How to Make Ground Contours with Lou Sassi

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In this video Lou Sassi demonstrates the material he uses to create model railroad scenery ground cover on his Western Hoosic Division. Lou likes to call it ground goop. He mixes one cup celluclay, a third cup of white glue, and a third cup of brown earth colored latex paint. If planning on storing the goop for any length of time in its moist form, one can add a bit of concentrated lysol to prevent mildew buildup.

Now Lou mixes this material with water to create a mud-like consistency. This model railroad scenery ground cover was developed by a friend of his named Ken, whom he met at an NMRA convention in Pittsburgh. Lou goes on to explain the versatility of working with this product, for example creating an erosive hillside. First he wets the area with water and a bit of detergent in a spray bottle. Then he applies the ground goop. After smoothed out, he creates some grooves with the allen knife, drawing vertical lines straight down.

Next he sprinkles a fine grade of sifted dirt with a hand, spoon, or lightly blown out of a folded piece of paper. If the dirt does not adhere well to the side of the hill, he sprays with Woodland Scenic scenic cement. Once the model railroad scenery ground cover is applied on the hillside, he sprays some scenic cement on the base of the hill and finishes with some courser textures and grades of dirt.

Next he will create a rutted road and instal a building. First he wets the area and applies a thin layer of the ground goop about an ⅛ of an inch thick. Next he presses into the material with the broad side of the palette knife to create the ruts. Once the ruts are in, he smoothes out any edges. Lou goes on to demonstrate installing buildings in the model railroad scenery ground cover.

Tags: Allen Keller's great model railroads, Lou Sassi, model railroad layouts, Model Railroad Scenery, model railroad videos, model railroading tips