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Using Real Rocks
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 Posted: Sun May 15th, 2011 01:04 am
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Would you recommend using real rocks? I find it would be the best for me, as it is the exact color/type of rock I want, for $0. But I knwo it will get heavy, but,what would you say????

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 Posted: Sun Jun 12th, 2011 10:50 pm
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no comments on this? is it a good or bad idea?

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 Posted: Mon Jun 13th, 2011 03:58 am
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Paladin
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Think seriously about using real rocks unless its going to be outside.

You have partly answered your own question. It will be heavy that you can be sure of.  Now getting rocks of the texture and colour required may not be a big issue.BUT getting them to fit together is not going to be easy, Rocks don't cut to like foam or plaster. This is just plain hard work with diamond tipped drills, a rather large hammer and a selection of cold chisels.

Have you given thought to selecting some rocks and making your own molds with latex, then pour plaster into the molds. Now you have the texture you are looking for, then cut to fit with a cheap hand saw to give you the required fit. All that is left to do is the painting.

Remember the only part of the rock to be seen is the face, the rest of a rock just takes up space. And you will not need a super structure built from 4x4 hardwood to carry the load for many years.

If it was a good idea I'm sure others would have done it before

Don



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 Posted: Mon Jun 13th, 2011 01:44 pm
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W C Greene
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We are lucky here in Tejas by having "Austin chalk rock", a soft, white rock which is everywhere. I have glued small pieces on the layout and sceniced them in with a little dirt, etc. The rock can be stained any color and while heavy, it is not any heavier than if I used Hydrocal to represent it. This rock can be whacked with a hammer or broken with some Channel lock pliers to make pieces for almost any situation.


There are pieces of this chalk rock in this photo, mostly to the right.

                        Woodie



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 Posted: Mon Jun 13th, 2011 01:52 pm
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True, it would be hard to chisel these rocks from the cliff of my desired area, most of which would be a little limestone, then lots of granite, which they used dynamite for removal on the railway, I will just make some massive molds, but, which is best, plaster, or another substitute for real rock?

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 Posted: Tue Jun 14th, 2011 12:52 am
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I used to always carry with me was a quart of Latex Rubber, some Wet-Water (for cleaning), a few rolls of (cheap)Gauze, a few disposable cups, a few rags, and two small 1" wide brushes. One of the things I would look for when searching for ROCKS was a lot of small detail. After cleaning the ROCK surface with the water and brush it was time to have some fun. Brush a light layer of LAtex Rubber and wait a few minutes to tack. Follow that with another coat of Latex Rubber then start layering on Gauze for structure saturating the gauze in-between each coat. After about 4 or 5 coats of Latex Rubber and Gauze it was time to wait until dry. Some of the LAtex Rubbers on the market dry fairly quickly. After they have cured, GENTLY pull the mold you just made from the rock. Now when you get back and are ready to make rocks, use a little wet-water in the mold, then pour in some Hydrocal, Plaster, or which ever you use and position on the layout. It is cheaper than buying the commercial molds and you are guaranteed to have one of a kind rocks on your layout. As for using REAL Rocks... Way too heavy for standard benchwork.

Just my opinion and what we used to do back in the day when molds were almost or to expensive. Make your own and the nice part is they are flexible to wrap around corners.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 14th, 2011 12:56 am
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Nn3Designs wrote: I used to always carry with me was a quart of Latex Rubber, some Wet-Water (for cleaning), a few rolls of (cheap)Gauze, a few disposable cups, a few rags, and two small 1" wide brushes. One of the things I would look for when searching for ROCKS was a lot of small detail. After cleaning the ROCK surface with the water and brush it was time to have some fun. Brush a light layer of LAtex Rubber and wait a few minutes to tack. Follow that with another coat of Latex Rubber then start layering on Gauze for structure saturating the gauze in-between each coat. After about 4 or 5 coats of Latex Rubber and Gauze it was time to wait until dry. Some of the LAtex Rubbers on the market dry fairly quickly. After they have cured, GENTLY pull the mold you just made from the rock. Now when you get back and are ready to make rocks, use a little wet-water in the mold, then pour in some Hydrocal, Plaster, or which ever you use and position on the layout. It is cheaper than buying the commercial molds and you are guaranteed to have one of a kind rocks on your layout. As for using REAL Rocks... Way too heavy for standard benchwork.

Just my opinion and what we used to do back in the day when molds were almost or to expensive. Make your own and the nice part is they are flexible to wrap around corners.
Thanks, will do that when I go camping this summer, bring my mold kit with me, and , hey a corner mold is a great idea!

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 Posted: Tue Jun 14th, 2011 02:51 am
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I made so many molds many years ago and have since lost everyone of them. I would also get the Flat River Stones, glue them together one on top of each other to make a tall mold surface, and it wold look like layered rock that had been blasted away like in quarry's. Really nice effect. You can also use a layered type shale, use the smallest concrete drill bit to drill a series of holes in a semi-line through the rock. Then with a chisel, score a line through the center line of the holes and break on the line. The holes split on each side and after you stack them it looks like the holes they used for the blasting caps and dynamite. randomness is key in the breaking part. Remember, you can never break a rock wrong. lol...

I have modeled N Scale for over 30 years and finding rock with the tight layering was extremly difficult. I would even use MDF, chip away to make a random pattern like rough cut stone, glue them in layers, and make molds. Fun times...



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 Posted: Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 11:21 pm
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Paladin wrote:
  And you will not need a super structure built from 4x4 hardwood to carry the load for many years.


Don
but what about if I built my layout using foam, instead of hardshell, would that mean it would be suitable?

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 Posted: Fri Jun 24th, 2011 05:53 am
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Run Down And Poor Lumber Company
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Tate ,

I think you should try it at least once. !!! All of the rock work on my G scale R&P Lumber Company  Indoor/outdoor layout was built with real rock. Beats trying to color all that plaster. (here are a few shots of my layout)

Many Regards;

Ronnie D.:cb:










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I also Build and sell "On30 Logging and Detail Parts on Ebay.
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