New Wall Building Material

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YTong - The New Material
I promised some pictures about the 1/16 dio I'm building. While I'm at it, I'll show you the steps I took to do this. I started off with a large piece of Ytong building block. You can find these at any DIY store for about a dollar a piece. Editors Note: Any in a select number of countries - check out YTongs web site for specifics at YTong's Corporate Site

Ytong is a fun material to work with. It looks like ready-made scale concrete, and it cuts very easily with any sharp object. I used a scribing tool to cut mine. You can find a scribing tool (very practical little gimmick I really couldn't do without ! ) at micromark for 11.95 USD.

Within the Ytong, I designed the scale version of a 5 by 2.5 meters concrete slab, including cracks and details. I then cast a silicone mold, and copied the concrete slab in hard plaster. I use Keramofix, a German brand for that. I understand you can compare this with the so-called "dentist plaster". This makes exact copies, hard and perfectly cast. I made several of these, changed a few to make sure they are not all identical, and placed them together to form a concrete truck parking area. The picture shows the scribed piece of Ytong on the right, the silicone mold on the left.

To build the wall, I did the exact same thing. Thanks to the Ytong texture, the brick wall gets a rich, realistic feel of an old industrial building. Two slabs were glued together to form one huge wall section. This was primed, then sprayed black, then sprayed brick-colors. When dry, I sprinkled dry tile glue (a sort of cement) in the seems. I dusted it around with a broad make-up brush so the cement stayed nicely inside the cracks and hardly on top of the bricks. I then carefully sprayed a mist of water over it all and let dry.

I was very pleased with the result. I tried to make an artistic picture with the business end of my M35 fuel supply truck in the foreground, but the whole thing looks a bit foggy. But I can tell you : it looks so real that some of my model soldiers come down to pee against it !

Where were we ? Oh yes, that wall. Once the wall was finished, I added a rusty rain pipe (8 mm tubing, sprinkled with tile cement, spraypainted, weathered and washed).

Then I started painting the wall. First came faded black letters that should spell something like "...natie" and "... Antwerpen", typical inscriptions for Antwerp port warehouses. You see them on the left top of the pictures, very faint. Then came the graffiti tags and "pieces". I found some nice examples on the internet, and had a lot of fun painting these. Maybe I should now try my luck on a REAL wall in the Antwerp docks.

When the tags were finished, I sprayed a faint black coating over them to give them a worn and weathered look. When the wall and the concrete were painted, I assembled the elements into a diorama, adding a section of dirt. There are some bushes of grass against the borderstone, made from painted chestnut rusks.

The dirt is made up of plaster. On top there's a layer of tile cement (this is really a magic compound to make dio's !) mixed with shavings of red brick. It gives a "dirty" aspect. All that was lavishly washed with a white spirit / oil paint mixture in black and browns.

To paint everything except the wash, I used Vallejo and Vallejo Game Color paints. Vallejo is too thick to spraypaint (Vallejo Airbrush is not for sale in Belgium), but I discovered you can easily dissolve Vallejo paint with Instanet, a detergent to clean windows with. Instanet and Vallejo make a wonderful marriage. I use an Evolution airbrush. It took some trial and error to find the right mixture, but 50 to 60 % instanet works best. To mix the paint, I use water bottle caps. I collect them at the office, and you see my supply (blue caps) in the container on the left of the picture. I mix the paint in there, then discard them after use. Using them twice could send fractions of dried paint into the paintbrush, and you know what a spoiler it is to have to stop to dissemble your gun, clean it and oil it before you can go back to the shooting range.

All I needed to do next is throw in the M35 and the dio's almost done. I have some more grasses and leafier plants to add, and I need a few figures to make it complete. I'll work on that after the Market Garden campaign.

That more or less rounds up the story.
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About the Author

About Jan (GeneralFailure)

I live in Belgium, Europe. Though modeling was big on my list of hobbies, I spent all my time refurbishing the home we bought a few years ago. I promised I'd be back some day. That day can't be far off, now.


I have never heard of the product YTong... what is it normally used for? In what section of a store like Home Depot would I find this material? Keith
NOV 03, 2003 - 04:49 PM
Keith, in our countries (Belgium and The Netherlands) we build our homes almost entirely with bricks and concrete.... for the inner walls we use big plaster blocks etc. Ytong is a material that is stronger than plasterblocks and is more easy to handle (saw). It is a plasterlike product that can be compared a bit with something you know as dental plaster. those blocks, that we use for building inner walls, are sold in our DIY stores. For more information you could check out the international Ytong webpages... I added the link below. YTONG WEBPAGE
NOV 03, 2003 - 08:27 PM
Keith In doing research on the article it appears that YTong is only available overseas (currently). When it does arrive it looks like it would be in the 'concrete' or cinder block section.
NOV 04, 2003 - 12:16 AM
The material is pretty light. I suspect the manufacturer succeeds in mixing air bubbles into the plaster, making it lighter and easier to cut. The small air bubbles are what makes it look like scale version concrete, too... But i'm sure you could find comparable (alternative, even better ?) materials if you check Home Depot or other DIY stores in the US...
NOV 04, 2003 - 02:34 AM
Actually Jan, it's not plaster, but real concrete. It just is made in a special way and yes, it has a lot of air in it. Hence it's synonym : foam / cellular concrete. Kris
NOV 04, 2003 - 03:34 AM
In Ireland and England they are called "Breeze blocks". Ideal for solid walls on upstairs floors. They must be pretty common as they are available here in Sweden as well. Just dont know what they are called here! Working with them is pretty simple as they can be sawed by a normal rip-saw!
NOV 04, 2003 - 12:40 PM