Paved stone base for diorama

Here’s a brief tutorial on how to make a diorama base that looks like a paved stone road in an enough convincingly way!

This time I wanted to make something different from the usual dirt road. Thus, I decided to try and make a paved stone base for a diorama.

I was looking for a base for my Hornisse diorama, something different from dirt or sand; thus, I tried to make a paved stone road.


I started from a Plasticard sheet roughly 1 mm (0.04 in) thick, on which I drew some 1.8×3.6 cm (0.71×1.42 in) rectangles. This is about 65×130 cm (25.6×51.2 in) in 1:35 scale:

After I cut the rectangles, I made some scratches with the tip of the cutter. In this way I tried to reproduce the grooves that sometimes can be seen on the paved stone tiles of some cities:

After that, using a cardboard file and a sheet of sandpaper I smoothed the surface and the borders in order to make them look more rounded:


I glued eventually the pieces on a styrofoam base, cutting off the excessese. I used vinyl glue, because the polystyrene one literally carves the foam. I didn't put the pieces parallel to the borders, but with a random angle, to make the scene more dynamic:

paved stone base diorama

Afterwards I even made a drain grate, hollowing out its center with a round file. After I put it in position, I "carved" the underlying styrofoam with some drops of cement glue...

paved stone base diorama

Meanwhile, I tried the paved stone base with my Hornisse for the final diorama:

paved stone base diorama

I filled the joints with a mix of sand, water and vinyl glue:

paved stone base diorama


I painted the tiles with two different shades of grey, except the drain grate, colored in a very dark brown:

paved stone base diorama

Finally, the weathering! First a light and diffused oil wash (Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna) on the tile borders. Then, a heavier pin wash (Van Dyck Brown) in the joints. Near the drain grate, instead, I used a couple of shades of green to simulate the vegetation growing in the moisture. This is the final result:

paved stone base diorama

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