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In another post I asked about making a cross over on my 8X12 portable table layout. It looks like this won't work. So, I'm not thinking about having two ovals at different heights that cross each other. Can I build such an animal on a series of 2X4 tables using that blue/pink insulation foam? Has anyone tried this on a table layout? How much work is involved? Would anyone with a track layout program like to make any suggestions as how to best lay this out to get the neatest, most fun configuration?

Thanks,

Ed
 
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i tried just that.
made a wooden structure, formed sides of the future "earthworks" with chickenwire, put the track in its place -and sprayed the foam.

it looked like a mushroom - fantasy world.
round bubbles everywhere! even between the rails and ties.
i tried to shape it with a knife.
i took it out, threw away the spoiled ties, cleaned the rails, and started all over in a more conservative way.

the only use i found for that stuff was in making trees and bushes.
 

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If you are talking about the sheets you buy at the local home improvements, sure. The process is actually fairly straight forward, but uses a lot more foam than you would think at first. A lot of wastage


You will need the foam, a way of cutting it (I used a saber saw which made it go very fast), a sharpie, a surform tool (available at most hardware stores), sandpaper, and knives.

First mark out on the foam the curves aand straights you will be using. Then dut that out. If it will take more than one layer toreach your desired height, lay those pieces on the foam and mark the second layer under them and cut it out. Continues with this until you get the desired height. Make susre you allow a lot of room on each layer for future shaping, and also for any flat spots etc. you plan on putting in. Now take the various layers and assemble them using a contact adhesive or construction adhesive that is safe for foam.


Now the messy part, best done outside as the mess will get all over anything nearby. Take the surform tool and blend the various layers and form the rough contour you are looking for. This tool will make the work very fast. Now take the sandpaper and sand out any marks left by the surform. Finally use the knives to carve an any rockwork or special features. Paint appropriately and install on the railroad.


It would be a good idea to first practice by making a couple of small hills of 2 or 3 layers just to get an idea for how much room is needed for shaping.

Hope this helps.
 

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Foam works great, used it for my portable layout and will use it for my indoor also. Carves VERY easily, but messy though-keep a vacuum handy and use it often.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
ooops!
seems, that i misunderstood. i only thought about the foam in spraycans...
foam in blocks and plates serve very well for modelling.

vsmith, why don't you show him the pics from building your pizza layout?
 

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Sure, works great. I used the beaded stuff 'cause it was cheaper. It cuts neatly with a hot wire cutter.

 

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"Would anyone with a track layout program like to make any suggestions as how to best lay this out to get the neatest, most fun configuration?"

Ed,
By the question above, are you asking about how the crossovers were made, or the layout foam was arranged? On my outdoor layout which has two different leveled loops, [except for three places] i have an "X" , two "D" and one reverse crossover. If you are asking about the track layout, I can help. If you are asking about the foam, I am no help.
JimC.
 
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