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Tommygunn1972

Diorama & resin advice needed please!

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Hi, I am currently working on a starwars diorama. I have two storm troopers from Bandai made up and in need of a little weathering but not much. I would like it to eventually look like the rogue one promo shots with the troopers wading through a tropical ocean. I have made up a base from MDF, covered in polyfiller and then sprinkled with sand and small pieces of gravel.  It looks like this at the moment:

Rogue one diorama WIP

 

Rogue one diorama WIP

 

My next steps are to paint the base, as I would like it a lot lighter than what it is now, and then pour epoxy, water clear resin after I have built up the sides with styrene to simulate the water. 

I have never used resin and I would be gutted if this went bad, so what should I worry about.  Do I need to put a clear coat on the painted sand base? Will the acrylic paint or even the sand lift because of the Resin? I know I have to pour the Resin in stages and have researched a lot, but have realised I know nothing of how it will react with the other media.

 

All ideas and advise welcome as always. Thanks for looking.

Chris. 

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Hi Chris,

First off, nice figures!

If you are going to weather them, just use VERY dilute washes and pin washes. I wouldn't bother with any streaking/mud/dirt or the likes.

 

As for the water, I assume that you want a superbly smooth and 'glass-like' finish to the sides, so you should use materials that have a non-porous and very smooth surface. Glass would be the perfect material, but styrene sheets are probably the next best option, and have the advantage of being easier to cut to size!

 

It would help to know which product you are thinking of using in respect of the water itself.

 

I can only give general advice as I've only used Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. That is a No-mix formula, poured straight from the bottle in layers about 1.5mm deep, with each layer taking around 24hrs to fully cure. It does find any tiny gap and will drain away if those gaps aren't blocked, so make sure your 'dam' is perfectly sealed on the inner side (especially in the corners) or you'll get horrible 'flash' sticking out and you'll have to clean that up - ruining the finish. I would advise sealing your 'ground' with a gloss varnish prior to pouring your water. I wouldn't worry about your water 'ruining' the ground or somehow reacting badly with anything. Whatever formula it is, it will be inert.

 

I used acrylic greens and browns to add some colour to my water making 'murky' or 'cloudy' patches. This is good for where vehicles or persons are travelling through it. To do that I created little 'ring dams' within the larger area of water, and poured in the coloured water. I let the water sit for an hour or so and then removed the dams. The water will self-level at this early stage, but the murky water will stay fairly close to where you put it.

 

Oh, one more thing ... something I discovered whilst making water effects for my 'Carry on Regardless' diorama..... If you trickle CA into the water while it is still runny, the CA turns into a kind of clear 'snotty' substance, which, if you tease it, stretch it, and lift it with a toothpick, can be raised up out of the water to form bubbly wakes/splashes.

If I  knew how to 'here's the link', I 'd give you one, but I'm afraid I'm a luddite so you'll have to look through the Diorama RFI section if you want to have a look.

Ah, here we go....

 

Hope that helps,

Rearguards,

Badder

 

Edited by Badder

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Thanks Badder, 

Great advice, I am not sure of the Resin I will use just yet, I'm waiting for payday before I look at my options😂😂 

I was going to use thick, smooth styrene for the sides to hold the resin while it cures and seal it with hot glue so nothing leaks! 

That's a great idea with the ca glue for the wakes around the troopers legs.  I was not sure how to go about that. Also I would like the surface to have a slight ripple as if there is a breeze.  The original image looks like this:

Rogue one

 

So I think I will add a slight hint of blue which should give the effect over the whitish sand.

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Ah, good to see what you're after.

Now, I've never tried this, but again, if you look at my WIP for Carry on Regardless (about page 6-7) you'll see that I used not just CA to make the wakes, but also some polythene to make some bigger splashes at the rear of the Carrier. I'm wondering if perhaps polythene can be used to make ripples or waves in the 'resin'. 

