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Model Railroad Buildings - Using Cork Tiles As Rubble Foundations

Updated on September 19, 2011

Using cork as stone

Pull apart pieces of cork, shape and glue to cardstock.
Pull apart pieces of cork, shape and glue to cardstock.
Spray with "stone" decorative spray paint.
Spray with "stone" decorative spray paint.
Detail with rocks, dirt, grass plants.
Detail with rocks, dirt, grass plants.
A nice solid foundation for your building.
A nice solid foundation for your building.

Cork Tiles can be used to make building foundations

Need an interesting foundation for your rustic model railroad buildings? Try making a loose stone or rubble rock foundation using cork.

Years ago houses, sheds and outbuildings were often built on rubble rock or loose stone foundations. Rocks found around the building site were simply piled up in a relatively level fashion and the sills place on top.

If you go hiking perhaps you've run across one of these foundations or old cellar holes in the woods. Not the most solid of foundations but they do seem to outlive the wooden buildings that sat on top of them. Besides most of these buildings weren't exactly built to stand the test of time. They were built for immediate purposes not as monuments for the future. Mining, logging and milling operations for example often only lasted until the natural resources in the area ran out.

To model a building foundation made from rubble rock you can use real stones or make them out of cork tile pieces. I picked up a package of cork tiles at my local big box office supply store. They sell them for making cork boards.

To make the foundation I simply marked off an area on a piece of paper and then pulled off pieces of the cork in the approximate shapes I wanted. I roughed up the edges with the dull side of a knife and glued them in place.

After the glue dried I spayed the walls with stone textured spray paint to add some variety. Later I added a lot of detail such as moss and weeds growing around the foundation. Now my mine foreman's office can sit up high and dry!

Materials List:

  • Cork tiles (office supply store)
  • Decorative "stone" spray paint (Home improvement store)
  • Glue (white glue or craft glue)
  • Landscaping materials (herbs, dried flowers, model supply)
  • Imagination

Copyright Edward M. Fielding


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