Hardshell Scenery for the Great Canyon

When I built the floor to ceiling canyon on the HO-scale Redwoods and Railroad in 1997, I had some friends come over and help apply the plaster. To make the canyon, I roughed out the shape of the hills and valleys using strips of cardboard. Once all the cardboard is in place, my friends and I dipped pieces of paper towel in hydrocal plaster and laid the soaked towels on the cardboard forms. The plaster sets up really quickly, so we had to work fast with small batches of plaster. Once the all of the plaster is set, it acts like a thin hard shell that I can paint and apply dirt and trees and whatnot. The scenery looks really solid even though it’s just a thin shell.

Here is a time lapse video that I made of our plastering party, plus a short clip of what the canyon looks like today.

2 minutes