Friday, November 28, 2008

Making rocks for your terrain


I have been busy with making some more terrain for our games of Fantasy and 40K (click here for the previous post on terrain)and bought a starter set of Woodland Scenics cast-you-own-rock. First of all, it is completely unneccessary to do this, because you can find plenty of rocks in the yard that look just the same. But for me it is fun, messing around with plaster and coming up with a rock that looks like the real thing!
Allright then, you start with this

then you mix it with some water; click on this video link (it's real short but great)
http://www.woodlandscenics.com/FlashVideos/MakeARock.html

The molds look like this....



and they are cheap, running about 9.00 dollars per.
John gave me a couple as well and I decided to make two of them for real.
This is what it looks like after it has dried..(takes about 30 minutes)

Then the paint job: it's time for those washes. They worked great. I used the sepia and the brown and the cracks I shaded with black. Then I dry brushed with Bleach Bone.

The plaster is not very sturdy, so I added some balsa wood underneath to keep the edges from chipping. On the one I kept it flush to the rock, the other has a wider base. I added some sand and grass.

Here are the rocks scaled to some models:


They will sure give you a cover save..

So for 18 dollars you can get two molds, the plaster is 10 dollars. That's a whole lot cheaper then most terrain. You can add the rocks to foam and make them stick out in a larger piece, you can also just cast parts of it to make smaller pieces and it works great for basing your models.
Here's the website for this product: www.woodlandscenics.com
It's mostly a railroad site, but still very interesting.
Since I have cast these rocks, I have read about dental plaster being a much tougher material, but unfortunately it is much more expensive. That material goes by Excalibur and only come in 25 pound boxes...


6 comments:

  1. Thanks for shareing this, I was wandering how much do those plaster rocks weigh in comparison to a rock of similar size? I am tempted to purchase one of these moulds and do some experimenting with the plaster myself, but if it would end up weighing about the same as a normal rock I may aswell just scavenge through the garden!

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  2. To answer that in two way:
    1. the weigh pretty much nothing, so you can have a whole bunch and not have any problems transporting them. If you use dental plaster (the other, expensive material, that supposedly weighs much more).
    2. it is more fun then finding rocks in the yard
    Mike at SCW

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  3. Great then I will definately give it a go, thanks for the info mate

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  4. Ummm not to ask a silly question, but why not use ... a rock!

    Alternatively, if lightweight is the priority I found some careful carving of insulation foam can produce lovely lightweight scenery for more "interesting" designs...

    Rock Arches.

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  5. Right, as I said, if you don't enjoy making something out of nothing, this is not you gig. But I happen to just like pouring the plaster and being happy when it comes out of the mold.
    1 advantage, it's nice that the rocks are completely flat on the bottom.
    Mike at SCW

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  6. DURHAM WATER PUTTY is a good alternative to dental plaster. The 4lb cans run about $8 and are available in local hardware stores. Dental plaster is the best product - but 25lb will require a lot of projects to use up.

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