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Old 04-15-2014, 12:53 PM   #1
HuTHeBeast
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N Scale Surfline

I went down to San Clemente a few days ago and was inspired to do a N scale layout representation of the surfline. I have several questions: what can I use to model sand? How do I make rocks? How do I model waves and surf?

Thank you!
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:31 PM   #2
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For sand I would use real sand and sift it of the large particles. Then heat it a little in a warm oven to drive out and small insects and such. That's what I use.

For your large rocks, you can get latex rock molds at a good hobby shop. They are made by Woodland Scenics. To make the rock castings pour soupy plaster in the mold. When it's dry color it with earth colored water based stains.

For your water, there are a couple of methods but a good starting point is the Woodlad Scenics Water kit, also sold at a good hobby shop.

You might want to pick up a book on scenery while you're at the hobby shop. There are a lot of good ones out there. If you are serious about you're modeling the books are a very worthwhile purchase. Let us know how you get along.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:38 PM   #3
HuTHeBeast
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How long should I bake the sand?
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:41 PM   #4
HuTHeBeast
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...and I was thinking is picking real railroad ballast as rocks is a good idea?
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:32 PM   #5
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Heat the sand about 20 minutes on low heat. 125 or so. Since you are modeling N scale you could use HO or O ballast for different grades of rock.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:40 PM   #6
DonR
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Michaels stores have fine sand in various colors (including
sand) for about 2.00 or so. It's intended to be used
to 'plant' fake potted plants.

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Old 04-15-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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Scales Modeled: O right now. HO packed/ small N scale table, G scale for under the Christmas tree, & 1 S locomotive
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PC240090.jpg

One suggestion for you to use if you want.
Old packing foam that items come in work well to shape rocks.
The packing foam that some thing like a TV is protected by in the box.
You can make them as large as you want and just carve them to shape.
Lightweight too, and it is for free everything comes packed with it.
Latex paint covers well, any color you want.

I arrowed some in red for you.
The blue arrows those pieces are old ceiling tile transformed into rock.

I will dig up a picture of a seascape someone did in N scale for you to look at.
If I can't find it today I will eventually post it when I have more free time.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:42 PM   #8
Big Ed
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A little closer look.
A lot of the rock you see in this shot is the packing foam transformed into rock.


PC180027.jpg
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:41 PM   #9
Big Ed
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This is on a N scale table.

This was foamboard angled up for sand and canned foam for dunes.
He said no plaster was used I am trying to get more info and pictures for you.
I can't find his pictures or a build thread on it to help give you some ideals.
PB020236.JPG

Soon I got to hit the sack got to get up early, I may have more for you tomorrow.
I have been chatting with him but he is eating and I am getting answers slowly.
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Last edited by Big Ed; 04-15-2014 at 06:52 PM..
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:24 PM   #10
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Scales Modeled: 'O' stuff (even On30!) as far as trains go.
Try and find the finest sand that you can, scale sand would be like flour! This surf line was made from white sand from a pet shop (I think) and cold-cast resin from the lumber yard store. The foam base has to be protected from the resin. Ripples can be pushed into the resin before it completely sets. Colours can be added to it. A much larger scale but the method would be the same if I was to do it in 'N' scale.


This is a polluted puddle made the same way. The resin is poured slowly so that it filters into the rock studded 'beach'.

This is of course not the only way to do it, just a method that I use for water effects.
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