Thunder Hollow diorama

delorean1981
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Joined: June 21st, 2018, 2:53 am

July 5th, 2018, 3:20 am #1

I'm looking for recommendations for the mud environment at Thunder Hollow. I'm leaning towards - brown acrylic, pva and med/fine sand. I've watched a lot of YouTube vids and can't determine which is best. I'm looking to cover an area of 2 ft by 4 ft.

Any and all help is appreciated. And thanks Josh for your help and welcome!

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MackJr38
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MackJr38
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Joined: April 2nd, 2016, 5:04 am

July 5th, 2018, 4:09 am #2

I'd eliminate the sand and just use the paint and PVA mix ... no matter how finely ground the sand is, it'll still be gritty and not flow like mud.

With some effort, you'll be able to craft the "mud mix" and make shapes, just like the model railroaders do with water/waves using clear PVA.  Think of it as impasto painting on a grand scale.
Jeff
St. Louis, Missouri
(I'm an opener, that cardboard is just another recyclable to me)
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GotFrank
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GotFrank
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Joined: July 28th, 2008, 4:21 am

July 5th, 2018, 7:51 am #3

I coarsely sanded my substrate.  And then rough spackled using a vinyl 
patch compound (vinyl on vinyl).  Leaving the track area smooth.  And
then I used a semi-gloss interior acrylic paint.  Like a terra cotta brown.
Probably not ideal for play though.  It could be prone to chipping and paint loss.

download/file.php?id=161&mode=view
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delorean1981
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Joined: June 21st, 2018, 2:53 am

July 8th, 2018, 3:42 pm #4

Josh,

I just found a video detailing your method. I'm going to give it a try today on some scrap and I'll let ya know. Very excited about this option.

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delorean1981
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Joined: June 21st, 2018, 2:53 am

July 9th, 2018, 12:00 am #5

Small trial run.
We used Plaster of Paris, since my son will be playing with it.
Mixed with sand, it has a slight gritty but realistic look and feel.
Coated with acrylic brown and clear varnish for the 'wet mud' effect.

Next step is a larger trial with better tracks.

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GotFrank
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GotFrank
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July 9th, 2018, 6:32 am #6

Maybe a little more white for the color...  It looks a bit like "chocolate".  😉
Give it some time to fully cure.  It should be good for some stress testing. 
You might be able to mix paint directly in plaster of Paris as well.

But I think you're on the right path with doing some test spots.
I do think a material with a vinyl or acrylic additive will be more durable.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/DAP-Vinyl-S ... /205503604
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delorean1981
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Joined: June 21st, 2018, 2:53 am

July 11th, 2018, 12:11 am #7

Still working on some mud coloring, we think we have a good idea. Think we finalized the design (below) and some mock up billboards.
This will be played with heavily so we're keeping things simple to repair.
Ordered some scenic model led's which we'll put along the backside for some added effect.
More pics to come!

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GotFrank
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GotFrank
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Joined: July 28th, 2008, 4:21 am

July 11th, 2018, 4:21 am #8

Looks like a familiar slippery slope.  😉

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delorean1981
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Joined: June 21st, 2018, 2:53 am

July 11th, 2018, 4:42 am #9

Haha you're telling me! Hopefully this will hold him over for a while ;)
GotFrank wrote:Looks like a familiar slippery slope.  

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delorean1981
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Joined: June 21st, 2018, 2:53 am

July 15th, 2018, 5:43 pm #10

Took a while but we got the mud down today. We glued the barriers down ahead of time and put 5/8" tacks in all over to provide some structural integrity for playing.
We smoothed out the mud and ran a toy truck over for the track effects.
After this dries we will begin using a mud paint and polish to make it look wet.

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