I know I've seen this covered before, but I never paid attention. But now I'm finishing a figure that I want to place on a simple snow covered base. Can anyone tell me a good method? I know that flour and sugar are out. I've seen snow for railroad modelers at the hobby store, but it was rather expensive ($10.00) for the extremely small area that I need to cover (about the size of half a hand).
in article firstname.lastname@example.org, Banshee741 at email@example.com wrote on 25/1/04 16:46:
Try going to your local optitions ,the type that make your glasses in about an hour and ask if you can have some of the wast grindings from the lens making machine. They are fine,white and sparkly and can be held down with hair spray.
I'd suggest two different items. First, white Celluclay, when mixed smoothly, looks like a snow pack. For a dusting of snow, or a sparkly snow field, nothing beats marble dust which is what you probably saw in the model railroad section. It's non organic and so will retain its sparkle forever.
First, try Celluclay, or A&B putty, to build up your groundwork. Then lay down baking soda (with a good white glue, such as Sobo). Baking soda will not yellow, and has a "flaky" quality about it. You can even add in some salt, or very fine glass beads (used in stained-glass production, I believe) to give it a sparkle.
Base material for the surface made from a paper towel soaked with dilute white glue. Drape this over an uneven form, eg lumps of styrofoam, to simulate uneven ground or lay the paper towel as flat ground. When dry the paper towel is very taut and strong.
Moisten the dried paper with a spray of dilute white glue again and sprinkle powdered tea leaves (as from a used tea bag) over it to cover the paper. Add your details, eg. rocks, branches, shrubbery. The add more tea leave again to make it look natural.
The snow. For the main drifts I use a slurry of Plaster of Paris. When that is dry spray it lightly with artificial snow from the Christmas Tree aerosol can stuff. The aerosol gives a random distribution of fluffy snow that looks realistic. It also settles on tiny upper surfaces like window ledges to add to the realism.
I have had good luck with lightweight spackle. It is cheap and easy to work with, and doesn't seem to yellow over the years. It is available anywhere home repair supplies are sold, anywhere from discount stores to lumberyards. For an example of a diorama I made using spackle see