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Large LOS Blocking Mountains

Many months ago Deansy gave me a bunch of massive polystyrene blocks they had at his work and were trying to get rid of. They’ve been sitting around for ages collecting dust – it was time to do something with them!!

You might recall I posted a video to Youtube ages ago when those blocks first came in, posing the question “what would you make” and had a massive number of awesome responses. Looking through those suggestions and thinking about something easy I could cut my teeth on to get back into the swing of creating scenery, I decided to make a few massive mountains, primarily as LOS blocking terrain.

We started by cutting off some large chunks of foam with a hot wire cutter Aki and I quickly put together. It is simple some pieces of PVC piping with a nichrome wire strung between them and hooked up to a battery charger to provide the power necessary to heat the wire up – it worked like a charm.

And then proceeding to make a massive amount of mess we ripped the blocks by hand and shaped them into various ‘mountain’esque’ shapes:

Once we were happy with our shapes we used a hot air gun to ‘shrink’ the exposed foam to form a sealed skin, rather then the exposed foam beads which tend to keep ‘peeling’ off if not properly dealt with:

Using the hot air gun really does help ‘fuse’ the exposed beads together, as you can see here; the first picture is a piece of ‘untreated’ foam, and the second has been melted with the hot air gun:

With our sealed mountains in hand, the next step (which unfortunately I have no picture of) was to coat the models with a plaster mix consisting of acrylic caulking and hydrostone (a very strong plaster) … we used latex gloves and did that buy hand, its an enjoyable experience and the best way to avoid brush strokes in the plaster.

We applied some rocks and sand around the mountains and the entire model was coated with watered down PVA to a) help provide additional protection for the plaster-covered foam, and b) to seal the rocks added to the base

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