Coloring Sculptamold

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by RobL, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. RobL

    RobL New Member

    I have recently begun making my mountains by wading up newspapers and covering with plaster cloth. I attempted to color the plaster cloth once dry and noticed it didn't quite look right (could still see too many holes from the cloth, etc). I placed a skim coat of Sculptamold over the dryed plaster cloth, and the mountains now look ready to really be colored :)

    Could anyone recommend a good color wash formula / technique I could use for the base color of my mountains? I have all of the Woodland Scenices colors such as Earth Undercoat, Black, Slate Gray, ad naseum... I am just not sure what a good method of getting a good looking color on the sculptamold would be.

  2. Collyn

    Collyn Member

    The most fool proof method is a lepard spoting method. First take paint thined down quite a bit so it is fairly transperent. We want just a stain. I think the woodland scenices are already thined down but i am not sure as I have never used it. Take a yellow ocer and color half the rock face with it. Then color the rest of the face with burnt color umber for example (redish brown). Last take the black color and let it just run down the face of the rock so that the black gets into all the crevaces. Don't skimp on the black.
  3. RobL

    RobL New Member

    Thanks for the tips! I built up a "test" mountain last night on a scrap of wood, so I will work with your techniques and get a feel for it before I touch the layout!

    The Woodland Scenics Earth Undercoat is a darker brown... would you recommend that as a step before the black?

    Thanks again,
  4. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

    I use paints myself but Woodland scenics has a very short "how to color rock" demo.
    It might be worth viewing if you haven't seen it before and are going to use their products. They do it essentially the way Collyn has suggested:thumb: . But it couldn't hurt to watch....did I mention it was SHORT?:D
    good luck:thumb:
  5. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I built the Woodland Scenics HO scale diorama ( a good experience ) .After laying the plaster cloth I too placed a thin coat of sculptamold , just to give some more "meat" over the skeleton. I liked the result. After that, as suggested by W.S. I coloured the whole diorama ( except the rocks ) with undiluted earth undercoat.
    Here is a pic.
  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Wait, wait, wait... I think you missed a crucial piece of information there. Use the burnt umber, yellow ochre, and black technique for ROCKS. Use the earth undertone for where you want it to be dirt. Dilute the earth undertone a LOT when applying as it is easy to apply several more coats to go darker than it is to say, "whoops to dark now let's make it lighter." Been there done that. I take a cup, add a few drops of earth undertone and then dillute that with water until you have tested it to be the darkness you prefer. Once you get to that point, you can airbrush it on for a uniform color or paint it on with a brush. I am at exactly this point on my home layout and if you are interested, you can see pictures of my progress. See the link "home layout" in my signature.
    Oh, and P.S. - somebody mentioned to not skimp on the black when coloring your rocks... I have found just the opposite. Be very careful how much black you use or you will end up with a black rock.
  7. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I agree with TrainNut , and I think my post is clear about that point too: the earth undercoat is not used on the rocks.
    I don't see any reason to dilute the earth undercoat, but of course it doesn't hurt to do that.
    You can even color the sculptamold with the earth undercoat while mixing the sculptamold with water.
    A lot of articles and books about scenery suggest to use some cheap light tan interior latex paint instead of the W.S. earth undertone.It saves on money
    Example: Benjamin Moore 1B-1122 Cocoa Sand
    About the blackpigment for the rocks:
    First Woodland scenics suggests ( and that's what I did for the diorama ) to dilute the Burnt Umber and Yellow ocher at a ratio of 1 part pigments to 16 parts water and apply both washes on the rocks in a leopard spot pattern. When dry apply some some Scenic Cement ( or 1 part white glue to 5 or 6 parts water )
    Then apply the black wash ( 1 part black pigment to 32 parts water ) in the cracks and crevices to highlight them. After,apply scenic cement and let dry.
    Here too we might save on mony by using artist's acrylic colors instead of the W.S. pigments.
    I highly recommend the following book:
  8. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Good advice Biased Turkey although I have never used the Woodland scenic cement. What is that supposed to do? Is it like a clear coat that does not allow the black to soak in as much?
    Anyways, RobL if you use the leopard spot approach for your rocks, you end up with a rock that looks like this... see below...
    You can also see a transition stage of my layout where I have used WS plaster cloth covered with wall joint compound and a light coating of earth undertone has been applied with an airbrush.

    Attached Files:

  9. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Scenic cement is ( according to W.S. ) a "Ready to use matte-medium that is a multi use product for Ballast, Turf, etc.* It is used to fix pigments, ballast, turf etc..
    One can mix its own scenic cement: ( 1 part white glue to 5 or 6 parts water ).It is sprayed.
    Scenic cement is used to seal the color.
    The way I understand it, is that W.S. colors are not paints, but pigments and need to be fixed after being applied on the hydrocal or sculptamold.
  10. RobL

    RobL New Member

    I just stained the sculptamold with the Woodland Scenics earth undercoat and I have some rocks curing in the molds as I speak, so I will use the techniques above to stain those and affix them, along with turf and other landscaping goodies to the freshly painted sculptamold... hopefully it comes out nice... I will post up a picture when I get it done.

    Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas guys!

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