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How to Lay Ground Foam

Ground foam is available from a variety of manufacturers and really adds some realism to your layout.  You can use it to simulate various colors of grass, different types of dirt, and sand.  It's important to make sure that the ground foam is securely put in place to ensure that it doesn't find its way too close to the tracks and inside your favorite engine.  The process outlined below will help ensure that the ground foam is securely stuck in place while still providing a realistic look.

What you need:

  • Ground foam

  • Mixture of 40% Elmer's white glue and water

  • 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle

  • Eye dropper or something similar (I use an old Oxy 10 bottle)

  • 2 Paint brushes

Step 1)  Identify the area to add ground foam in and use the paint brush to cover it with the glue mixture.


Step 2)  Use a spoon, cup, shaker, or other device to evenly coat the area in ground foam.  Be sure that you don't have parts of the baseboard peeking though.


Step 3)  Begin spraying the area with the rubbing alcohol mixture.  Start out at a high height and move in closer as the area begins to get wet.  If you start spraying too close to the loose ground foam then you'll wind up dispersing it for the spray.  Spray the area to the point where it's almost completely saturated.


Step 4)  Use an eye dropped or other device to completely cover the are with the diluted glue mixture.


Step 5)  Cover the area with a light layer of the ground foam again.  Let the area dry for at least 24 hours.


Step 6)  Use a vacuum to vacuum up any loose ground foam.  Areas that didn't receive enough of the rubbing alcohol and/or glue will get sucked up and the baseboard will most likely be exposed.  Repeat the process for these areas.

Mixture of Woodland Scenics "Green Grass" and "Burnt Grass" used to simulate an unused track.

Highball "Fine Light Brown Earth" used to simulate a dirt bank for the lake.

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