Cliffs and exposed rock faces are a signature element of many famous prototype railroad scenes, such as the “high line” of the Durango & Silverton RR or Windy Point on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR. A rocky vertical landscape also adds a dramatic element to model railroad scenery, as I found on my HOn3 (HO scale 3-foot gauge) line.
I use three basic techniques for modeling rocks on my layout: casting plaster with rock molds, carving partially cured plaster, and installing charcoal chunks in wet plaster. Each method is effective in any modeling scale and easy to master with a little practice. I’ll also describe how I paint and weather my model rocks to make them look like the real thing.