Sunday, 23 February 2014

Tough Cost Effective Stone Walls

If you do a search for making model stone walls you will find plenty of very interesting You Tube videos. We wanted to make some and didn't want to watch lots of videos.  Also, we wanted to provide local sourcing options and provide a graphic instruction guide, the same way we did for hedges and sandbags. We do not claim any originality in coming up with this idea.  We just wanted to share a detailed post with instructions and how we got it to work. Also, we think this is probably the easiest way to make the walls with very little wasted cost and effort.
The aluminium channel is a one off cost which can be re-used for a long time and does not require any work to build. Enjoy.


PVA glue, Pebbles, Ice cream container lid, mixing container
The ingredients we will need are:
Decorative Pebbles.  These can be purchased from a hardware store in the garden section.  We obtained a 2kg bag for $5 (AUD).  Based on our first run, this will make about 20 feet of stone walls!
20 Feet of walls in a bag
PVA Glue.  The core ingredient of most of our scenery.
Jumbo Craft Sticks.  These are 6 inch long fat icy pole sticks.  We obtained ours from the $2 shop. You'll see these in a photo later.

The Tools

The key will be to mix up the glue and pebbles and put then in a mould.  We found the easiest mould was some Aluminium Channel discovered in the tiling section of the Hardware store.  This cost around $14 for a 165cm long channel - enough for 10 x 6" walls.
Just add pebbles
Ice cream containers are typically made of the type of plastic which nothing sticks to.  So we cut out squares with some slots cut out to fit over the channel sides.  These are placed at 6" distances, marked off on the channel with permanent marker.
"Jump so I can see you"
The channel is very convenient as the shorter side is good for waist high walls and the longer side is man high.

Let's Go

The first step after preparing the framework is to spray the channel with WD40.  This will stop the PVA pebble mixture from sticking to the sides.  As the channel is made from aluminium, the WD40 ensures nothing sticks to it.
Nothing will stick to WD40 and Aluminium (we hope)
Then we mix up the pebbles and a large dollop of PVA.  It works out that around 50gm = 6" of stone wall.
Hmmm. Yummy.
We want all the pebbles surrounded with the PVA glue.  We used an old skewer to mix the pebbles as we didn't want to get in trouble using any good cutlery.
Pour it in using the skewer.
We then start pouring in the mixture using the skewer.  The mixture is very easy to form at this stage.
Don't lick your fingers. Yuck.
Once poured we pressed down the pebbles using a moistened finger and picked up loose pebbles that spilled over the side by an over eager pourer. Don't lick your fingers.  It doesn't taste any good at all.

Can't wait for my cover.
To make a gate, we just plonked in trimmed down icy pole sticks.
The hard part is now to wait.
As the bottom of the mould gets no air, it won't dry.  But the top will.  Leave it for at least 24 hours.
Then you can pull out the dividers and carefully pop out each section of wall.
Upside down. Can you tell?
We then left the walls upside down so that the still wet under-sides could dry.  In about 6 hours or so they dried nicely.
Bases ready
The Jumbo Craft Sticks are the perfect size to use as bases.  We glued the walls to the base and fixed any holes in the walls with any spare pebbles that had fallen off.
Looking good.  The figures can't wait.
Once more, wait until the PVA is dry.  Then you can paint up the walls and play.  We used a dark wash which highlighted all the pebbles well, then dry brushed to give the walls a darker tone.
Done!  Just one more thing ...
We painted the bases brown and added bits of flock for grass.  Looking good!  But there was just now more thing to do.  How do they look in action?
During mixing and at the end they look like a Rice Bubble mixture. We considered using Rice Bubbles but they would fail the "wargaming strength" test. After all the work we put into scenery, we want it to last!  Also a stone wall made from stones is pretty cool.


  1. That is a fantastic way of making stone walls, I think I'll be trying that method myself

  2. I HAVE tried this method myself. And blogged about it...

    1. I'm glad it worked. I liked how you covered many bits with green. It looks very good.



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