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A hobby gravel – along with sand, gravel is a basing resource that each modeller should be acquainted with. Popular to an extent where some companies tried to brand it. For me, gravel and sand are supplies that I avoid buying in hobby stores. Why spend your money on thingsg that you can acquire yourself, especially when you know what to look for and how to prepare it? I preffer spending my cash on paints and awesome miniatures. Not that I ever went gravel hunting. Just kept in mind that modelling treasures like this might be found unexpectedly and to take advantage of such find if luck favours me…


One of these magic moments happened just few days ago. I was walking my dog, decided to take a new route and visit a small defile left by a construction long time gone. Suddenly I stumbled upon a huge pile of perfect gravel. By ‘perfect’ I mean slim, thin, not too sandy, sturdy pieces. Something ideal for basing. I marked the spot in my memory and got back there, armed with a small container, few hours later. Took ‘the sample’ and upon reaching home, spent few minutes preparing it for later use…


  • Thick sieve
  • Rare strainer
  • Few plastic containers

1  First I separated the biggest chunks from the rest of precious gravel. These were a bit sandy so I left them for further cleaning (water and toothbrush will do).

2  I then used a rare strainer to separate medium sized pieces from the smallest ones. Medium sized pieces are perfect for scenic rocks, or more planned surfaces. I like to have these in a separate container, just to pick what I need at a whim.

3  What's left was a pile of small, flat pieces - ideal for standard miniature basing. This is what you usually get, when purchasing a hobby gravel in a store. As you can see, a lot of sand and dirt was filtered alongside gravel. Fortunatelly, nothing that a thick sieve couldn't handle.


Sounds so simple, that you probably ask yourself why have I done a tutorial out of it? I decided to TUT this to show the extreme level of simplicity required to prepare your own gravel. Sure – there is a catch to it: you gotta find some gravel in the first place – still, unless you live at the North pole – one day you will just bump into it. Old construction sites are a good place to start looking. Good hunting.


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