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Colors for Trench Diorama
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Singapore / 新加坡
Joined: August 09, 2005
KitMaker: 373 posts
Armorama: 335 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 04:11 AM GMT+7
Dear Friends,

This is my 2nd attempt in making diorama- this time it is going to feature a tank (Tiger I or Stug IV, not decided yet) abondoned in a trench- It can either be Western front or Eastern front, winter probably....

I have built up a trench using wall filling plaster/putty and topped with cheap tea dust (to simulate dirt/soil). Then, I primed the entire ground with flat black (can spray)....now waiting for the ground colors......

a) I hope to achieve the darkish/blackish mud color (commonly seen in OSt front Dios after snow melts and gets mixed with mud). I intend to use either Tamiya or Vallejio colors, using air brush- What are the best mix of colors to get (Tamiya and/or vallejo)....or any suggested color acrylic paint that may work well...

b) Grass/turf- (ah, another long topic )- I have tried many ways using tea leaves (earl grey, powered Japanese leaves etc), paint brushes, dried moss etc etc ......Anyone can suggest any better (but cheap) method of making unkept grass....(yes, I am thinking of buying static grass from Hobby shops this time, but they may look like a driving range and if there are cheap alternatives, why not.....)

c) Some melting/melted snow- I've got Tamiya Snow stick, thought of using it (comments?). I couldn't achieve any good results with baking soda so far (9 out of 10 times fails to achieve)...

d) Puddles of mud water to compliment the melted snow- I will be making puddles with clear/ tainted green/brown resin (so far, I am happy with resin has been good in making small bodies of water for my vingettes)

Help and suggestions please, many thanks

Music Werks
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: May 07, 2003
KitMaker: 4,001 posts
Armorama: 2,946 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 17, 2006 - 02:43 AM GMT+7
Gday Lester
Sounds like an interesting diorama you are undertaking!
May be able to help you with a couple of things...
You can use the fibrous matting found in hanging baskets for plants as your grass... I think it is coconut husk fibre... Dirt cheap and realistic alternative... Or try hemp, which is used by plumbers, and can be found in a roll at a plumbing supply shop...More expensive, but lifetime supply...
You can roll separated clumps into a 'faggot' or bundle, with the bottom dipped in white glue and then carefully pushed into a drilled hole where required... OR, you can apply white glue to the base directly, and press the grass in clumps to it, and once glued on, more can be added opver the top for thick areas, or left with the ground showing through for more sparse areas... Tease the grass ends up and then spray with hairspray or similar to hold...
Check out Jackhammer81s gallery to see the store bought grass products in action... He shows you can make some amazingly realistic blends with what's on offer...
Try Woodland scenics snow. It contains micro balloons, which basically are tiny balls... Have made some realistic effects with it...Pricey but well worth it...
Ever thought of ice? I'm currently brainstorming a dio for the 'Purple hearts' campaign, and realistic ice (such as a frozen pond) can be made with paraffin wax poured to say a 1/8" thickness...
For mud, you can always add a cheap brown acrylic to colour the plaster initially, and then later as extra... I prime with a grey colour, as it seems to show flaws better than black? Maybe the black covers any trace of where work could be corrected?
Hope some of this helps
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Singapore / 新加坡
Joined: August 09, 2005
KitMaker: 373 posts
Armorama: 335 posts
Posted: Monday, August 21, 2006 - 02:02 AM GMT+7
Hi Brad,

Many thanks for your reply.

I completed my dio just yesterday,

It featured a late winter tiger I resting in the trench and an American walking past it (I know it may not be historical, some firends have indicated there were Tiger Is in Ardennes attached to 506 panzer battalion).

I got the Verlindan's book on Diorama Edition 8- I must say its one of the most useful modelling resource I have since many years.....so this it how it went, many steps taken from the Verlindan book.

I colored my ground work in mix of tamiya brown and black, air brush them on and ligthening shades with mix of dark yellow.

Once dry, I dry-brushed the ground with shades of yellow orche, burnt umber and white to bring up the details (I must say, thanks to Mr Verlindan, I will never have thought of this!)

Overspray of 3M adhesive to hold everything down and kill any moss...it also creates a slight frosting (but doesn't las t long)

Go over the ground with Tamiya snow stick, dabbling over the terrain.

Put in my resin mix with slight khaki colors for the small water body.

I must say, Verlindan's book has really inspired me and brought me to a higher level of understanding and making Diorama