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General Category => Dioramas => Topic started by: marc_reusser on April 29, 2013, 05:03:04 AM



Title: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: marc_reusser on April 29, 2013, 05:03:04 AM
Several members have mentioned it might be a good idea to start a single open thread like the "Bits, Pieces, and Clutter" thread for showing, comparing, doing SBS's, and discussing different methods, aspects, and techniques for creating groundwork, vegetation, and foliage.

...so this will be such a thread.

This thread will be for techniques, process, experiments, examples, etc., and does NOT replace, or be confused with, the "Fine-scale Leaves, Plants, Vegetation and Scenic /Scenery Supplies" thread.  


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: chester on April 29, 2013, 05:34:38 PM
Great idea Marc, yardwork is a weak area here.


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: eTraxx on April 29, 2013, 07:24:20 PM
I was playing around with some items from the spice rack to see what I could l do with them.

I tried Mint, Bay Leaves, Basil, Marjoram, Oregano and Parsley
(http://images15.fotki.com/v1626/photos/2/1709102/11964234/allofthem-vi.jpg)

Mint
(http://images14.fotki.com/v777/photos/2/1709102/11964234/Mint-vi.jpg)

Bay Leaves
(http://images15.fotki.com/v587/photos/2/1709102/11964234/BayLeaves-vi.jpg)

Basil
(http://images59.fotki.com/v255/photos/2/1709102/11964234/Basil-vi.jpg)

Marjoram
(http://images56.fotki.com/v713/photos/2/1709102/11964234/Marjoram-vi.jpg)

Oregano
(http://images43.fotki.com/v398/photos/2/1709102/11964234/Oregano-vi.jpg)

Parsley
(http://images14.fotki.com/v384/photos/2/1709102/11964234/Parsley-vi.jpg)


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Alexandre on April 30, 2013, 02:31:29 AM
Are these ground or are they out of the jar?
Some color mixes look interesting, but the weak point is the thickness of each leaf. (while it's look good on the first picture, on the macro shots it does not look as great)
Something I would recommend for dead leaves or forest scatter is to make a gradient in the particle's size.
Starting from ground mix (powder look) to biggest leaves, cause that's a good way too add contrasts and help the mix to be readable.
I'm not sure it makes so much sense, so I'll do a small test piece to show what I mean.

Eeerh, I'll need to add a bit vegetation vocabulary to my english skills or I'll be of no help..  ::)  :)
 

Edt : Oh, and thanks Marc for opening this thread. :)


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: danpickard on April 30, 2013, 03:42:24 AM
Good idea for the thread Marc. 
I'm sure that amongst this lot, there should be some decent ideas to share around.

Cheers,
Dan


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: eTraxx on April 30, 2013, 05:28:21 AM
I think the Mint and Parsley were probably best .. the rest being too thick. Here's something else I tried .. the plant in the center of this photo is from a feather duster (Ostrich plume)

(http://images57.fotki.com/v512/photos/2/1709102/11556151/photo-vi.jpg)


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Chuck Doan on April 30, 2013, 07:56:30 AM
Ed, the spices are an interesting idea!




(http://images61.fotki.com/v665/photos/7/777399/2910037/DSCF2622c-vi.jpg)

Old school: Real dirt, sifted thru various screens, parts of sagebrush twigs, various grades of rocks, and jute macramé twine for grass. All afixed with diluted white glue. 1/16th scale.




Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Alexandre on April 30, 2013, 11:10:30 AM
Marc, you should lock the thread, everything's been said and shown by Chuck  ;D

More seriousness : You are one of the very few modelers that share the same attention to everything, whatever it is. And when I first saw your pieces some years ago, what I instantly loved was your texture's sense. It's something that many of us aim to when dealing with rust, or wood weathering, but it's somehow often rushed when it comes to groundwork.
In a email to Gordon I wrote this, and it seems I can't write a better english translation of what I think :
Many superskilled modelers or scratchbuilders are so focused on the accuracy of their modelkits, that it seems they tend to forget they also know that lichen doesn't look like scale bushes, and that you never see the same texture everywhere you look on the ground.
You're of course not in this case and I can't tell how much I learn by just starring at your pictures.

