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Ever evolvin dio 'THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TREE' will withstand vacuuming, cats, and being crushed between hands and fingers. (youtube video proof povided if required lol)


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Posted (edited)
On 4/17/2021 at 9:08 AM, Pig of the Week said:

I just need to get my head round the best way to make the mould as I'd rather not waste the silicone kit as it wasn't cheap !

 

ps having looked around I may have been better off getting a tub of latex as this seems far cheaper than the silicone mould kit. I'll likely get some latex and save the silicone for more detailed bits, as the wall I want to copy is fairly free of fine detail..

Also when you make your moulds do you paint individual layers of latex on the master, setting between each coat...or do you just pour it on in one go in a container ?

Hi Piggy,

I will get around to answering this, but the mould-making process isn't as straight forward as one would assume, but I haven't slept for nearly 20hrs and can't concentrate on giving full instructions lol.

 

In fact, I've written full instructions twice now, and have just had to delete them again lol.

Definitely the 'container' option is the way to go. The 'rear' of the mould, the bit that 'backs' the detailed surface needs to be around 5mm thick, for a large section of wall. You can get away with say a 2mm 'backing' for Tamiya's brick wall set. Gawd I can't keep my eyes open lol. I will really have to catch you later!

 

Rearguards,

Badder

 

Ps, thanks for your feedback on the vid. You're too kind, but it's most appreciated.

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1 hour ago, Pig of the Week said:

Cheers Mr B, you have a good rest, sounds like you need it ! Catch you later.. 👍

Mornin', evenin' whatever it is lol.

Thanks. I managed to catch a few hours!

 

Right......... latex moulds. Yes, cheaper and easier to make and easier to use than silicon moulds if the object has any 'poking out' features.

 

So, as I said, you want the mould to be around 5mm thick, that is 5mm from the detailed surface, down through the latex, to the surface upon which you have seated the object. Now, you COULD paint thin layers of latex directly onto the details of the object, letting each one dry before painting the next, and keep painting it on until the latex is 5mm thick all over, or around. On a flat, fairly featureless surface, like a brick wall, that might work, but if there's much in the way of raised or lowered details such as cornices, columns, window and door apertures, there are problems with that method.

 

Firstly, if you brush the latex on it's quite difficult to get an all-over and even coat on the vertical surfaces such as window and door apertures, thanks to gravity. It's also quite difficult to get the latex fully into all of the surface/corner/edge details AND not leave any bubbles anywhere. And as the latex dries it will shrink very slightly. Where the latex is thinner it will shrink at a different rate than where it is thicker and so the very first layer of latex dries 'under strain'. The next layer will obviously set upon the surface of that 'stressed' layer and again, if that next layer isn't applied in an even coat, without bubbles, it too will dry slightly under stress, not as much as the first, but still. As more layers are applied, the stress on each layers does decrease. So, you get to a depth of 5mm, it all dries and you're done. You pull the mould away from the wall, and the tension is released from the first layer, it contracts very slightly and pulls on the next layer, and that on the next layer, etc, etc, and you end up with a 'warped' mould. It might only be a slight warping, but if you are casting a section of wall with window and/or door apertures that would more than likely have a noticeable affect. I certainly have moulds which did warp around the windows and doors, and that pulled on the rest of the mould, warping the entire thing. Yes, you can pour your plaster in, then cover the whole mould with a flat tray-type object and place weighs on it to hold the mould flat as the plaster dries, but it's not ideal and those window and door apertures could themselves be deformed by the weight, meaning that the plaster in those areas will set deformed. 

 

So, I make moulds this way.

 

Firstly though, if it's a vacu-formed (MiniArt) wall, you need to make sure that the part is removed from it's 'backing sheet' properly. There is a section in this thread which shows how best, most easily, AND quickest way to do it and I will search for the page and let you know where it is. I suspect you have seen that section though, but I describe it here for other readers. What you DON'T DO is lay the sheet 'face up' and cut around the part with a scalpel/knife.

 

What you do is this:

1. Flip the sheet face down.

2. Hold your scalpel/knife in the normal way. From now on I will just say 'scalpel'

3. Place your scalpel tip inside the depression and then lower the angle of the blade until it rests on the 'lip' of the depression.

