Cheap Sources for Scenic Materials

Suffering from the 'Plywood Pacific' look? Share your scenery & structure questions and tips here...
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tunnelmotor
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Cheap Sources for Scenic Materials

Post by tunnelmotor » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:00 pm

Chatting with Andrew Dickinson of the Black Diamonds N Scale group yesterday we both shared some ideas for cheap if not free sources of possible scenic material. Perhaps we should compile a list from group postings to share with members.

Andrew uses brick dust for river bed effects - the dust after bricks have been cut.

We both use dirt/mud crushed on work sites on tyres suitably sterilised and dried which then provides a very fine earth mixture, almost as fine as poster paint powder.

I have gathered sawdust from drilling holes through plywood for use as wood scraps on log flat cars or bulkhead flat cars - it sometimes has a beautiful reddish tone.

Concrete dust swept up from garage floors is good too.

You really cannot beat Mother Nature.

Mike Arnold

800415
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Cheap Sources for Scenic Materials

Post by 800415 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:29 pm

At Kegworth yesterday I got a quick tutorial from the guy with the HO scale lumber layout with the car float, who was mass-producing trees from Buddleia and Spirea flower heads for the Black Diamonds layout, who also uses the dried contents of used teabags for ballast ...
Steve Whitaker

Mike_R
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Cheap Sources for Scenic Materials

Post by Mike_R » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:17 pm

I use both sawdust and wood chips. On my chip loader there are large chips going up the conveyor to the chipper and the results lie on the ground around the loader. These chips are used to make loads for the wood chip cars.

The ballast (not much on these tracks!) is sieved from sharp sand and gives several sizes from sand to small boulders. The different sizes are used for scenery and car loads. A 20Kg bag gives a lot of material.

The dirt is sieved, washed and baked soil, which also gives small stones. Under the dirt is corrugated cardboard from boxes, to build up the ground level and give some undulation (I press the heel of my hand into the cardboard).

The duct work is sprue from kits. The LEDs in the lights from Christmas light strings.

Image

Corrugated cardboard goes into supporting some of my scenery, and cereal box cardboard goes under my track to adjust track height and super elevation.

Mike Ruby
Mike Ruby

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Franklinsburg
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Location: Washington, in the People's Republic of Northumbria
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Re: Cheap Sources for Scenic Materials

Post by Franklinsburg » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:42 pm

Hello Boys,
If you want red dust I recommend mahogany or ( if you can get it ) exotic hardwoods such as jatoba. The latter makes pretty good 'iron ore' if that's what you're after.
Always use a fine toothed bandsaw ...... ordinary sawdust is out of scale ...... and, frankly, just looks like sawdust.
Regards,
John H. Wright
http:// http://www.xclent.net

Mike_R
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Cheap Sources for Scenic Materials

Post by Mike_R » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:13 pm

My little 3" bench sander makes really fine sawdust.
For the wood chips I use a rasp.

Mike Ruby
Mike Ruby

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