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Scale Miniature Pebble Dash and Flint Finishes for Dollhouses and Models

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Materials and Methods for Scale Exterior Flint, Pebble and Pebble Dash Finishes
Scale railway ballast and budgie grit used to mimic stone finishes on a dollhouse exterior.

Fine scale railway ballast and budgie or parakeet grit used to make pebble dash and 'flint' finishes on a dolls house. Shown painted and unpainted, as well as set in mortar made from Light Molding Paste

Photo Copyright 2011 Lesley Shepherd

Dolls House or model building exteriors often need 'in scale' miniature finishes. Finishes featuring pebbles, pebble dash, flints or small stones can be replicated with a range of materials. Good sources for small scale pebble effects are:

  • Aquarium gravel - Can work well for larger scale pebbles, or flints in some scales. May be laid in a 'mortar' base made of unsanded grout or artist's medium, or glued on to the exterior surface and painted over. Effects can be loose, or the material can be set in rows into a scale colored 'mortar' made from unsanded grout or light molding paste mixed with acrylic paint.
  • Budgie or Parakeet Grit - Works well for small rough flints or larger gravel finishes on stucco depending on scale. Budgie grit is usually made from rough granite, and comes in a variety of sizes (depending on the type of bird). You can purchase it in most pet stores that sell birds. In the photo above, the larger particles are budgie grit, shown painted, unpainted, and unpainted set in rows in a colored 'mortar' made from light molding medium. This size of grit in the photo above is equivalent to small particles of sharp gravel in 1:12 scale, but can be found in smaller and larger sizes.
  • Model Railroad Ballast - works well for pebble dash and smaller pebble finishes, depending on the type of ballast used. Ballast is available in green, grey, dark grey, and beige colors in a range of sizes. In the photo above the pebble dash stucco texture (painted and unpainted) is made from an HO scale railroad ballast. Try to determine what material the ballast is made from before you apply it. Some railroad ballasts are a clay product, similar to 'kitty litter' which may soften slightly when painted.
  • Embossing Powders - colored embossing powders work well for very small scale painted textured pebble dash and pebble finishes. They are in the form of rounded colored granules which can be glued directly onto small buildings, provided the building will not be set anywhere that heat or the sun's rays could cause the powder to melt and merge together. For this purpose, the embossing powder is not heated and melted together, but used just for the size of the granules.

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