I used a couple of plaster cast pieces for rock faces.  We watched the mountain rise as the foam expanded.  It was like we created our own Orogeny or mountain building event.
This is the final texture after the balls are picked away and two coatings of soupy plaster have been painted over the Styrofoam.