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Old 27th November 2005, 02:43   #1
disisme
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Default how to: make rocks dis way

After seeing the second 'working on the railroad' series on the DIY channel (credit where credit is due), I thought I'd try their rock making and painting technique, for those who cant get the TV show.* Personally, I think this is a fantastic, and easy way to do rock outcroppings etc.

firstly, you need a rock mold...doesnt have to be the woodland scenics ones I used, but since I have them, thats what this how to is based upon.

As you can see in the first pic, I have 2 molds.* One includes small rocks (I call them 'small dog droppings').


The bucket there is the DAP plaster of paris I got for my birthday...no idea what it costs, but bigger is cheaper.* The spray bottle is 'wet water'.* Thats about a cup of water with 2 drops of dishwashing detergent added.* Since I only had gel stuff, I put in a 'gloop' and it worked fine.* To test it I sprayed one mold with it, and didnt spray the other.* Trust me when I say they are ALL getting sprayed from nowon...getting the unsprayed one out was a bear.

The recommended mix for the plaster is 2 parts plaster - 1 part water.* I actually mixed it exactly to that spec for the first mold, and a little more plaster in the second...BIG mistake....it dried way to ofast and was considerably 'thicker' when pouring the last part than it was at the first, so 2:1 is a good mix.* It comes up kinda like outmeal consistency....and it thickens FAST towards the end...wont sem to be doing anything, then all of a sudden it will be paste, so proceed with caution when your mix starts to get close to the right ratio.

OK...mixed it up and popped em out of the molds after about an hour...set like concrete.


Now we get to the interesting, but not particularly exciting part.* I mixed raw umber, burnt sienna, and pewter grey about 8:1 with water.* You then use a fairly short haired brush and paint 'leopard spots' on the castings.* It will look a lil odd, but DONT overwork it.* To much color will get....nasty... You can actually go without the grey, oro use very little of it.* The other 2 colors are your main feature.



ok...you've now got spotty rocks.* Let the paint dry..takes about 10 minutes.* You might find some of the colors appear a bit 'washed out'.* Personally, I didnt like that much, so I touched them up, but thats probaly going to give a slightly more unnatural coloring to the final result....if you have color variation, leave it be, because thats actually gonna be good for you in the end.

This is where you go 'oh wow'.* If you are unfamiliar with what a painting 'wash' is, read the next bit..if you know what it is, go to the next paragraph.* A "wash" is, quite literally, 'washing' the surface with paint.* You get very thin paint and a large brush, fill the brush with paint and do NOT wipe it on the edge of the container....you want all that paint in it.... You then 'touch' the end of the brush on the high point and the paint literally flows out of the brush and down over the surface like a waterfall.

OK...now, everyones together.* I mixed some gris anthracite (charcoal) about 1:20 with water... VERY watery... and used a 1.5" x 1" brush.* I stood the rock formations up vertically, jsut like they will appear on the layout, then washed then with copious amounts of the paint.* Its at this stage that your paint spooted plaster magically turns into rocks, right before your eyes...literally, it takes seconds..... and heres the result :



Now...the pics dont really do justice, because it was taken with a flash...rather harsh light..trust me, these things look REAL.* Its an absolute doddle to do.

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Old 27th November 2005, 02:51   #2
disisme
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

PS, the parts that look unpainted on the darker rock are actually reflectioons of the flash from flat facets on the surface.* I'd probably mix my umber and sienna colors quite a bit weaker than the 8:1 I used.* On the TV show they said 16:1, but I thought that was way too weak..... Goose!

Oh yeah...you'll also be surprised just how much plaster these HO molds actually hold.... I mixed 1 cup of water and 2 cups of plaster and BARELY filled the shallow mold. 1.25 and 2.75 cups for the second deeper mold and it just made it too (with the small dog droppings). I'd like to call it good judgement, but it was blind luck, and there should have been more. Easier to wash away some left over plaster than be short in the mold and throw the lot away. This quick setting stuff isnt forgiving in mixing another batch and adding to it.
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Old 27th November 2005, 09:44   #3
Howqua
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

I can't see the pics at the moment but I'm sure I would like da way you make rocks dis way.
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Old 27th November 2005, 11:58   #4
B-17_Fortress
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

I can't see the pics either, but from reading the article, it sounds virtually identical to the method I used on my "Dreamland" layout late in 2004.

Here's a picture.



Steve
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Old 27th November 2005, 12:12   #5
jpguest
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

Great how-to Roger, it'll be even better when the pictures are showing
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Old 27th November 2005, 13:34   #6
Tileguy
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

No pictures, But a good how to Roger.............took a page right outa the book ive used for years!!!
Glad it works for you. Ive seen a couple other techniques including Furlow and Olsons which is a bit more involved. Some folks like thier method.......others like Frary and Haydens (Like you Described)
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Old 27th November 2005, 14:40   #7
disisme
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

It seems trainboard and railimages have been down for 12 hours or so now (At time ofo writing this). They were up when I posted, then gone about 5 minutes later... <sigh> The AMR gallery wont accept pics at a decent resollution, so we'll just have to wait.
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Old 27th November 2005, 18:13   #8
Belg
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

Roger, I don't know if its the pics or not but I have to say I don't really like the leapard spot look that I'm seeing. I think a more subtle touch is needed for blending the coloring together. Along those lines the weaker mixes would really help. Pat
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Old 27th November 2005, 18:51   #9
Shamus
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

Quote:
Originally Posted by disisme
The AMR gallery wont accept pics at a decent resollution, so we'll just have to wait.
I ain't found any problems with uploading top quality photos to the AMR gallery. what you need to do is resize first and tune the photos up before uploading them. That way, you will have excellent resolution .

Shamus
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Old 27th November 2005, 19:22   #10
Tileguy
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Default Re: how to: make rocks dis way

One hint you might try Roger..........Thin your paint more...... do a full grey backkground add some yellow ochre and siennas very sparingly(these are bright colors) Umber and other dark washes will help tone the ochre and sienna down.
When you use color initially, try putting a little at the top and hitting it with a sprayer to wash color down casting. You can do more or add more when things dry.It takes a little practice but doing this and then adding a little ground cover (fine) with a sprig or 2 of tall grass or weeds coming off flat spots, it falls together nicely. Rocks were easy, learning to paint them was difficult for me. I got better with practice. Fortunately, Rock castings that are colored can be pulverised into rubble and used. I had alot of rubble at one time!!
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