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Author Topic: styrene rock & stone  (Read 882 times)
Bill Gill
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« on: February 09, 2019, 07:39:18 AM »

Here is how I have modeled cut stonework in styrene for HO scale:
I used pretty much the same technique for the granite blocks and the slate sidewalk. The biggest difference is making slightly deeper or bigger cuts and chips for the rougher granite than the smoother slate.

1. Cut a piece of styrene a little larger than the size needed.
2. Sand all sides with a medium grit in different directions. Sand just enough that the faces are no longer quite parallel and perpendicular to each other.
3. Using a small, curved Xacto gouge and small V gouge, roughly make a few shallow dimples divots in some of the styrene faces that will be visible.
(making two dimples roughly parallel to each other, a short distance apart and about the same depth, creates a slightly raised area between them)
4. Using a handheld utility knife blade, chip all the edges of the styrene, varying the chips slightly in size and depth.
5. Using an Xacto knife with #11 blade, add smaller chips around the edges.
6. Using a single edged razor blade, and occasionally a handheld utility blade, held almost perpendicular to the face being worked on, press the blade against the face and drag or slightly rotate it. This takes a little practice. When you are applying the right amount of downward pressure the blade will chatter across the styrene as you drag or rotate it. That will leave very small tears and cuts that give the styrene a believable surface texture. I try somewhat to enhance
nice patterns that arose during previous cuts and chips and to tone down anything too big or deep. I used only this technique for the smooth slate walk pieces.

If I am trying to model specific stones, like I did for the granite bridge abutments, I cut and gouge and chip patterns that I see, but do not try to copy them exactly because the effort to control the chipping or the chattering blades that closely winds up giving the styrene an exaggerated or artificial look.

For the abutment stones I used white styrene about .08" thick salvaged from a discarded store display stand. Parts of the stand were broken and those jagged surfaces looked something like rough granite. So for some of those individual stones my very first step was to saw a chunk of styrene, grab it with two pairs of pliers, then flex it back and forth until it broke. Sometimes that created an interesting texture to work on, sometimes not so much.

The store foundation was one piece of styrene for all four sides and the front steps were another single piece. In that case I scribed the joints between the stones just deep enough so that the stones looked mortared together. I tried to enhance that look by gently poking along the seams with a fine needle to give it a 'sandy' texture. The rest of the texturing for the more finished foundation stones was done more subtly than for the rougher abutment blocks.

There are a lot of granite foundations and walls and slate walks around her to use as guides for textures and colors. For coloring, all the pieces were first sprayed with gray auto primer. The streaks and botches were brush painted with numerous acrylic craft paint washes.

(You can click on the photos to enlarge them).


* 1.jpg (130.37 KB, 1400x1050 - viewed 108 times.)

* 2.jpg (132.71 KB, 1400x1050 - viewed 106 times.)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 07:51:08 AM by Bill Gill » Logged
Bill Gill
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2019, 07:40:59 AM »

more photos


* 3.jpg (105.78 KB, 1185x296 - viewed 95 times.)

* 4.jpg (127.02 KB, 1400x542 - viewed 95 times.)

* 5.jpg (130.17 KB, 1400x472 - viewed 96 times.)
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Hydrostat
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2019, 08:49:36 AM »

That slate looks awesome. And so the granite abutment does. The stairs don't work that well, but I always have to recall the scale you'r modeling in ... outstanding!
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2019, 11:05:54 AM »

Thanks, I agree. Those steps were done quite awhile ago. The abutments were the first project I did using all of the technique described above. However...the prototype granite steps I looked at as a reference when making those steps were a lot smoother than many others I'd seen and I didn't want the store patrons to fall down and sue Smiley
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:22:04 PM by Bill Gill » Logged
Ray Dunakin
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 11:04:22 PM »

Thanks for the explanation. That is some really impressive work!
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 01:22:16 PM »

Thanks, Ray.
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finescalerr
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 01:55:50 PM »

It looks great ... but why styrene? -- Russ
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Bill Gill
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 08:13:41 PM »

I guess it's styrene because that's what I had.

I also have some very thin pieces of slate that originally wanted to use for the sidewalk. But It didn't look like slate in HO scale.

I used styrene for the granite because some broken pieces of the display case I salvaged reminded me of rough cut stone and because those abutments were going to be installed on a section of the NEB&W that from time to time had water fall onto it from the plumbing under the ceiling. I figured styrene is fairly resistant to water damage.

Styrene is sort of a chameleon material that can look like anything you want and it welds together securely with solvent.
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