Author Topic: Styrofoam Snow  (Read 1551 times)

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tom mann

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Styrofoam Snow
« on: January 04, 2018, 01:48:05 PM »
+1
Years ago @David K. Smith showed us how to use Styrofoam to model dirty snow.  This great effect is in one of our header images, but I think the original photo with captions is lost.  So, how was it done?

Chris333

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 05:16:18 PM »
+1

DKS

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 05:22:54 PM »
+1
The white Fun Foam was just a test to see if the track looked good with snow filled in between the rails. The actual "dirty snow" as seen in the header image is made from chunks of the foam inside Gatorfoam scraps. They're carved into the snow pile shapes, secured with white glue, and blended into the sidewalk, street, etc. with heavy gloss medium. The "dirt" is thinned India Ink wash dry-brushed onto the finished snow.

http://davidksmith.com/modeling/hmrr_1.htm

For snow banks and other snow effects, I started by making the shapes with Sculptamold, then applied several coats of heavy matte medium. The "dirt" on this snow is powdered chalk.

« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 05:50:11 PM by David K. Smith »

DKS

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 05:38:56 PM »
+5
I dug up the original test build progress photos.












tom mann

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 05:43:51 PM »
0
That is such a good effect.

DKS

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 05:44:20 PM »
+6
Here are some shots of the Sculptamold + heavy matte medium snow.






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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 08:54:52 PM »
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Not only is DKS back, so is his large novelty dime!

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tom mann

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 10:57:28 PM »
0
I have to ask: was there a trick to getting the dirty snow between the rails looking so natural?

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 02:53:37 AM »
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Not only is DKS back, so is his large novelty dime!

Yeah, It is nice to another large-dimer here.  :)
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DKS

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 07:35:13 AM »
0
I have to ask: was there a trick to getting the dirty snow between the rails looking so natural?

I scraped the Sculptamold while it was half-hardened with a plastic knife. Kept at it until it was the right shape and texture. Ran a screwdriver blade along the rails last. When the Sculptamold was set, I cleaned up the railheads and removed any high spots. Applied 5-6 coats of heavy matte medium, then cleaned the rails again. It was a little tedious.

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 08:39:45 AM »
0
I scraped the Sculptamold while it was half-hardened with a plastic knife. Kept at it until it was the right shape and texture. Ran a screwdriver blade along the rails last. When the Sculptamold was set, I cleaned up the railheads and removed any high spots. Applied 5-6 coats of heavy matte medium, then cleaned the rails again. It was a little tedious.
I'm assuming this is the reason why we don't see whole layouts (basement style or anything above 8' in length)
Covered in snow... As cool as it would be....
As much as I hate the cold, I love snow... I even like driving in it, makes life just |__| that much more exciting... As far as modeling it in any scale below G I'll have to pass... But David, that's truly beautiful... Would love to see what you did to the trains.
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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 08:42:58 AM »
0
So matte medium instead of gloss medium?  I guess snow is more flat than shiny...but how do you get the melting effect?  Id thick matte medium still shiny enough for that effect?
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tom mann

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 09:31:09 AM »
0
And the dirty parts are just a grimy wash?

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 10:29:16 AM »
+1
I have to ask: was there a trick to getting the dirty snow between the rails looking so natural?

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DKS

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Re: Styrofoam Snow
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 10:42:23 AM »
0
I'm assuming this is the reason why we don't see whole layouts (basement style or anything above 8' in length)
Covered in snow... As cool as it would be....
As much as I hate the cold, I love snow... I even like driving in it, makes life just |__| that much more exciting... As far as modeling it in any scale below G I'll have to pass... But David, that's truly beautiful... Would love to see what you did to the trains.

There are a number of basement layouts done in snow. Getting the snow around the track to look right is tedious, but no more so than ballasting. And I haven't done anything with the rolling stock. Maybe someday...

So matte medium instead of gloss medium?  I guess snow is more flat than shiny...but how do you get the melting effect?  Id thick matte medium still shiny enough for that effect?

I tried gloss medium, and it looked awful. So I did some photographic studies and learned that, while slushy, melting snow is shiny, plain snow is dead flat. It looks a little shiny only because of the "sparkling" effect, which I found impossible to reproduce convincingly.

What I found that worked best was several coats of matte medium--really thick applications create a slightly translucent quality that totally works. But it's hard to photograph--the effect is much more convincing in person, probably because the translucency is kind of 3D-ish. The "melting" on the rock faces is a combination of stuff... dry-brushed white acrylic paint, clear caulk, and other stuff, all blended together with loads of heavy matte medium.

And the dirty parts are just a grimy wash?

Powdered chalk on the track snow; thinned India ink wash on the street slush.