Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl
It can be mixed to a range of consistencies, but typically, for model railroad scenery purposes, it's mixed to about a cake batter consistency. Too thick, and it doesn't have enough water to "go off" properly. It's been a few years, but it does thicken significantly as it starts to go off. And you can retard the setting process, if you're planning on piping the stuff, to gain more working time.
Plaster of Paris doesn't get nearly as hard, but as I recall, it's slower.
And in the traditional model railroad usage, of layering Hydrocal-soaked paper towels over a rough approximation of the desired scenery forms, two layers, properly supported, really are solid enough to walk on.
It's been quite a few years since I've used it, myself. I recommend looking for books and/or videos on model railroad scenery.
I have worked on a railroad :-) my mom and her husband owned a model shop when I was a young teen, for about 2 years. They had a huge one in the window, but the window was covered because it was in "disrepair" to be kind. The hills were mostly fine, so I never had to do that, but I remember painting and painting and painting and painting.... and applying textures everywhere, grass (more like green flocking, paint glue on, then sprinkle the grass), cement, asphalt, trees, snow... I also got to spoon this crud that looked like pin oatmeal mixed with white glue all over, to make gravel for the train yard. I loved being able to open merchandise to fix up the set. I had a $30 limit (in the early 90's) and it couldn't be the last one of that item. I would also have to write the description and UPC on a binder I wish I had a picture. I didn't choose to have it as a hobby, I was just always grounded, so I had to go with them and sit for 5 hours doing nothing, so I did the train set. I was pretty proud of it. It was HUGE 8' square, with a big hole in the middle that had a "plug" of sorts that fit in that had scenery on it, so I could take it out and squeeze in the middle to work on that part.
I also made decorated train cookies for model train meetings, and airplane cookies for model airplane meetings.
All the geeky model dudes (no offense, lol) would tell me I was the perfect woman, and they wanted to marry me, and then they would find out I was 12 or 13, and they would look like pervs. lol To be fair, I looked at least 17 or 18.
I bet it would be so fun to do a whole scene on a cake, with edible media for a "model train enthusiast" , but would cost a PRETTY PENNY! It would take all week.
Bringing it back around to the OP, Is there another product that is similar, but maybe not as strong that could be used? Is this stuff water proof, or would it disintegrate? Do you have to use special paints?
Sandable or easy to smooth?