Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Modeling Clay

744 views
5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • 6 posts
Modeling Clay
Posted by mightypurdue on Friday, August 11, 2017 3:31 PM

I'm in need of a flexible solution to elevate grade next to N Scale Unitrack sections, particularly in my rail yard and along several sidings.  Has anyone used a modeling or air dry clay for contouring?

 

Thanks,

Dave

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 2,244 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, August 11, 2017 5:37 PM

Sidings are frequently lower than the mainlines.  Ignoring that, if you want to elevate a yard, you are probably looking for uniformity or consistancy in elevation.  AC Moore sells rolls of cork in various thicknesses. There was an article in MR where Pelle? used different layers to elevate the mainline and lower the sididngs. edit sididngs?  Surprise sidings.  That was also in the last 2 years.

Somewhere between 1 and 3 years ago, Ken Patterson contoured his layout with a laser light and a surefoam to create a grade, on What's Neat on youtube.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,395 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, August 12, 2017 10:30 AM

Clay seems kind of "squishy" for that kind of thing.  That is, getting and keeping an even elevation seems difficult.

With this kind of track, if I wanted parallel tracks to be raised a foot or so, I would use styrene strip plastic as shimming.  It comes in strips from .010 thick up to .125 (and more).  When you have a section where you are changing from one height to the other, just use a selection of thinner shims.

Your track heights should then be easily established, as you can create almost any thickness of shim you need using more than one strip and some styrene solvent.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • 6 posts
Posted by mightypurdue on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:15 AM

I didn't ask my question very clearly on the use of the clay.  My intention was not to use as a sub roadbed, but to use it between sets of track.  Unitrack has the built in roadbed, and I'd look to use a material that helps fill in the 3/16" tall gaps between tops of railroad ties.  This would essentially make the track appear as if it is on level ground and without the elevation of the roadbed.

Thanks,

Dave

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,395 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 9:46 AM

Oh.  OK.

I haven't.  One thing I wonder is if the substance will accept paint and glues, both of which you are likely to want to use on top of it.

 

Ed 

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 2,244 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 10:26 AM

I missed it too.  Looking at a box of clay $14.07/10# vs a bag of scultamold (and the cheapest price for scultamold in on Ebay at $9.21/3# 

Adjusting for the different volumes, the sculptamold would cost $1.78 more to get you 244 cu in that is in the box of clay. 

I had an aunt who was a potter, so clay would have numerous possibilites if you want to carve it. Once it dries, I don't think paint or glue would present problems

Scultamold would be light, quick and dirty (figure of speech only) and plaster would be even quicker if you happened to have a bag of it lying around.  That would also be the heaviest solution.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!
Popular on ModelRailroader.com
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Search the Community

Users Online

There are no community member online
ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook