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Author Topic: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics  (Read 944 times)

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Offline LAandNQFan

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Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« on: August 14, 2017, 12:06:04 pm »
I've made a start with the Woodland Scenics Shaper Sheet and am very pleased with the first section.
Here's the curve and slope down to "Carmarthen" ready to be hidden by the Pencader tunnel.


The scenery module is 24"x18"x10" supported by a polystyrene corner on the viewing side and polystyrene ledges on the backscene sides.  I needed to join two pieces of Shaper Sheet together and found, as others have done, that the peel-back-the-cloth-and-stick-them-together method on the WS website just doesn't work.  As I was forming Cardi hedges into the Shaper Sheet I formed the roadside hedge to join the two pieces. The small poly block in the corner helps to locate the scenery module.
The tracks were covered in case any plaster dripped through my joins.  But none did!


The larger piece of Shaper Sheet was glued to the polystyrene corner and rougly shaped.  The tunnel mouth was cut out.


Using an offcut from the corner of the goods yard, the tunnel mouth was put in place and the smaller section of Shper Sheet was added at the back.


I brushed a thickish mix of Shaper Sheet Plaster onto the hillside by the tunnel mouth, and the plaster stayed exactly where it was put.  A thinner mix was poured and spread over the fields at the top of the hill, brushing generously down the road and through the field gates made in the hedges.


The fields, roadway and field gates.


The underside of the removed module, showing the corner bracing.  Not a drop of plaster came through the join.


As the module is rigid and removeable I shall be able to work on it from all sides while it is off the layout.


And then fit it back into place until some derailment demands its removal!

The whole process was far quicker than methods I have used before of forming scenery with chicken wire or with interlaced cardboard strips.  There was no mess whatsoever, which is an enormous advantage over plaster bandage.  I could add any level of detail to the landscape, making a rocky slope, hedges, a roadway and a flat area for farm buildings.  Being able to bridge over two feet with a rigid removeable structure makes the system a winner for me.
Perhaps the proof that there is intelligent life in outer space is that they haven't contacted us.
Layout thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=23416

Online Kaian

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2017, 02:13:47 pm »
This looks very interesting, this is something I will come up with soon. I have never done scenic covered area's before and I have 2 to do on my layout.

Would you say this was more cost effective than doing it with chicken wire and plaster strips?
Did you get a better result for what you wanted to achieve?
Craig

Offline LAandNQFan

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 10:50:01 pm »
Shaper Sheet and Shaper Sheet Plaster would work out at about 32 a square yard, Kaian.  If you find a bit of chicken wire behind your shed and buy cheap plaster bandage from eBay you might get the old method down to 6 a square yard.
Which is cost effective then depends on two things: how much do you value your time? and will Shaper Sheet do things wire and bandage can't?
I reckon that it would have taken me four or five hours with wire and bandage to achieve less than I achieved in an hour with Shaper Sheet, and I'll get faster, which I couldn't do with the old method.  As I value my time at more than 7 an hour, I'll not use wire again.

  • Shaper Sheet cuts easily with scissors; wire needs cutters and plasters to plug the punctures the sharp ends make in your skin.
  • Shaper Sheet bends easily and holds the shape you create; wire is intransigent and tries to go its own way.
  • Shaper Sheet is self-supporting and stays where you put it; wire needs stapling down.
  • Shaper Sheet shapes are strong enough to take plaster without sagging; wire will  sag if you put too much weight on it.
  • Shaper Sheet allows you to model detailed terrain such as hedges, rocky slopes, roads and flat areas for building; wire doesn't.
  • Shaper Sheet Plaster stays where you put it; drips from bandage go wherever they like.
  • Shaper Sheet Plaster makes a solid shell with one coat; bandage takes many layers before it becomes solid.
  • Shaper Sheet Plaster gives you control to build a thick coat or pour a thin one; bandage just slops around.
  • Shaper Sheet Plaster bonds with the Sheet so that you can remove large rigid modules; bandage can break away from the wire if you try to move it.
  • I found that I needn't have covered the tracks below where I plastered the new scenery; imagine doing that with plaster bandage!
  • I expect that when I model the river, the plastered Shaper Sheet will hold the water compound without any chance of a leak; I would have to seal bandage carefully.
That is a lot of advantages to set against the initial cost.  I love the speed and the lack of mess, but for me the clincher is that with the wire or cardboard methods I couldn't have made the large section which I can easily remove.
Perhaps the proof that there is intelligent life in outer space is that they haven't contacted us.
Layout thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=23416

Online Kaian

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 10:58:48 pm »
Thanks for that, definitely worth spending some time with. When I get into that part of my layout I will try to find some.
Craig

Offline The Q

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 01:41:21 pm »
Personally at that price, I'll stick to my normal method, which is to build up polystyrene hillsides, shaping as necessary . Then covered with J cloth coated in 30% PVA /70 % water thickened with polyfilla (or the cheapest equivalent I can find) as necessary.

Note proper J cloths are required as they have tiny holes in them to allow the plaster mix to link through. J cloths are cheap enough if bought in bulk off the internet.

Online njee20

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 02:40:42 pm »
Do you literally mean branded J Cloths (ie the S C Johnson product only), or do you just mean those blue porous cloths as opposed to an alternative?

What is shaper sheet? It looks interesting, but I'm not too clear on what it actually is... Is it just a semi-rigid substrate onto which you add their 'plaster'. Is Shaper Sheet Plaster actually plaster? Or something different? Could you keep cost down by using another substance to brush over the Shaper Sheet?

Offline The Q

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2017, 03:01:44 pm »
I do mean the branded J cloths, which I buy in large packs https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cloth-Blue-50s/dp/B00V3UIQ3E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1503064712&sr=8-2&keywords=J+cloth.  ( There may be a cheaper supplier, this is just the first one I came across today.)

I have tried other cloths and found although they claim to be porous / microporous, the pollyfilla sits on top and does not link through to make a solid sheet.

Offline keithfre

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2017, 04:08:42 pm »
Could you keep cost down by using another substance to brush over the Shaper Sheet?
I was wondering that too...

Offline LAandNQFan

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 08:29:41 am »
What is shaper sheet? It looks interesting, but I'm not too clear on what it actually is... Is it just a semi-rigid substrate onto which you add their 'plaster'. Is Shaper Sheet Plaster actually plaster? Or something different? Could you keep cost down by using another substance to brush over the Shaper Sheet?
Shaper Sheet is a thick aluminium foil which holds its shape when bent, bonded to a netting covered with a layer of textured fibre.
https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/Item/C1179/page/1
I've used their plaster, which gives a 20 minute working time as it bonds to the fibre to make a hard rigid shell which is completely self-supporting and can be removed in modules.  Plaster bandage (or J-cloths, or an old sheet or string vest, I suppose) could also be used to make the shell rigid, and there are websites in which people describe cheaper alternatives to the "official" plaster.  I cannot see the point of using anything other than plaster as it would reduce the chance of adding detail in the surface of the plaster.  I've sculpted hedges and rock faces as I've worked with the plaster.
I'll be trying drilling holes for trees into the offical plaster in the next few weeks, and will post the results.
Perhaps the proof that there is intelligent life in outer space is that they haven't contacted us.
Layout thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=23416

Online njee20

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 01:39:28 pm »
Ta. I was thinking of using something like builders plaster, not J cloths, or plaster bandage or anything.

It does look good, but like so many WS products I fear it would be fiercely expensive product for an entire large layout.

Offline LAandNQFan

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2017, 01:15:20 pm »
To speed things up a little, I tried combining painting the landscape and adding the grass.
I made a mix of 50% PVA, 40% water, 5% Sap Green acrylic, 3% Burnt Sienna acrylic, 2% Payne's Grey acrylic and a few drops of washing-up liquid.
After brushing the glue and paint mix onto one area at a time I used a static grass mix of 4mm dead grass, 2mm summer meadow and 2mm spring meadow, using more of the former on the embankment and more of the latter on the field nearer the backscene.  I need to get a lighter grass colour to use near the backscene to blend in better.
There was still some mix left, which I strengthened with more PVA and painted the hedges before using cluster foliage - again I need a lighter mix to do the hedges at the edges of the module.
A few trees, some WS and some The Model Tree Shop, made it start to look better.

Perhaps the proof that there is intelligent life in outer space is that they haven't contacted us.
Layout thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=23416

Offline LAandNQFan

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2017, 05:05:47 pm »
More Shaper Sheet work.
My first attempt at the road put it too high, with too big an embankment down to the goods yard. 

Those creases for the hedges have to be taken out, therefore.  Here's the underside. Shaper Sheet advantage: if it doesn't look right, no problem in changing it.

The second attempt puts the road at a much better level for dropping to the station approach, but there is a big flap wasted at the front.  Shaper Sheet is expensive!

But it doesn't need to be wasted.  If there is a gap anywhere - like the River Tiweli

 - the offcut does the job.

Then the space over the fiddle yards can be covered

and plastered, but the section is still removable.

Then section three can be put into position, with the road sloping down the hill and the Farmers' Arms roughly where it should go.

Perhaps the proof that there is intelligent life in outer space is that they haven't contacted us.
Layout thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=23416

Offline LAandNQFan

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2017, 08:30:05 am »
Organising the next sections: the Carmarthen-Llandyssul road (Davies Street) runs left to right, Glanawmon rises up the hill, Station Road runs down by the buffer stop,  Castle Road tunnels under the platforms, and the River Tyweli trickles across the foreground.

The central section of the village - looks as if it will be mainly cliff-side!  The shelf on the left will support the Farmers' Arms.

The same section grassed ready for trees and buildings.

The Carmarthen road section grassed ready to have its hedges foliated.

And how the section fits to the end section.

The modern barn on the backscene needs to be hidden by the trees on the bank, but it's starting to look better.
Perhaps the proof that there is intelligent life in outer space is that they haven't contacted us.
Layout thread: http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=23416

Offline The Q

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Re: Shaper Sheet from Woodland Scenics
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2017, 09:29:00 am »
I must admit although I won't be using it myself, I saw shaper sheet on a layout recently (IIRC Thunder Mountain ) and was very impressed with the created mountains...

 

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