Jump to content
Ember

Back Yard Diorama

Recommended Posts

By now many of you will have seen my garage build (thread is here for those who have not). The garage will eventually sit in a backyard diorama which is intended as a test bed and somewhere portable for photographing cars. Basically it is a section of the house yard of the farm belonging to the gate that is visible at the front left corner of my track.

 

So.... Step 1, the base.

 

01_plan.jpg

The basic plan. Size is 400 x 400 mm. The base was an offcut of corflute I had lying around.

 

02_terraform.jpg

Terraforming part one. A scrap of white polystyrene glued to the corflute and made non-flat.

 

03_plaster.jpg

Coated in jointing compound. The different colours are simply different layers. I was using leftover mixes from the track.

 

04_sanded.jpg

Joint compound has dried and been roughly sanded smoothish.

 

05_paint.jpg

Paint. As it belongs in the same geographical location as the track I've used the same paint colours (gold oxide, burnt sienna, raw sienna, yellow ochre).

 

06_dirt.jpg

Soil dressing. The usual method. The base is covered with pva glue, sprinkled with ground base (in my case decomposed sandstone) and topped dressed with watered pva to seal it in place.

 

07_drive.jpg

The base, dried and ready for further work.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next, a little something that will go alongside the garage in the final scene.

 

08_blank_tank.jpg

Basics for a water tank. The base of the tank is the lid of a spray can. The corrugated iron is from craft card.

 

09_wrapped_tank.jpg

The cardboard is glued around the lid and tied up with wire to hold it in plac until it dries.

 

From here a top cone of light card is added and the whole thing is painted in flat aluminium model paint. I've added a very thin wash of black artist acrylic to play up the depth of the corrugations and try make it look like aging gal. The artist's acrylic doesn't coat the model acrylic very well, which works great for aging.

 

Today's effort was to build a tank stand. Balsa planks and spruce joists for the platform. The legs are cut from messmate twigs that have been stripped of all bark. The lot has been stained to age it before gluing it all together.

tank_n_stand1.jpg

tank_n_stand.jpg

tank_stand1.jpg

 

The plan is to add a tap to the tank before putting it in place in the yard.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you add tyre marks to the depressions?

Probably could without too many issues. Could always roll a car through the wet plaster before laying the 'dirt'. Or perhaps lay a fairly deep bed of some really fine 'dirt' in the wheel ruts and roll a car (or some treaded tyres) through that before fixing it with the top dressing of watered pva.

 

I'm actually intending to put some grass on this base. It's actually part of the reason for doing the diorama, the chance to try some grassing techniques before putting them on the track.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ember, your builds and painting are outstanding. The photography hides nothing and suggests true confidence in a great outcome. Thanks for sharing another process. I genuinely hope to see many more examples.

 

Cheers,

Michael.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankyou.

 

I may have to remove the pins from the legs of the tank stand and sand some length off them. It all sits a little too high for beside the garage. It was originally being made for a smaller tank, but the platform made the tank look too small. The leg section was made first and turned out about 5mm bigger than intended. Oops.

 

Next set on the diorama is grass. I think I've been putting it off, because its the one thing I don't feel really comfortable with nor convinced that the supplies that I have will give me the look and colour that I'm after.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

practice on a small piece of board or polystyrene first. Back in my train days (many years ago) I stuck to three grass types, a yellow, a light green and a dark green, plus my own blend of the yellow/ light green and light green/ dark green. I had n scale 1:160 trains and used a very fine grass, just about to start grassing my track so very interested to see your results, excellent work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking to give static grass a try. I want that scruffy, long unkempt look that's so common in the countryside. So, we'll see how it goes.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ember's Timbers are looking mighty fine indeed.

 

What would cause a person to own two sheds. For a answer to that question, we located Ember "two sheds" Jackson........

 

j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to get technical about it Johnboy, I own 2 and rent one without including the scale one. But I'm greedy. ;)


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking to give static grass a try. I want that scruffy, long unkempt look that's so common in the countryside. So, we'll see how it goes.

 

Embs, don't forget faux fur as an alternative. Try it on a spare piece somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup. Got some fur stashed in the cupboard KK. And if worse comes to worst I can probably even come up with a sacrificial teddy bear.

 

Johnboy, I've said it before but you've got to lay off that pear wine. :P


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What, you mean to tell me you were not a Monty Python fan at some point in your life ?

 

Not that one ever recovers from that, obviously.

 

Well, I am late for my silly walkers meeting.

 

j

 

Oh, and it's red kit wine this evening :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just came a bit far from left field for me. C'mon, an American fan of Monty Python? Whoever heard of such a thing?

 

I'd better get back out to the shed. I've got grass to watch grow. :)


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for a bit of an update on this project.

