Author Topic: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow  (Read 6205 times)

Offline Wayne

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Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« on: July 31, 2006, 07:47:45 AM »
After reading a few posts I decided to draft this quick reference guide rather than take over another topic, So if your like me you have decided to build models, customs figures or custom pieces and now your ready to display those. Where do you get started and how do you do it are some questions you will be asking yourself. I will attempt to give you a starting point but try to remember that you need to imitate nature and that is a tough task so your best references will be just that, nature. Photos on the net or magazines will be an immense resource when used properly.

 Lets start with the basics. First you are going to need an idea and a dimension. What I mean by that is are you going to just weather a piece or are you going to build an environment. Dios are mini environments so take that view and it will suit you well my young padawans.

 Step 1: get yourself a sturdy base to build on. I use a ľ inch sheet of plywood to build on for the following reasons. First it is sturdy so I can attach items directly to it without fear of them ripping off. Second and more importantly is that it wonít flex when you are moving the dio around. You donít want the base to flex and have items that were glued on pop off. I also like the plywood as the wood is porous it gives a good adherence base for glues and foams to set on. Attach side or back pieces from the same specíd base material and your dio or shadow box is ready.

Step 2: Now you have the base and have it cut to fit what are you going to do? In this particular write up we will focus on a snow scene since ESB is my favorite and questions were asked on how to achieve snow. Ok first get yourself some products that are available on the market at most hobby shops. For snow that looks real and will behave like real snow I use 2 products,  Woodland scenics snow and microballoons. The woodlands scenics product contains microballons and runs about $10.00 for a jar and it will last along time.
To get started that is good enough to start.
 Prepare your base by any number of options. Use spray foam such as Great Stuff and allow to dry and carve the desired contures, You can also use epoxy putty or a product called polyfilla which modelers use but is made for the painting industry as a wood filler or plaster filler. It is made from cellulose fiber and doesnít shrink or crack and that is why it is used for dios, you can use it to create landscape features with out it deteriorating. Anyhow you want to created texture because a flat base will always look artificial. Add realistic wind blown effects or fissure cracks in the snow, toss some dunes or what have you into it.

Step 3: Once the base is prepped you can get on to adding the details. This is simple and can be achieved by simply watering down Elmers glue and using a spray bottle to mist the surface and shake the Woodland Scenics snow over the top. Allow to dry and shake off the excess. Repeat to your desired effect. You can also do this with the items you want placed into your dio. At a separate area assemble the items you want detailed and spray and apply the snow. You can use an old sieve or a flour shifter to do this as well. Only apply a light dusting though, your not making snowmen.

Step 4:  You can seal the base and non playable items. You can use hairspray, spray sealers or a number of products, I use either hairspray or a matte or gloss paint sealer depending on the desired tones.

 Now some folks will say that baking soda will work for snow. Well simply put it will for short term projects, IE they used baking soda in the ESB scenes at times, however for long term displays baking soda is a poor choice. It will yellow over time and will draw bugs to it. Itís better off for you to invest a little time and money in getting the proper items.

This is not a tell all sheet on how to do everything in building but it is a start and will supply you with a few tips and directions to get started. I can answer any questions but more important in these builds is the knowledge you gain from trial and error. Use these steps as starting points. Every project is differnt and you need to develop the techniques that work best for you.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2006, 07:55:48 AM by Reconsgt »

Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 08:07:15 AM »
now this is just the info. I needed to get started on that ESB dio I have been planning. This has really given me some good ideas. Thanks Wayne.

Offline Lt. Starfox

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2006, 08:08:34 AM »
thank you Wayne for this starter info, because i have been banging my head tryig to make a snow look and pillow batting just doesn't look quite right!


I'm all out of bubble gum.....

Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006, 08:17:03 AM »
Wayne, in your opinion, should a Hoth environment only have ice and snow? I dont really recall seeing any evergreens or things like that from the movie. Are there any things besides ice and snow that a person should have in a Hoth environment? And how would creat realistic looking ice, epoxy? Are there any good non SW playsets to get realistic looking plastic ice? Hmmm...maybe ice age 2 although I dont recall any playsets for that. I was toying around with the idea of having some ice chunks here and there any perhaps drilling them out a bit to put a small Xmas light in to give it a different effect.

Offline Wayne

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 08:44:18 AM »
Shawn,

 I wouldn't put anything except ice and snow on a Hoth dio, that's just my opinion based on items from the databank.

As for creating ice, again use Woodland Senics water effects. It's either a glue type paste that dried clear or they have beadlets that you melt and pour. These are the best I have seen so far. To add depth you can use small mirroes and apply the water over that to give the illusion of clarity and reflection

Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006, 09:13:10 PM »
Shawn,

 I wouldn't put anything except ice and snow on a Hoth dio, that's just my opinion based on items from the databank.

As for creating ice, again use Woodland Senics water effects. It's either a glue type paste that dried clear or they have beadlets that you melt and pour. These are the best I have seen so far. To add depth you can use small mirroes and apply the water over that to give the illusion of clarity and reflection

kinda figured that was the case with the snow and ice. you have me scratching my head about the whole water and mirror thing though. sure does sound neat though.

Offline CloneHead

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2007, 04:54:53 AM »
Shawn,

 I wouldn't put anything except ice and snow on a Hoth dio, that's just my opinion based on items from the databank.

As for creating ice, again use Woodland Senics water effects. It's either a glue type paste that dried clear or they have beadlets that you melt and pour. These are the best I have seen so far. To add depth you can use small mirroes and apply the water over that to give the illusion of clarity and reflection
  mirrors.....now there's an idea I hadn't heard of in a while.......clarity, reflection, and depth. I may have to try that application, sometime.  thx recon.
   one time, for a small snow dio, I mixed woodland scenics snow, and scenic cement to the consistancy of a milkshake, and then poured it, like concrete onto the dios base. I had made temporary edge forms out of masking tape to contain the outside borders of the snowpour. It's slow drytime after bieng this wet allowed for ease in working the "snow" to its desired shape. I felt that I needed to seal my wood base before doing this to prevent warping, as I like to apply the snow wet, and I was afraid that the wood would absorbe too much moisture.
and I even pressed some figure's footprints into it.  its important to note, that applied this wet, this stuff wont look or feel right untill its completely dry. It's worth the wait.
  thanks again, reconsgt, for turning me onto this stuff! It is a dream to work with, and looks better than the soda. You know, I got two of those soda snow dios back after 6 months, and they hadnt yellowed yet. I am planning on recovering them with the other snow, but am worried about the bugs.
a slight insecticide undercoat may be in order? that would be a first.

Tamer, for vertical ice, I was wondering if the plaster rock faces that I cast from the woodland scenics molds could be painted to look like ice?  I still like the mirror trick, though.
   shawn, do you think that you can add tint to this water ,as you are making it? or I guess you could paint effects on the mirror before and on the ice after......

Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2007, 05:51:26 PM »
I love the ideas ringing off this thread. I love the sound of this woodland scenics snow too. sounds like I am gonna have to be patient with drying time and make sure I seal my base really good. I love the sound of making ice too. I am getting closer to actually starting this. Only my dio case build and then maybe I can get you guys to put your heads together to mesh my dreams of the dio with the practical reality of what I can pull off with the space I have and the materials available, not to mention my lack of artistic skills.

