Update time. I finished applying the stonework to the walls last night and put in the mortar this morning, not sure it is fully dry yet, but enough to take some pics. Here is a shot of the rear for a change, not sure it will ever get looked at though:
And of course the front for comparison with the before pic:
The mortar course is simply a wash of fairly thin white poster paint applied over the complete wall. As the cardboard absorbs the moisture, it sucks the excess off the stonework, leaving only a few random traces on the surface of the stones. The next stage will be to apply some very subtle colour to the individual stones tonight.
I think I was wrong about this technique getting faster with practise, although it could just be that there were more stones to do on the second two walls, as there are no window or door openings. I did find a couple of ways to make it go better though.
First off was to change the music I was playing, out with the Folk, replacing it with some good driving Rock music, that made things feel a lot better. More seriously though and I wish I had thought of this before, was to stop using a wooden toothpic, replacing it with a plastic one. I didn't have a plastic one to hand, so put a point on a length of 2mm Evergreen styrene rod and what a difference it makes. Instead of having to coax the paint off the toothpic, it just flowed off it.
This would work equally well when using white glue as in the previous experiments with cobbles. Andy, Mike and anybody else experimenting with these techniques, give this a go, I think you will be surprised at the difference it makes. I hope this has been of interest.