How to Make Mountains for a Model Railroad Out of Cardboard & Plaster of Paris

Written by guy gardner
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How to Make Mountains for a Model Railroad Out of Cardboard & Plaster of Paris
Build your own mountains for your model railroad. (copper mountain,colorado,rocky mountains,mountain, image by Earl Robbins from

Model railroading is a hobby that requires a significant amount of patience and time. The railroad you build is limited only by space and time, as is the landscape you build around it. Whether you already have a fairly large railroad assembly or you are just getting started, you should pay special attention to your landscaping. Small towns, forests and hills and mountains can add interest to your railroad.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Large kitchen mixing bowl
  • Newspaper
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush

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  1. 1

    Cut out 3-to-4 sides of the mountain from the piece of cardboard using a pair of scissors. Tape the mountain sides together and then tape them onto a cardboard base by applying a piece of tape to each side of the mountain outline and to the base so that the mountain sides stand up on the base.

  2. 2

    Fill a large kitchen mixing bowl 1/4 with plaster of Paris and 1/4 with warm water. Mix the two together until you get a thick consistency.

  3. 3

    Tear off strips of newspaper about 4 inches long. Dip the newspaper into the plaster. Lay the strips on one side of the mountain. Leave the paper mache for around 2 hours to dry. Begin to build up the thickness of the mountain by adding more layer of paper mache around the base of the mountain. Repeat this procedure for the other sides of the mountain. Leave the paper mache overnight to dry completely.

  4. 4

    Sand away any unwanted rough areas with a piece of sandpaper. Brush away the dust from sanding.

  5. 5

    Paint the mountains using acrylic paint and a paint brush. Use different shades and colours to bring out the texture of the mountain.

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