Sunday, May 24, 2015

Finishing the 2nd type of retaining wall

Last fall, I finished the first of two different types of retaining walls that I have been working on for the Hot Springs Junction module.  That post can be viewed HERE. Now it's time to finish the second type of retaining wall which is a more simple design but there is a lot of it.  For the background on both types of walls see the post Japanese Style Retaining Walls.

Again as I did when finishing the first type of wall, I show here the reference photo I started with for this type of wall and pick up where I left off on the original post.

After the Evergreen tile styrene sheet is assembled to fit the shape of the hillside were it will be installed, the edges are covered with .100 x .100 L channel strip.

On the front facing and top edge of the L channel, I cut a groove as shown in this photo about every 10 scale feet with a razor saw to simulate expansion joints.

When doing the front facing surface I set a thin sheet of scrap over the tile surface to protect it from being scratched by the saw.

Each assembled section of retaining wall was air brushed with Testors acrylic concrete color.

The next step before installing the wall is to give it some basic weathering.  I like to highlight the grooves between the tiles by using diluted India Ink.

A few drops of ink into a Dixie cup filled to the level shown in this photo.  This solution is spread evenly across the wall assembly.  With the wall laying flat it settles into the grooves and that's why I did this before installation.  Brush strokes should be up and down the wall so it will look like natural streaks.

The completed wall sections are attached to the foam land forms with Liquid Nails adhesive.  After the adhesive has set, the scenery is built up as desired to the walls edge and as shown in this photo sometimes over the edge.  This 4 foot module has about 6 feet of large retaining walls of both type presented here.


  1. stuff here! Yes, I'll be trying this on my extended layout area! Very cool.

    1. Hi Malcolm,

      After starting these walls, I found out that Greenmax had a kit out that is very similar to this. It is # 2105 - 3 sheets 60mm high x 200mm long. I have another project in mind where I am going to try that product.