Tumbleweeds and cracked earth?

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Tumbleweeds and cracked earth?

Post by Havoc » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:31 am

Heya, Folks,

I'm working on a post-apocalyptic diorama and would like to model tumbledweeds and cracked earth, the type you see out in the salt flats...

Anyone have any suggestions for making tumbleweeds?

And how 'bout the cracked earth, the type you might see in out on the Bonneville salt flats or some other dry, not-particularly-sandy desert?

If so, I'd appreciate any input or help. :-H

Thanks in advance!!!!!

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Post by seam-filler » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:20 am

Lichen (available from model railroad stockists) is about the only think I can think of for tumbleweed.

As for cracked-earth, you can get crackle paint from art stores - just paint over in the color you want.
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Post by Kylwell » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:32 pm

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Post by Havoc » Mon Feb 29, 2016 4:45 pm

Awesome!! Thanks a bunch, folks!!

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Post by eeun » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:48 am

Painting over not-quite-cured Elmer's white glue will crackle.
The one gotcha is to not leave brush strokes or 'grain' to the glue application, otherwise the paint will crackle primarily along those lines instead of a random pattern.
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Post by Rogviler » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:13 pm

What about a mix of paint and something like Durham's water putty over a base that will cause it to crackle (per the above suggestions)? That would give you a little more thickness, like mud.

Might experiment with that in a bit just to see...

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Post by kenlilly106 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:06 pm

I've heard of people using real mud in this application but have not tried it myself.

Find some fine grained soil in the color you want, make some thin mud out of it and pour it on the base. Let it dry and it should crack like the full scale location.


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Post by dainaka » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:24 pm

Probably the best way to produce cracked earth effect is to use crackle medium:

https://www.google.com/search?q=crackle ... 91&dpr=0.9

I've used two medium that may work for your project:


Here's some test swatches I did with Tim Holtz product:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/or ... 323dd6.jpg

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Post by dizzyfugu » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:43 am

I have used crackle medium on a small diorama - results were so-so, it did not work too well... :(
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Post by Kylwell » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:01 pm

The little I've played with the artists crackle medium II found that thinning it will vary how fine the cracks will be. Usually straight out of the tub it produces pretty large cracks, 1/2 in or so. Thin it 50/50 with water and they're much smaller.
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Post by Agent Orange » Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:00 am

If you get some air drying clay and roll it out really thin and lay it onto a base of pva glue and give it a coat of paint right away - as it dries out, the top layer develops cracks and fragments.

I found that to my peril when I wanted a nice smooth landscape once :roll:

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cracked earth

Post by modelbaseguy » Sun May 01, 2016 10:00 am

I personally use clean egg shells to simulate cracked earth. I lay down a thin layer of glue then lay down the clean egg shells and press into place. If I need more texture then press harder and cause more fractures.

Just my two cents.
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