Previously on Little village Life: Design
Cladding by definition is when you place a different material over another to provide the outer skin. Often used as a building term, It’s purpose is insulation or aesthetic. Simple enough yes?
or is it? Around here you’ll hear the term as “insanity begins!” when we run into a project that requires it. What’s it like? Well have you ever done those 1000 piece puzzle? Imagine each puzzle pieces needing special attention. Each has to be inspected for flaws, then carefully trimmed, scrubbed with a brush in warm soapy water (this should be done a couple of times), laid out and dried before it’s ready for fitting.
I actually am ahead of myself. I should tell you the process we go through to even have the pieces. One of Runt’s definite talents and expertise is sculpting and having what seems to be a bottomless well of patience that makes him the proper candidate to sculpt something like a wall. It’s not just sculpting brick or rows of stone though. He has to cut it in a way that it fits together on all sides. This is so there wouldn’t be any discernible repeating pattern or unsightly seams when we start cladding. After sculpting and applying texture it is then ready to bake. After hardening it is then ready to be made into a silicone mold.
Fast forward to a couple days and we have a wall section set that can be cast into resin over and over. We must have done this process at least 30 times. After the necessary preparation we were then ready to do some muscle work. Using super gold + cyanoacrylate (super glue for Styrofoam at about $20.00 per 2oz) and a small bottle of accelerator, we had what seemed to be an endless gluing, fitting and cutting session that took almost four days just cladding the whole wall.
Thank goodness for the help!
There are inevitably gaps or uneven spots that need to be touched up, which we treated like real tiles and either grouted with spackle, or sculpted in details with Milliput.
We had about 5 structures planned, and found that good drawings will help keep us focused and make sure we’re all visualizing the same thing. Basically it prevents arguments.
Here I am cutting and gluing shingles on the mansion roof. I’m using 1/16 of an inch thickness balsa wood ,cut and textured and individually glued using PVA glue. I find it a highly therapeutic process and I liken it to meditating. There’s also that reward when you step back and see the finish product.
Runt is the only one who can make that airbrush work, he literally takes an hour cleaning the parts and twiddling with the little dials inside for a total of 5 min painting. Airbrushing is a good way to assure complete coverage on heavily textured areas, especially on foam and other materials that you cannot use spray paint primer on. The spray of the airbrush can reach deep into crevices and cracks where a regular brush can’t reach, or would take forever to cover.
Terraformer’s Tip Of The Day: Delta acrylic is widely used for airbrushing because of the deep, dark and super-flat finish it leaves. Dillute with about 5 – 10 parts water for a nice, spray on wash that flows into texture and provides deep shading. Dillute with 90% or higher isopropyl for a coat that dries faster with better coverage on flatter or raised surfaces. Use one technique after the other for complete coverage.
The tree was made by fashioning an armature out of florist wire and then applying “Pronto,” a type of lightweight air-drying mache/clay that has minimal shrinkage. Pronto tends to be a little clumpy for fine-scale sculpting but dries with tiny fissures, cracks and a knobby look that’s perfect for a grand old tree like this.
I used three different color tones of clump foliage, attached to the limbs with super-glue. I left the root parts bare still, to blend in later.