Using Floral Foam with Jerry Macri

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Duration: 5:55

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Jerry Macri, owner of the massive Pennsylvania model railroad uses floral foam to build land mass on his layout. This is opposed to the pink or blue foam that most modelers use. Jerry uses the green for a couple of reasons, the most important being the trees that he has modeled. His trees stick well to the foam without a need for drilling down or using glue. 14,000 trees can be seen in just one area of the layout. To Jerry, in order to create something that looks like a forest, he had to really create a forest, and opt out of the typical puff ball method. The other reason he uses the floral foam is that it does not make as much of a squeaking noise like the blue foam.

Jerry describes the floral foam as coming in 3 foot by 1 foot sheets and goes on to demonstrate how easy it is to insert trees so they are secured into the scenes. To install the foam on the layout, he uses a large sharp exacto knife to easily cut the pieces he needs, a mallet to buff out any sharp edges, screws with washers, and glue with a finger to smooth it into crevices.

The glue he uses is Power Grab construction adhesive. It is non-toxic, has little odor, and locks the foam in place well so that he doesn’t have to wait from the glue to dry. Jerry goes on to demonstrate how to use structolite, a form of plaster that has little pieces of styrofoam in it. For more tree making techniques or more Allen Keller videos, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.