 :)

Edit : forgot the question I wanted to ask : Is the real dirt used here painted, washed, filtered or stained, or is that its natural look?


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Chuck Doan on April 30, 2013, 11:39:12 AM
Thanks for the nice words Alexandre! I have to say that I get nervous when thinking about ground works and vegetation. There is some wonderful work going on (like your amazing mud!) I have pretty high confidence in many things, but not this area. It is good people like you are focusing on it too so we all can grow.

The dirt I used here is natural. It has high clay content so it doesn’t have a lot of “sparkle” to it like a lot of dirt. I just sift it through various size brass screens and then I layer it on, fine to coarse.  One problem is that it can look too much the same…something I need to work on. I also am willing to glue on a lot of tiny rocks and leaves after the initial layers are applied. I know you do this too, and that nutty-ness helps make for better detail.


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Malachi Constant on May 04, 2013, 06:45:18 PM
Aussie Scenics static grass applicator ...

Wanted to share a positive experience about a budget-friendly static grass applicator (about $55 with shipping) ... after having some "frustrations" with using a bug-zapper / tea strainer version ...

So, here's a picture of a test piece using the crappy old bug-zapper version ... it took a lot of coaxing to get grasses to stand up in the center ... but it did sorta, kinda work with a lot of hassle.  So, I got some more grasses to play with layering effects.

The stuff around the outer edges is a mixture of dead/burnt grasses from Verlinden, "Ziterdes" (apparently made by Noch, some Noch forest floor and some WS light green ... (Yes, I know yer supposed to paint the foam before doing scenery ... this was just messing around to try to get static grass to actually stand up and then see if I could layer it!)

Alright so ... before getting the new "toy" ...


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Malachi Constant on May 04, 2013, 06:49:24 PM
Okay, so here's the new toy ... I had gotten some rather nice 6mm static grasses from Aussie Scenics on ebay ... and after having fits with the crappy bug-zapper, decided to gamble on their budget-friendly version of a static grass applicator ... VERY PLEASED with the initial results!  (Cost $55 w/ shipping from Australia to US)

It arrived yesterday, and I couldn't resist the urge to play with it in the middle of the night!

The power unit holds two D-cell batteries (not to be confused with D-cell locomotives) ... and there's a separate little shaker section with two different size screens available. (The "coarse" screen is on the shaker at left and the "fine" screen is shown top right.)

(And, subsequently, Dan Pickard pointed out that the separate power unit would make it simple to substitute a smaller shaker to work in tighter areas ... sounds like a good idea!  Spotted a little aspirin bottle with a wide mouth snap-on lid ... put a bit of screen in that ... should work!?)  ;)



Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Malachi Constant on May 04, 2013, 06:50:20 PM
So, I piled a whole mess of grass on top of my crappy little test piece (... I'll paint the foam before landscaping the real dio ... I promise!)  ::)  :P


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Malachi Constant on May 04, 2013, 06:53:01 PM
And sonuvagun, all that grass stood up like good little soldiers! Here it is with the edge of the foam showing ...

And with that purdy pink foam cropped out. I'm a total "hack" (or at least newbie) at the whole static grass thing. The bug-zapper one was a pain in the rump ... this one is a BREEZE! Never used the Noch, so I can't compare ... but my budget was hoping that something in the $50 range would work, and this does. (Actually, it was hoping that something in the bug-zapper range would work, but it didn't!)

This is an assortment of static grasses from Aussie Scenics, Woodland Scenics, Noch and Verlinden ... and some weeds made from Noch foliage ...



Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Malachi Constant on May 04, 2013, 06:55:59 PM
Some idiot has been hacking up my Matchbox toys!  :'(

Cuz he thinks it would end up pretty close to ole Haney's truck.  ;D

And some idiot is already parking his hacked up Matchbox on the grass!


