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172
Cliff-Side Road

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NOCH’s Rock Formation Quarry Rock Wall is marketed as a scenic railway accessory to accompany some of their gravel workings models. When asked to review it, I wanted something quick and simple to do with it that could be used to display a small vehicle, so had the idea to model a road running along the side of a sheer cliff. The concept intrigued me as it would be a scenic display / diorama base dominated by a vertical aspect, rather than the more usual horizontal.

Photos 1 and 2: Here’s the chunk of foam as it comes out of the bag, already coloured in various grey tones and quite nicely textured with strong contours and rocky shards.

Photos 3, 4, 5: The chunk is 310mm x 170mm wide, so having measured a 140mm section, it was cut with a trimming knife.

Photos 6, 7, 8: This section was then cut at an angle appropriate to a fairly steep road climbing up the side of the cliff face. To get the vehicle to appear more or less in the centre of the completed scene, the cut was made a little below half way, so that with the vehicle on the road, there would be about as much cliff face visible above it, as below. This time the cut was started with a normal light modelling knife so that some of the small contours of the rock face could be followed and the cut wouldn’t be dead straight. If you wanted to prevent any appearance that the top and bottom of these two sections were ever part of the same block, you might want to remove and discard another section of foam so that there is no matching up of the rocky contours above and below the road – keeping in mind, that is, that the slope of the road should more or less match up.

The road, then, will be on the space created by the offset between the two sections of foam. The thickness of the foam itself would be enough to create a narrow path along which a braille scale man or horse could walk, but for a road the offset has to be greater – depending, of course, on the scale and type of vehicle you want on the road.

Photo 9: Clearly some kind of support is needed to mount the foam rock on, and this structure was quickly measured and cut from 5mm foam board, then glued together with a hot glue gun. The left and right supports are different heights to match the slope of the road.

Photo 10: The top section of cliff fixed in place with a combination of hot glue and double sided tape. To keep things really simple I made the cliff faces completely vertical, although obviously they could be made a bit less crazily treacherous by mounting the rock foam at an angle.

Photo 11: The space underneath was filled with sections of foam board to provide structure for the road surface.

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About the Author

About Matthew Lenton (firstcircle)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM

Earliest model memory is a Super Sabre my grandmother bought for me in around 1972. We cut the pieces off the sprue with an ivory handled butter knife. Have always dabbled in painting and making things, and rediscovered doing that with plastic in 2008. Vowed then to complete the 30 year old stash...


Comments

Ingenious. Thanks for sharing such a creative idea!
MAY 06, 2014 - 01:22 PM
Simple but effective. Very good result starting from simple material. Thanks for sharing
MAY 06, 2014 - 07:12 PM
The other members comments have pretty much said it all, ingenious, simple and effective! I must add that the use of those two Matchbox vehicles really shows the potential for creating a very fascinating and eye catching mini diorama. Cheers, Jan
MAY 07, 2014 - 11:10 AM
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