Wednesday 17 June 2015

Cheap (and easy to make) Stone Walls

Sometime last year I posted a method of creating cheap hedges (for 28mm miniatures) from green dish scourers. Well, I've recently been seeing a lot of folks making stone walls from aquarium gravel (or similar) ...and so I thought I would have a go at making a few of my own - and while I was at it, share my experience here on the blog.


Aside from whatever paint & flock you'll be using, you'll also need:

  • A bunch of tongue depressors (these ones are roughly 6" x ¾" in size).
  • PVA glue (this bottle cost a £1 from the local Poundland store)
  • Cheap fish tank gravel (this 1.75kg bag cost £2 from a local pet store)
  • Cheap wall filler (this tub comes ready-mixed, and costs a mere £1 at Poundland).


Trim the rounded edges off one tongue depressor, and glue it to the centre of another (I used superglue for this, but hot-glue or similar will also do the job).


After washing a cup full of gravel (and leaving it out in the sun to dry), start gluing some of the bits of gravel to the tongue depressor with the PVA glue.

EDIT: see the comments for warping issues.


Once you're finished gluing all the gravel in place (in a kind of jigsaw fashion - so that it all fits together reasonably well), leave it to dry overnight.


Fill in the cracks with some of the wall filler (in a similar way that you would grout bathroom/kitchen tiles),

STEP FIVE (optional)

Simply paint the wall (though you can just leave it as it is if you prefer), and apply some flock to the base.

And that's all there is to it :)


  1. Excellent little tutorial, great looking results.

    1. Thanks. They are a little time consuming, but on the upside they're super cheap, and look pretty good on the tabletop :)

  2. It looks great, but does the tongue depressor warp at all?


    1. The first one I made warped quite badly (as I just did the one side to begin with, and used rather too much glue), and so I had to straighten it out with some small plastic clamps while it dried.

      For the others I used far less glue, and tried to fix half a dozen 'bricks' to one side, and then did the same on the opposite side - which helped a lot (though I didn't glue any to the top - so that I could still bend the stick back into shape while it dried ...if required).

    2. Thanks Kristian,

      Do you reckon you'd have a better chance of eliminating warpage by using a hot glue gun for the whole project?

      It's always a big problem with terrain building, trying to keep things flat :)


    3. I've not tried that so I can't really say. However, if you give it a go yourself, let me know how you get on (as it would be interesting to know :) ).

      Also, I wonder if using plasticard (or something similar) for the central support would be a better option.

    4. I can't comment on the plasticard or on making stone hedges, but I've used old CD's as bases & they warp too!

      I ended up sandwiching two CD's in between some old sprue to give it some structural integrity. It worked, but it's obviously not applicable to this situation.

      I think the tongue depressor idea is sound for this application, but maybe clamping it down right from the outset will remedy any chance of warpage? I dunno, just a thought.

      But it is a pain isn't it? basing stuff. You can have all the other elements figured out, but ensuring it's mounted on something that won't warp is another kettle of fish :)


    5. To be honest the base didn't give me much problem, it was more this kind of thing:

    6. Yeah, that looks like fun :D

      Reminds me of the first model balsa aircraft I tried to build. Built one side first & then when I returned in the morning the whole thing had pulled to one side :(

      Onwards & upwards.

    7. Only trouble with hot glue guns and fiddly bits like adding the gravel is the glue tends to stretch if you know what I mean.

  3. These look good. I've done it before, but never had the idea of using the tongue depressors for support

  4. Nice tutorial. I shall have to have a bash at this.

    1. Just keep in mind that you'll probably have a tone of gravel left over (which I got from the 'Pets at Home' chain BTW) ...because just half a cup full was enough for these four pieces :)

      But being gamers, I'm sure we'll find a use for it on other projects :)

  5. There are two solutions to the warping problem, which I have discovered only after suffering through hot glue, clamps, and pretty much everything else I could think of:

    (1) Don't use a lot of PVC to attach the stones: put a small dab of PVC on the stone, and a generous drop of superglue where you want to attach it. The superglue combines with the water in the PVC to set very quickly, and there will be no warping. Plus, it is gratifying to not have to wait while the PVC dries.

    (2) Don't use tongue depressors/popsicle sticks, use very thin birch plywood (you can buy this on Amazon or at craft stores, at least here in the States.) Being plywood, it doesn't warp. You will need a way of cutting it and sanding it, but a sharp hobby knife will do the first with a few strokes, and the second can be done with a file.

  6. Done this on cardboard from postal delivery or pizza boxes. Its doesn't warp because it is mostly multilayered, easy to cut in shapes (you can make curves), and you recycle waste.