The "Pfalz bei Kaub" diorama is slowly but surely taking shape. This week a significant step forward was taken with painting and landscaping. See details below. Enjoy!
The outline of the castle was drawn onto the painted Styrofoam and then masked off. This way, after all the scenery materials have been applied, the castle will have a flat surface to rest on.
Using a very light tan latex house paint, a 'halo' was painted around the perimeter. For this step it's best to use a dry-brush technique - dip the brush lightly into the paint and rub most of the paint off on a scrap piece of paper/cardboard. The hoped for effect is that when the gloss medium is applied to simulate water this 'halo' will look like the submerged part of the rock - Cross your fingers!!!
The rock is then painted with a heavier coat, being careful not to cover everything - we want some of that darker hickory color to show through in the low spots.
The really messy part:
1. I let the first coat of tan dry, then using a brush with a heavy coat of paint, paint a small area (only the top of the rock not the sides)
2. While the paint is still wet and using a kitchen sifter I sifted on a fine, light gray ballast normally used for N scale model railroading. Do this on the portion that still has the heavy coat of paint on.
3. Next came a light sifting of 'Woodland Scenics' brand burnt grass. Don't completely cover the ballast
4. Add small clumps of 'Woodland Scenics' coarse turf
5. Taking a straw I carefully blew away loose scenery material from around the edges of the paint and off of the diorama base
6. Lightly spray the scenery area with a mixture of water and liquid dishwasher detergent. Normally this is a step most modelers will do after the next step. I find that by spraying the area with this mixture first allows the glue/water mix to spread out better
7. I next soak the area just sprayed using a 50/50 mix of white glue and water, laced with about 3 tablespoons of liquid dish washing detergent.
(the liquid soap makes the water 'wetter' - in other words it decreases the surface tension of the water, allowing it to hunker down and get into every nook and cranny - that's how your dishes get cleaned! I use more per mixture than what is normally recommended, usually just a few drops, because it seems to works better for me)
8. Wipe off any water/glue mixture that may accumulate or run down the sides of the embankments.
9. Paint the next patch and repeat the scenery making.
Allow at least a couple of hours before pulling the masking tape off the castle footprint.Wait at least 12 hours for everything else to dry and set up. Generally speaking it's usually a whole day before I can get to the next phase which is plenty of drying time. Scrape off any little flecks/scenery bits and pieces and paint the blue of the water. After looking at several aerial shots of the castle, it turns out this shade of blue will work quite well. I'm okay with the diorama so far. Just a few more steps and we'll be finished!