Dusty roads?

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Dusty roads?

James Richardson
James Richardson

February 22nd, 2004, 6:08 am #1

I am about to begin a diorama in Russia in summer when the roads are dry with no surface moisture what so ever. I was just wondering what your advice is on making roads that look very dusty and dry, so that it can hardly hold vehicle tracks. TIA, James
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michael sheads
michael sheads

February 22nd, 2004, 1:14 pm #2

I've had success using pulverized, pre-tinted plaster. A coffee bean grinder works nicely for reducing pre-colored plaster to powder. Trick is to match your painted groundwork color with the pulverized plaster "dust". I use matte medium (Liquitex matte varnish works great too) as the adhesive. Place a few scoops of the pre-colored dust into a kitchen strainer, hold the strainer over the moistened areas, tap the side of the strainer with a spoon and the "dust" will fall the strainer like snow. Once it absorbs the matte medium and everything dries, you'll have a very dusty looking and "dead flat" effect. Good luck with your quest.
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Joined: February 14th, 2002, 10:06 pm

February 22nd, 2004, 4:26 pm #3

I am about to begin a diorama in Russia in summer when the roads are dry with no surface moisture what so ever. I was just wondering what your advice is on making roads that look very dusty and dry, so that it can hardly hold vehicle tracks. TIA, James
If you're in the US-of-A or North America, you might want to try some of Ray Anderson's diorama techniques with Durham's Water Putty...it's a hard-drying patching material for wood construction, but Mr. Anderson developed several interesting techniques to turn it into scale ground and contruction materials. Fine Scale Modeller magazine had a series on this...and it's worth experimenting with...relatively cheep, too, and you can find it at the big-box home improvement stores, or even you local ACE Hardware-type places.
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Bill Thacker
Bill Thacker

February 23rd, 2004, 1:20 pm #4

I am about to begin a diorama in Russia in summer when the roads are dry with no surface moisture what so ever. I was just wondering what your advice is on making roads that look very dusty and dry, so that it can hardly hold vehicle tracks. TIA, James
I've done a dusty Russian road using artists pastel
chalks. Shave the chalk down with the edge of an X-acto knife to get a powder, and just sift it onto the
roadway. Use several different colors to produce some variation so the road doesn't look too uniform.
It behaves just like light, dry dust, because it is! The obvious warning: you'll need to keep the
diorama protected, since the dust can be blown or
shaken off. You can't spray any kind of fixative
over the chalk dust or it loses its color.

You could also use MIG pigments, but the pastels are a lot cheaper.

Bill
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Danny Egan
Danny Egan

February 24th, 2004, 12:47 pm #5

I agree pastels are the way to go. And an easy method of fixing them in place so they don't get blown away is to mix them with water - try it, it really works. Mix the powdered pastels with some water to create a mud-like substance, and brush a thin layer over your road surface as if you were painting it. Once it dries you'll have a nice dusty-looking dirt road effect. I've found that this method sometimes leaves the high spots a bit 'bare' or smoother than the low spots, but that's probably OK. You don't want it too even, and the high spots really would tend to have less loose material collected on them.

The underlying road surface can be almost any plaster or paper mache material. I like Durhams too. It should still be painted or colored before adding the pastel layer, but the final color will depend much more on the pastels than the paint.

One final aspect of this method is that I add the pastels to the vehicles and figures (if appropriate) in the same step, ensuring everything is blended together a bit.

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Joined: February 24th, 2004, 3:27 pm

February 25th, 2004, 6:52 am #6

I've done a dusty Russian road using artists pastel
chalks. Shave the chalk down with the edge of an X-acto knife to get a powder, and just sift it onto the
roadway. Use several different colors to produce some variation so the road doesn't look too uniform.
It behaves just like light, dry dust, because it is! The obvious warning: you'll need to keep the
diorama protected, since the dust can be blown or
shaken off. You can't spray any kind of fixative
over the chalk dust or it loses its color.

You could also use MIG pigments, but the pastels are a lot cheaper.

Bill
After applying the pastel dust take can of Dullcote
and hold it a fair distance above and point it in the general direction of the scene and spray over the top
and let it fall naturally onto the dust and this will
affix it pretty good.
HTH
Tim
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Joined: February 3rd, 2002, 7:47 pm

February 25th, 2004, 3:13 pm #7

I am about to begin a diorama in Russia in summer when the roads are dry with no surface moisture what so ever. I was just wondering what your advice is on making roads that look very dusty and dry, so that it can hardly hold vehicle tracks. TIA, James
Spray the pigments thinnes with alhohol through your airbrush. Thats what I did to make the earthwork below. I mixed Celluclay with acrylic paint and waterbased glue. Base coat with a dark earth color and overspray with several applications of Mig Pigments and alcohol. Use localised washes of pigments and thinner or alcohol to vary the tones-

James

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