Do It Yourself Cobblestones

For my last diorama, I wanted to make a cobblestones street by myself, but I didn't know how to do it. There are different after market traders that offer cobblestones, but the cobblestones are either to small or to expensive.
One day, as I was in the supermarket, I found by chance a package of green lentils. I knew immediately that could I use these for my project. These green lentils have an ideal colour for this street, and I wanted this colour to come through in the final diorama.

The following are the steps I went through to create my cobblestone street.

Step 1. This is the bag of the green lentils for the cobblestones. You can see the different colours of the lentils.

Step 2. First you cover the whole base, where the cobblestones street should be, with double sided sticky tape. Then you put the lentils on the tape, piece for piece.

About the Author

About Adrian Nyffenegger (pzgren)

I'm building models since I'm 10 years old. My interests are WW II military dioramas in 1/35.


When I was a lad we used to bake "conkers" to make them hard. Very low heat and a very long time. It dried the horse chestnuts out completely. Just a thought...maybe the lentils could be treated the same way and when coated with varnishes it may help prevent swelling? Or once baked spray them with the varnish prior to assembly...?? They look too good to be ignored. Cheers Peter
FEB 14, 2004 - 06:09 PM
Great feature ! Let us know how the lentices do in a couple of weeks. I don't think they will cause a problem, but I would like to know for sure.
FEB 14, 2004 - 08:06 PM
Hai Danny, I have used on my dio lentils for about two years ago. I filled the space between the lentils with plaster of paris. Verry wet stuff. Then i airbrushed them, drybrushed them. There is still nothing to see of rotting or something else. Marc.
FEB 14, 2004 - 10:51 PM
I have tried my self a couple of lentis/cobblestone with success but: I an not sure they in 1:35 scale! I have seen many, both round and square, cobblestone pavements and usually you have about two or three cobbles under your feet. I then saerched for children pasta and found a small cilinder size type. I builted a container with cardboard stripes (the size of my road) and filled with the pasta. Then I laied on top a stripe of (white) pre-glued paper: very, very gently! then pressed the paper. After it dryied I turned it up side downs and put in place. I rubbed the surface with a thin layer of plaster and painted. To me it looks more like in scale! dedox.
FEB 19, 2004 - 03:17 AM
Another method that i have tried that does excellent scale is BRASS "BB's".... like the kind you would use for an air rifle. Spread them out on a sheet of sponge tape, press them into place, When everything is dry, I hit them with a coat of white flat primer, and then fill the gaps with spackle. Once everything is dry, i come pack and do my washes and touchup paint. The scale seems quite perfect (smaller stones than lentils), and you never have to worry about anything! Cheap too!
MAR 22, 2004 - 05:03 PM
The lentil method looks great, but I've got an alternate suggestion that might work also. Check out "Drywall for modeling" on the Scratchbuilder's Forum. Thanx, Art
MAR 23, 2004 - 03:08 AM
Very nice! Now where can I use that? Maybe on my next Sherman project. Thanks for the tips!
MAR 23, 2004 - 03:15 AM
I did the lentil trick here at home..my first try. Here is how it went. No shellac/varnish. I had a bag of dried lentils from the market. I layed the lentils on a 100% white glue "mastic". Then I over washed them with a sandy/acrylic tinted 50/50 white glue/water "grout". At this point, the thin shell of the lentils shriveled up, some simply popping off, most shriveling. I used a damp scrubby sponge (scotchbrite) and scrubbed 75% of the wrinkled shells off. The rest I could not remove. I overwashed acrylics with assorted techniques to bring back color. As of this point, 1 week, all is well. Now a bit wiser, I would suggest a long low heat to dry them completely, then possibly "shuck" them somehow. Hairspray them, the hairspray acts as a varnish, and should probably be sprayed on the beans before they are placed. Shellac is also a good idea because it is alchohol based, and can be painted with water based paints. I definitely will shellac them before I "grout" next time. Pix enclosed https://gallery.kitmaker.net/data/500/4176Cobbles_01.jpg https://gallery.kitmaker.net/data/500/4176Cobbles_02.jpg
MAR 23, 2004 - 04:07 AM
There was an article similar to this on Doc´s dios. Looked really well when done. I tried it, but used the lentils with skin on them. Needless to say when the wet grout hit them, it softened the skins and they lifted. After placing maybe 1000 lentils on double sided sticky tape, I was a tad upset, to say the least. So remember ... use the skinless type. I have a smaller vignette where I used this method again. After 1.5 years it still looks perfect. Even if the lentils rot ... the plaster and paint layers keep them contained and shouldn´t be subjected to the abuse that would break them in. Good article Adrian. This subject has come up several times and now theres a well explained article to show folks. The dio turned out stunning as well!
MAR 23, 2004 - 04:58 AM
MAR 24, 2004 - 03:24 AM