Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Scenery Base

The scenery base used is styrene foam from Australian Urethane & Styrene 150 mm thick. The foam is called MGDE by the supplier and was purchased in 1200 x 600 x 150 blocks and was selected as it is carve-able and is used for stage set manufacture. The use of 150 mm allows the scenery to be carved without encountering layers of glue required for laminates. The foam was fixed to the urethane foam deck using large dollops of Parfix Gap Sealer applied to the urethane foam deck [pale yellow in photo]

It was planned to hot wire the styrene foam block but after expending time and money this was abandoned. The final solution for the cutting lay in a oscillating saw as it allows clean cuts with little dust unlike using a saw. 
Oscillating Saw

The technique used with the short circular blade is run to full depth along a desired cut line and then cut from the top cut down to intersect and just lift out the waste wedge. The second technique is to cut the desired line then using the saw to lever out chunks both techniques were used as required. 

Foam V cut into exiting scenery

Once the rough cuts are completed the saw can then be used to remove and shape roads and other areas by just flying over the surface removing wafer thin pieces. It is quick and produces very little dust but is noisy - wear hearing plugs. A small hand saw and box cutter blade were used also as required.

Applying base.
The foam appearance was removed by selecting a suitable latex house paint from Brinlay Paints. A beige colour from their standard colour card was selected as the base colour. Prepare the paint by thinning, remove approximately 15% of the paint and place aside for later use. Thin using a squirt of liquid detergent and methylated spirits and water about 50/50. Thin till the paint runs gently off a stick in defined drops, add paint back if required - stir well before use

The base is formed by using Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper and a cheap stiff brush. Paint an area of foam with the paint, then apply leaves of the Cottonelle in a random pattern - do not be afraid to overlay - do not quilt the paper.  In the photo they are shown in a line, this was due to the confined area to be repaired. Breaking the rule only proves there is a rule.

Stippling the paint

Dip the brush back into the paint to grab a small amount of paint onto the tip. Using a stippling action work the paint onto the foam and paper till they combine. If you tear or lift up a piece of paper just apply another leaf across the effected area and repeat. Continue to use the stippling action to spread the paint till a Matt finish is achieved.

Finish area

What is achieved is a earth like texture and removes the bead look of foam. This technique comes into it own when modifications are required as it tidy and precise when working around finished scenery.

The End Goal

Looking down the road to Spicers Creek Station

Aerial view of road to Spicers Creek Station

1 comment:

Ray P said...


The scenery is looking great, I really like the trees.

Ray P