 

You'd have to tear or cut strips of polythene and 'insert' their long edges into the final pouring of water, With a bit of curl on the strips they should stand slightly proud of the water surface.

 

It's certainly worth a try. And, if you pull it off I'm pretty confident you'll be the FIRST ever to have tried it on BM.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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I'm not sure I can pull that off haha, I have read that you can stir the surface with a cocktail stick to get ripples but I will run a test first, I don't want to ruin it and loose the figures!

 

I loved your dio, the water effects were great 👍

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Nice little dio so far, but don't forget foot/boot prints in the sand behind the figures.

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3 hours ago, Gorby said:

Nice little dio so far, but don't forget foot/boot prints in the sand behind the figures.

Yeah thanks Gorby, I was thinking this but was unsure how much would be seen through the Resin as it will be a thick layer once it's fully poured. I guess it's best to put them in just in case. I will have a look at that today.

Edited by Tommygunn1972

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On 9/23/2018 at 3:20 AM, Tommygunn1972 said:

I was thinking this but was unsure how much would be seen through the Resin as it will be a thick layer once it's fully poured. I guess it's best to put them in just in case.

To add to @Gorby‘s thoughts. If you want the foot prints to show a little better through the water. I would suggest you could paint the sand a darker tone so that it looks like shadow/depth inside of the footprint. 

 

Dennis

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First off, lovely figures.

 

Why not set up a 'mini diorama' or two, a few inches square with the same base and some tubes sticking up for legs, and do a few experiments before taking on the full diorama with figures?

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I'd doubt they'd leave footprints in the sand anyway. On land, yes, but not underwater. Soft sand would cloud up and settle, refilling the depressions, or at least murky the water and make the existance of footprints a moot point. And compact sand just wouldn't indent.

The question then, is to 'cloudy the water' or not.

 

Rearguards

Badder

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10 hours ago, Badder said:

I'd doubt they'd leave footprints in the sand anyway. On land, yes, but not underwater. Soft sand would cloud up and settle, refilling the depressions, or at least murky the water and make the existance of footprints a moot point. And compact sand just wouldn't indent.

The question then, is to 'cloudy the water' or not.

 

Rearguards

Badder

 

12 hours ago, Vicarage Vee said:

First off, lovely figures.

 

Why not set up a 'mini diorama' or two, a few inches square with the same base and some tubes sticking up for legs, and do a few experiments before taking on the full diorama with figures?

I have been pondering the foot print thing for a few days and came to the same conclusion Badder, i thought the water behind the troopers would be stirred up so i have been thinking of ways to show this.  I thought maybe running a little sand coloured acrylic paint through the resin and stirring it up as it starts to set? The problem i have is I have never used resin and the depth of resin I need is worrying me right now so i had planned to make a smaller 2" x 2" square dio as a test bed for all of the steps that are a concern right now.  I have some straws from MacDonald's that i could use for the legs, i hadn't thought to include those so thanks Vee!

I think I tend to overthink my model making and think it's going to be more hassle than it usually is once i get started.  I have painted the sand and stones and added a snail shell out of my aquarium which i painted a dark red to add interest.  I am now thinking of adding a few pieces of small, green polythene as floating seaweed again, as interest underwater.  I will try and put some photo's up later, wasn't sure if this was something I should include in the WIP section as I haven't really documented the early stages of the build?  I just think the feedback you get is great for planning the next steps of the build.

 

Thanks all for the advice.

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1 hour ago, Tommygunn1972 said:

I thought maybe running a little sand coloured acrylic paint through the resin and stirring it up as it starts to set?

 

It's your diorama, your WIP. You can include, or omit anything you want.

 

As for cloudying the water, it's dead simple. You simply add acrylic paint to the resin immediately it's been poured and stir it in with a toothpick. I'd either use a pipette to add a drop, or hold a large paint-soaked brush over the resin and squeeze the drops out.

