Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How To build A cave

This Particular article is on how to make a cave diorama from plaster cloth .
I used a wooden board 1 foot by 1foot as the base . I then used cardboard to do the walls of the cave and the arch for the entrance. 
Now for the most boring part , the news paper . The news paper is folded in on itself like a pillow you need to make as many or as few of these as you want . The newspaper pillows will then be applied to your walls to give the cave walls definition and contouring . The wads are held in place by masking tape and you can apply them in any way youd like . 
The next step is the cutting the plaster cloth . Plaster cloth is gauze strips that have been presoaked in plaster you then cut them to desired size and witdth went in water and apply to your projects bubble side up ( I have videos on my youtube page showing how to apply them)
After the cloth is applied and smoothed  you allow it to dry and then you can reapply in areas that you feel need more coverage . Remember the cloth will not only make your project heavier but it will also make it strong. 
After the plaster has dried and your happy with it , After the plaster dried I applied woodland scenics paint stains . Now lets be clear you can use any type of paint you like but I recommend either woodland scenics or an acrylic paint thats been watered down . No enamels. I apply the paint in a tiger pattern just dabbing here and there with the diffrent stain colors then when I'm happy I apply a black wash . A black wash is 1 part black paint then 3 parts water it really thens the paint out the wash has only one purpose and that is to make the details pop out and to look for all the nooks and crannies and fill them in with color . Now after the paint is dry go back and see if it needs any touch ups remember there is no right or wrong way to do this . The only one that has to be happy here is you . If you like the paint job then now is the time when you apply a spray of white glue on your project . the white glue will dry clear and it seals your project so that it retains its finish . 
Thats pretty much it now if you want to add folliage and ground effects thats totally up to you . 

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Filling in the space with cardboard 

Im not a very good at measurements I just tend to take whatever I am going to use the dio for and build around it 

This is a 20 pound box of plaster cloth

Applying the paint in a random tiger pattern

Here I left some of the area unpainted for this pic so that you can see the difference the paint makes

The cave is great for photos

Finished Project

As You can see the Cave photographs nicely

Friday, July 6, 2012

Work on the New underground cavern

Well I have a new project going. I decided It was time to try to build a few of the things that have been floating around in my head. Waterfall and underground caverns. I decided to combine the 2 ,so that I could build..... You guessed it an underground waterfall.
I finally broke down and ordered my hot-wire tools from hot wire foam factory and figured this would be the perfect project to cut my teeth on them with so to speak.
I needed this project to be big ,first reason being its for use with 1:18 scale figures , and second that I really wanted to go all out with the tools . That being said the current measurements for the underground portion alone are 24 inches high by 3&1/2 deep by 3 feet wide. Yes that is big...
I knew that something that big would need to be strong which is why I'm using eps foam as the foundation for it.  The foundation has to be strong enough to support the plaster cloth as well as the light weight hydrocal rock castings that I will be using. While it is true that I could have used foam then covered it with non sanded grout I would then not be able to use my woodland scenic's color stains . I don't feel like investing in acrylics right now especially since I'm not very good at mixing colors yet.

Hot wire foam factory 4 in 1 Pro kit

Hot wire foam factory 4-1 pro kit comes with all of this

Woodland scenics rock mold

Completed Rock Castings

Very Careful to seal up all of the seams for strength

used the free hand routing tool to carve water way

A 4 inch figure to give an idea of scale

This is where the moat is going

top down view


carved the water fall into whats going to be the rock face

carved the well in whats going to be the roof of the cave

A top view of the well

the opposing shore

Centering the temple entrance and the waterfal portion

Used a low temp glue gun to put it all together
Im A big believer in using figures to help you visualize as you build

Testing out a lighting kit from model software builder.com

This is how it would look with the lights off . If I dont mess it up its gonna be cool hahahahah

Filled it up with figures so that I can see what excites me

Adding the paper for contours

As you fill in more and more newspaper wads you can see the cave walls come to life

I wasnt happy with the walls so I added more and also some Ledges so that the Ninjas had someplace to hang out

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