Please excuse the railway
pictures as I have used these methods for model railway as well. Some more
suitable pictures will be coming soon.
Method 1 -
Below is a picture of a ballast mound produced
using this method:
This is the most simplest method as all the materials
should be found around the house. This also makes it the cheapest option.
the result is a durable, light structure that can take some nocks.
newspaper, PVA glue, water, a bowl, and some thick card.
Mix in the bowl a solution of 50% PVA and 50% water and tear some or the
newspaper into strips. With the card cut out the footprint shape of your
hill. This will be the base.
Using the card as a base, build up the shape of the hill with screwed up
balls of newspaper, making them as compact as possible. Glue these down with
PVA glue (not the PVA water mix) until you have the rough shape you want.
Then take a strip of newspaper and run it through the PVA water mix
(allowing it to absorb the mixture) and lay it across the screwed up
newspaper. These strips will give the hill its smoothness and will dry hard.
Once this is dry it is ready for either painting or having scatter glued on.
Additional: If you wish
to make a tunnel with this method you will have to use a wooden support
structure to hold up the hill. I don't believe that chicken wire would be
strong enough to give the hill durability.
Method 2 - Modelling
Rock (Plaster impregnated fabric)
This produces a more durable structure than the papier-mâché, but it is also
heavier. It also does not lend itself to modification or add-ons as when the
model rock goes hard that is it. With the paper method you can add more on
as the paper will re-soften with water. This method also does not produce a
smooth finish as good as the paper. The model-rock costs more and you will
have to go out to buy it.
Model rock, chicken wire, wire cutters, bowl of water, gloves (gets messy)
using the chicken wire produce the shape of your hill. The chicken wire is
used as a frame for the model rock. use the wire cutters where needed. If
this is to be a permanent structure, you can secure the wire to your board.
once the chicken wire structure is complete you can now start applying the
modelling rock. First cut the model rock to length, then run it through the
bowl water making sure it becomes wet all over. Then lay it on the chicken
wire. Repeat this making sure you over lap each piece until all the wire is
Hornby suggest that before you let it dry that you should apply the
scatter to it. You can also add the scatter after it has dried, using the
Additional: If you wish
to make a tunnel with this method simply leave a hole in the chicken wire
either end and rap the modelling rock around the edges of the tunnel. once
finished a plastic stone imitation tonal entrance can be put in place to
finish the look off.