Stoneworks plans and instructions

Instruction sets for making cast-concrete structures in 1:24 scale
Marc Horovitz
1:24-scale Assay Office—plans and instructions
1:24-scale Glade Creek Mill—plans and instructions
23351 Maple Lane
Shell Knob MO 65747
Prices: Assay Office (#7104), $14.90; Glade Creek Mill (#7105), $15.90 + s&h

Plans and instruction sets for making cast-concrete structures in 1:24 scale; assay office includes two 24 x 36" plan sheets, printed one side; eight page, 8½ x 11" booklet; card with fraction/decimal/metric conversion table and 3" ruler; Glade Creek Mill includes the same, with the addition of a third plan sheet

Marc Horovitz
Marc Horovitz
Marc Horovitz
Stoneworks has developed an unusual method of building structures for garden railways out of concrete and, often, real stone. These can resemble wooden, concrete, or stone buildings when finished, and the final product is more or less impervious to weather in any climate.

The two plan sets reviewed here utilize Stoneworks’ methods to create an assay office or a water mill. Each project is supplied with an eight-page booklet. Inside each booklet is one or more color photos of the finished model, along with photos of similar full-size structures, some historical, for reference. The inner four pages, in black and white, are Stoneworks’ “Stone & Cement Modeling Tips.” These provide rudimentary information about the casting process as well as working with the styrene windows and doors that the company also offers. Included is a glossary of terms used in the projects, many having to do with cement, tools used in modeling it, and other materials.

Full-size plan sheets are included in each project—two for the assay office and three for the mill. In addition to the plans themselves, these sheets include illustrated, step-by-step instructions on how to construct the building.

The actual plans are, in fact, just outlines of the walls, showing window and door placement. They are not the drawings of the finished building that one might expect. You use these plans to construct formwork out of insulation-foam strips, following the instructions.

Of our two review samples, the assay office is the smaller and simpler. It represents a wooden, clapboard structure with a false front and a stone base or foundation. The plans call for the use of Stoneworks’ styrene doors and windows. You could probably use those by other makers or scratchbuild your own, but you’d have to adjust the window size on the plans.

The exterior finish of the building, in this case the clapboards, is attained through the use of molded styrene sheets, which Stoneworks (and others) also sells. The sheets are built into your molds. They are neither cut nor damaged by the process and can be reused. Hardware cloth is cast into the walls for strength and the recommended cement is Quikrete Vinyl Concrete Patcher. Foam blocks are set into the molds to create cavities for doors and windows, which are later placed in the structure after the cement has cured.

The mill is larger and more complicated. Like the assay office, its plan sheets take you through the process step by step. The mill sits on a large, stone foundation, made up of individual stones that are set into the mold before the cement backing is poured. Again, a styrene sheet provides the surface finish for the main structure. Stoneworks can provide all of the doors and windows for this structure as well, and they even offer a styrene water wheel and sluice so that the finished structure can be tied into your water feature.

While the instructions are complete and clearly written, they move pretty fast. If you have had experience with this type of construction in the past, you should have no difficulty with these buildings. However, if this technique and these materials are new to you, I strongly recommend Stoneworks’ book, How to Model in Stone and Cement (52 pages, 400+ pictures, $19.95), to fully familiarize yourself with this interesting, versatile, and durable modeling process.

The finished structures, when properly painted, are virtually indistinguishable from whatever material they are intended to represent. Add to that the fact that you actually made the building yourself and that it can be expected to last many years outdoors, and you’ve got a winner.


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