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Non-Styrofoam Building material

Discussion in 'Scenery' started by Cannon Fodder, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Cannon Fodder

    Cannon Fodder Well-Known Member

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    I'm contemplating making a new desert canyon themed table, using stacked wood chips as main building material for the texture. I can easily glue those together then use colored primer, and dry brush it for texture. The issue is that I'll need some larger pieces for plateaus & larger 'building' sized pieces. I don't want to use Styrofoam as it means I can't use an aerosol primer for my base coat.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. cory

    cory Active Member

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    I would go ahead and use building insulation Styrofoam, but before painting coat it with a thin layer of paintable (and that part is important) silicone caulk. At that stage you can also add sand or gravel along with bits of bark for further texture and the whole thing can be primed or painted with rattle cans.

    If you use acrylic caulk you can even thin it out a bit with water.

    The caulk will retain some flexibility for several years and serve to protect the terrain as well. I have terrain done this way from the early 90s that has held up amazing well.
     
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  3. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Use the blue styrofoam for bulk, bark chips for the surface. And don't waste money on spray primer, get a quart of texture paint 'sample' from the local Home Depot/Lowes/DIY store.
     
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  4. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I forgot to post a link to the visually-awesome Maiwand Day blog, where the dude has made many, many hills with a styrofoam core and bark chip 'rocks'.

    The Maiwand Day blog is dedicated to historical gaming in Afghanistan, but the terrain there is definitely worth looking at!
     
  5. jherazob

    jherazob Well-Known Member

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    Mel the Terrain Tutor shows how to do this without the foam melting:
     
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  6. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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  7. jherazob

    jherazob Well-Known Member

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    Alternatively, use the LukesAPS method: Use the cheap crappy styrofoam as a base and cover that with also cheap modeling compound (also known as sculptamold, he has the recipe in his channel to make it yourself if you can't buy from his store), the end result is well protected from spraycans while still being cheap and light.
     
  8. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Getting a quart or so of latex house paint is probably cheaper than sculptamold.
     
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  9. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest River Cool is where I belong

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    Especially if one does not give a darn about the color. Hit the 'Oops, we mixed the wrong color' shelf at your local DIY. If it's to be used as primer, the actual color is unimportant.

    Over the years, I've found some nice "mistakes", paints that are decent colors to use as base coat for terrain as well as primers.

    Amusing note: latex acrylic paint makes for an interesting adhesive, especially for expanded polystyrene -- the white granular stuff. One just needs to allow for a long cure time if one is laminating the pieces. Weeks to cure.
     
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  10. Mob of Blondes

    Mob of Blondes Well-Known Member

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    Looks like Das Pronto air curing clay (and clones), maybe with extra fibers (or maybe he added too much paper... but that probably can be done to Das too).

    Yellow car, black primer. Painter's nightmare. *wink*

    OTOH, variations can look great if you are not trying to match a given sand or rock color.
     
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  11. jherazob

    jherazob Well-Known Member

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    I have no knowledge of how that works over there with price and all that, could certainly be true specially if you follow Red Harvest's trick, but you can make the stuff yourself for a literal tenth of the price:

    This is one of the things i like about Luke and his stuff, everything he sells is because people have asked him to make it for them and provide it, but all of his products is stuff he has already shown how to make for cheap in his channel.
    Not really the same thing (see previous video), but DAS has another function and it's to be able to be molded, i'll let Mel show it:

    Certainly useful, but not quite the same function.
    That idea gives me pain :scream:
     
  12. Mob of Blondes

    Mob of Blondes Well-Known Member

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    Some "rocks" I have want to have a talk with you. OTOH, they are round and very light (inner core of cork and foil left overs, with outer local-Das-brand shell), so you will only get small bruises. *tongue out*

    Really, last time I checked the MSDS, it said water, unorganic something and vegetal fibers. Clay/plaster with cellulose or similar. I have used more than once to cover things, just never thought about adding some more paper (it looked fibrous enough).
     
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  13. DustGod

    DustGod Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a Canyon table but I can't remember where it was on you tube... I'm gonna stop writing and find it...
    Found it hope this helps... Step by step





     
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  14. Mob of Blondes

    Mob of Blondes Well-Known Member

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    Missing video. Project seems stalled.
     
  15. chromedog

    chromedog Less than significant minion

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    As for styro and not being able to use a rattlecan for a basecoat ...

    Krylon have a range of spray paints called H2O that is supposed to be foam safe. Crafters use it.
     
  16. UNDRHiver

    UNDRHiver 2154-HWLL-SFPM-3677

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    Check for water based rattle cans
    They are styrofoam safe
     
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  17. MikeS1173

    MikeS1173 Well-Known Member

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  18. jherazob

    jherazob Well-Known Member

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    This is more than a bit insane, i'm saving it for future use :+1:
    And too bad Terragenesis is not as active as it used to be, even now it has loads of useful ideas, i should make a local mirror of it at some point...
     
  19. chromedog

    chromedog Less than significant minion

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    Yup, it's a technique used on XPS foam to make realistic looking rockfaces.
    It got used in the making of ROTS (SW ep3) to make the mustafar miniature sets ( they went at a truckload of XPS with picks and knives and chisels. ).

    Sure, there was a lot of compositing and 3d cgi being used, but Mustafar's lava falls and volcanic landscape was an actual model.
     
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  20. jherazob

    jherazob Well-Known Member

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    Now i wanna see a behind-the-scenes about this particular topic :D