Thursday, 16 May 2019

Modelling a Limestone Rock Cut

Rock cut views: after (above) and before (below):
 If you're modelling Kingston, it's not just 'bringing coals to Newcastle' to realize that modelling limestone will be a must-have. I have a berm that separates the CN spur and the CN-CP interchange from the CP line. It's made of 2x4's and some other lumber scraps, covered with papier-mache. Soon after I built it, I painted it with green paint, making the rock face two colours of grey. And I thought it looked 'good-enough' for now. But not forever:
I've been reading about modelling pioneer Frank Ellison and his talent at creating depth on a flat surface, using colouring and shading.  I'm a fairly lazy modeller (perhaps economic with exertion would be a better term) so this type of creative, and easier, approach appealed to me. Visions of shaving and cutting stacks of Styrofoam suddenly vanished! The finished product, which I like much better!
A magician never reveals his secrets. But "Dammit, Jim - I'm a model railroader, not a magician" so here's how I did it!
I Googled limestone rock cut. The Alamy stock image (above) was neat, because it included greenery top and bottom, which would fit with my rock cut. 
These images (click for larger image) fit together. I formatted all three in Paint or Word as needed, pasting and flipping to create non-lookalike images. Prototype images here. After printing, I had more than enough height, so trimmed the printed rock cut images to fit my rock cut. I Scotch-taped the images together to form one continuous image - drilled back on the left side, closer to the spur, and rougher on the right side. Push-pinning them into place, I trimmed the bottom of the printed images to clear rock debris already glued in place. 
Almost finished. Sectionman inspects the results. I white-glued the images into place, paying special attention the joints and edges. The top and bottom of the rock cut are scenicked in to match ground cover and further hide the 'joint' between the rocks and ground cover. I also later added more cut-out pieces of limestone to hide the joints on the paper images.
I'll likely print more images and use them on the berm over by Imperial Oil's warehouse as well. Before (above) and after (below). No, those aren't styrene bases the sectionmen are standing on, they're pieces of...limestone!


  1. Very nicely done. It looks like Kingston.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Eric. Lurking a few inches or at most a few feet under the soil here, this stuff is everywhere here in K-town.


I'm happy to hear from you. Got a comment about the Hanley Spur?