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Lehigh74 posted:
luvindemtrains posted:

This is some great stuff! I would be interested in creating a stone arch bridge on a curve. I have seen examples of this but would like to see examples of the process to create one.

Dave

Determine your height and width requirements, lay them out on a piece of foam and place a circular object such as a plate or a cookie can lid or your layout marks.  Scribe the arc, cut it out slightly oversize with a keyhole saw, coping saw, steak knife or similar.  Then use a wood rasp to remove foam to your scribe line.

Lehigh74,

Do you have any examples you could share?

Dave

luvindemtrains posted:
Lehigh74 posted:
luvindemtrains posted:

This is some great stuff! I would be interested in creating a stone arch bridge on a curve. I have seen examples of this but would like to see examples of the process to create one.

Dave

Determine your height and width requirements, lay them out on a piece of foam and place a circular object such as a plate or a cookie can lid or your layout marks.  Scribe the arc, cut it out slightly oversize with a keyhole saw, coping saw, steak knife or similar.  Then use a wood rasp to remove foam to your scribe line.

Do you have any examples you could share?

Dave

Actually, I think I misread your request.  After looking at Art's thread, I think that's the way to go (1/4" foam over Masonite) for building a curved masonry bridge.

@NJCJOE posted:

Okay. So here is my first try at this. It's not bad, but not great. I can't seem to get the mortar lines to stand out. I did a wash with diluted white paint but it didn't do much. Maybe it was diluted too much. Any tips guys?20200416_091607

Here is attempt #2. Much better with the detail. Still need additional work with the painting.

20200422_130747

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Joe,   Sorry I haven't been on the forum in a couple of days.    Your coloring and weathering is getting very good.   The last 2 steps I did to the wall in that earlier post was to apply "mortar" just like a plastic molded brick building....

I use the "Lightweight" patching spackling compound and pieces of those flexible promotional cards you get in the mail for an applicator.   Keep small cut up pieces of common cheap kitchen sponge damp with a small container of water to rinse it out and clean off the mortar on the face of the blocks shortly after forcing it into the mortar lines with the flexible spreader.  

I have better luck taking some of the lightweight spackling out the plastic container and mixing and spreading it on a piece of glass or plexiglass so I can get small amounts on the tool and not slobber it everywhere.   It will slightly change the color of your blocks, so you may need to go back and touch some up. 

You can also "tint" the white lightweight spackling with black or burnt umber acrylic craft paint. 

And last recommendation,  seal your block wall with in less expensive Krylon or Rustoleum Flat Clearcoat before you start spacking.. Same procedure as mortaring a plastic structure where you have painted the brickwork first... If you don't seal it, the water and spackling may pick up some of the acrylic paint colors and change colors on you. 

Hope that helps.

DSC06976 [2)

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Last edited by chris a
@chris a posted:

Very nice write up.  I really like the idea of using the rasp !! 

I have done a fair amount of these carved pink foam block walls....my two additional ideas for "texturing" are:

1.  I roll a wire brush wheel over the foam,  I had an old 6 inch diameter x 1 inch thick wheel.  I put on some leather work gloves and roll it over the foam after scribing the blocks, it makes thousands of tiny pore holes.

2.  I have some pieces of rough broken granite that are really rough and irregular.   I press them into the foam and transfers the edge pattterns into the foam surface..

I usually spray a really light coat of rattle can primer, keep the can at least 12 inches away and don't apply too much as the solvent in the paint attacks the foam and increases the texture and opens the pores,  but applied too heavily it will "melt" the foam.   Then I go over it with multipel gray, brown acrylic paint washes and finish with some dry brushing with white or light gray to bring out the highlights.

All the block walls shown in the photos below are carved from pink foam.... 

DSC02858DSC02780 [2)DSC06916

Are you using the same technique as the beginning post to create the walls?  

also what size are you making the bricks?  They look perfect.

if you could talk more about your weathering process (esp the dark gray wall) and how you use the granite piece that would be amazing.  Thanks

Vacuefactor:   Yes my method is very similar to the the very first post in this thread.  I used slightly different tools, but the theory was the same and the results similar.   

My blocks are 7/16 " high x  7/8 " wide.  I typically used a sharp lead pencil to scribe the lines, and then kept dull pencil tips and old Bic Ball point pens around to get a 'chamfer" at the  mortar line. 

To get some texture in the face of the blocks, I took a couple of pieces of broken granite we picked up in Acadia NP in Maine, it has to have a really rough broken face and edges to "imprint" a pattern into the foam.  I never tried the "rasp" but that's not a bad idea.  The pieces of granite I had on had were between the size of golf ball and baseball, and you just have to press and roll it around to imprint texture.  Since the results aren't always consistent, I can happily report that you can go back add imprinting texture after the primer coat, and even after the weathering washes have been applied if you feel like some sections of the wall are too smooth.  Same thing goes for deepening mortar lines if you have some that look too thin. 

