ANSWERED. THANKS. Caulk vs. Putty vs. Spackle


I have built a small hill out of ever-smaller pieces of art store foam core board.  The steps are nowhere as near large as the pink foam shown in magazines.  For an N-scale or Z-scale diorama.  The question is, what do I smooth out the sides with to make a slope  ,,,,,  from what is now a bunch of 'steps'.

I used to use something which, when wet, looked much like oatmeal.  I preferred Durham water putty, but now I want something 'right out of the can, or tube'.

The finished scene will be handed around a lot so the material used can't be brittle.  Any advice? 

And thanks.

DKRickman's picture

Flexible spackle

You have a challenging set of requirements - straight out of the can, and flexible.  Add to that the need to be able to cover it with scenery (I assume), and it gets worse.  The first thing which comes to my mind is a flexible spackle, made to give a little bit as trim moves.  The only other thing I can think of would be a large quantity of the cheapest latex caulk you can get, but gluing to it will be less successful.

Ken Rickman

Danville & Western HO modeler and web historian

rtw3rd's picture

Lightweight Spackle

I've used lightweight spackle and it works great.



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stevelton's picture

I have had good success with

I have had good success with using drywall joint compound.

Normally if you lay on a really thick layer, when it dried the compound would shrink and crack. However, I have found if you water down the mix, and add some brown paint to give it some color, it doesnt shrink as bad. What few cracks you may have after it dries, you can then give it another coat of joint compound. I buy mine at Walmart, just because Im there already...



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JamesS's picture

Base Paste from Mountain Modelcraft

This may be what you need:


Milwaukee  to  Lac du Flambeau

17' x 20'  HO with RailPro

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