Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Creating the canyon walls

The Palisade Canyon part of the layout will be represented by building up a canyon wall as a backdrop beginning where the photo backdrop ends.   This transition will occur in the Harney section of the layout which the the section I am working on now.

This photo of part of the Palisade Canyon that I found on the Internet shows how the top of the canyon walls are near vertical while the lower part near the track in angled.   The bottom part is most likely rock debris that has fallen from above over the ages.  I am using this photo as an reference of what I am trying to create on this part of the layout.

To create the canyon walls I built up a structure along the back with scraps from the bench work and some pegboard.  Then I am gluing cardboard strips and covering them with plaster cloth.  This will be the lower sloping part of the canyon wall.   The upper part will have insulation board attached to it that can then be shaped to represent the more vertical top parts of the canyon walls.

I am continuing this method in the area between the track and the river.  The river itself will be the flat bottom of the bench work.

As creating this type of scenery is a bit new to me I consider this to be a bit of an experiment and if it does not come out the way I want I could still rip it out and start over but so far I am encouraged.


  1. Brad on my Lost Creek On30 layout in some areas of the scenery I just crumpled up old newspapers and stuck them down with masking tape. Then just laid plaster cloth over the top. Light weight and worked out pretty well. Might be a solution for the vertical sections of your canyon walls. If you can pull this scene off it should look super.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Rod. Bye the way, this is the area where I am going to be trying out the brushed on grout method that you used on the Thompson Canyon layout.

  2. Geez I hope it works out for you. haha.
    Seriously it was easy to do and gave us a very different look.
    have fun.