As far as coloring goes, you'll just have to experiment.  I start with rattle can gray primer, stay at least 12 inches away and prime the surface lightly.  Then I use a stamping method to blotch on 50% to 75% diluted shade of gray.   I use a lot of a color called"  Pewter Gray craft paint.   I use a an old round brush, pretty beat up, and stamp the diluted grays darker and lighter than the primer trying not to completely bury the surface.  If it's your first attempt at doing this, I'd probably recommend you dilute this stamping wash even more, so some of the base coat shows through,  10 drops of paint to 25 to 30 drops off water should keep you from ending up with blotches that are too solid.  You can always go back over areas that need more, but once you lay down too much of the latex acrylic craft paints, it's tough to get a natural look.   If I catch it when I am doing it, I'll dip the brush in water and keep stamping the area to dilute the spot that just got overpainted.

You just have to "go for it".   If the first attempt doesn't work, you can go back over it with subsequent coats.  It's a hard process to describe.    I can tell you I didn't achieve those results on the first try. 

Also I highly recommend you keep a pad of paper nearby and write down what you mixed up and how you did it so you can repeat it again later.   I didn't do that for these foam block walls, but have since written down as best I can all my weathering formulas for other projects, ie.  concrete walls and sidewalks,  Pennsy Stone Block walls in burnt umber color etc.   

To create some "highlights" you can dry brush light gray or even white, but my experience is you have to remove 80% of the paint from the brush on some scrap cardboard or paper before getting near your wall.  Again applying too little no big deal,  apply too much and you just created a headache and more work trying to go over it and "do it again".

@chris a posted:

Vacuefactor:   Yes my method is very similar to the the very first post in this thread.  I used slightly different tools, but the theory was the same and the results similar.   

My blocks are 7/16 " high x  7/8 " wide.  I typically used a sharp lead pencil to scribe the lines, and then kept dull pencil tips and old Bic Ball point pens around to get a 'chamfer" at the  mortar line.

To get some texture in the face of the blocks, I took a couple of pieces of broken granite we picked up in Acadia NP in Maine, it has to have a really rough broken face and edges to "imprint" a pattern into the foam.  I never tried the "rasp" but that's not a bad idea.  The pieces of granite I had on had were between the size of golf ball and baseball, and you just have to press and roll it around to imprint texture.  Since the results aren't always consistent, I can happily report that you can go back add imprinting texture after the primer coat, and even after the weathering washes have been applied if you feel like some sections of the wall are too smooth.  Same thing goes for deepening mortar lines if you have some that look too thin.

As far as coloring goes, you'll just have to experiment.  I start with rattle can gray primer, stay at least 12 inches away and prime the surface lightly.  Then I use a stamping method to blotch on 50% to 75% diluted shade of gray.   I use a lot of a color called"  Pewter Gray craft paint.   I use a an old round brush, pretty beat up, and stamp the diluted grays darker and lighter than the primer trying not to completely bury the surface.  If it's your first attempt at doing this, I'd probably recommend you dilute this stamping wash even more, so some of the base coat shows through,  10 drops of paint to 25 to 30 drops off water should keep you from ending up with blotches that are too solid.  You can always go back over areas that need more, but once you lay down too much of the latex acrylic craft paints, it's tough to get a natural look.   If I catch it when I am doing it, I'll dip the brush in water and keep stamping the area to dilute the spot that just got overpainted.

You just have to "go for it".   If the first attempt doesn't work, you can go back over it with subsequent coats.  It's a hard process to describe.    I can tell you I didn't achieve those results on the first try.

Also I highly recommend you keep a pad of paper nearby and write down what you mixed up and how you did it so you can repeat it again later.   I didn't do that for these foam block walls, but have since written down as best I can all my weathering formulas for other projects, ie.  concrete walls and sidewalks,  Pennsy Stone Block walls in burnt umber color etc.   

To create some "highlights" you can dry brush light gray or even white, but my experience is you have to remove 80% of the paint from the brush on some scrap cardboard or paper before getting near your wall.  Again applying too little no big deal,  apply too much and you just created a headache and more work trying to go over it and "do it again".

That’s fantastic.  Thank you!  About to make some bridge piers either this weekend or next weekend.  Your stone Is perfect and I look forward for trying your technique.   Two thumbs up

Three things I should have also noted about the stamping/blotching process: 

1.  Make sure to have some contrast in the different shades of gray.   One can definitely be significantly darker than the base coat.  You can also add some Khaki or tan and blend it with the gray to make another shade.

2. I try not to fill the brush with these stamping washes.  I put the brush in the small Ketchup or dixie cups at a 45 degree angle and only load part of the brush then actually turn that side up and start the blotching process, as the brush clears, you can start stamping a little more aggressively.

3.  And most important, if you keep stamping the same area shortly after application thinking your blending it, be careful or what you'll end up doing is mixing the contrasting colors into one uniform shade of gray.  You're trying to create some "variation" by spending this much time weathering.   Once you get the technique going I try to work on 5 or 6 panels at once, that way I can move from one to the next and allow some dry time before I circle back with different colors.

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