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Jack109

Experience sharer : Cheap Diorama Making - pound stores and cheap options.

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Posted (edited)

Dear All

 

I would like to share my experience and collect your suggestions on items that is possible to buy in pondshops in the UK (poundland, poundworld etc..) to make our dioramas ideas.

 

Diorama making its a beautiful thing and we can buy everything good quality and expensive, but I love to make beautiful things of small price when possible.

Below a list of what I have used to make my dioramas or aricraft display bases and I would like to hear if you used something else or have good and original/creative suggestions.

 

 

here my pics:

 

- Frames of different size and shapes : I settled for the round ones, just perfect for 1/72

- glue of different kind all good brands

- mini saw: I live in london on a budget on a shared flat so that is all I could afford but works well for my needs. yes you can buy   a bigger one for a fiver I know.

- wallpaper glue for snow. it needs to be skimmed, but hey its good.

- Filler for the base

- PVA glue

- hair spray for paint chipping (not really diorama related but hey!)

- I also built my static grass applicator from a racket bought at poundland and a tea skimmer from wilko (total expense 1.80 the cheapest static applicator on earth I believe)

- with the mesh of the racket i created barbed wire for my dioramas... it was amazing because very flexible, unfortunately its not a lot.

 

And on the free side, I love to use the lids of humus with filler for ww1 1/72 aircrafts, I color the outline of the base in black and apply grass on top. Just Perfect. for bigger planes I use plastic round lids from ice cream containers. They lack of depth for the base but hey thats super cheap and super quick and not too bad.

 

Do you have more suggestions?

 

 

please share your experience using pound shop products! or things we commonly see but no one thought about using!

Edited by Jack109

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Cotton wool balls, and cotton wool sheet, or pads. I've used cotton wool successfully for clumps of grass and for underwater plants.

 

For clumps of grass, dribble a blob of thick or medium CA onto your diorama, then press the cotton wool onto it, but not too hard. Let it fix, then pull the bulk of the cotton away. If a lot remains, pinch and pull more off until you have a reasonable amount to make the clump you require, then tease and pull at the remainder with something like a toothbrush to get the fibres to separate and stand up. Wetting the cotton wool at this point sometimes helps. When the clump is to your satisfaction give it a spray with acrylic varnish. I like to sprinkle Dil tops around my grass as well, so either dribble more CA around the area or use PVA, and sprinkle over the top.

 

For underwater plants, the same method can be used to fix the cotton to the bed. With a stream bed, brush the 'weed' in the direction of the flow of water before pouring your water resin.

 

On ‎22‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 4:41 PM, Jack109 said:

wallpaper glue for snow. it needs to be skimmed, but hey its good.

HIJACK,

Wallpaper glue is a new one on me. Can you explain?

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Cotton is a great idea, if you can please post a photo or link of the result I can better understand what I should do.

 

What about the color of the cotton? need to be colored in advance? how?

 

regarding wallpaper glue. I ve read that somewhere and tried.. basically wall paper glue its white and if dies not enter in contact with water stays white.

 

You can use a skimmer to keep only the thinner bunches

 

I ve used it one to give it a try... works as cheap option. see photo below.

 

ppp.jpg

 

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Im up for cheep alternatives much more fun, not an experienced diorama builder but these are my cheep cheats. 

 

I have used polystyrene packing and builders finishing plasterer to make large rock formations in fact this base is all plaster covered polystyrene.

 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/498773727466202256/

 

I have also used concrete mix a desert sand as well, just paint some PVA and sprinkle the concrete mix on top job done no paint required and its nice a fine.

 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/498773727464140040/

 

Same method but I added some washes to this base.

 

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/498773727470119752/

 

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On ‎26‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 1:38 PM, Jack109 said:

Cotton is a great idea, if you can please post a photo or link of the result I can better understand what I should do.

 

What about the color of the cotton? need to be colored in advance? how?

Sorry for the extremely long delay in answering, but I've recently used cotton wool to make waterweeds in my diorama WIP 'The ever evolving diorama' and I have photos now...  384710DSC09645.jpg

 

So basically, here's what I did...

First I decided where I wanted my waterweeds to go and how wide an area I wanted them to be 'rooted' in. Then I squeezed medium CA onto those patches and immediately pressed cotton wool balls onto them. Once the CA had set hard I gently pulled off lots of the cotton wool with my fingertips. The CA had by then soaked up into the wool so there's a fair bit of the wool that won't come off, plus the 'stronger' fibres. I then took a brush, dipped it in green weathering powder and then in water, and dabbed and brushed that into the cotton wool until it was all green. DON'T DO THIS WHILE THE CA IS STILL WET OR YOU WILL RUIN YOUR BRUSH! 

While the wool was still soaking wet I took a scalpel (or you can use a nail, toothpick, toothbrush etc) and began to comb, score, slice, at the fibres, ALWAYS IN A DOWNSTREAM DIRECTION, separating clumps of fibres, and making them line up 'with the flow'. Sometimes I'd cut big chunks out to make gaps between the 'streamers'. Usually the wool will dry out fairly quickly and I'd carry on with the scalpel until the wool dried... sometimes I'd re-wet it if I wasn't happy with the 'shape' of the weeds.

But once I was happy with everything I doused the weeds with thin CA. This makes them set stiff, pretty much as stiff as plastic. They then got a coat of gloss varnish, and, after drying, a wash with a dark green.

 

In the photos above, the last stages hadn't been done, and here they are still wet from the dousing with thin CA.

 

It doesn't matter about any gloss finish because it's going to be covered with resin water anyway.

 

 

For grass, I'd do exactly the same, except instead of teasing the cotton 'downstream' I'd tease it up into the air, and I'd separate the fibres much more before dousing with thin CA. As I said before, I'd dribble medium CA around the clump and sprinkle Dil Tops over it.

 

Hope that helps. For more photos, or information have a look at my current diorama WIP 'ever evolving diorama'. I think the cotton wool waterweeds are on page 34? Possibly earlier.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

 

Edited by Badder

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I find an awful lot of materials for dioramas at 'Fly Tips'. For those who aren't familiar with English phrases, fly Tips are illegal rubbish dumps... usually where builders, gardeners, painters and decorators dump their rubbish.

 

You can find:

Bricks... useful for breaking up to form rubble, brick dust, grit etc.

Sand and grit.... as above.

Carpets and mats... the fibres can be used to create clumps of grass/reeds/undergrowth.

Plastic tubing... for all kinds of construction work, thin diameters can be used for drainpipes, gutters, lampposts, etc

Electrical cables... the wires can be used for all kinds of things from twigs and branches on trees and bushes, barbed wire, aerials, grab handles on vehicles, if twisted together they can be used for tow cables.... etc etc.

Wood of all kinds....

 

I once found a square meter of Astroturf and I've been using that to make rushes alongside water features.

 

All of this stuff is free of course!

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Police Officer "So let me get this straight ,all this rubbish you have taken is for use in making dioramas ?"

Badder "Er ,yes officer "

Police Officer ,turning away and shaking head "Why Do They Always Come On To My Beat ?"

 

 

As always just joking .

I might give your idea about Bricks a go .

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On ‎07‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 4:04 PM, cocky05d said:

Police Officer "So let me get this straight ,all this rubbish you have taken is for use in making dioramas ?"

Badder "Er ,yes officer "

Police Officer ,turning away and shaking head "Why Do They Always Come On To My Beat ?"

 

 

As always just joking .

I might give your idea about Bricks a go .

I perform a civic duty, tidying up and .... er... making good use of the things that I find, things that the everyday folk leave behind.

 

Badder

(The least well known Womble)

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