4. Drop the angle of the blade further until the blade is resting precisely where the curve of the 'lip' meets the flat plastic of the backing sheet.

5. Adjust the blade inwards or outwards so that the middle of the part of the blade is now in contact with that same area.

6. Using a side-to-side scraping motion, and not altering the angle of the blade at all, move around the lip of the part, scraping at the plastic. The plastic is almost at its thinnest here, and is quite soft, so it takes but moments to scrape through. You can either go around and around the part until it drops out, or you can go scrape all the way through short lengths at a time.

7. IF you were going to construct the kit itself, and did this with all parts, it would be much quicker for a start, and would require NO CLEANING UP AT ALL, NO MATTER HOW DETAILED THE EDGES and they would all fit much better, than removing them in the 'normal' way.

 

 

 

THEN:

.

1.               Make a frame, of a size which will accept the wall part, with a minimum of a 5mm gap all the way around the edges of that part. I also make sure the frame is high enough to allow 5mm of latex to be poured FIRST, before even placing the object within the frame AND high enough to allow for the full depth of the object, AND a few millimetres more.

7

2.       Seal the entire inner face of the frame, into the corners, and all around the base of the frame where it sits on the 'base', with PVA

 

3.        Pour your first layer of latex, and check around the frame for leaks. If latex does leak outside of the frame, plug that leak ON THE OUTSIDE, with putty, or similar. The latex will eventually set inside your frame, and inside the 'tunnel' it escaped through, sealing the leak.

 

4.  Pour your next layer and again check for leaks, responding as above if there are. Repeat, repeat repeat until you've made a latex 'bed'  5mm thick.

 

5.    Take your wall and look at the features. You are going to be placing the part FACE DOWN on the latex bed.  If it's a vacuformed (MiniArt) wall, any raised features will have corresponding depressions on the other side of the part, and you DO NOT want to put latex in those depressions.  Fortunately, vacu-formed kit parts are necessarily at a level height around the edges so just don't cut out any of the vertical 'sides of the part' which will need to be snipped out in order to construct the kit itself.

 

6. IF the part is mostly flat, with no high raised features, pour a much deeper layer of latex than usual, With a wall a flat featureless wall that could  mean just 5mm.  Brush latex all over the face of the part, making sure to get into all the crevices and not leave any bubbles, and lower the part into the fresh latex bed like a tree falling over, in slow motion, and squeeze the part down as you do so, again to prevent trapping air underneath. Once laid down flat, give the part firm presses down, working from the centre out. Some bubbles may squeeze out from the edges, but eventually will stop. IF bubbles are sucked back underneath when you release the pressure, press the part down again with one hand and pour some latex where the bubbles were then release the pressure. The latex will get sucked underneath. Again, repeat this any any areas where bubbles form and are sucked back under until no more bubbles appear.  Leave to dry. If the latex is level with the top of the edges of the part, your mould is made.

 

7. If the part does have high raised features, MORE than 5mm, windows and door apertures etc, repeat the latex-pouring and pressing procedures in 6. If needs be get a spatula to press and squeeze the latex underneath and against the sides of the part. When level with the top of the edge of the part, allow to dry and your mould is done. Remove the part, the frame and base, and trim/tidy up around the edges of the mould with sharp scissors.

 

When it comes to pouring the Plaster of Paris,

 

8. DO NOT PUT VASELINE, COOKING OIL, OR ANY OTHER PETROLEUM BASED SUBSTANCE ON YOUR LATEX MOULDS AS A 'RELEASE AGENT' OR THEY WILL GRADUALLY DISINTEGRATE. YOU DO NOT NEED ANY RELEASE AGENT AT ALL.

 

9. Brush the inside of the mould with water, and make a fairly sloppy mix of plaster. Pour it in to full depth, and press and squeeze it into any depressions/features and around the sides with a spatula. Add more if needs be.

 

10. Whilst still wet, scrape across the top of your mould with the flat edge of a ruler, or straight edge of some kind, and skim off any excess plaster. This just saves on cleaning you mould afterwards, and when your plaster has dried, it will require less cleaning up and the part itself will be as 'thick' as the plastic part it is intended to replace.
 

