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castle wall - 3

Detailing the Main Wall

Here you will learn how to detail the main part of the castle wall in a simple stone brick pattern.  With carving methods the preferred tool I use is a precision engraver from the Hot Wire Foam Factory.  A video further down this page explains the process hands on.  

After the foam is cut into its respective pieces you need to detail or give the foam additional shape and contrast, otherwise it will look flat and boring.  Be sure to lightly sand down or file off all angel hairs from the cutting process to ensure all surfaces are relatively smooth.    

All castle walls have texture in the form of pieced together stones or stacked block patterns.  This level of detail can be easily obtained through carving into the foam using a knife or hot wire engraving tool.  

Detailing expanded polystyrene:

Because of its beaded composition, I highly recommend using only hot wire tools in detailing this foam.  Using a knife on this material will produce results, however the blade will take out more chunks or beads than desired.  

Detailing extruded polystyrene:  

Because of its more rigid composition, it can be detailed using a hot wire tool, knife, or even a ball point pen,  Any hot wire tool can be used to shape or carve a pattern of blocks and stone into the foam.  A knife can produce similar results as a hot wire tool, only the work will take longer in cutting through the material.  For simple shallow designs of stones or bricks a ball point pen can be used to make an impression that will stand out after the foam has been painted.  

Take the two main wall segments and using an adhesive glue them together to double its thickness.  I recommend using Elmer's Multipurpose Glue or Tacky Glue, both are foam friendly, they won't melt the foam.  To ensure the bond is good, lay an object that has considerable weight on top, like empty glass jelly jars, so the foam is flat throughout the piece.  Allow the glue to dry for eight to twelve hours at least or overnight to be sure.  

Once the block is dry(left) you need to choose which end is up.  After deciding which end is flatter for a base, take a Sharpie marker or pen and place a simple direction mark(right) pointing upward.  

Using a square or ruler measure out the vertical height of the brick pattern and mark it like so with a sharpie(left).  In this picture I measured the space to be one half inch. Using the same technique mark the horizontal width of the brick pattern.  In this picture I measured the space to be one inch.  

Using a square or ruler trace the vertical lines across the wall(left) piece with the hot wire engraver.  Always be careful using any hot wire tool, since all can burn your skin if not handled properly. Using the tools in the other direction, trace the vertical pattern(middle) on every other level.  Using just the hot wire engraver fill in the next set of vertical lines(right) on the alternating levels in a staggered pattern to obtain the brick pattern.  All of this is further explained in the video below.  

This video is part three of my castle wall tutorial.  In this segment I show how to prep the main part of the castle wall and carve the block pattern using the hot wire foam factory engraver.