Here's a How-to for a small piece of Stone Wall
In this Blog entry I'll describe a very easy method for making a stone wall .. or a little piece of one at least. I've previously mentioned building some bridges or structures with stone walls. But I realized when looking through my photos, that I didn't have any decent step-by-step pictures of the method I use for those. So this time I've taken some pictures, at different steps along the way!
I have a little on-going project that will in some unspecific time in future hopefully end up in a longish one-lane rally track. I plan for about 8 to 10 meter double-laned strech of track, with loops at each end. It has to be detachable, built perhaps as modules and reside on consols along two or three walls. Stored on some shelves when not in use.
So the start for this has so far been two rally loops. One custom-made in wood, one with Classic track. Both has been prepared for a bit of some scenic stuff and I've just made a quick addition to the Scaley loop, a piece of stonewall and here I'll describe as how .. It's very easy to make and takes only a couple of evenings to do.
Below, the base for one of the loops. It's actually only some cardboard, stock card [1.5 mm.] and corrugated heavy-duty stuff. The latter was also used for making low sides for the base and making a few cross-braces to keep it all hopefully more stable.
I've tend to save different kinds of foam stuff, from old packages. Handy for this, here I've chopped up some pieces and glued them in place. I had already decided to give the surround a minor slope down towards the track. The loop will rest on a cornerpiece of an Ikea-shelf, you can see parts of it under the loop. Also inbetween the bigger foam chunks there's small *beads* of foam. In differnt sizes and shapes. Hot-glued in place, very easy to fill some minor gaps or even bigger areas with those.
The loop in place in a corner of my bookshelf. A bit tricky to get it there. I did measure it up, made it fit OK, before I started adding any foam and such.
The left hand side in the picture, where the track is heading, is of course my hobby corner. There's a workdesk, all my tools, scenic materials, mostly on shelves .. Lots of shelves, that are burried under all kind of stuff and junk. How I'll manage to run a track through that .. I just don't know right now.
Here I've added a chunk of foam that will later become the base for the stone wall. A piece of corrugated card will be put upon that. To keep the card stable, I usually glue two layers together, always laying them cross-wise. Corrugated card is so much easier to work with than wood or plyfa sheet .. At least for minor objects.
After I had trimmed the edges a bit, a thin sheet of balsa was glued on that. Here it's pinned down while it dries. Also a strip at the top. Now, you might wonder .. why not make or carve the *wall* directly into the foam, so to speak?
Well .. I prefer doing all of this plus painting at my working desk as far as it's possible. So I try to keep the parts *loose* until they're almost finished, then put them in place. Or into a box & up on a shelf.
So .. first I scribe the balsa a bit as I think I'll get a wee bit better adherence when putting on the wall compound. A better bite. Note, I've pinned a strip af balsa on top or on the edge of the wall, about a mm. or so outside of the edge. Thus I can more easily put on a thin coat of compound, I only drag the spackle tool along the edge. [althought I noticed later the usual mistake, the down edge gets always a bit thinner layer .. or I might have managed to do that when sanding]
But the thicknes of the compound is not that essential but it sure looks better if it's even or flat all the way. The tools are of course stainless steel, I like using artists palette knives very much, even if it's not for painting. They come in different sizes and shapes, this one looks a bit like a thin butter knife.
Then I sanded the piece of wall and gave it a coat of acryls in a light choclate brown.
Time to start scribing the stones .. and here's the trick to get the rows of stone somewhat even. Put the piece up-and-down and level on a flat surface! Those small pieces of wood are all the same size, I've decided that one should equall the height or a row of stones. I also decided to make the row of stones a bit higher at the top, and about double the height at the bottom. So I used an old piece of a meter-stick for the top layer to get it a bit higher.
An old penknife works fine here. Draw it along at a shallow angle and only press lightly against the compound/wall, just so you get a fraction of a cut. Press too hard and the wall compound might crack. And .. perhaps a heavy book could been placed on top of the wall piece so everything stays put, while doing this. The wall also looks more neat if the scribing is straight and even. If doing a long piece of wall, it could be good to have a longer, straight piece of strip wood, And perhaps tape down the knife/cutting tool to a smaller one, as the ones in picture.
In few places I've left a sort of gap. That's so I can make stones in different sizes as some size or shape variation makes it all more interesting, I think.
So, that gave five rows of stone. Not in perfect straight line but it looks OK. The right hand side is a bit more sloppy .. Oh well. I forgot to place the needle files in the pictures. I used 3 or 4 different shapes to enhance the mortar joints. Small round and very sharp at the end to half-round or elliptic shape. The wall compound is very easy to work with. And a toothbrush cleans up nicely the joints. I also added som cracks while doing this. To cut the vertical joints I used again the knife and the needle files, but taking some care. It's always good to have some kind of rest under your elbow, lower arms or wrists when doing that, as It's easier to get a more firm or straight cut.
I don't think the end of an a screwdriver is good for scribing or for any of this. Of course it depends on how *soft* the compound stays. The one I use is a bit soft, easy to sand but cracks if it's handled roughly.
Then finally the stones get a coat of acryls in different light hues. A thin coat is sufficient since this already got a basic ground colour. Different kind siennas, ocras and Paynes Grey, the very standard colours I usually have. When everything is thoroughly dry I lightly rub down any shine or *too bright spots* with with a green sanding sponge. A kitchen scourer sponge works also fine for that. Sandpaper does NOT.
The final touches remain .. Perhaps giving it a wash of diluted inks in the mortar joints. Trimming of the edges so it fits the base properly. Adding some sand or turf on top. Weed that grows between stones, birds poo, grafitti .. whatever .. But it's now off to get some rest for a while.
.. and I'm off for now too.
-- ron --
Another Brick in the Wall .. and how-to-make-one
Slot Track Layouts [part 8.] More Formula 1 tracks ..
Slot Track Layouts [part 7.] More Formula 1 tracks ..
Slot Track Layouts [part 6.] More Formula 1 tracks ..
Slot Track Layouts [part 5.] Small Rally Tracks
Slot Track Layouts [part 4.] Small Micro designs.
Slot Track Layouts [part 3.] Small 4'x8' sized tracks
Slot Track Layouts [part 2.] Formula 1 tracks ..
Slot Track Layouts [part 1.]
A Spectator Stand .. some more steps