View Full Version : A curved wall

29-10-2009, 01:08 AM
Hello all,

I'd like to construst a building with concave curved walls. To achieve this i'm thinking of using thin plasticard.

Inbetween each wall section is a narrow ridge (try to imagine the walls forming a spider web shape)
This is a picture from above>>>

If the ridges were straight i'd simply make them out of balsa wood. My question is what material do you use for a curved narrow ridge? (basically it's a curved rod)

I'm not sure if i've made myself clear so i've done a quick diagram of the curved wall with two ridges either side, and a flat platform ontop.
This is an illustration from side elevation;

Any help would be great :)

PS. thanks for the help with the river, i will use alot of those ideas :D

29-10-2009, 01:12 AM
you might have luck using thin strips of plasticard heated and bent into shape but im not sure if i understood your diagrams all that well

29-10-2009, 01:14 AM
I would assume you either construct it that way out of card and use putty to smooth it out (caulk?). That or you take a rectangular piece and carve out the shape you want.

For other options (for a sharp intersection, perhaps) I'd look at medieval castles via Google. Should give you a good idea on how curved sections like that go together. You might want to join the curved sections with flat pieces.

Hope that helps.

29-10-2009, 01:15 AM
Heated plasticard is probably your best bet- heat and curve gently. Takes time and patience though. Or you could get yourself a biggish chunk of styro and simply cut the shape you're looking for.

29-10-2009, 01:22 AM
Yeah i don't think i phrased it very well.

I'm asking what material to use for thin narrow strips (ridges) that are curved. I'd prefer the ridges to be round, quite solid, and identical.
I'm hoping these will pin the wall together and strengthen it, so a floppy flexible material wouldn't be that good.


If the wall was straight i'd use balsa wood strips, they'd be perfect.
I'm going to make an elven building for my high elf army, i was looking through the book and really liked their curved walls.

29-10-2009, 01:25 AM
Still the same answer, but if I am honest, I'm still not entirely sure what you're on about. Try describing it again, carefully and with lots of detail.

29-10-2009, 01:40 AM
Here's my inspiration for the project

For the walls i'll bend plasticard (You can get plasticard that's 0.75mm, i think it will bend (fingers crossed)) But i don't know what to do about the sections inbetween each segment (the long narrow ridges) Do you think they've just used modelling putty or something along those lines? or do you think they've heated some sort of rod and bent it into shape?

29-10-2009, 01:42 AM
Thinner pieces of upright plasticard should do the trick. Or, you could use balsa- since they are simply straight vertical beams. Where they are curved, use plasticard strips.

29-10-2009, 01:43 AM
Balsa bends if you steam it. Do you have a kettle?

you'll also need a template to hold the shape of the balsa until it dries. That way it doesn't spring back.

29-10-2009, 01:48 AM
Ah cool. I've never used balsa wood, i thought it would be brittle and snap. If it bends then that's my problem solved :D
Gold stars to all of you :D

Yes got a kettle :)

29-10-2009, 01:52 AM
It does bend, but you've got to be VERY careful and patient with it. You don't want it to snap.

29-10-2009, 01:54 AM
Ah good :D Make sure it's good and soaked. Somehow the steam does a more thorough job at getting water into the piece. Best to leave it dry overnight. And balsa is cheap, so you can experiment with multiple pieces. Make sure it's securely affixed to your walls because it has a tendency to warp when exposed to high humidity. This can be fixed by some varnish or other sealant. I suppose paint should do the trick... >.>

29-10-2009, 02:01 AM
You'll definitely want to seal it, whether you paint it or not... the last thing you want it water getting in there once it's all put together.

29-10-2009, 02:04 AM
Acrylic paint is waterproof, though. Some matte spray can't hurt, I suppose.

30-10-2009, 12:56 AM
You could always go with sheet metal. :D Just run it through a slip roll half way to get the desired radius and then you can weld it together. Sorry, I'm a machinist, we do these kinds of things at work all the time.

On to a less industrial method...

I'd use some balsa wood that has been steamed or you could try laminating poster board. By this, I mean take a few strips of poster board and glue them to each other. Press them between a book or something else heavy to keep the wrinkling down. Then you'll have a material that is somewhat flexible yet rigid enough to withstand painting and modeling.

To get the actual radius you're looking for, you might have to bend your material over a soup can, or possibly a coffee can.

30-10-2009, 02:06 PM
Since when does coffee come in a can? They come in a big bag, or possibly in a box with a few smaller backs. Silly chap.

31-10-2009, 05:23 AM
Coffee here in Saint Louis comes in a large can that contains five pounds of ground beans.

31-10-2009, 02:23 PM
Coffee here in Saint Louis comes in a large can that contains five pounds of ground beans.

Ah you see that's where you're going wrong. Coffee should come as green beans, preferably from Indonesia, Kenya or Ethiopia (but there are some varying schools of thought on this). Roast them yourself, it's not like it's hard.

31-10-2009, 03:51 PM
You could use cardboard (thin stuff like the stuff from the back of a blister,) Its cheap bends and all you have to do is seal it with some PVA glue when you are finished or just ues a heavy primer.

31-10-2009, 03:58 PM
You could use cardboard (thin stuff like the stuff from the back of a blister,) Its cheap bends and all you have to do is seal it with some PVA glue when you are finished or just ues a heavy primer.

Tends to buckle if you are using it as an integral part of your model though- if it's just attached to the outside of something (for example as an armor plate or suchlike) then it works, but it isn't quite as effective in more integral roles.

01-11-2009, 01:52 AM
No not as main supports but it will curve and wooden dowels inside of the building for support, it work vary well.
I have made stuff this way that has lasted 5-9 years so far.