I have always heard that one cannot use hydrocal castings outside in the garden railroad. But I like the way one can cast tiny detail with hydrocal. Like in a rock mold. So I decided to do an experiment to see for myself.
I took a fairly detailed casting I had made in HO scale and spray painted it with Krylon to protect it from the elements. I then placed it in the garden in the early fall of 1996. In May of this year I declared the experiment over.
I had purposefully left the bottom unpainted. This was done to simulate the backside of a rock casting, which would also be unpainted. After less than ten months the paint was coming off in many places and the fine detail was washed away just from the action of rain. I had the piece sitting on a flat car so the only moisture was during a rain. Still, the casting did not hold up.
Sometimes it appears that accepted wisdom is correct.
Last revised: May 20, 1996
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