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Making a diorama Chapter 3: Rough terrain -continued

Once your cardboard shell is ready you can apply the hydrocal or plaster of paris shell.

Note: Hydrocal and plaster of paris dry quickly. You will have to make several batches to complete this diorama. Make a batch, use it until it starts to harden clean the bowls and make another batch. Continue this process until you are done. You may want to lay newspapers on the floor and table . This step can get quite messy particulary if you have never worked with these materials before.



This photo shows our diorama ready to have the hydrocal applied. On the right is a measuring cup and an old margarine tub that we have mixed the hydrocal and water in.

mix hydrocal

Step 1: Cut 20 paper towels into a variety of strips between 2 and 4 inches wide.

Step 2: Mix the hydrocal according to the recommended instructions into a small plastic contain about the size of a tub of margarine.

Step 3: soak a paper towel in the mixture then apply it to the diorama.

Step 4: continue soaking paper towels in the hydrocal and applying them to the diorama. Work quickly, the hydrocal will dry fast. When it becomes difficult to work with clean out the tub and mix a new batch of hydrocal. For a project of this size you should be able to complete it with 3 or four batches.

The photo below shows the cardboard and newspaper shell completely covered in the hydrocal soaked paper towels. When this dries it will form a hard shell. Use the paper towels, your fingers, and tools to gently form the landscape.

The plaster

You have completed the shell of the diorama. Set it aside to dry and clean up all of your materials.

After the diorama has dried (This will vary depending on how many layers of paper towel you have applied) you are ready to move on to the next chapter.



Woodland Scenics Lightweight Hydrocal 1/2 Gallon -


NextContinue to chapter 4: The landscape details