Saturday, December 1, 2012

Terrain from insulation board - Part 1

With the track sub roadbed in place on the Hot Springs Junction module, it's time to start filling in the terrain with foam insulation board.  The obvious advantage to using this material is it's light weight.  Styrofoam material is also very light but not as dense so can be more easily compressed if you happen to put weight on it later. Styrofoam is also much more messy to work with.  This will be the third major layout project I have attempted using this type of material.  The others being my current 2 ft x 12 ft home layout and another 2 ft x 4 ft Ntrak module.  I've also used this material in building scenery on a few smaller projects.  Like any material, one learns a few tricks and pitfalls of working with it and in this and the next few posts I'll share some of the techniques I've I learned.


The material comes in a choice of thickness and density and normally comes in a 4 ft x 8 ft sheet.  It may be a blue color or pink like the in this photo.  When I rebuilt another Ntrak module about a year ago I had purchased a sheet of 1 inch thick at Lowes and used about half  on that project.  Hopefully the remaining half will be enough to do this project.


To cut and shape this material I used the 3 tools shown in this photo.  I used to use a serrated kitchen knife but like the hacksaw blade better because it makes a finer cut.  For shaping the Stanley Surform tools also work well in place of the rasp I use.

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