Offline CloneHead

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2007, 06:22:50 PM »
Tamer I think that you could do a little area at a time and just come back later to do the next area...that is if your dio was to be too big to do all at once.  How big was it going to be? 6ft square or something like that?  :o

Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 01:38:46 PM »
Tamer I think that you could do a little area at a time and just come back later to do the next area...that is if your dio was to be too big to do all at once.  How big was it going to be? 6ft square or something like that?  :o

gonna be large. I have a definite game plan, ofcourse there is gonna be at least one atat and one atst perhaps two in addition to the figs I want in it. I am not gonna rush it after waiting this long to finally have the space ready to do it. I think one of the biggest things is gonna be how icy I want it too look with integrating the metal that it should have to be realistic. That and being able to fabricate or pull your or wayne's legs to help make the pieces I need. I am not gonna get too high with my expectations and am already content with what I think we ( meaing me and the troopers here ) can pull off. I want my Hoth dio to be an integretion of all the trooper ideas I have recieved so far and maybe make everyone feel they are a part owner of it as I wouldnt have even considered doing this without the troopers I have met here. Who in the world but you guys could understand my Hoth infatuation?

Offline CloneHead

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2007, 03:06:35 PM »
Yes!! a big one!! I am at your disposal. whatever help that you need.....as for understanding your hothey infatuation........perhaps an icelandic Psychologist could help. LOL

Offline Bloodant

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2007, 12:46:23 AM »
Yes!! a big one!! I am at your disposal. whatever help that you need.....as for understanding your hothey infatuation........perhaps an icelandic Psychologist could help. LOL

Funny!
I gave my 2 cents previously LOL.
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Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2007, 06:43:08 PM »
Yes!! a big one!! I am at your disposal. whatever help that you need.....as for understanding your hothey infatuation........perhaps an icelandic Psychologist could help. LOL

Funny!
I gave my 2 cents previously LOL.

Hey, at least I dont like the Raiders! And yes, I have that addition to my grid scetch safe and sounds, I love to see the new ideas. As for a psychologist, dont think there is one that could explain me. Thanks for the help and dealing with my hairbrained ideas, I will also apologize beforehand for all of my questions and behavior once I acutally get to working on the dio itself.

Offline Bloodant

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2007, 12:26:50 AM »
Don't forget your Snow Bantha covered with Steelers Logo banket.
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Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2007, 09:11:59 AM »
Don't forget your Snow Bantha covered with Steelers Logo banket.

you sure you are not related to a guy here named Fence? 8)

Offline Bloodant

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2007, 09:25:41 AM »
Don't forget your Snow Bantha covered with Steelers Logo banket.

you sure you are not related to a guy here named Fence? 8)
Maybe!!
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Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2007, 09:26:55 AM »
Don't forget your Snow Bantha covered with Steelers Logo banket.

you sure you are not related to a guy here named Fence? 8)
Maybe!!

I knew there was some type or relation!

Offline CloneHead

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2007, 04:37:23 PM »
BA, a big guy like you is just crying for a full size set of Republic Commando Armor........raiders colors and all..........yuk.  You know, I bet that if you started showing up at NFL games dressed in stormtrooper armor that was colored and graphic laden to represent your teams, that after a while the fans would expect you to show up, and the teams management would have to grant you season passes to keep you there. I kept seeing a bengals painted stormtrooper at games, last year.
  no, I'm not a bengals fan.

tamer, have you bought the woodland scenics snow yet? lets try a little one, to get you used to the stuff. How bout it?

Offline Bloodant

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2007, 06:53:41 PM »
Now that sounds like an outfit.
Someday I hope to get a Jango Fett one tho.

Tamer, chop chop. Plenty of woodlands in his back yard..LOL
Some of them Woodland sets are nice tho. I like the make your own "rocks" pack.
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Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2007, 06:45:58 PM »
let me get some of my outside work done and then I will give a little one a go

Offline CloneHead

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2007, 07:00:07 PM »
I chopped off the airhoses at the rear of the atat driver's helmet and have him sitting in his empty moldbox. that means I will have a resin helmet to hollow out by tomorrow.
  Now, what was I supposed to do with that?  >:D

Offline TAMER

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Re: Creating landscapes part 1 Snow
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2007, 07:51:40 PM »
I chopped off the airhoses at the rear of the atat driver's helmet and have him sitting in his empty moldbox. that means I will have a resin helmet to hollow out by tomorrow.
  Now, what was I supposed to do with that?  >:D

Just keep going with this project, it is going to be awesome.