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Tjrez

cork or modeling clay?

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I was going to build a diorama where the throne will be on top of this lil hill with steps leading up. I was planning on covering the ground in soil and adding trees. Do you guy think it would be easier to use modeling clay or cork , and where can i get chunks of cork? as that seems to be my problem if I was going to choose the cork route.

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I buy my cork in 12x12 sheets at Hobby Lobby.  I have both the 1/4" fine grain and the 1/2" chunkier stuff.  

 

I would also recommend not limiting yourself to one or the other.  Use both...and more.  The cork is great for quick height, and stony surfaces.  Clay or putty works for filling gaps, blending things together, or custom sculpting things.  Also grab some tree bark and mix in.  Once everything is primed and painted, you really can't tell what was what.

 

I also like to mix up a "soil" that is 1 part spackle, 1 part PVA, and then fine terrain grit mixed in as desired (depends on how gritty I want it to look).  I like this mix because it hides the grit better than just putting sand on a base, doesn't run, and it cleans up with water.  Once it dries, it's also hard as a rock and is opaque.

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im getting some stuff called mod podge , so maybe just mix the grit directly into that? or would it be best to add the grit on top to not obscure any gritty details?

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46 minutes ago, hdclearman said:

-clip-

I also like to mix up a "soil" that is 1 part spackle, 1 part PVA, and then fine terrain grit mixed in as desired (depends on how gritty I want it to look).  I like this mix because it hides the grit better than just putting sand on a base, doesn't run, and it cleans up with water.  Once it dries, it's also hard as a rock and is opaque.

 

I tried this once and within a few minutes the mix turned to a bubblegum-like consistancy. Totally unworkable. I must have got the wrong spackle or something. This is the same stuff used to fill small holes in walls right? Says Spackling on the container but I bought the cheaper one which was half the price so maybe thats the problem.

 

Other than that, I agree cork is great for building layers. Cardboard collapses unless you have that dense type. Using foam or just Spackle doesn't hold pinning well. What I've done is build up with cork and fill out the cliffs and edges with spackle to mold terrain rocks then coat it all with wood glue a few times after, sprinkling sand and small rocks on that for texture. I guess there's probably lots of different methods.

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54 minutes ago, Tjrez said:

im getting some stuff called mod podge , so maybe just mix the grit directly into that? or would it be best to add the grit on top to not obscure any gritty details?

 

This would probably work, but mod podge does dry clear.  There's no one set way to do it, so give it a whirl and report back.

 

24 minutes ago, Leader of the Rats said:

 

I tried this once and within a few minutes the mix turned to a bubblegum-like consistancy. Totally unworkable. I must have got the wrong spackle or something. This is the same stuff used to fill small holes in walls right? Says Spackling on the container but I bought the cheaper one which was half the price so maybe thats the problem..

 

Yep, that's the stuff.  I'm using a brand call Dap All-Purpose Spackling Paste from Home Depot.  The only choices they had was the traditional white spackle, or the kind that goes on pink and dries white.  I also use a brand of PVA call Crafter's Pick "The Ultimate" that I get at Hobby Lobby.  It's thicker that Elmers and when it dries, it's very flexible and has an almost sheet vinyl feel.  I can't say I've every experienced the bubblegum issue.  I mix in up in a 2oz portion cup, use what I need, and toss the rest.

 

This is what it looks like when dry.

 

IMG_20170603_191709.thumb.jpg.38d188a8d71c4143ca2c9b7810f8a727.jpg

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I'll add my 2 cents and say use a variety of materials as well.

 

One of the problems I see with cork is that people use it to create "levels."  And then it looks like you've used cork.  You want to create a rather natural look, and perfectly flat surfaces don't usually exist in nature. 

 

So use a variety.  Some cork, some modelling compound, some bark, some sand . . . it all comes together to create a variety, just like you'll find in nature.

 

My own choice is usually to bulk out a base with cork, fill gaps with modelling compound and bark, add some small rocks/sand as talus, thrown in some textured paint (Vallejo red oxide or sand mixture) to strengthen some areas and provide "dirt" surface, and then prime.

 

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 I haven't used cork before, but lately have been having a lot of success with a combination of bark and filling in gaps with putty and clay (green stuff & sculpey).

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Im thinking of making paper cement as the main base material. then build up with a mixture of dirt and mod podge, cover it with soil and grass flock in places and using real stones to represent the steps. Ill build the steps into the cement. and place some grave stones on the hill from this reaper set i was looking at.

Anyone ever try paper mache to consistance of cement?

Edited by Tjrez

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 Paper mache cement is going to be hella messy, and may not hold the level of detail you're looking for - it may not want to hold it's shape while drying... And (being a wood-based product) is going to probably need to be sealed before painting or it'll suck up a lot of paint. It's a nice, cheap option, but you're probably going to be better off using more solid and higher quality materials unless you really want to save weight for some reason.

 

 Cork is easy to find, cheap, lightweight, and makes a pretty good base to build over with other things. Cork sheets are easily available at craft stores, but you'll also want to take a trip to your local Goodwill Store if you have one - nice sheets of cork can be found on drink coasters, stuck to the bottom of all sorts of kitchen stuff, corkboards to hang on walls, etc., and you can often find handfuls or even bags full of wine corks of varying sizes...

Rough out the basic shapes with cork sheets (glued together for thickness if necessary), then use smaller chunks to fill the spaces. Then you can use whatever else you want to fill out the surface.,

 

Also if you're using real stones, remember to paint them as well - leaving them as is won't look right.

 

Edited by Mad Jack
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1 hour ago, Mad Jack said:

 Paper mache cement is going to be hella messy, and may not hold the level of detail you're looking for - it may not want to hold it's shape while drying... And (being a wood-based product) is going to probably need to be sealed before painting or it'll suck up a lot of paint. It's a nice, cheap option, but you're probably going to be better off using more solid and higher quality materials unless you really want to save weight for some reason.

good point... maybe cork will be my best option , not only for cleanliness but for the ability to shape.

 

1 hour ago, Mad Jack said:

Also if you're using real stones, remember to paint them as well - leaving them as is won't look right.

oh? wouldnt it look more natural to leave them?

When I apply the dirt  stuff or grass stuff , i heard some say to primer over it and paint it.. I should paint the soil?

I can see this leading to several hours of youtube research :)

Edited by Tjrez

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You don't necessarily need to paint over the dirt/grass you use (I'm assuming you're going to use some kind of purpose made hobby stuff) unless you want to; it should look fine just as is. I have heard of people (very lightly) dry brushing it to get a little more variation in color, but you don't HAVE  to do that.

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