 

That all sounds like complicated hard work, but really it's simple, and cheap and, apart from the latex-drying times, quick. Oh, on that note, DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO DRY THE LATEX OR WET PLASTER OUT BY PLACING THE MOULD ON A RADIATOR, OR NEAR A HEAT SOURCE, OR BY USING A HAIR DRIER. That absolutely WILL warp your mould, and your plaster, even if the mould itself wasn't warped.

 

 

Hope that helps, lol.

I'm off for a rest. My typing fingers are knackered. Still I will copy and save this and won't have to think about it and type it all up again. And it will be useful for the MiniArt Building's section when I get to do that on YouTube, so thanks!

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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  • Badder changed the title to Ever evolvin dio - RE-CAP ON MAKING LATEX MOULDS (for MiniArt Buildings)

That's awesome Mr B.. Exactly what I was trying to find out, and I wouldn't have arrived at your tried and tested method without a great deal of "error" in the "trial and error" that would've occurred !

The thing I'm copying is a fairly flat wall and detail is shallow, but its the whole frontage of a building with window apertures so quite a span.

I will order some ordinary latex from evilbay for this and save my silicone for other stuff.

Thanks so much for taking the trouble to run thru this process, (especially as you're clearly in need of a good night's kip by the sounds of it ! ) 👍

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Pig of the Week said:

That's awesome Mr B.. Exactly what I was trying to find out, and I wouldn't have arrived at your tried and tested method without a great deal of "error" in the "trial and error" that would've occurred !

The thing I'm copying is a fairly flat wall and detail is shallow, but its the whole frontage of a building with window apertures so quite a span.

I will order some ordinary latex from evilbay for this and save my silicone for other stuff.

Thanks so much for taking the trouble to run thru this process, (especially as you're clearly in need of a good night's kip by the sounds of it ! ) 👍

No problem at all Mr P.

As I said, it's a pleasure to help a fellow model-maker such as yourself, and any of those who may read and appreciate the advice as well.

Once you get stuck into the process it is actually quite easy and you'll soon be able to work out little 'cheats' with more awkwardly shaped parts. Don't forget that you might decide never construct the kit itself, so you could chop the parts up to make moulding and casting easier. For instance, if a wall has a cornice running along the top, or a similar feature running across it at the first floor level (not sure what that's called) You could just chop the part up, make moulds of the completely flat sections in between the cornice/s and make moulds of the cornice/s separately.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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V. Interesting idea to section it, i guess in some ways the smaller parts are easier to cast reliably... though in this case I'll probably try doing it in one lump first to see if it works, and if it turns out wonky or distorted I'll do the splitting it into it's parts method, which does actually sound very sensible.

This particular building has convenient levels you could cut along to divide it at least in half for sure.

I'd probably quite like to build the building and work on it after I've taken impressions, but even if I have to chop it up it's easy enough to glue back together again ! :)

I've ordered a litre of latex anyway so when that rolls up we'll see how it goes ! I assume if you do thicker sections of latex, more like a pour in mould, it just takes longer to set but does dry eventually ?  

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Hey Badder,

 

You guys seem to be getting this squared away with each other and the molding process.  Only slightly different than the way I build mine. But your finished product is different than mine also.

 

  If you are using the same kind of raw latex that I use, you will need an activator to harden the latex. I get mine in a kit with both parts included. I let the mold dry over night and it's ready the next morning. 

 

Great tutorial Badder, nicely explained.

 

Good luck Pete, I hope your first mold works out great.

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On 4/18/2021 at 11:54 PM, Pig of the Week said:

I assume if you do thicker sections of latex, more like a pour in mould, it just takes longer to set but does dry eventually ?  

Hi Mr P,

Yes, the thicker the pour, the longer it takes to cure. But I'm glad you asked, because I forgot to mention..... You can make 'islands' in the bed of latex, which means you can pour less latex than you would otherwise. and the mould will dry out quicker. Just make sure those islands aren't too tall as to be too close to the back of the 'pattern. You still need a few layers of latex between the top of the island, and the pattern, of course. And when it comes to using the mould, you SHOULD leave the islands buried within the latex.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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6 hours ago, RichO said:

Hey Badder,

 

You guys seem to be getting this squared away with each other and the molding process.  Only slightly different than the way I build mine. But your finished product is different than mine also.

