February 2, 2011

Making a Stone Wall

Finished Wall
The scene at the southern end of Stoneman's Station is a cut through a medium-sized hill. At the top of the cut, the flatter ground is very narrow against the backdrop. Since the backdrop-terrain transition here is very obvious, I need a way to hide it. I decided to add a stone wall, since stone walls were fairly common in this area. The wall I used for inspiration was the one at Mayre's Heights, a famous location from the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Here are some step-by-step photos of the process I used. I first tried piling up pieces of decomposed shale in long row and soaking them in diluted white glue. But this did not end up looking like a wall, just a long pile of stones. So I ripped it out the next day and built another wall using the techniques shown in the photos. I will continue the wall further to the left later.

A photo from the actual wall at Mayre's Heights served as prototype inspiration

I hot glued a section of pink foam to make the basic shape of the wall. Then I covered it with a thin layer of modeling putty. I told you this stuff is useful. 

I smoothed out the layer of putty, and then used random rocks to emboss surface texture.

Here is the wall with surface textures. The figure puts the wall size in comparison.

I carved the rock patterns in the wall using homemade carving tools made from a dowel. One end is pointy and the other flat.

Here is the carved putty before painting. The figure is placing a real stone on the wall top.

I gave the wall a base coat of a mixture of mars black and burnt umber acrylic. Then I dry brushed various
colors to bring out the details.  A final wash of dirty
brown reduced the contrast. The finished wall is visible at the start of the post.

No comments:

Post a Comment