In 1998, I witnessed a layout called “Swans Crossing”.

The “SOFT ROCKS” that covered this exhibition layout were made of Foam Rubber, the type used in lounge suites.

After a few years experimenting with the brilliant technique used by Mark & Angela Fry,

I established another method, using “Joint Compound “, which has been adopted by modelers around Australia and location’s around the world.

“FRocks” - Foam Rocks by Mario Rapinett

Foam rubber can be purchased from stores, however, it is freely available from Upholstery Shops. The old foam rubber, I believe to be the best.

The newer rubber tends to be a bit more synthethic. But any type will do to get you started.

“FRocks” - Foam Rocks by Mario Rapinett.

Place a quantity of Joint Compound ( sometimes called Topping coat ) into a container and add a little water.

Stir for a few minutes and let it sit.

This will become a nice pancake mix. Apply to foam rubber with large paint brush.

NOTE:  If you put the container lid back on, the mix will not dry out and can be used at any time, days later.

NO Mess, NO waste.

To achieve the natural look of rugged rock,  just rip / tear small and large pieces of foam rubber.

Don’t even think about where to start tearing. Just tear in different directions.

You will be amazed at the various rock profiles that are formed. Cover foam rubber with one or two thin coats of compound, using a large paint brush.

This compound cover eliminates the sponge look and also gives a surface for painting and ground cover.

Fix pieces of foam rubber together using liquid nails or similar.

“Furlow” rock. Strata obtained by quickly running a saw thru the foam rubber.

Pull out bits and pieces of foam for additional contours.

Add topping coat, and while still wet, paint the whole area with highly diluted acrylic house paint.

When dry, add dirt or chalk dust. A number of these completed “FRocks” can be added to a diorama or layout at anytime.

Rock Strata obtained using a hand saw

Layout by Darren using “FRocks to all mountain scenery

If you are covering an area of the foam with dirt, woodlands scenics or any other ground cover, only a thin coat of Joint compound is required.

Just experiment...for the desired effect....

Individual rock formations by Geoff Nott,

using “FRocks to add at a later stage, to a future layout or diorama

“FRocks” can be made quickly and with no mess.

Actually, you make and detail enough “Frocks” for a large layout, even before you start a layout.

If at anytime you decide destroy your completed diorama, module or layout,

the “Frocks” can be recycled without too much damage.

Hand rip the foam to obtain contours.

“FRocks” by Sundance Central

“Enterprise On30 “ by Mario Rapinett

“FRocks” can be made quickly and with no mess.

If at anytime you decide destroy your completed diorama, module or layout, the “Frocks” can be recycled without too much damage.

If you are covering an area of the foam with dirt, woodlands scenics or any other ground cover, only a thin coat of Joint compound is required.

Just experiment...for the desired effect....

“Enterprise On30 “ by Mario Rapinett

“Sweetwater On30 “ by Mario Rapinett

“ Meyers Creek HOn30 “ by Mario Rapinett.

               “FRocks  for Mountains”

”FRocks” clinic by “M” in 2005