Cork 101

Working cork into diorama elements
Let me start this article out by saying that I am not the one who thought of this process but I learned it from Carles Elias and his wonderful works of art.

Ok, let's begin with the basics:
The tools
The first image shows the following tools from top to bottom:
  • Miter cutter,
  • Sand paper,
  • X-acto knife,
  • Wire brush,
  • Balsa stripper,
  • a file,
  • and finally the cork which is not shown in the picture.

The cork that I use comes in 12x12 in. squares and is ¼ in. thick.
With these tools you can do anything with cork that you feel like taking on!
Now let's start a project, how about a cobble stone street! The first step in doing this is finding the dimensions of the cobble stones. Each cobble stone should be no more than 7/16 in. long and ¼ in. wide. To make these take your sheet of cork and put it on a flat cutting surface. Take your balsa stripper and adjust it to ¼ in. and cut a strip of cork (the second image). Next take your sand paper and sand the fresh cut edges so there is nothing hanging off of the strip, also sand the top corners to round them out (the third image). Now its time to chop, chop, chop! Take your stripes of cork and go to the miter cutter. Set a stop block at 7/16 in. (the fourth image). Now just start chopping away until you have the required amount of cobble stones. The next step is to take your sand paper and round over the ends that you just cut (the fifth image).
Now that the slow part is done its time to have some fun! Now we get to build something!!
Mark out the area that you want to have the cobble stones on your base. Now using two sided tape or CA (Super) glue affix to the base in rows, staggering them like bricks (the sixth image). Keep doing this until you have to make more stones or you are finished with the area. The last step is to take your file or your wire brush which ever you prefer and rub it across the cobbles to give it the stone texture (the seventh image). And that's it! Paint to your desired colors. Once you get the hang of it you can do all kinds of things from cobble stone streets to brick houses, brick houses to stone bridges, stone bridges to……well you get the point! I hope you find this article useful. Happy building!
  • Image_7
  • Image_6
  • Image_5
  • Image_4
  • Image_3
  • Image_2
  • Image_1

About the Author

About Adam Benshoof (Matrix)

My name is Adam Benshoof, I am 20 years old and have been building models since I was around ten years old and haven’t stopped yet! I began doing dioramas about a year after I started building models. Now I am building a small company called Scale Creations offering diorama products to diorama build...