Resin, Caulking, Filling

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Chinking: For the chinking, get a tube of latex caulk.   It comes in white, ivory, clay, gray, well, you get the idea.   Cut the end very small and adjust if needed.   Remember that removing a very small portion of the end creates a big hole!  squeeze it out and smooth with a wet finger.

Martha Simpson

Fishing Pond: First, how deep will your pond be? This will determine how you go about placing the boat. I would suggest that you plan for the pond to be at least 1" deep....and for the best results, an inch and a half would be most realistic. I will assume that you will be using a pond at least 1" deep.

I would start with the shell of the pond first. The bottom can be painted a darker color, and gradually lighten the color as you move up the sides of the pond. DO NOT paint the bottom of the pond black, or any other extremely dark color. This is done in hopes of making it look does not work. It makes the bottom of the pond look black....nothing more. I would suggest a nice muddy darker! Add sand, rocks, plants, moss, etc to the bottom of the pond and glue in place. Let the glue cure completely...a day or two. Then, a pour thin (1/4") of resin in the bottom of the pond and let sit up completely......this will keep the pond from sitting on the bottom, which will look fake. Next, add more "stuff" to the pond..... fish, more moss, plants, etc. Now, pour the next layer, another 1/4 to 1/2" of resin. Let sit almost completely.....until it is quite thick and gooey. If you place the boat too soon it may tip should have to use light force to get the boat into the water. This will also "mess up" the water just enough. Let that sit up completely. Depending on the type of resin you use, this may be 3-4 days. Finally, add any other details to the top of the pond that you like. I would put the lure and fishing line in at this point. After you are happy with the final details, add the last layer of resin. Set the pond in a spot that you can leave it in until it is cured.

Fill the pond completely to the brim, maybe even a little that the grass, sand, is just slightly wet. If you are planning to add lily pads and lilies, wait until the pond is just tacky to the touch. Again, adding them too soon will result in their sinking instead of floating! :o)

As for your resin....go to your local auto supply store and ask about Everlast 2-part resin. It runs $20 a quart here in Iowa. It is almost completely clear, but not perfectly clear, which for realism is actually many fishing ponds have you ever seen that are "really" crystal clear? And, with all the "stuff" going on in you pond.....including the painted will never tell the difference. However, if you are going to have a waterfall in the scene, use the higher priced Everlasting Elegance (available at Michaels and other floral supply stores) for the waterfalls. It is perfectly clear....looks great! The only way to really make a pond look deep, is to pour it deep. If necessary, add a little to the price of this piece to cover the cost of the resin. Hope this helps! If you need more specifics about any of this, please feel free to email me....always glad to help out!


log cabins: Walter made several log cabins in the past. He handsplit the wood so it would look as though it was split with an adze (sp?). For the mortar (which looks very realistic in person), he used an epoxy putty by Brookstone. I'm not sure that particular product is still being made, but any mortar-colored putty would probably work. I mean, btw, the color after the putty is mixed, since epoxy putties come in two different color strips that are mixed together in equal portions. A lot of them come in blue and yellow, for example, which makes a green. As I recall, this putty was a light cream and a beige. We tried some other materials for mortar, but the other stuff (paper mache's, air dry clays, etc.) tended to crumble. The epoxy putty was permanent. If you want to see some results, here are a few pictures:

Dona Vaughn

chinking for log cabins: I used the caulking for bathtubs etc. that comes in a tube for the chinking between the logs. It doesn't dry out or crumble.

Harriett in Framingham, MA

Mortar: You can use stucco patch for mortar - when dry it looks like the chinking in between the logs.

Dollhouse Maker (Norma Cevetello)

Wood into Mortar? Pat Kohar asks, "... does anyone out there have any ideas how I can make my pieces of wood look like mortar in-between the logs ..."
I'm not quite sure I understand the question. As a new maniac miniature maker (no slurs intended- I'm proud of my obsession!) I hesitate to offer advise, but here goes anyway.
First, is there a specific reason you are opting to use wood instead of actually using mortar or a mortar like replacement?
If you are dead set on using wood, how about taking a craft stick and beating the side edge until it looks like a gouged up, chewed-up mess? This could be layed flat in between the logs. I haven't tried this, but I'm just brainstorming here. Then you might gob on white glue until it gets all lumpy and sticky and maybe even place a few tiny pebbles in some of the deeper holes. - Just a thought:


"morter" between logs: The morter in use was (in them thar days) mud. Perhaps mixed with a little straw to make "daub" and "wattle". You can do about the same by either taking sawdust + Elmers glue + acrylic (watered down white) and filling the spaces or perhaps to be more realistic use some stiff thread to make the illusion of straw.


rubber molds - a small addition: Dr. Bob wrote an excellent set of instructions for making latex molds.