 

  If you are using the same kind of raw latex that I use, you will need an activator to harden the latex. I get mine in a kit with both parts included. I let the mold dry over night and it's ready the next morning. 

 

Great tutorial Badder, nicely explained.

 

Good luck Pete, I hope your first mold works out great.

 

Hi Rich,

It's a bit like trying to write instructions on how to ride a bike. Riding a bike is so easy, but you'd need to write several pages to cover everything.

It's far easier just to shove someone on one and let them fall off a lot, but I just can't be so unhelpful lol.

So, it's a challenge to write out instructions for something as 'simple' as making moulds. It wasn't until I came here a few minutes ago that I realised I'd not mentioned making 'islands' under the 'pattern', to save on latex and speed up drying. Doh!

 

But yes I look forward to seeing Mr P..... AHA! Pete's moulding/casting too.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Islands...A bit like throwing old brick bits and small rubble into concrete to use less concrete ( done that more than a few times ! )

I'm assuming as this stuff I've ordered is air drying it will set eventually, even if it takes a day or few.. I'm happy to let it stand as long as it needs, within reason !  

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Pig of the Week said:

Islands...A bit like throwing old brick bits and small rubble into concrete to use less concrete ( done that more than a few times ! )

I'm assuming as this stuff I've ordered is air drying it will set eventually, even if it takes a day or few.. I'm happy to let it stand as long as it needs, within reason !  

Exactly like that, yes. As I said, be careful though. If you've got raised surface details, and/or windows and doorways you'll need to be able to flex and stretch the mould in order to get the cast out and if you have too many, or too large islands, that makes that process harder.

 

B

 

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Good point, it'd be annoying if you couldn't get your original out as the latex is full of so many "bricks" !

I guess maybe a sheet of glass would be good as a flat base to fix the outer "walls" of the first mould to initially, the latex would peel off that easily too I'd think..

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9 minutes ago, Pig of the Week said:

Good point, it'd be annoying if you couldn't get your original out as the latex is full of so many "bricks" !

I guess maybe a sheet of glass would be good as a flat base to fix the outer "walls" of the first mould to initially, the latex would peel off that easily too I'd think..

Yep. Glass is fine as the base, though it's more dangerous an item than an old tea tray, worktop, or sheet of plastic or wood, but your frame will still need to be appropriately sized for the item you are moulding. Things get more complicated if you are going to cast something in '3D'as opposed to MiniArt's '2D' ... you know what I mean, 2D with details on 1 side of a sheet, not both sides.

B

 

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I've likely got a piece of old land rover door glass that wouldn't break easily and be a risk, I was probably going to use that as a base unless I find something better among my junk !

Just await the latex now.

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Hi  Badder,

An intense and extensive tutorial, too much for my poor neurons ... lol, I love how you improvise and look for materials and new methods to get what you need.
Without a doubt, it is a magnificent source for consultation and feedback in the world of dioramas, it makes me feel a little bad even, so much effort shared and ... free ...
Thanks for sharing and TC
Francis.👍

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, FrancisGL said:

Hi  Badder,

An intense and extensive tutorial, too much for my poor neurons ... lol, I love how you improvise and look for materials and new methods to get what you need.
Without a doubt, it is a magnificent source for consultation and feedback in the world of dioramas, it makes me feel a little bad even, so much effort shared and ... free ...
Thanks for sharing and TC
Francis.👍

 

2 hours ago, Pig of the Week said:

Well I've said it before, Mr B should write a book on all this, I'd buy one for sure..

 

Thanks Francis,

Thanks Pete,

 

I've said it before, but the pleasure is all mine. When I returned to the hobby I was a amazed by the realism now achieved by millions of modellers, which far out-strips that which was common in my youth. But I did see many relying on buying materials and products 'made for modellers', Back in my youth you had to make your own. There were no 'Mud washes', 'weathering powders' or 'snow and ice effects', next to no building's kits, not in 1/35th anyway, only rubbish tree 'kits', etc etc. So the 'art' of diorama-making back then was much more 'homemade and hands on' and the modeller's personality and style would show through. Individualism was the thing. Nowadays it seems everyone is working to the same instruction sheet using the same products, the same techniques and trying to replicate the 'accepted' style. And that costs money.

