DIY Rock Walls

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by shaneb, Aug 20, 2012.

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  1. shaneb

    shaneb Not so new Member

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    Some people need to venture out into the bush & have a look, a very close look, at some natural rock walls. Then come back & have a look at the one they have built. While I'm sure they're really proud of it, the majority of them look absolutely awful, they look nothing like the real thing. Are people willing to accept mediocrity or do they just have no idea?
     
  2. mazzarella

    mazzarella Active Member

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    i better adjust my yard into an African grasslands for my dog while im at it...
     
  3. Umbral

    Umbral Very Well-Known Member

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    Trolling?
     
  4. bobby-van

    bobby-van Subscriber Subscriber

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    You're a grumpy old F@$K. Sounds like you've failed many times so you decide to put others down.

    A LOT of people's attempts on here look very realistic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  5. I have a sympathetic view of this statement, and while I commend those who try their hand at these things, some could certainly benefit from a visit to an actual rockface.

    Jamie
     
  6. shaneb

    shaneb Not so new Member

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    This is my point. I'm all for DIY-ing, I build many things myself, but seriously have a look at some of the end product. It doesn't look remotely like a natural rock wall.
     
  7. KingSirloin

    KingSirloin Well-Known Member

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    I've personally always had 100% success building fake rock walls.......they all end up looking fake!
     
  8. Tristan

    Tristan Well-Known Member

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    perhaps your missing what some people are attempting? i doubt everyone is try to achieve an exact replica of natural rock, at the end of the day i don't thing the animal's give a hoot what the rock looks like, so the aesthetics of it are left to what the creator desires be it something as close to nature as they can, something they find appealing that matches the color\decor of the house or even just a plain old experiment.

    i agree with you that some do look horrible but more often than not they are amateurs and you cant expect a pro build from an amateur but with the right guidance tips and constructive criticism their next build should be better
     
  9. Justdragons

    Justdragons Very Well-Known Member

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    lol to the op, this is the 2nd time you have had a go at these people.. lol your point is people should leave the walls as bare mdf?? or should pay a few hundred bucks a square for proper landscaping rock wall? either way the lizards couldnt give a toss and its great fun building stuff. I have seen a few that look amazing and a few that look poo. bbut seriously op lets see some of these professional creations of yours that gives you the moral high ground to poo poo on others efforts??
     
  10. Umbral

    Umbral Very Well-Known Member

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    Graaa brug aaaaragh. Figured I'd have a go at speaking troll. If you don't like what people make that's fine but keep your opinions to your self. If you want to give people constructive critism that's fine, give tips on rendering or painting.

    All you are doing is putting people off side.
     
  11. I used to do this stuff as part of my job when building dioramas at the WA Museum. I'm experimenting with a few newer materials atm, and will be very happy to post the info on APS. The last big job I did was for Mowanjum Art Centre out of Derby - about 15m long by 3m high Kimberley rock overhang for the traditional owners to paint their Wandjinas etc on...

    But will be able to post some stuff here in the next couple of weeks. Technically not difficult, but the aesthetics escape some people... :)

    Jamie
     
  12. Justdragons

    Justdragons Very Well-Known Member

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    do you use fiberglass Jamie? im not sure the method but the stein ones come up nice, surely he is using that type of a set up?? im very interested because foam and concrete on massive enclosures seems far to heavy..
     
  13. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    so shane , at 54 years old you must be an expert at making realistic rock walls by now , wheres the pics so you can help guide the younger generation , or do you only criticise when you've never actually tried it for yourself ?
     
  14. I have used fibreglass (with polyester resin) in some circumstances, usually out of silicone rubber or natural latex moulds of an actual rock surface, but it is very labour intensive to produce a fault-free surface on a complex textured rock. Polyester is also very unpleasant to work with as well, so I've tended to avoid them as I get older :)! There are fibreglass-reinforced gypsum-based acrylic compounds which can be made durable and waterproof and which are ideal for this application because you can add any sort of natural stone or rock matrix to the mix, then lightly sandblast to reveal the natural rock textures & colours. These also have the great advantage of easy water clean-up for equipment, unlike the petrochemical based products. Not quite as light as a polyester cast, but far more manageable (and stronger) than concrete coatings.

    Another way of producing freehand (carved from polystyrene foam) rockwork is to coat the carved form in a liquid epoxy resin, then sprinkle sand of whatever texture & colour you want onto it, 2 or 3 layers, and then tint with washes of colour.

    I'll do some examples of this method in the next week or two and put pics up here to see what people think.

    Jamie
     
  15. Personally, I like the latex based rock walls similar to the Universal Rocks product and will be giving some of these a go for the Lacies outdoor aviaries. Here's a quick pic.

    Would be great to see the Mowanjum Art Centre project in more detail, Jamie.
     

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  16. shaneb

    shaneb Not so new Member

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    my apologies for obviously upsetting a few of you that wasn't my intention. I have never built a rock wall, I have no desire to... & yes I imagine if I 'had a go' it would end up just like most on this forum. This is precisely my point, they look ****e, but I have never claimed to be an expert of the construction of them. I buy Universal Rock products as they look the real thing.

    Oh, whoever asked me to keep my opinion to myself will have to remain disappointed, I'm entitled to it, just as you are yours :)
     
  17. Justdragons

    Justdragons Very Well-Known Member

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    sounds good Jamie, where i work we have a few different epoxies and stuff that come in 2 part tins and in large volume so i would be quite interested in that method...
     
  18. Umbral

    Umbral Very Well-Known Member

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    There’s a difference between having an opinion and voicing an opinion that others find offensive. Of course you are allowed an opinion, imagine if you posted a pic of you enclosures and people started saying, wow that looks bad, why do you even bother because you have no idea what you are doing. My point is that not every little thought that pops into your head needs to be voiced.

    That is effectively what you are doing.
     
  19. JrFear

    JrFear Very Well-Known Member

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    the universal rock back rounds etc are amazing & is probably the closest thing to looking real!
    BUT they are expensive! which is why i believe alot of people try and do there own which can cost nearly nothing compared to universal!
     
  20. The flexible polyurethane compounds used in the Universal background products are expensive to buy in small quantities, and the moulds are complex to make, but the finished product is very durable.

    Jamie
     
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