I would like to just add a couple of other things. Be sure the object you are molding can be easily removed by peeling back - otherwise it might be best to do 2 parts. (I can add that instruction if there is interest).

The other addition is after the 2nd or third coat, soak some gauze in the latex and apply it like it is a mummy - wrapping well. Any deep areas can be strengthened by putting in extra gauze at this time. The mold will be stronger and can be used more times but it won't stretch as well with the gauze. After that is dry, continue the dipping or painting as Dr. Bob wrote. Also, if you brush rather than dip, dip the brush in liquid detergent and the latex will wash right out.

Jacqui in Hilo, Goddess of Chaos

making rubber molds: I made a few rubber molds, not 40 years worth like Dr. Bob, but feel that I must add a warning to his instructions. Molds cannot be made of just any shape.

Say for instance, you have a doll that you made with its arm bent and the hand on the hip, also with it's legs separated a little. You follow Dr. Bob's instructions. However, you will never get doll, the original or any copies out of the mold. You cannot have any enclosed places, like the arm and the space between the legs. When you pull the mold off, you will rip the arm and legs off. You could get around the legs by making them separately, but nothing can be done about that arm.

I know this is as clear as mud, but perhaps someone who knows what I am talking about can explain it better without pictures.

Mary Lou in Portage, IN

Getting doll out of mold: you can get the doll out if you cut the part line on the inside of the opening that the arm makes by having her hand on her hip. Most any doll in any position can be released when you use a silicone mold. I haven't made rubber molds but I would think its the same principal. It all depends on where you make your cuts.


Rubber molds: Ironically I am including inst. for making rubber molds in my Jan. DM project ( yes, I am working on now Jan. now). I also use the dip method.

To answer Viola's questions from my experience ...(do keep in mind that I am reproducing very small items)...I use sticky wax to attach the base of the item to be reproduced to a small square of 1/2" foamcore. Then I can hold on to the foamcore when dipping. This also allows me to poke a toothpick or skewer into the foamcore base and "hang" the drying mold by poking the other end of the pick or skewer into a block of Styrofoam. I hang subsequent dippings up and down as the rubber does tend to sag a bit with the thickness obtained by dipping. Right after dipping I use a toothpick to smooth and join the rubber that is on the bottom of the mold and on the base, thus forming a lip on the base. When the desired thickness is obtained the rubber will peel from the foamcore leaving a pour hole once the positive has been removed. I have found that once the mold is peeled from the base it is wise to let it sit for another day to let the air get to the underside.

Rubber mold making is not something that is done in a is easy but there is a lot of down time. But it is fun, relatively inexpensive, will add another notch to your craft know-how and great when you need a bunch of little like-items. As when working with any new material do read the label carefully and follow the precautions and suggestions listed.

Joann Swanson

Resin for Water: If it is a polyester resin, try to finish details in the painted base should be done and dry, first, several days dry. Then pour first layer, this should be accordance to manufacturers instructions. Since the depth of each layer of resin is critical to proper curing, pour no more nor less then it says for each layer. Castolite is 7 ounces of resin per square foot of water surface, so about 1/8" depth each layer. So if area has deep water add any rocks at bottom then put each layer(1/8" at a time) til time to add boat. Then put boat and next layer, or layers, depends on boat. Oh couple tips, do keep the room 70 degrees, while polyester resin is curing. 24 hours is good between pours, acetone removes any that may get on things it should not be on, use it before it dries, and a toothpick helps for bubbles. I hope this helps you a little, please follow the directions from manufacturer, and email me if you have any questions.


