Structolite alternatives?

Getting ready to take my first shot at building a tunnel/mountain. I've started rough carving the basic structure out of pink foam and need to start picking up supplies to finish. I plan to fill it out with cardboard strips, cover that with plaster cloth and then texture it with Structolite. Only problem is I can't find Structolite anywhere in Seattle. The local Home Despot has USG "UltraLightweight All Purpose" and "Lightweight All Purpose" joint compound. Are these similar and good substitutes for Structolite? 

Original Post

This is how it is listed. I agree, not all stores carry it. Because it is a base coat material, they may have an alternative. I would ask or see if you have a local masonry/tile store in your area.

 

USG Structo-Lite 50 lb. Basecoat Setting-Type Joint Compound

Model # 163841040

Store SKU # 122242

 

I used to dip paper towels in a plaster mix and then I would cover it with sculptamold. Now I just use the paper towels dipped in structolite.

Just make sure to get the fast setting 20 min mud.  It does not shrink and crack (important).  I got the heavy duty blue shop towels (paper).  Worked just fine, however the towels retain moisture, the set time is 20 mins, but the time for all the moisture to dissipate is related to humidity.  I also use it in my woodland scenic rock molds.

The two main advantages of Structolite for scenery making IMO are its slow setting time (hours), and its perlite texture that simulates rock very well. You can mix a big batch and work all evening without having it set up in the mixing bowl.

 

I've also used the slow-setting drywall compound (45 minute variety) and added my own texturizer. It just isn't as strong as Structolite when set.

 

Gypsolite is another material almost identical to Structolite and available at many hobby shops in small quantities.

 

Jim

 

 

If you're doing a small area, what I've done is use tubes of acrylic,  latex window caulking.  I spread it over the dried plaster cloth and with a very WET brush, I just spread the caulking around and when it dried, it was very durable like rubber.  Then paint & scenic away.   It's inexpensive, too less than a $1 a tube.  (Bought a small case)

Only By The Grace Of God Go I.

Gysolite is the same stuff:

http://www.nationalgypsum.com/....aspx?ProductID=2396

 

Home Depot:

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/u...pound-163841040.html

 

Do It Best Hardware Stores Online, and then deleivered to your local store free freight!:

http://www.doitbest.com/Concre...tbest-sku-266580.dib   $13.00 for 50 lbs!

 

Russ

 

Hey Russ:

Thanks for the heads-up about other sources for Gypsolite - my big orange box store doesn't carry it but the smaller hdw store can. That's good to know!

 

And Jim:

Could you clue me in as to what can be used as a texturizer? I have some of that smooth plaster stuff that I might be able to use if I can texturize it.

 

Thanks to both of you!

 

Neil

Check at a local plumbing/bath supply house for stock or referral.  We used it for a foundation under some shower stalls and fiberglass bath tubs.  In recnt years many of the tubs/stalls come with a styrofoam foundation.

"Price is what you pay - value is what you get"  Warren Buffet

Thanks for mentioning fusionFiber.

 

175 lbs of Structolite has about the same coverage as 2-3 lbs of Fusionfiber, plus you will not have to worry about texture or glue purchases for your basic cover. Also you can apply static grass directly to the wet base. Will not chip and very light weight when dry (less then 1oz/sq ft). Build a scene on bench and simply blend it into layout.

the working time is measured in days. Also once completely dry it can be misted with wet water to reactivate the glue and soften material for shaping.

Here is a thread

j&c studios

 

thanks

We will be a springfield show in Better living center (33)

 

Bill D

 

 

 

Here's 800 lbs on my old club layout. 

 

One of the other advantages of structolite or whatever is that it has TEXTURE.  The plaster has ground up cork in it (lite) and that gives it strength (like straw in adobe bricks) and the texture.  Yes you can smooth it but use a stiff brush and stipple it as it sets up it looks great.  Second big feature is long pot life 20 plus minutes compared to plaster ? ? ? ?    Russ

 

Originally Posted by SeattleSUP:

Getting ready to take my first shot at building a tunnel/mountain. I've started rough carving the basic structure out of pink foam and need to start picking up supplies to finish. I plan to fill it out with cardboard strips, cover that with plaster cloth and then texture it with Structolite. Only problem is I can't find Structolite anywhere in Seattle. The local Home Despot has USG "UltraLightweight All Purpose" and "Lightweight All Purpose" joint compound. Are these similar and good substitutes for Structolite? 

Google seattle drywall supply and you will find somewhere that has structolite or gypsolite, might even find a drywall contractor that will sell you some.

Originally Posted by Jim Policastro:

Russ just reminded me of Structolite's biggest advantage - it's only a little more than 25c a pound. The last project used 175 lbs of it. 

 

Jim

 

struct 001

This is amazing! Is the gray building scratch built?

Originally Posted by ChiloquinRuss:

Here's 800 lbs on my old club layout. 

 

One of the other advantages of structolite or whatever is that it has TEXTURE.  The plaster has ground up cork in it (lite) and that gives it strength (like straw in adobe bricks) and the texture.  Yes you can smooth it but use a stiff brush and stipple it as it sets up it looks great.  Second big feature is long pot life 20 plus minutes compared to plaster ? ? ? ?    Russ

 

Great scene!

I was *finally* able to find Structolite here in Seattle. None of the big box stores carry it nor did the usually local hardware stores. Salmon Bay Gravel had it in stock and best part is they were able to sell me a 10 pound bag for $5. Sweet. Funny part is they're closer than any other shop I tried. I was able to hop on my bicycle and pick it up. Covered my first hill this weekend and have to say the stuff is nice and turns out great. I plan to cover the top with FusionFiber which is a little more sod like in appearance. The FusionFiber didn't look right for stone cliffs. Probably going to put a beacon tower in the corner.

2013-02-03 19.45.01

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