Work is progessing slowly but surely on the new space diorama/photo backdrop. Last week I gave the Styrofoam a coat of pre-mixed joint compund. I laid it on pretty thick so that some detail could be carved into it. Now, joint compound is meant to be applied thinly over the joints where two pieces of drywall meet, but because it was on put on thickly, small cracks appeared all over as it dried. No biggie. The next step was to simply apply a thinner layer of fill with my fingers - just dip the finger into the tub of compound and start gettin' messy! That was fun. By this means, any voids where those little Styrofoam balls were still showing were filled, as was all the hairline cracks.
Today I started painting the backdrop. All the Styrofoam - front and back and the removable rock outcropping - as well as the top of the base was given a coat of flat, interior, latex paint in a dark, sort of burnt-orange color. I'm goin' for that red planet look here. For this particular diorama I did not want the grayish, moon-like surface. I'll save that for another time. The photograph shows what it looks like now with only the first coat - it was just taken about a half hour ago.
The paint was applied thickly which helps to fill small voids and I use the brush to work the paint into all the crooks and nannies, umm I mean nooks and crannies :-) When I applied the first few brushes it was somewhat of a shock as it looked like this garrish, bright orange. But there are a couple things to remember: paint goes on bright and glossy and dries to flat; and, as the paint dries it gets darker. I have to wait for this paint to set up before going on to the next step - touching up spots I missed and giving the top a second coat. Enjoy!