Resin water: I did a bit of a lake under my nautical shop and even for that small area, it took 4 kits of the water resin from HBS. Depending on how deep you want the boat to float, pour a layer and then study on it for a bit. The resin takes a good 20 or so hours to dry, per layer. I thought I'd die and go to bankruptcy heaven before the lake got full. But yes, I set my boat in the water before I started pouring the resin. The fish, however, were another challenge. My fish were artificial bait from WalMart, and they just really wanted to go belly up before the resin dried. Hence, two or three dead fish in the water and one still hanging on the line ...... and only because of the line might I add.


Grout for marble floor- I put one inch tile on the floor of my mini kitchen and bath. I used the tile adhesive to glue it down ( the real stuff) and mixed up real grout for it. Since the mini floor doesn't get wet, the grout stays white too.

Teresa from Canada

Marble tile grout: Get the lightweight spackling from the hardware store, and wear a rubber glove. Stir the spackling, dip your gloved finger in water then scoop up a bit of spackling and "smoosh" between the tiles. When you are done "smooshing" wipe the entire floor with a wet towel. Smooth over any disturbed grout lines with a wet gloved finger. If you used grey marble, the white spackling will do. For colored marble, tint a bit of grout with waterbased paint and stir very well (make more than enough for the job as you don't want to be trying to match the color halfway through) As your dolls will not be walking on the tiles and spreading dirt and germs, I wouldn't bother to seal the grout. Much less work than grouting a big floor!


Paper clay floor: I have used paper clay to tile the floor of my dh kitchen quite successfully. Roll it out quite thinly and apply to a base with glue. It doesn't have to go down in one piece; because it takes time to dry, you have lots of time to work with it flattening and pushing bits together. When the base is covered, press in tile indentations (I used a bamboo shishkabob skewer). When happy with the coverage and look, let it dry. When dry, I painted with a grey wash being sure to get a it in all the grout lines. After this has dried paint your desired colour remembering to vary it on different tiles. I made mine to look like terra cotta tiles. Finish with a varnish of your choice.

J. Strobel

Paper clay floor: it sounds like you did your paper clay floor in a very similar way to how I did the floor in the Three Bears Cottage. One thing I did differently was to add a bit of gray paint directly to the clay before spreading it since I was making a gray stone floor. It made it a bit more gooey and probably took a little longer to dry, but it gave a good base color to work with.

Christi Walton

Making rubber molds: I can only relate as to how I made them.

Make your original object. From plaster; Fimo; wood etc. I applied a coat of talcum powder to the plaster of Paris models I made. Then I would dip the original item into either liquid latex (the natural latex**rubber**) or the synthetic (neoprene). Wait for each coat to dry before dipping it in again.

Wear old clothes because if this latex/neoprene gets onto a garment and is not removed while in its liquid state it hardens as "rubber" into the material weave. Make sure all the bubbles are broken as you remove the original from each dipping. Dip about 6 times at least. If it is a large mold that will hold a lot of material during reproduction make more dippings. This will make a thicker wall for the mold. When you have achieved the thickness of the walls for the mold that you desire. just peel it off the original like peeling off a rubber glove. Any bubbles that were not broken will leave tiny craters in the mold and this will result in little "nipples" in the reproduction. so they must be sanded off the reproduction or the bubble holes filled in prior to pouring the reproduction.

The process is very simple but like anything that appears simple, I was doing it for about 40 years so it was "simple" when I got good at it in the 39th year. ;~)


Simulating rain: What a day for you!! For rain, I think you can use resin. Make a frame of a box with a row of nails on the left and one on the right...have a shallow "catch" area in the center. Knot a nylon thread at the lower right side, then threaded the nylon left-right so it ends up a zig-zag of threads. Then mixed up a batch of two part resin, put it in a squirt bottle with a tiny tip, and let it set up until it's a little syrupy, then "drip" a thin line of the resin all along the thread. Follow the zig zag threads...a very tiny bit on the threads....the excess should drip off, but try to not have much excess as the excess may cause deformed rain drops. Let dry. You now have thin threads of raindrops! Hang from the "sky" of your room box. Takes a little practice..

Whui in Paris

Cloudy Resin: the reason for the cloudy look of your pond could be that the resin was not mixed well. I've noticed in mixing resin that it becomes kind of cloudy about half way through the mixing process. Another reason could be that the sealer you used (if any) was not completely cured before you poured the resin into the pond......yes, I know these things from experience.....I've had it happen, too.


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