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So I have this 2" high embankment that I need to install a curved retaining wall on. Here are the issues. It's about 6' in length, so need a way to handle wall joints. I thought about printed block wall paper, but I'm concerned about damage to the card stock when I spray the adjacent scenery. Also, it really needs to have some 3D qualities to look good since it is near the front of the layout.20221206_064908

Any ideas?


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@NJCJOE  I was going to suggest using 1 inch pink foam insulation and carve out the joint lines. Does not look like you have room.  Alternative is foam core and either apply the printed stone or scribe joint lines into the foam core.  I painted a wash of sanded grout onto my carved foam for the textured look. I would think you could make these removable so you need not worry when you do other finishing.  You could get additional texture to the walls by having the columns hiding the seams stand proud a little bit. If you really want to get crazy, cut out individual blocks from heavy craft paper and glue those to the walls leaving a gap between.

In the photo below, the portal on the left is a commercial urethane foam casting (deep relief cuts, company is out of business), The walls on the right are pink insulation foam scribed or cut then painted. Depending on how deep a relief you want, firm pressure from a ball point pen may work. For texture on the foam, a crumpled ball of foil pushed into the wall works.  There are rollers made to make indentations into clay to simulate brick and stone work. Supposedly those can imprint into foam as well. Or make them out of clay and let air harden or get the oven harden stuff.


This is just an example of layering cardstock. Colors are from pastel chalks.



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Richie C - That could work. I would need to buy three sections.

Alan - Let me see if one of these other ideas work. If not, I may take you up on your offer.

Pete - I have played around with carving foam. Since this hill is made of 2" foam board I could carve the stone right into it. That's an option.

AlanRail - Where did you find that stone tile? I looked in Lowes and Home Depot and could not find it.

Thanks for the help guys.

I had found something similar at Home Depot, but the size of the "bricks" is the issue. Regular stone blocks (as I recall) aren't that large (about 1' x 2' max with 6"x12" being more common). The stones in the backsplash tiles look to measure about 1' x 4' in O scale. I only saw them a couple of times and haven't been to Home Depot since I moved, but that might be a viable alternative.

@Richie C. posted:

So I've got some of those flexible panels in my basement and I'm not sure it would work well for a radius that tight. It would probably bend, but its going to want to pop out at the end of every section. They interlock together, but the fit of the interlock leaves a bit to be desired and its probably better suited to a large radius sweeping curve of a wall. I think when its wrapped around something that tight, the interlocking blocks are going to pop open and leave you with a bunch of visible joints.  Just my .02.

Jim sells columns to hide the joints, but if you cut them down to 2", you'll just be left with the top cap of the column and no blocks.

If you can find the groutless stone mosaics, those would be a pretty good option. See what Home Depot has....

Last edited by Boilermaker1

Chooch walls.
They’re rubber, so easy to cut and bend.
Take your pick:

Honestly, I'm not a fan of the Chooch walls - especially the so-called "self-stick" ones.  I've had horrible trouble getting them to stay in place and ultimately ended up replacing them.

Possible alternatives:

The Scenic Express flexi-walls seem to work OK.  Those below are the Pennsy variant.


The other choice you might want to think about is using BrickYard software from Evan Designs to print a brick wall and mount it on cardstock.  That would be less expensive.



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I have both 3D printed bricks and laser cut bricks in sections that interlock at mortar joints.

For curved walls 3D printing the sections would be about 7-8" long

For Laser cut on 1/16" thick sheets it would be about 17" by 10" high

So for a 72" 1/2 diameter or about 225 " that's a lot of material.

So look instead to some sort of mountain-like perimeter made of Styrofoam pieces in GreatStuff attached to the curve.

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