I'd read a couple of threads on here about using Sculptamold as a scenic cover and a bag was duly ordered by someone in the group for a trial. Previously tile cement had been used on the layout in rather industrial qualities. Not only was that very heavy but it had cracked when put over white polystyrene and wasn't providing the robust basic scenery the layout wanted for exhibition travel as well as sitting in the club room in prime 'leaning on' position!
Sculptamold has been a revelation once we got some out of the bag to trial on a small offcut of spaceboard as shown below.
Following advice on rmweb we added PVA to the basic mix so it was 2 part sculptamold, 1 water and one PVA, later covering added some black powder paint hence the grey hillside! It is much lighter than the tile adhesive when applied and even lighter once the moisture has evaporated out. The test piece was hit against a table a couple of times with no damage and it takes a bit of real effort to pierce the surface, the PVA does make a slight difference here.
Now that the initial corner has been done our centre board is having spaceboard cut to fit around the canal bridge for what will form a removable section at the moment. It will make the front of the layout much more presentable though by hiding all of the wiring from viewers at least. A signal box will sit on the embankment to the left of the bridge controlling the junction.
The canal bridge has now gained a nice finish to the brickwork and the completed wing walls. The previous attempt at the layout had the water level under the track much lower, land height will be built up to the bottom of the new bridge though there will be locks in the foreground.
An overview along the trackwork showing how it will be elevated on the embankment. The goods yard will probably have a retaining wall behind it for a length before it meets the goods warehouse. Further scenic tests on the far board will be to determine the correct cess to embankment relationship while point motors still have to be installed on the main board. The yard is also being finalised as a warehouse will sit over the one siding with wagons visible through arches in its front. The running lines disappearing around the back of the warehouse will help hide the trainset curve into the fiddleyard from the front boards to a degree. Note the terraces being experimented with, there will also allow a nice viewpoint up to the warehouse and hide the edge of the layout from front viewing.
Sculptamold is available on Amazon for £6.50 (as of 12-2011) and if used as thinly as we used it should provide good coverage.
Spaceboard was bought from B&Q for £7 a sheet though is now in short supply as it was gov't subsidised insulation. Other types of extruded poly are available though.