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Using organic matter in dioramas?

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  • Member since
    October 2019
Using organic matter in dioramas?
Posted by phil172 on Monday, May 18, 2020 7:31 PM

Can you do this?  I need some felled trees.  Branches from my garden would be great (well, twigs really I guess).  Is this a bad idea?  When dried will they be ok for a long time or will something vile grow out of them ruining my display?

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, May 18, 2020 7:37 PM

It's perfectly fine. If you really want to, stick them in a garbage bag and dose them with bug spray, leave for a week. What is not good is to use "edible" materials like seeds.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 8:13 AM

Many dioramists I've seen or read their methods use backyard "found" materials.   Twigs, roots, dirt held  in place with a white glue mixture.  

 Jef Verswyvel of Squadron introduced me to the technique of grinding leaves in a spice grinder (get your own - don't use the wife's) to make a leaf litter ground cover

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 9:07 AM

Just make sure they are very dry.  I would not dry them in a microwave- an item with very little moisture in it can be hard on the oven. I dry that kind of stuff in a toaster oven set at very low temp- say 200 degrees for a few minutes.  I am about to do a base using dyed sawdust as grass.  I use a lot of organic stuff.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 11:51 AM

Don Stauffer

Just make sure they are very dry.  I would not dry them in a microwave- an item with very little moisture in it can be hard on the oven. I dry that kind of stuff in a toaster oven set at very low temp- say 200 degrees for a few minutes.

I second Don.  I have roots from some evergreen shrubs I had to dig out of my yard.  I saved them for making small bushes and shrubs on bases.  But yes, make sure they are dried.  I dried them in my regular oven, but that's all I have.  And I would also seal them with a clear lacquer, to reduce the chance that they will absorb moisture.

As far as other organic materials go, I use old tea leaves, too.  And I have some of GreenStuff World's leaf punches, which I use with dried leaves to punch out small leaf shapes.  GM mentioned spices and herbs, too, which can work.  But in each case, I would seal them as best I can.

Do not use flour or baking powder for snow.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 1:12 PM

the Baron

 GM mentioned spices and herbs, too, which can work.  

Oops, let me add a little.

Using edible ingredients is dangerous. I had a train I wanted to put together of these crappy old sugar beet gondolas that were run up and down the West Coast by the Southern Pacific. The railroad guys called the trains " da' roots".

Mile long things going about 5 miles an hour, easy to hop.

In N scale ( 1/160); how to model a two foot long ugly vegetable?

Brainstorm- carraway seeds!

Put false bottoms in a dozen cars (selective compression) and glued in the seeds. Put them on the tracks behind a lash up of some of the older weathered prime movers and dragged them into the yard at "San Luis Obispo".

The next time I went into the layout room; holy smokes, Hurricane Andrew!

Busted cars, buildings, and a lot of rat crap!

Learned my lesson!

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 2:18 PM

I had to chuckle at that one, GM! 

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
Posted by phil172 on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 5:22 PM

Thanks everybody.  To GM's story, Rats!

 

 

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