 

Next step, grass. It's a large part of the reason for doing this diorama. I wanted the opporunity to try static grass and to see how resiliant it was. A test to work out how to apply it and to discover if it would stand up (pardon pun) to the wear and tear of a slot car track.

 

I've tried, as best I can to document the process.

 

Base in bare state, ready for grass.

10_readyforgrass.jpg

Painting base is probably enough prep. But I went the whole way and put soil on as well.

 

The grasses.

11_grasses.jpg

I've selected a variety of colours and lengths. It also shows one of the issues with buying things online, without being able to see them in person. The Woodland Scenics bottle at the back and the Noch packet at the front are both called "light green". The WS is 2mm fibre. I've not noticed any other lengths available from Woodland Scenics. The Noch is available in 2, 4mm (field grass) and 6mm (wild grass) lengths. Heiki have a similar range of lengths. There are now many other brands available, but these seem to be the main ones.

 

Blending

12_blend.jpg

I use my usual method of blending, a pinch of this and a dash of that. Grass is never all the one length nor colour. I'm hoping that the short greenish grass will form a bit of an understorey bed for the longer drier grasses. Mix well in a container.

 

Applicator

The static grass can be applied by a variety of methods. The best is by using a powered applicator like the Noch Grassmaster. At between $150 and $250 it's an expensive bit of kit but could possibly be worth the investment if there was a cluster of likely users in one area. There are now a few other brands available which are somewhat cheaper than the Noch bigboy.

 

There are also instructions available to enable to build your own 'Grassinator' applicator. I actually posted a link to the instructions once before, almost 2 years ago. At the time I discovered that the all important ion generator that makes the whole thing work was difficult to source. I eventually gave up the search and bought a pre-made Grassinator from that auction site we all love to hate. It cost me around $25, not much more than what the parts would have cost me. It works, sort of, but I think it suffers from the ion generator not being quite strong enough.

 

Then there is the cheapest method, the Noch Puffer Bottle. This is what I actually finished up using.

13_puffer.jpg

Approximately half fill the puffer bottle with your grass blend. Pop the sprinkle plug back in and the lid on. Shake well.

 

Glue

Noch recommend a special glue for their static grass (well they would, wouldn't they) but standard PVA will work.

14_glue.jpg

Apply a thick bed of glue to the surface as you would for application of soil or regular flock. The only difference I have found between the Noch glue and PVA is that the Noch product dries slower and with less gloss.

 

Application

Sorry, haven't got a photo of this currently. Will get one at some stage, somehow (I'll get a few more hands grafted maybe).

 

Shake bottle well. Take lid off and hold upside down above work surface. Instructions suggest 80-100mm above surface, but I've found a bit closer is better say around 60mm. Gently shake bottle while squeezing and 'puffing' grass onto the glue. Continue until area is well covered. You can either stop here and let it dry or for more upright grass run over the area, close to grass height, with a static filled balloon. This is where I used the Grassinator. The charge is strong enough to make the fibres stand up, but not strong enough to transfer to the fibres for application. Sorry, if I've made life too confusing.

 

This is what it looks like.

16_grassed.jpg

The glue isn't dry here.

 

17_grass.jpg

Some time later with more of the glue dry.

 

18_singlecoat.jpg

Looking from the above.

 

I'll probably try a secondary application in some areas to try to make the grass longer. More on that when I try it. But I really like the look. The fibres are quite soft but seem very resiliant. And it also seems that a little goes a long way. Of course, it would depend on the coverage you're after.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great how to Embs!

Coming along very effectively!

 

Interested to see how a second application would go... would it damage the first when adding the next layer of glue?

 

I'm watching... alllllways watching!


Cheers,

Dick

 

SCMR build thread

Woodbrook Valley build thread

 

"A Man's home is his castle, but his garage is his sanctuary!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was my concern too. But.... I bought a Model Railways mag before Xmas (yup... sad, huh?) which had a special on static grass in it. Their recommendation is just standard glue for the second layer. I've just been out in the bungalow trying hairspray for the second layer, and it didn't work. Not sticky enough to hold the fibres firmly. So, can't see any other option but standard glue.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a couple of photos from a test fit on the current yard pieces.

 

01_yard_shed.jpg

 

02_yard_shed.jpg

 

The tank and stand sit a bit too high. Might have to make another one.

 

Plenty more to be done.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW!!!


Gort, Klaatu barada nikto.

 

My poor Krell!

After a million years of shining sanity...

they could hardly have understood what power was destroying them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KK, grass is puffed. Well puff and shake. Some extra static after it lands helps. Though I have a little test patch on white polystyrene that's just puffed and still stands up pretty well. I think the longer grass fibres might help also.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...