So, let’s follow the progress of Steve M as he kicks off his project to add a harbor and cliff to his HO Scale layout.

First step – Cliff Construction

Steve begins this phase of his project with cardboard strips, hot glued top and bottom, for a solid foundation for the placement of foam squares, which is to follow this step.

Next Steps – Foam squares (in the upper left of this next photo) are ready to be attached to the cardboard strips. Prior to this step, Steve had measured, cut, numbered and test fit each foam square to ensure accurate placement on the cliff.

The foam squares were numbered for easier placement and location around his cliff area.

In the following photo, the foam squares numbered one and two, are hot glued to the cardboard strips and carved to represent the shape of the rock formation Steve is trying to capture. Steve used a Zyliss knife with a very sharp 3/4″ blade purchased on eBay.

All the remaining numbered foam squares are hot glued into position.

Now Steve is at the point of carving the cliff formations as he wishes. With all the foam squares fastened securely to the cardboard strips, he can just work from one end to the other until satisfied with the appearance.

The pieces at the bottom of the cliff were just pieces left over from carving the rock face. Rather than throw them away, Steve picked the best ones, cut the bottoms straight and hot glued them in place.

Steve was able to use longer pieces as he came around the bend. The sections on the left were trimmed with a hot foam, hand-held, wire foam cutter.

More carving and carved in a small wall. I used spackle to fill in gaps and mistakes. Yes, I do make quite a few mistakes as I go along!

A closer view, looking down the line.

Saved scrap pieces of foam are used to simulate rock slabs and boulders that have worked loose from the formation. A work train with a crane and gondola come by periodically clearing the track (foam strips under the track).

More to follow…..