Friday, 11 December 2015

Realistic Rocks with Pumice Stone.

I enjoyed the article in the January 2016 Model Railroader by Kim Nipkow on “3 Ways for Realistic Rocks”, but wanted to add a 4th alternative: - Pumice stone.
Pumice is a very light aerated, porous volcanic rock often found washed up on beaches.
Figure 1 below gives some examples. These samples are about 1-2 inches (2-5 cm.) long.
Figure 1 - Pumice as collected from the beach

There are many samples of pumice that like charcoal in the January article look like real rocks and can be inserted into the scenery base as they come. Pumice can also be ground down and makes excellent “talis rocks”. I use a mortice and pestal to grind the pumice and produce my small tallis rocks.

Figure 2 - Let the grinding begin

Here is a picture of some completed scenery using pumice as well as rock moulds.
Figure 3- A dry creek bed using mainly ground pumice stone

Many of the rocks in Figure 4 are pumice stone or ground pumice.

Figure 4 - Completed scene using pumice rocks

In summary, if you have access to pumice it is a free and very light weight solution for rocks and small talis on your layout and complements other rock building techniques.

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