Plaster Cloth

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by jimnrose, Nov 11, 2001.

  1. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    I'm planning to need about 250 sf of plaster cloth (gauze) and am trying to find out where I can purchase large quantity. The hobby suppliers have 10sf rolls at a pretty hefty cost. I figure the cloth is ured by the medical bussiness and in many other hobbies but I haven't been able to find the product when searching on the web. Any suggestions? Thanks, Jim
  2. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    I've never used plaster cloth myself, but it looks like it would be convenient. I use plaster and paper towels. They have to be good towels,water strong. I make a soupy mix and dip the towels and lay them where ever. The towels absorb a lot of the water, so I have to add some as I go along. When I get to the bottom and it is starting to set up, I use that for smoothing over the top with my hands, or piling and shaping where I need just plaster. I don't know the price of plaster cloth, but I think mixing a batch would be a lot cheaper. I have never tried it, but gauze is cheap, so buy a batch of it abd dip it.

    Good luck

  3. billk

    billk Active Member

  4. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    Thanks for your help. Dickbrick, Officedepe and jerryscatalog all identify the product as 20# for $45 to $50 but there is no reference to the square footage or width. I'll call the stores tomorrow. Its probably the same manufacturer.
    I was just reading an article by Greg Johnson in "Scenery Tips & Techniques". He says its available from J&J and is called "Specialist Bandage". I sent an e-mail to J&J plus will call them tomorrow. He said the price was about $16/48sf & is available in 2",4" & 6" widths. This would be the best buy.
    I'll keep you posted. Jim
  5. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    It seems a little difficult to compare. The bandage plaster seems a lot easier and simpler to use, but 4"X15' for $4 , while 25# of plaster was $6.85 at Lowes. The bandage =5 s.f. , but the plaster, I've used about 20# and 2 rolls of paper towels. It's kind of messy, but I believe the cloth would be too. I'm real curious now to try cheap gauze with bulk plaster. Paper towels are REAL easy to form and shape, so I'll probably stick with it. Also, I've never had to use it, but if you want to take more time, add a little vinegar and it slows the setting time. I don't know how much, just experiment.

  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I've used the plaster cloth, & it's very nice, with little, or no mess.
    However, the paper towel method, while much messier, is also MUCH cheaper! The industrial type towels are the best, (like the ones in public restrooms) & you can find these in bulk packs that will last you years.
    Another method I've used is plaster-soaked cheeze cloth. You can find this stuff in craft stores, & there's a tremendous amout of it in a single package. Like the paper twels, this is messy too, but this stuff is incredibly strong.
    Whether you use paper towels, or cheeze cloth, or gauze, it's best to tear, or cut the material into pieces about the size of your hand. This is a much easier size to deal with.
  7. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    Thanks Charlie,

    I've never used the cheesecloth method, but when they got to talking about the bandage bit, I thought ,Why not? I have got alot of plaster work done with paper towels, but I still got a lot to go. I was unsore of cutting it up, but handsize, or thereabouts should make it real easy. I also think it would soak up less water than the towels and stay workable longer. I'll sure give it a jolly good try.

  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Plaster Bandage

    I use the plaster bandage method. Rolls of 30' x 4" for $7.50 AUS (bout $3.50 US) from the local hobby shop. Just cut to the length you want, dip it in water (use an ice cream container) and lay it over your framework (I use polystyrene cut and shaped). Not very messy at all. Once laid, and nearly set, I use a sloshy plaster mix, coloured with acrylic artist paint, and brush this over the plaster a bit, otherwise you will get the gauze showing through on exposed "rocky" parts. You can use the brush to poke and prod the gauze into the gaps and crevices. The brush also produces the "grainy" look of the rock. Use about a 1" paintbrush. The brush with a light wash of colours associated with your rock/dirt of your prototype.

    Hope that helps.:)
  9. billk

    billk Active Member

    I haven't found a medical supply site on the internet with plaster cloth - maybe you should ask your local sawbones where he gets his?
  10. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    Thanks for all your inputs. What I've retrieved to date is:
    Woodland Scenics $0.70/sf
    Dick Brick Art Supply $0.95/sf
    J&J Specialist Bandage* $0.56/sf
    " " " $0.33/sf
    "Woodie's"input $0.35/sf
    *Johnson & Johnsons Specialist Bandage can not be purchased directly (@ $0.33/sf to hospitals, medical supply customers ) but
    must be ordered from a distributor ($0.56/sf).
    I'm still lookiing for a price in the 30 cent range or fiind a medical establishment that would order it for me. If not the cheese cloth or commercial grade paper towel approach that Charlie recommended soulds good. I have at least 250sf to landscape so I'm pretty cost sensitive.
    Take care, Jim
  11. shamus

