Alternative (EASY!) Method to plastering scenery (Pics!)

Discussion in 'The Academy' started by Arlaghan, Oct 4, 2003.

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  1. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    If you're like me, and like to take your time to make sure you get the exact results you are looking for, then you have probably also wasted many bowls of plaster that dried before you got a chance to use it. Also, you probably can't stand the dripping mess that plaster soaked paper towels make, or the hassle of cutting wet material to fit a particular spot.

    Well my friends, this how-to is for you! I pondered one night how to eliminate these problems. I've tried constantly mixing the plaster so it wouldn't set - that's no good, because plaster only sets ONCE, so once it starts to set, by mixing it, I broke it up and ruined its hardening properties. I was at an impass... then it occurred to me: Why mix the plaster at all? Why not put the plaster powder on the layout, then mist it with a sprayer and allow it to set just as it fell? Well, I set out to try it, and am very pleased with the results! All of which I plan to share with you:
  2. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 1

    First, you will need some materials:

    I used the following:

    1) Plaster of paris (this sets quickly - much preferable)
    2) A spray bottle with water
    3) Masking tape
    4) A salt shaker
    5) A plastic spoon
    6) A paper funnel
    EDIT: 7) And duh, paper towels. (Where is my brain)

    Cover any nearby trackwork with the masking tape, and fill the shaker with plaster using the spoon and funnel.

    Attached Files:

  3. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 2

    Using your sprayer, mist the area you are going to work on. Get it nice and wet. Since foam doesn't take well to water, the water beads up, so get it good and wet.

    Attached Files:

  4. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 3

    Use your salt shaker and sprinkle some plaster over the wet area. Plaster doesn't come out like sand from an hourglass, so you have got to tap the bottom like a ketchup bottle.

    Attached Files:

  5. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 4

    Spray the sprinkled plaster to get it nice and wet. Don't be stingy with the water, as when you apply paper towels, it will soak it up and hold it in place while it dries.

    Attached Files:

  6. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 5

    While the paper towel is dry, it is easy to cut it to the exact shape that you need. Do this now and apply it to the wet area.

    Attached Files:

  7. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 6

    Here is the paper towel in place. Be sure to press out any air bubbles as you see fit.

    Attached Files:

  8. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 7

    Now, sprinkle more plaster onto the top of the paper towel. This is to get both sides of the paper towel coated with plaster - the same effect as soaking it in ready mixed plaster.

    Attached Files:

  9. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 8

    Wet the newly applied plaster so it will set. You can repeat steps 7 and 8 as often as you like to get the desired thickness/appearance that you are looking for.

    Attached Files:

  10. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 9

    I am a little impatient, so I used a blow dryer to dry up any excess run off water. This allows you to dry the area without having to touch your work.

    While this gets rid of the run off water, it doesn't dry the scenery, so be sure not to touch it yet! (Unless you are making changes to the texture by means of some tool... in that case, now is the time to do it, while the plaster is still "pasty.")

    Attached Files:

  11. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    STEP 10

    Here is a sample area I did last night using the same techniques outlined here. Allowed to dry overnight, it's hard as a rock, but very light weight!

    Attached Files:

  12. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member


    Well folks, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :D :D :D

    Questions/Comments welcome!

    (Some of you will get this joke)

    For the rest of you:

    :D :D :D
  13. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Looks like a nominee for the Academy. Might even want to consider an article for MR or RMC magazines. Kinda harkens back to the old days of zip texturing with Rit dye and plaster sifted together for ground effect. As soon as my module reaches that stage, I'm going to give that a try, I love the smooth, rolling effect on the hill.
  14. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    Very nice tutorial! I'll give it a go!
  15. belg

    belg Member

    Great tutorial!

    Alex unfortunately I'm one of the people that don't get the joke but I enjoyed seeing your work, after this has set up how do you make holes for trees and the like without cracking the surface? If you were to use a drill that would wear out rather quickly????

    Thanks Pat
  16. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

    Hi belg, good question!

    I just did a quick test right now: It's very simple, you can poke a hole right through with a regular pin. The layer of plaster/paper towels is very thing (hence light weight) but it's strong so it won't crack. (I put a test hole where I plan to put a building, so no damage done :D)
  17. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member


    That's a great idea Arlaghan! I love it when people find new solutions to supposedly tried and true methods, and this sure qualifies. You started by thinking "there must be a better way" and sure enough, you found one! I am going to file this away for future reference. Thanks!!!!

  18. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Interesting method Alex. Wait a minute, who is that yelling for you. Must be one of the ladies in your life.
    This does deserve to go into the academy.
  19. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Looks like a great addition to The Academy to me too!
  20. Donn Welton

    Donn Welton Member

    Adding rocks

    I have a related question to the last: how would you add pre-cast rock faces? Would you recommend doing that before or after you use your technique?
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