But remember, you are pouring separate layers of resin and allowing each to dry before applying the next. So, if you want a cloud that is 'older', and therefore spread out more both laterally and in depth, you'll need to add acrylic to each layer in turn. With a 'fresh' cloud, one where a trooper has only just trod, you'll only need to add acrylic to the very first layer you pour.

To clarify, the further behind the troopers their 'footfalls' were, the cloudier the water will be, spreading sideways and upwards through the water column to the surface.

 

Hope that helps.

 

The green polythene strips for seawedd is a great idea. Again, remember that if it's standing upright, you'll have your first layer of resin with the polythene sticking out of it. Once cured you'll have to 'stand' the polythene upright for when you pour the next layer. I would suggest maybe giving the polythene a coat of CA to stiffen it, then pour that 2nd layer. Do the same for each layer.

Personally I love to use cotton wool for waterweeds. Have a look at my Ever Evolving Diorama WIP where I made a mill race with water weeds in. Okay, I haven't poured the resin yet, but the cotton wool, when treated correctly, looks very realistic as weeds. The 'how to' starts on p34.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

Edited by Badder

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Here's how cotton wool looks like after treatments. You'll have to go to the diorama WIP to see how I did it. I would provide a direct link, but I am too thick to work out how to do it.

6BWKvd1.jpg

 

EPV8izE.jpg

 

Y8Vu5vB.jpg

 

syrliMY.jpg

 

 

Rearguards,

Badder

Edited by Badder

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For a recommendation I used this stuff 1KG will give you loads to play with as well. Here 

 

and for the ripples I used Mod Podge gloss on this Dio on top of the CFS resin, using a wide brush to scoop up the Mod Podge into lines and then kept fiddling with it as it dried to make the waves, then a bit of white paint to the tips of the waves. I also added vallejo paints to colour the water, only a very small amount as it can affect the resin.

 

I hope this helps a bit as it a great looking dio so far. 

Edited by rockpopandchips

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1 hour ago, Badder said:

Here's how cotton wool looks like after treatments. You'll have to go to the diorama WIP to see how I did it. I would provide a direct link, but I am too thick to work out how to do it.

 

No problem Badder I will find it, it looks like it will do the trick and I can colour it how I would like. I don't want a lot of seaweed but I think a little would look ok.  If it was supposed to be an ocean on Earth I could just add any old plastic for realism 😂

I like the idea of the cloudy water but not too much so o my a small amount near their boots I think.  Again I am just a little nervous of the resin 😕 I'm sure it will be ok once I start.

1 hour ago, rockpopandchips said:

For a recommendation I used this stuff 1KG will give you loads to play with as well. Here 

Good call  on this product RP, I will be ordering this asap. Which mod podge did you use, there are loads on Amazon to choose from and the ripples on your dio, which is awesome by the way, are just what I need so will defo get some.  I use Vallejo paints anyhow so will experiment. I really want to get the colour right so it is true to the original image.

 

Does anyone have an idea of a safe depth of resin to pour at a time before it heats up too much.  The dio is 15×15cm.

 

Thanks!

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8 minutes ago, Tommygunn1972 said:

 

Does anyone have an idea of a safe depth of resin to pour at a time before it heats up too much.  The dio is 15×15cm.

 

Thanks!

 Sorry no but that dio I did had a base of about that size and poured the resine to about 8-10mm deep in one go and the only problem I have was a bit of shrinkage around the edges, that I filled with the same mod podge gloss I used for the waves.  As a total guess I would keep in down below 6mm deep and fill any shrinkage with same resin but have a few practice runs first.

 

Oh and this stuff cures hot so use plenty of glue to seal if your going with a hot glue gun.

 

13 minutes ago, Tommygunn1972 said:

. Which mod podge did you use,

Just the standard Gloss in the orange bottle. This stuff

 

J26852826668_231fc6e6cf_b.jpg&key=27c3f21

 

26884666618_e4d2ba8690_b.jpg&key=9e372d6

 

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Thanks will look out for the mod podge, will sort the Resin first and get a test piece sorted out.

Edited by Tommygunn1972

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