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Discussion Starter · #62 ·



Gary
Here are the three tools I use to do my cement work




There is no magic formula or I am gifted in this and others are not, it is you carve out what you want, I am posting a couple pictures of straw mountain, It is a bale of straw covered in the wire mesh and a coating of cement covered the mesh. This answers one of the questions ask by the gentleman in the thread below your questions. I have also just piled up dirt and covered it with a mesh and cemented over it, anytype of substructure should work, The reason I do not use rebar wire ties is you can not get them through the fine mesh that is used in this builders mesh. If you use chicken wire it will work fine, cover the chicken wire with burlap soaked cement will work, all you need to do is create a solid base, that the cement can bond to.


These pictures did not come out real clear, but you just start carving away anything that does not look like a rocky mountain. I have come to the conclusion, if you carve it out and you say I have never seen anything quite like that before, I am sure God is saying I have and it is right _________ . The biggest mistake you can make is trying to make it to perfect, or to smooth, most mountains or rocks are rough and jagged, not all though. This is the reason I love this technique, you can get some real deep detail.

The brick tuck tool the little narrow bladed tool was square ended when I started, I use it to shape all the crevis's, all the lines. Look at pictures of mountains if you have not studied the rock formations and watch how they are sloped, try to follow a pattern and that will help.
Do not follow it everywhere, change it up it is your mountains, If you get hung up on it being so real like, or accurate. Men picking up locomotives and setting them on the tracks is not real either/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif:D
I have found out you will be the pickyest or critical when you are doing it, that is when you are the closest to it. Do only the details that satisfies you, others will like it, and wish they had it on there's.:rolleyes:
more later Dennis
 

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Really great mountains! I used a similar tecnique to build cliffs on the sides of dirt mounds for my RR. Judging from the third picture on this page, I would say that what you are using for the base is called 'expanded metal lathe'. It is in the plastering suplies at Home Depot etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Gary
I am back again, those doors are my own design, I cheat a little here, I own a steal fabricating company, and I design everything we build, these doors swing up into the tunnel and lock in the up position, living in the country doors are a must. The roadbed for the track in the tunnel is a steel trough, just wide enough for my widest engine to clear by 1/2". I also have a long set of grabbers that I can grab what is loose from either end. Most anything can be pushed out, so far I have never lost anything YET. The sides are seven inches tall so nothing can fall out or off the track road bed.
Rabbit mountain is hollow so there is lots of room, that is the reason for the doors to close easily, I know how I am, if it is not quick I will do it later and it would not happen. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif
The doors are made for cement to bond to, with big holes.
As far as the radius,the curve in the tunnel is at 8 ft. radius or 16ft diameter.All my track except for switches are soldered together, and all the track is bought straight, and I use the rail bender to roll the track where I want it. that makes the transition between the straight and curves gradual which results in less track problems.

STYRAFOAM, or ESP. this system has some advantages:D and disadvantages/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/cry.gif
I bought big blocks 24x24x48, I used a lot of the spray foam to bond together and filling in places I needed to. I used the hot knife tools sold in the garden railroad mag. this technique is simple but very much a time consumer. You can really create some very authenic looking spires. You carve out or burn away everything you don't want. I coated the ESP with the vinyl patch cement, I tryed brushing it on with a paint brush/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif:mad: what a failure, that process does not work and it would take a massive time to cover a small area with no crevises. so you just as well not be using something that is easy to shape, I really recomend DO NOT try brushing on the cement. I bought a 20 dollar sheet rock sprayer at HARBOR FRT.mix the vinyl patch cement VPC thin and sprayed on to the ESP, I spray on 3or4 coats from all directions and it is still difficult to cover all it. I try to end up with 1/8-1/4" thick, some places will be thinner some thicker.
I paint to color just like I do regular cement, in fact I have mixed the two together and you can not tell where the ESP stops and the cement starts. The ESP works well where it is not exposed to foot traffic or possible rough hand exposure, like leaning on it or over it. Background works great. The back half of my over 8ft mountain is ESP and the front half where the water fall is cement, can't tell the difference.
I have learned new cement tecniques, I will probably not use ESP again. To get the large effects of the tall spires it is easier than cement.
If I missed any questions or did not address it far enough let me know.
Dennis/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Michael
I am sure you could use the burlap soaked cement over the chicken wire. you could also spray the burlap with the VPC mentioned in artical above. It might be less messy on large areas and easier with large overhangs. I am sure this would be a good technique to start with.
The reason I like the thicker cement technique is to give the awesome depth of cuts and crevises and outcroppings. It is harder work because of the mixing of more cement, for me that is no problem because I built a real nice motar mixer, so mixing cement is easy for me.
All my ESP blocks were done in place, they are solid blocks, they are rebared to the ground, so they are ridged and solid to the ground. Now I either have cement retainer walls or fill dirt on three sides of my ESP, so they can't move.
Now when I want a spire, lets say 36 inches tall, I would make a wooden form that is about 6-8" square that is screwed together, drive two rebars in the ground, place the form around the rebar and fill with cement, let dry for a couple of hours and remove the forms, let it set till it can be carved to become what I want, do not try this until you have done several smaller versions.
I will do a small series of spires at the clinic at Marty's in Sept, so plan to be there:)
If you have any more questions please feel free to ask:rolleyes:
Thanks Dennis
 

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Dennis, this is a 'quick reply' just to say 'thanks' for the additional info & pix. They are all very informative. I'm gonna' print this stuff out and study more at my leisure, but I'll probably be back with another question or two!
In the meantime, I gotta' tell you that you may have a commercially viable product happening with those portals! At the very least, if you tell your fab shop to make up some more, let me know first! :)

Thanks again for doing this!
 

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Hi Dennis: I'm gearing up to do what you have done here (although not as good, I fear.) A couple of questions. I will use mesh similar to yours and noted you attach it to the 2x/2's with some kind of washered nail or screw. Can you identify them for me? Also, what kind of cement are you using. I had planned on a stucco mixture. What is best for you? Thanks, and I know I will have more questions. (I am making a mountain over a 6 foot circular section of track so I am going to be working pretty big)
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Dale
Use fender washers or any washer with a small hole, I use screws we get in the business but dry wall screws would work very well, I prefer play sand and portland cement 3to 1 mix. But for the ease of I use sand mix. it is designed for top dressing sackrete. It is not motar mix. the sand mix is just portland cement and sand. I used one brand and I don't remember the type but it had small pebbles or large sand aggregate, I did not like it, the finer the sand the better the detailing. I have bought thousands of pounds from lowes, I like it.
If you have any questions please ask. Good luck and good mountaining, post us some pictures of your work:D
Thanks Dennis
 

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Sacred Manure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This thread gets better every day. Thanks for posting the latest pic's. I am building a canyon. The walls are going to be of cinder block. I fill the center with concrete with rebar to anchor it. I use the blue plastic anchors witha fender washer to attach the mettal mesh. I have been using Stucco mix for a base. Now I will try and add to the surface like you did.
I can not thank you enough for what you have posted here. This is inspiring.

I am one who gets too wraped up with the fact of it looking too perfect.
 
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