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Realistic Soil In 72nd Scale.


fishplanebeer
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I've now managed to do the grass/hay for my diorama of a crashed BF109E during the BoB but now have to try and make the soil rut it created actually look like soil so wondered if anyone can offer some tips please in terms of a good method and which pigments/powders/paints to go for.

 

So far the rut is just painted dark brown as this was the base colour I used before applying the static grass so it needs to be worked on but there seems to be a plethora of products out there claiming to be suitable but as I've never done a diorama before I've no idea which are the best and also how best to apply them. Given the time of year the soil would be quite light/dry and dusty.

 

In addition I plan to use pastels to create the dust on the aircraft itself (prop, spinner, tail wheel, wing leading edges etc..) but could these terrain pigments/powders et al also be used to good effect on the airframe as well I wonder?

 

Regards

Colin.

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@fishplanebeer Hi Colin.

I'm a bit confused about the timing of your question in relation to your progress. If you already have a rut carved out and base painted, surely your texture is already done? And pretty much set in stone unless it doesn't matter if you add more material to the rut. If I've understood you, I think that you may have painted yourself into a corner and you can now only spray the highlights/lowlights and add some earth tone pigments, plus any wet effects if desired.

Very probably, the ideal time to start making the soil texture was directly after the shape of the groundwork was created and before anything else was added to it.

The appearance of the texture is up to you, of course, but I suspect that you would want the size to be enough to make it visible even if that makes it slightly out of scale. It's one of those times when allowing viewers to appreciate a texture is important to their view of its realism.

For future reference, I think that a good groundwork surfacer for your scale would be a fine artists' paste such as Vallejo white stone, pumice, etc. Use an air-drying clay or water-soluble sculpting material to build the shape and use the paste for the surfacing, finishing with any other materials which may be desired, such as sand, talus and very small stones. I have some AK pastes which I would not recommend for you because most of them would be too coarse. Some of them are too much even for 1:35, so avoid those.

Edited by Ade H
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To start I painted the base an overall brown colour before applying the static grass as that is apparently how you are supposed to do it according to the model rail scenic books I have. This included the rut I'd already made into the base clay/plaster to depict the mark/indentation made by the aircraft and what I now need to do is to weather the rut to make the colour seems more realistic and representative of actual disturbed soil. I'm happy with the texture of the rut so it's just the colour that needs attention.

 

In the mean time I've come across some weathering pigments by Vallejo (Mud & Sand) which seem to be the sort of thing I'm looking for and their Youtube video is quite comprehensive as well in terms of how they should be applied so once they arrive I'll have a go with them and report back. Now just need to find a realistic way of depicting engine oil stains around the nose of the aircraft but that's a question for another forum.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

 

 

 

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Ah, I see. As long as you're careful about pigment application, I can't see any issue with that. I've seen that video but I can't remember if it shows you how to make a mixture with thinner or only shows the mixture with binder. I've used the binder method on groundwork as it gives more body -- thinned Mod Podge can do the same job -- but using the thinner will allow you more control. Of course, a mix based on enamel thinner and fixer is also just as good and what I most often use for weathering.

 

By the way, by far the best way to depict oil and fuel stains is oil paint rendering. Get yourself a brown-black such as Mars Black for the oil and a semi-transparent blue-black for fuel. Don't leech them on cardboard as you need the oil to provide the gloss.

Edited by Ade H
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Presumably with the oil paints for the oil and fluid leaks it's a case of thinning them down a little and then applying/running into the panel lines and then carefully brushing them back to create an oily effect over the surface behind?

 

I've seen the Flory's video on using oils to weather subjects so was planning to use a leeched black oil paint to create the exhaust stains, after some practice first as I've never used oils before to do any weathering only for doing panel line washes.

 

Regards

Colin.

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No, don't thin it. Apply a very small amount where you want the stain with a thinner-damped sharp pointed brush, then blend with a dry filbert. Only leech the oil on card if you want a matte effect. For exhaust stains, you can mix oil with pigment, among probably several methods. On Youtube, Will Pattison and Matt McDougal (can't type the channel name because the forum keeps replacing it) are good at aircraft exhaust stains.

 

I've quickly gone off to find you a clip and timestamp from Youtube which I think will be as good as any other to illustrate oil paint rendering for your fuel and grease stains: https://youtu.be/1QNOJaPtvII?t=3029

It's armour, but that doesn't matter at all. No need to watch the whole stream, but if you can have a look at some of his other videos, it may help you. If you have any questions, you're very welcome to ask me.

Edited by Ade H
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Ade,

 

Just to add that I've now ordered some Vallejo pigment binder as well so that I can add some more texture if the rut I've done looks a wee bit too flat and uniform with just using the pigments on their own, either dry or diluted with the Vallejo thinner. Also the tip on how to create oil stains is a real money saver as I'd been looking at the various washes by Vallejo, AK, Mig etc.. but they are all around £5 a go and only Vallejo seem to have a video showing you how to actually apply, although I presume the others would work in the same way. It's almost as if some companies throw this stuff out there and let modelers go through the pain (and expense) of finding out exactly how to use them.

 

Had to do a quick check on a 'Filbert' as due to my ignorance I didn't know that it was a type of brush so I've now ordered one of these as well and as soon as it arrives I'll start to do some practicing on a mule model to get it as good as I can. 

 

Many thanks again for all your help with this.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

Ps. just when I'm attempting to come to terms with these new (for me) weathering products I come across 'filters' but have no idea what they are for or how to use them so I'll give them a wide berth for the time being I think as it seems oil paints are a good way to go when it comes to general weathering and toning down colours

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That's great, Colin. Thanks very much for posting feedback. I'm very happy that I was able to provide real help. I'm always learning -- or trying to learn -- things which I haven't done before, so I haven't forgotten what it's like when you're trying to work out these modelling secrets for yourself.

 

A filter is just a very thin wash of colour, usually much thinner than, say, a panel line wash. There are water- or enamel-based ready-made products, or you can make your own. But because they are so thin, the best result comes from using either very fine pigment -- like artists' oils -- or acrylic inks. Ammo has a line of what are very possibly rebranded artists' inks, just like those made by Liquitex, Vallejo, etc.

 

You're right about value for money. That's a point which I often make, not only by price per ml, but also longevity. Oils mean a bigger initial investment, but they last for many years; meanwhile enamels go bad in next to no time, usually just when you need them! And I think the need to buy good quality thinner is more than offset by not spending on enamels.

 

I'm really convinced by the flexibility of a set of oils and pigments. I no longer need enamels (apart from keeping a fixer and varnish) for washes, rust, stains, dust effects, speckling, rain marks... you name it.

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