 

We don't all have lots of money, but why spend extra money on something you can make far cheaper, and which may even be better than the thing they are trying to sell you? So, I've never bought anything that I know I can make myself, for less money, whether that means making my own washes, my own paint or dye colours, or my own buildings, bushes and trees. And it would be rude not to answer questions on 'how did you do that?'.

 

My intention when starting out on my 'dioramas' WIPs was to try and answer all of the possible questions before they were asked, to save everyone's time. It saves me time too don't forget! lol,

 

I am happy to class my WIPs as my 'book', and to have BRITMODELLER on the cover.

 

Rearguards,

Badder.

 

 

PS, I'm going to sit in the sun for 10mins and whilst I do, I'm going to snip a fair few branches and twigs off my scratch-built large tree and will post the results here soon afterwards.

 

PPS Francis, I have put subtitles on my YouTube vids for you. There are two vids now.

 

Edited by Badder
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Here's what the scratch-built tree looked like this morning, after sitting on a shelf untouched for well over a year, maybe 2 or more. Despite some trimming it was still a bit too dense for my liking.

BAvAhSe.jpg

 

15 mins later:

U2WEOXl.jpg

 

imnHQDI.jpg

 

I reckon that's better. It will need a bit of tidying up, and then I'm going to sprinkle it with thousands of paper-punched leaves.

 

TFL

Badder

 

 

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  • Badder changed the title to Ever evolvin dio ALTERATIONS TO SCRATCH-BUILT 'FISHING LINE TREE'

That looks like a tree that's been pollarded in the distant past, then left alone, hence bushy top with a very thick chunky trunk... Just an impression...the foliage looks very convincing indeed 👍

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5 minutes ago, Pig of the Week said:

That looks like a tree that's been pollarded in the distant past, then left alone, hence bushy top with a very thick chunky trunk... Just an impression...the foliage looks very convincing indeed 👍

Hi Pete,

Yes, there are a fair few 'pollarded'  stumps left around the top of the main trunk. It wasn't intentional, it was just that the original piece of branch was taken from a sappling growing in a hedgerow which the local farmer cuts regularly with his tractor-mounted chainsaw lol. The foliage as it is now isn't anywhere near as good as it once was. Originally it was all coriander/oregano, and then I went and spoiled it by adding 'Dil tops' which made it look more like an evergreen than deciduous. It kind of looks like a very large Yew tree. lol. I am going to get it back to a much more deciduous look though, which is partly why I was messing around with the paper punches and fishing line.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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I see your point, if you pull it up and look really closely it has a bit of an evergreen effect, but at a normal viewing distance it looks just like a fairly verdant summer "tree" !

It's a nice piece anyway, but we know you..you're going to continue to "fettle" with it !! :)

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20 hours ago, Pig of the Week said:

I see your point, if you pull it up and look really closely it has a bit of an evergreen effect, but at a normal viewing distance it looks just like a fairly verdant summer "tree" !

It's a nice piece anyway, but we know you..you're going to continue to "fettle" with it !! :)

Yeah, I think everyone's realised by now that I'm a fettler lol.

The way I see it is if something doesn't quite look right, or I know it could be done better, I am absolutely going to put it right at some point. I do TRY to get it right first time, but often it is the first time of trying any such thing and that's rarely ever going to be 'on the button'. Since making this tree I've realised how I could have done things better, from the outset.

 

Reaguards,

Badder

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Posted (edited)

One of the benefits of 'trimming one's bush' (or tree) is that you find yourself with lots of little bushes.............

Whilst not bushes yet, they could easily become so.

Lid of a 2litre coke bottle for scale.

 

BSgFkGm.jpg

 

IIRC there were originally around 400-500m of fishing line in this tree. I suspect there are still around 200-250m

 

TFL

Badder

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  • Badder changed the title to Ever evolvin dio 'THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TREE' will withstand vacuuming, cats, and being crushed between hands and fingers. (youtube video proof povided if required lol)

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