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Coffee Can Diorama

HO scale diorama in a cut-away 2-lb. coffee can.

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First, cut an irregular shape out of the side out of the can.
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First, cut an irregular shape out of…
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Crumpled newspaper is then packed in the can to form the general shape of the cliff.
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Crumpled newspaper is then packed in…
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A hard shell is then formed by dipping small pieces of paper towel into Hydrocal....
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A hard shell is then formed by dippi…
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...and draping the soaked towels over the newspaper.  When dry, the hydrocal is rock hard.
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...and draping the soaked towels ove…
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The "Hydrocal Hard Shell" step gets pretty sloppy.  After most of the excess Hydrocal is scraped off the outside of the can....
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The "Hydrocal Hard Shell" step gets …
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....a thick layer of Patching Plaster is applied to the Hydrocal with a flexible, artist's palette knife.  Dampen the Hyrocal with water first so the plaster will stick.
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....a thick layer of Patching Plaste…
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You can lay in the general grain of the rock with your palette knife as you apply the plaster.  Patching Plaster is used as a top layer because it's much easier to carve than Hydrocal.
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You can lay in the general grain of …
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When the Patching Plaster dries, crave away anything that doesn't look like rock.
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When the Patching Plaster dries, cra…
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Actually, making convincing rock is simply a matter of carving in angular cuts in a somewhat random fashion.
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Actually, making convincing rock is …
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Reference material for carving is easy to find: magazines, calendars, etc.
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Reference material for carving is ea…
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The retaining wall was carved the same way....just random, freehand shapes cut in with a dental tool.  Some of the rocks could use a little touch-up carving........
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The retaining wall was carved the sa…
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Various light washes at this stage give the rock a translucent depth that's not obvious in the photos.
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Various light washes at this stage g…
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The can was cleaned up and sprayed with automotive primer at this stage, too.
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The can was cleaned up and sprayed w…
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When the plaster is totally dry a few more light washes of grays and browns should do the trick.  Remember, a lot of these surfaces will be overed sith foliage.
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When the plaster is totally dry a fe…
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The rock was colored a little more with washes of brown and black...
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The rock was colored a little more w…
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...then the first layer of ground cover was applied to give the surface some tooth for subsequent layers.
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...then the first layer of ground co…
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To do that, the rock was sprayed with detergent and water, the ground foam and dirt were sprinkled on and then attached with a white glue/water mix.
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To do that, the rock was sprayed wit…
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PB230002
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PB230002
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PB230003
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PB230003
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PB230004
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PB230004
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PB230005
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PB230005
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PB230006
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PB230006
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