Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
question on base materials
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United States
Member Since: April 10, 2008
entire network: 207 Posts
KitMaker Network: 68 Posts
Posted: Saturday, August 22, 2009 - 12:56 PM UTC
Kind of a newbie question, but I'm looking for something to build up the base of a diorama (building up some small hills, etc). I've used joint compound for really small bases before, but if you go too big with it, the stuff starts cracking and coming off in chunks pretty bad. I'm starting a big diorama (about 2 foot square) so I need something else. Is celluclay good for this?

Thanks and sorry for the remedial question

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Setubal, Portugal
Member Since: August 12, 2009
entire network: 8 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 - 12:46 AM UTC
In my dioramas many times use cork oak to do the small hills. Is not heavier and it could be glum whit white glum.
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California, United States
Member Since: February 09, 2002
entire network: 1,726 Posts
KitMaker Network: 558 Posts
Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 - 01:30 AM UTC
You need to make the 'form' of your hills/mountains out of something lite such as styrofoam (easier to carve and have an idea of the final shape) or crumpled paper (cheap, but not always easy to envision final shape till it's done) and then use a layer of cel-u-clay, paper mache or even joint compound to make the permanent shape of the groundwork.
You might want to check out an HO railroad site as the method of building up groundwork is pretty similar to what you will need to do. The basic methods for groundwork are similar but vary slightly depending on how much height/depth or variance in elevation your looking to achieve.
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Dublin, Ireland
Member Since: November 27, 2004
entire network: 6,048 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 - 01:49 AM UTC
I use styrofoam carved roughly into shape. I then coat it with white glue and tissue paper. When that's dry I add plaster to give the final shape I want
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Ontario, Canada
Member Since: August 15, 2006
entire network: 282 Posts
KitMaker Network: 43 Posts
Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 - 02:49 AM UTC
Hi John
Both Charles and Pat have offered a sound method for groundwork. My technique is very similar. The addition of some white glue to the groundwork compound will help with cracking and chipping later and will strengthen the final piece.
Good luck with your diorama.
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Member Since: February 04, 2005
entire network: 238 Posts
KitMaker Network: 132 Posts
Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009 - 03:53 AM UTC
Hi John
I make most of my dio's with polystyrene cut to shape and covered in tissue paper with a mix of PVA glue and water.
This can be sen in my B1 bis & FT17 dio.

I used some polyfiller to give it a muddy surface on a wet look.

Thread here ;

I did the same thing with this dio;

Steve C Jnr