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i have done my first attempt at making a cliff face using polystyrene, It hasn't turned out to bad, but needs to be weathered to make it look more real.

i have painted it in a mushroom colour for now (as its going to be a chalky/stone cliff face, but i need some pointers please on how i go about making it more real.

also is there any good books about with step by step guides on weathering etc.

cheers
 

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DT
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Chalk is a sedimentary rock, but as it is soft it weathers horizontally and vertically. So you would use a knife and score it in both directions, but predominantly vertically.



What you want is to get a good paint and or plaster layer on the polystyrene to give the effect you need.

Paint it all white (matt acrylic), then when dry, lightly dribble black or brown ink thinned with plenty of water over the grooves that you previously cut out. This makes the grooves and cracks stand out. When that is dry, go back to your white mixed with perhaps a light grey or light beige and lightly brush it on again with a wide brush working from side to side.

Remember that at the base of any chalk cliff, you're going to have rock that has fallen down. Also, the grass at the top of a chalk cliff comes right up to the face, set in a thin layer of topsoil.

Another good photo of a chalk cutting.
 

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Chief mouser
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Twinkle,

I'll pass on my method for chalk type cliffs.

1) Don't use polystyrene, use cavity wall insulation block, it's much easier to cut and shape and you get far less mess.

2) Cover it (the cliff face) with your filler of choice. I personally use a product called Hydrofibre which takes about 48 hours to dry out, which means plenty of time to get your rock face carved in!

3) Paint it with a layer of creamy grey emulsion, avoid pure white as the base colour, chalk is only gleaming white when it is freshly broken.

4) when all is dry, as Doug suggested weather using a nixture of very watery browns, greys and black to bring out the texture.

5) Add flocks/grasses etc on ledges, - where birds roost grass grows!

Hope this helps

Regards

John
 

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Here's a photo I took of the cliff face between Seaton and Beer in Devon last summer. This one shows some interesting discolouration in some of the rock layers.



Around Beer itself the cliffs are whiter.

David
 

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To avoid the 'Obviously painted on by hand' look for your weathering colours, wet a much bigger are with water and apply thick-ish watercolour pigment soluition from a loaded brush into the wet area. It will spread by magic in a very natural manner, far more randomly and realistically than you can do unaided by the water.

As always....try elsewhere on abit that doesn't show!! Good luck.
 

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I'm grateful for this thread because I have a chalk cutting on my layout.
The face of mine has been covered with modelling clay. Having read all the good ideas on here I see I have much to do, such as carving and staining. There's some really good ideas on here.
I used pieces of kitty litter for the fallen debris and painted a layer of brown topsoil. It's been suggested to me that nothing of any great size will grow direcetly in the chalk, so I've kept all plants small.
Looking forward to your photos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
well tried to give it a bit of colour and its none not really a chalk wall
but think its not to bad colour wise for my 1st attempt. any comments welcome, but please be gental as its my first go
i ended up giving it a coat in well watered down black board paint


still needs work yet so not finished yet but what you think.







 

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Chief mouser
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QUOTE (twinkle @ 23 Nov 2006, 23:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>still needs work yet so not finished yet but what you think.

Looks pretty good for a first attempt.
A piece of advice, try to use bigger blocks, if possible, it makes joins less noticeable (another good reason for using a coat of your chosen filler). It also appears that you are using grass matting for the ground surface, to improve the look of the edge use a mixture of different green flocks to blend the edge in to the cliff face. A layer of brown/grey paint at the edge will also help.

Regards

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
QUOTE (BRITHO @ 24 Nov 2006, 16:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Looks pretty good for a first attempt.
A piece of advice, try to use bigger blocks, if possible, it makes joins less noticeable (another good reason for using a coat of your chosen filler). It also appears that you are using grass matting for the ground surface, to improve the look of the edge use a mixture of different green flocks to blend the edge in to the cliff face. A layer of brown/grey paint at the edge will also help.

Regards

John

thanks mate
i was limited to what size i could use as the track was close to the edge, and i will give your method a go once i get my flocks (hopefully at the weekend)

thanks again
 

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HI Twinkle! Good try, especially for a first timer. I wouldn't go down the oil based paint route, though each to his own as they say! It seems to me that once you put one layer of oily paint on, it becomes difficult to blend in the next colour realistically. Please, do try buying a small tube each of 'Paynes Grey' and Yellow Ochre water colour, putting a small blob either side of a white tea-plate, and mixing them together in differing strengths with a wet brush. You'll be pleased at the 'grubby' colours you can achieve. These (hopefully) varied tones you can drop onto wetted areas of your cliff, so that colour runs into all the cracks in a realistic way.
It's the technique I use to weather buildings etc as well as scenery (See Card Modelling-weathering with watercolours, in this forum, I think)

Good luck and keep at it!
 

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Good start, Twinkle, you're going well, and it'll look better again with foliage. I wonder if a bit of modelling clay or plaster would help to conceal the joints.
I've weathered mine as dooferdog suggested [wetting it first] and it went well, although I used acrylics. Thanks dooderdog.
Even though mine is meant to be chalk, it was surprising how dark I could make it initially without making it look like something else. And I dabbed it with paper towel to lighten any bits that went too dark. Mine's alongside a steam-era track and - guessing here - it would be bound to be affected by smoke and soot.
Have fun with it.
Mike
 

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Yup,

Mike's on the right track there. I've noticed that greenery in chalk is small, and tends to follow vertical cracks where the water supply is regular. I think chalk cliffs are the hardest to do, why I stick to non -chalk, it's easier with natural products such as real bark!! (such as below, really easy to do!!

 
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