Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Also sprach Zarathustra

As the sun rose over Duchal Moor a random estate worker had to find a rock to sit down on when, after discovering a large randomly placed concrete block, his head was filled with strange brightly coloured visions of advanced technology.

Back in reality, while one end of the bridge over Blacketty Water is supported by a large rock outcrop the other end rests on a large concrete block. I think, by taking measurements from the photographs, that the block is approximately 5 feet tall, 1 foot deep, by 3 feet wide. Now I'm sure there are many ways I could model this block but I decided to try and make it from the same casting plaster as the rocks. So I built a small rectangular mould from plastruct stuck to a sheet of plastic. I used 4mm square section for the sides (which gives the 1 foot depth) but left one short side loose so that I could remove it after the plaster had set to help get the block out of the mould.

Once I had a suitably sized block it was then coloured using diluted Woodland Secnics concrete liquid pigment and a thin wash of the stone gray, before these were sealed with scenic cement and then a thin black wash applied to dirty the block a bit more. It will clearly need more weathering once it's bedded into the diorama but I think it's worked out quite nicely, although due to a few bubbles in the casting I might make a second block for the actual diorama.


  1. Glad you saw the bubbles. I sometimes think that I see things in my own work that others never notice. I dread posting video for this reason.

    1. I don't quite know what happened this time as I've not really had a problem with bubbles before (not at the surface anyway) but it's easy to cast another block now I have the mould.

      I find it really difficult to spot spelling/grammar mistakes in my writing as I always know what it should say even if it's wrong. For any "important" writing, like journal articles, I never let anyone see them until I've done at least three revisions to weed out the worst mistakes but even then people always find lots of mistakes I've missed. Fortunately the bubbles were much easier to spot.

    2. Everyone needs an editor. I can spend an hour in Audacity clipping and speeding up, slowing down audio then find after I dump the video and audio into Blender and render it it is a dozen frames adrift. No one notices, they all say "Very Nice."

  2. I was actually going to remark that the (what I thought were holes caused by bits that had stuck to the mould) roughness was rather authentic given the age of the concrete.