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How To Build Your Very Own Replica Of Stone Mountain Georgia

Updated on November 5, 2012

Yes, That's Robert E. Lee and Yes, It's Okay!

Flying a confederate flag is a somewhat controversial act these days because some say doing so represents defending the concept of slavery. So what about a carving on a mountain that glorifies the leaders of the confederate side? Is it politically correct?

If you examine the facts, few confederate soldiers, in fact, few southerners, were rich enough to own slaves.The issue of slavery may have been the catalyst of the War Between The States but the average man fighting on the southern side was not likely imagining he was fighting for the right of rich plantation owners to enslave people, rather he was likely fighting for the right of his state to secede from the Union. Or maybe he was simply caught up enough in the hoopla to enlist. Regardless, the southern soldier's thinking was shaped by the people in the area they were raised in, as anyone's is. Had the northern soldier been born in the south, what side would they be on? Or you? What side would you take had you been born white and raised up indoctrinated in 1800's southern culture?

Right or wrong, the brave southern soldiers can still be respected for their willingness to engage in battle and possibly die for their beliefs. And the history of the south shouldn't be supressed, it can and should be acknowledged for many reasons. Without guilt and without ascribing to misguided beliefs.

The picture is an N scale miniature in pewter of Robert E. Lee on his horse accompanied by several soldiers.

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The Carving

Stone Mountain is not really granite, as many guess, it's quartz monzonite, and on its face is the largest bas-relief carving in the world. Depicted are three of the most important confederate leaders: Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The entire carved surface measures some three acres and is recessed about 42 feet into the mountain! Huge!

The picture shows the miniature carving pasted on the mountain but it's not yet recessed into the mountain's face and the edges aren't yet sealed.

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Step 1: Styrofoam

Build your base with styrofoam. Only worry about the general shape and size. Extra can be easily trimmed off later. You can certainly use more than one piece. Notice the upside down tray at the top originally used to pack meat from the grocery store?

Glue it down.

Stone Mountain has a park surrounding it that offers many fun family oriented activities. One of those is a small passenger train that takes people around the mountain. But adding an N scale train is optional.

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Step 2: Paper Mache

Mix water and plain white flour to about the consistency of pancake batter. Coat small strips of paper- about 6 inches by 3 inches- with the mixture. Pages from an old book or newspaper work well but do not use full color pages, black and white print only).

Apply thin layers of the coated paper to the styrofoam, no more than two or three sheets thick and allow each layer to dry 24 hours. It's okay to bridge large gaps, this stuff dries like cement! Don't worry too much about wrinkles, they will give the mountain character and make it appear more realistic.

Once all layers are applied to your satisfaction and have dried thoroughly paint a gray color base over the entire mountain. Allow that to dry then add black to darken the paint and use the darker color to highlight by drybrushing certain spots. This will add depth.

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Step 3 The Carving Photo Set

Take a photo of the carving area, slightly tint each photo a little differently from the others and print them from your computer onto regular white paper (photo paper is too thick). Choose the one you like best.

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Step 4: Clay Time!

Apply tacky glue to the back of the chosen photo then apply a thin (1/8th of an inch) layer of modeling clay to the back.

Using the rounded blunt end of a paintbrush, push on the photo side in the spots you want to appear to be deeper into the mountain which creates the effect of bas-relief. For the most part you won't push the confederate leaders or their horses very much or very deep, the areas around them will get the most depth.

Trim to an oval shape and glue the carving to the face of the mountain.

You'll want to add some thick paper mache around the carving, from the mountain top to bottom and several inches out from the carving on each side to make it look recessed but natural. This time, mix to a paste-like consistency. There will be a rough edge around the edge of the oval so apply some modeling clay to the gaps and smooth it so the carving looks natural, as if carved right into the mountain face.

This will take considerable time....no mistakes!

The Carving: Recessed With Paper Mache and Ready For Final Touchup Clay And Painting

The Carving: Recessed With Paper Mache and Ready For Final Touchup Clay And Painting
The Carving: Recessed With Paper Mache and Ready For Final Touchup Clay And Painting
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Miniature Stone Mountain!

 

The Finished Replica of Stone Mountain!

The Finished Replica of Stone Mountain!
The Finished Replica of Stone Mountain!

Right or Wrong?

Should confederate history be celebrated in any way, or is it shameful to do so? Is it okay to fly a confederate flag?

Guestbook Comments On This Lens

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    • Writingmystory1 profile image

      Writingmystory1 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for writing things that help keep our nation's history fresh in our minds! I believe if we forget our history, we'll have no future. At least not the future that the people before us fought and died for! So again thanks for the history and the model of Stone Mt GA looks like a fun project.

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