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Malachi Constant on May 04, 2013, 06:57:24 PM
One minor issue ... since the unit comes from Australia ... everything ends up the other way 'round ...

But if you flip the pix in a photo editor, no-one will ever know!  ;D  8)


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Malachi Constant on May 04, 2013, 07:01:44 PM
I'll have to play around with this a bit, but it's very encouraging and really freakin' easy to get the grass to actually stand up with this thing!  (They say that you can use it to apply chopped up WS field grass, etc ... and that seems quite likely to work at this point.)

I'll be fiddling around a bit more with this soon ... doing another On30 diorama ... not really "fine scale" ... but hoping to make it look somewhere between "not bad" and "almost acceptable."  ;)

Anyway, "somebody" noticed that I had posted this stuff elsewhere and not here ... and I really thought my newbie results wouldn't fly here ... but it looks like the tool itself would be darned handy ... so I'll rack up some experience on the On30 dio ... then see what it can do in 1/35 when I get a chance.

Hope the info will be useful for anyone looking for something better than a bug zapper and cheaper than a Noch Grasmaster!  :)

Cheers,
Dallas


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: shropshire lad on May 05, 2013, 01:56:13 AM
Thank you , Dallas . Is there a website for your new grass applicator ? My bug zapper has worked fine up until now , but I haven't compared it to a commercial model so I don't know how well it actually works . Maybe I'll invest in one before too long .

   Nick


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: danpickard on May 05, 2013, 05:50:54 AM
Hi Nick,
Not an official website as yet for the Aussie Scenics gear, but there is a Facebook page with some good product shots - https://www.facebook.com/AussieScenics
or the sales side of it is run through his eBay store - http://stores.ebay.com.au/Aussie-Scenics

Cheers,
Dan

(and no, I am not affiliated with this company or their product in any way, despite having the same accent)


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Malachi Constant on May 05, 2013, 06:46:11 AM
What Dan said!  ;D  The bug zapper conversions probably vary in quality and effectiveness ... mine took a lot of waiving the thing around right over the grass repeatedly to get it to stand.  This one is a breeze.  The dominant "grass" colors in my sample are a mix of the Aussie Scenics spring green, medium green and a bit of winter green for contrast ... also some of the shorter WS light & medium green in there.  -- Dallas


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: finescalerr on May 05, 2013, 02:12:35 PM
How durable is the grass? Do the fibers fall onto their side if you touch them? Are they securely glued to the base or will they drop off if you turn it upside down? (Static electricity temporarily holding them in place doesn't count.) It's hard to believe that something with such an accurate, delicate appearance could withstand transportation and handling. -- Russ


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: Mobilgas on May 05, 2013, 04:15:58 PM
Dallas,   Thanks for posting the info on your new static grass applicator  ;) checked out there stuff on E-bay.  Looks like they have some nice grass colors and there grass applicator is not that expensive if it works as good as you say it does  ;D


Title: Re: The Groundwork and Vegetation Thread
Post by: shropshire lad on May 06, 2013, 08:11:47 AM
Okay, it's time to get really serious here: I do admit owning a pink engineer's cap, a present from the lunatics at MoLoCo. I admit having knees, albeit no more knobby than anyone else's. As for the hair, well, if one lacks some on one's head one must compensate. My grass skirt is a prized possession, clandestinely removed from a beautiful, sleeping girl without a thong bikini I took advantage of in a tropical paradise; I only wear it to Scottish bagpipe events.

None of this has anything to do with the groundwork and vegetation thread except maybe the grass skirt. I beg your forgiveness for straying off topic. But Nick started it and I'm gonna tell his mommy.

Russ (Your Leader)

P.S.: Leader? Indeed. Pretentious? Moi?

  No I never . You started it with your damn fool questions . And I'll have a word with your daddy .

   Nick