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Cheap and easy talus (those rocks at the base of a cliff)

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 4,243 posts
Cheap and easy talus (those rocks at the base of a cliff)
Posted by Medina1128 on Saturday, January 24, 2015 12:24 PM

I use a cheap and easy way to make talus for my layout. When I have leftover plaster, I pour it into a red Solo cup (I know, that song just popped into your head). When I have a need for small rocks, I CAREFULLY slice the cup on opposite side, then split the cup and remove the big plug of plaster.

Cup of hardened plaster.

CAREFULLY slice cup on opposite sides with razor knife. I SHOULD have worn some work gloves.

 Make small rocks out of plaster plug.

 Rocks ready for staining.

 Mix a stain of the color you want the rocks to be and drop them in. I used an old ice cream tub.

 Strain rocks and let dry on paper towels.

 Sprinkle rocks at base of cliff and apply diluted white glue.

  Train passing cliff.

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Weymouth, Ma.
  • 5,199 posts
Posted by bogp40 on Saturday, January 24, 2015 5:02 PM

Marlon, that works great and those concrete floor are always good for so many projects. I thought you were staining the "tallus" in your BEER!

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

  • Member since
    February 2004
  • From: Knoxville, TN
  • 2,055 posts
Posted by farrellaa on Monday, January 26, 2015 8:38 AM

I put the plaster in a plastic zip-lock bag and smash away; keeps all the mess in the bag.

   -Bob

Life is what happens while you are making other plans!

  • Member since
    December 2014
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Posted by BumpyJack68 on Monday, January 26, 2015 9:18 AM

Just curous as I haven't worked with this stuff since grade school. Is it possible to dye/stain, etc. the plaster when you mix it up? When you break it would that result in a desired effect? Thanks

PS Good job!

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 4,243 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Monday, January 26, 2015 9:39 AM

BumpyJack68

Just curous as I haven't worked with this stuff since grade school. Is it possible to dye/stain, etc. the plaster when you mix it up? When you break it would that result in a desired effect? Thanks

PS Good job!

 

Yes, you can add the color to the plaster mix. Some people do it so there's not a glaring white spot should the plaster get chipped on the layout.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1,776 posts
Posted by JoeinPA on Monday, January 26, 2015 9:41 AM

Jack:

You can mix dye or stain with your plaster to give a uniform color. Rocks tend not to be real uniform in color so Marlon's staining method gives a more non-uniform realistic result.

Joe

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, January 26, 2015 2:38 PM

Hello All,

Great tip as I begin to senic my pike.

Thanks for the post.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: 4610 Metre's North of the Fortyninth on the left coast of Canada
  • 8,452 posts
Posted by BATMAN on Monday, January 26, 2015 6:16 PM

I have made talus out of leftover tile thinset. I threw a little granite grey latex in with it while mixing and let it set in a large pale. It fell out like a large pizza, I broke it in half and put it in a large ziplock. I then took my rubber mallet to it as it was easier on the bag than a regular hammer and voila!

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1/videos 

You can never ever out-train poor nutrition.

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