    shamus Registered Member


    Buy one bag of undercoat plaster and some net curtains, mix up the plaster,- cut up the net curtain into 1' squares and dip in the
    plaster mix. Lay it on the formers and heypresto in around 6 hours, you will have a hard shell. Cheaper than a plaster bandage, and just as effective.
  12. jimnrose

    jimnrose Member

    Shamus, is 'net curtain' the same as fiberglass screen. In the US, we use fiberglass screen for sliding screen doors, porch screening and window screens. If so, I've accumulated a lot of used screening and all I need is the plaster. Take care, Jim
  13. George

    George Member


    You can buy Hydrocal at a medical supply place, and guaze. This will save you money over getting it from a hobby shop if that's the way you choose to go.

    For myself, I prefer "Mountians in Minutes" foam, poured over a frame of duct tape and small wooden supports. Less messy, almost as strong, easier to scenic, and less mess. Just requires good ventilation while creating a hill.
  14. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    No,net curtains are whats used to go in front of proper household curtains, so people cannot see in.

  15. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Ok,here's my quarters worth (inflation ya know). What I use are used dryer sheets. The little sheets the lady of the house puts in the clothes dryer to make your clothes smell fresh.They are a close knit weave and I just glue them down with Elmer's glue (the white stuff)then either paint or spread thin plaster over them.Can be abit messy ,but hey they are cheap and your recyling ta boot.

    You can also dip them in soupy plaster and apply them too.
  16. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    And your layout is static free and smells fresh!

    Sorry, I couldn't resist... :)

  17. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    OK, Rory. You do realize, if you hadn't put that one word "fresh" on the end, that sentence would have had an entirely different meaning. !!!!
    HO HO HO and a HA HA HA

    Lynn from up Whitehouse way.
  18. roryglasgow

    roryglasgow Active Member

    Ya know, that could bring an entirely new dimension to model railroading! We've got the 3-D modelling, the action, smoke and all we need is smell!

    Mmmm!! Smell the scent of the pine forests, the smell of freshly cut timber, and the fish at the docks. Experience the odor of the diesel exhaust and the heady scent of creosote from the ties. And what's that? A candy factory! But here on the other end of the layout we have the paper mill and the refinery...

    Hmmm.... That could bring up a whole other set of issues with our significant others... Maybe it's a subject best left untouched...

    -Rory (from down Huntsville way)

    P.S. - We'll be passing nearby on our way to Missouri the day before Thanksgiving. We're gonna try a new route that circumvents Dallas, and we're going to try to make it to Ava in one shot. Beautiful country up there around, Tyler, though!
  19. Hi all,

    What great ideas on how to make hard shell landscape. I have used strips of news paper cut 1" wide by 6" or 12" long soaked in a creamy mix of plaster of paris. I have used it over a frame work made of what ever matreial i have. Foam board scraps, cardborad woven web work, or just crumpled up dampend wads of newspaper. I use the long strips of plaster soaked paper to get the general shape and then keep adding small strips to model the desired details. As the plaister of paris hardens up in the bowel I just brush, pat and skeed it in place over the now hardening landscape......messy and can't help but feel real artsy when you do this method......i think i will try out the paper towels in place of the newspaper just to see if the texture comes out differently. I did try the gauze once....and only once...I found it did not have enough body.
  20. George

    George Member

    We have so many different routes to the same destination now in our hobby endeavours. I have not heard of anyone using newspaper and plaster to make anything outside of school in a long time,and it takes me back in time to forgotten things.

    One method nobody seems to use anymore is CHICKEN WIRE for a foundation for anything, let alone plaster soaked news paper, paper towels, etc.

    The great thing about using chicken wire is that unlike today's methods, when one loses his/her balance and attempts to thwart a bad fall, the hands will NOT go all the way through the scenery!:D

    Chicken wire. It's cheap, efficient, and certainly easy enough to work with. Why did anyone stop using it? Weight certainly wasn't an issue. How many of you still use it today? I haven't since probably 1972. Why? I suppose I just got sucked into the articles about different materials to use, and I like poured foam and duct tape. That doesn't mean it's not time to experiment again with chicken wire. I must say, you certainly got a more natural flow to contours using it, than wrestling with cut shapes and tape.

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