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New Hire

Posted - 09/01/2019 :  5:59:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Handmade stacked stone retaining wall in HO scale. This was a couple evening's tedious work, using tweezers and super glue gel. I had a sandwich baggie full of suitable pieces - but the time was spent fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. They should to be flat on the bottom and top, for the most part. Some were close enough.

I'm building a large (i.e. tall) scenic diorama, and the more I looked at the Chooch wall(s) I have, the less random they seemed. I want that Furlow and Olson look, as if the wall was built from the rock in the area. Not nice blocks brought in by rail. I think I'm quite pleased with the results.

Country: USA | Posts: 43


Posted - 09/01/2019 :  6:14:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very well done. What is the material?

Tedious and meticulous Iím sure. Furlow and Olson, good masters to emulate.

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Edited by - k9wrangler on 09/01/2019 6:20:08 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 11383 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 09/01/2019 :  6:18:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Karl, it is actual rock chips. All from the same spot outdoors (near a ROW). When I am out on a photo hike, shooting trains, I am always looking at my surroundings. I typically carry a couple empty plastic bags in my backpack, in case I see good material to pick up. The price is always right.

Edited by - mellow-mike on 09/02/2019 09:58:53 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 43 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn

Posted - 09/01/2019 :  7:03:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very nice indeed! Nothing beats the real thing.

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 09/01/2019 7:12:27 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 6502 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  09:16:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit slimrails's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very impressive! Your selection and placement of each stone is the same process that's used in a 1:1 wall build.

Country: USA | Posts: 8485 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  09:26:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Well that was certainly time well spent, terrific results!


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 5572 Go to Top of Page

George D

Premium Member

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  10:24:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Beautiful wall. Using the 1:1 wall building method is a great idea.


Country: USA | Posts: 16190 Go to Top of Page

Crew Chief

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  12:19:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit ocalicreek's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Great looking wall. I too have looked for a similar dry-stacked flat-stone wall but nobody seems to make one. I was ready to do just what you've done when we moved, and now my railroad locale has changed so it is unlikely I'll ever build one. You found some great stone chips. I was going to use Durham's Water Putty, spread uneven and thin, then broken into chips.

Are you planning on making a mold from this wall to create castings?


My Train Blog: http://ocalicreek.blogspot.com/

Country: USA | Posts: 684 Go to Top of Page

New Hire

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  12:47:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the kind words, guys. Hearing that it looks like a 1:1 wall makes it all worthwhile. But then, as you've noted, nothing beats using the real thing. I got lucky finding that many usable rock chips in my collection of talus deposits. And the coloring couldn't be better. I have bags of gray, dark gray, dark earth, and I went with the light tan. As I told Karl, this isn't commercially sold talus - it's what I've found on hikes outdoors. So you get those subtle color variations.

Overall, it's pretty fragile, as you might expect. I did pull a latex mold off of it, and broke some pieces in the process. Which was less than I predicted. At some point, I will make a positive in Hydrocal, and see how it compares. I may even try to use the original on the diorama - which will save having to replicate the coloring. If I can free it from the wood base without destroying it! No plans on selling castings, though. Although I'm sure they would be popular! And keep me in funds for bottles of latex, which can be pricey these days. (I do my own rock molds, and tend to use a lot).

On a side note, I constructed this wall while laying prone on the carpet. Given the number of fragments used AND the number that I tried to fit but didn't use, I noticed that I wore the skin of my right elbow off from the repetitive sliding back and forth reaching for bits on a plate. Didn't feel it then, but when I saw our dog licking my blood on the carpet, I checked my elbow. Ow! Ow! Ow! Points off for not sitting at a workbench like an adult.

Edited by - mellow-mike on 09/02/2019 1:11:29 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 43 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  1:19:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
YOU could make a mold of it by using Dow-Corning silicon E kit. Make a balsa box to surround the part and leave 1/4" gap and allow 1/4---1/2" to fill over the surface of the part.

Not sure how thick your sample wall is but 3/8--1/2" thick finished part will give enough strength using USA Gypsum hydrocal white.

Toughest part is getting the original part out of the silicon mold. The hydrocal gives fantastic reproduction. Its also important to have the hydrocal flow into the seams.

Right now I cannot remember exactly what the mix rate is of water added to the hydrocal. One level cup of Hydrocal add 1/2 cup of water.

One something like your wall its important to have the mold sqweeky clean each time you pour one.

I would use SPRAY AND WASH laundry spot cleaner then thoroughly rinse the mold and shake heck out of it to remove excess water. If not clean enough there will be tiny air bubbles showing.

The part should remain in the mold for 24 hours to cure properly. Then remove and let air dry in warm area.

NOTE........forced drying by stove or other means causes a chemical reaction in the hydrocal making it extremely brittle. This was my method of making Tom Yorke O scale reproduction/re-issues of his kits with Toms permission.

mike lynch
MADMIKE3434........now HAIRBALL

Country: Canada | Posts: 157 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  2:14:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Amazing work, great job.

A Maine Expatriate living in the valley of Northern California - Modeling in HO.
David Stickney

Country: USA | Posts: 472 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  5:12:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow! That is some serious patience.

Country: USA | Posts: 11711 Go to Top of Page

David J Buchholz
Crew Chief

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  7:40:41 PM  Show Profile  Send David J Buchholz an AOL message  Reply with Quote
After all that work, I agree that a mold would be a great next step. (then send us all a copy of course)

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Premium Member

Posted - 09/02/2019 :  8:33:42 PM  Show Profile  Send Guff an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Nice rockwork!

David Guffey

Country: USA | Posts: 1908 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 09/03/2019 :  9:26:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice!

For what it's worth, I was recently in CO on a scenic NG train ride. Around a bend there was a dry stack wall like you have here and there were steel rods with star shaped washers used to retain the wall. I thought the look was interesting and have been considering it every since. Want to try it here?

Country: USA | Posts: 1538 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 09/05/2019 :  12:24:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit Philip's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BigLars

Wow! That is some serious patience.

In fact! Nice work!


Country: USA | Posts: 3218 Go to Top of Page
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